Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Price of a Child

When we found out we were going to have our first child - we did not immediately get the calculator out and start adding up numbers.

We did not sit at the table hour after hour counting the cost.

We saw the extra little strip on that pregnancy tester and we started jumping up and down for joy.

We called our families.  We cried tears of joy.  We floated on clouds for days...

We may have discussed the expense at one time or another as we waited for Ben to arrive but we certainly didn't sit around and sweat tears about how we were going to pay for his arrival.

Not so with Aaron.

We counted the cost from the very first day.  We still rejoiced.  We still called our families.  We still cried tears of joy  (okay - maybe more tears of terror than joy).  We tried to float on clouds......

It was not the same.

Preparing for Aaron and preparing for Ben were just not the same.

We had insurance for Ben so even though we were not rich, money wasn't a big issue.  No one gave us the stunned and shocked looks when we told them he was coming.  We didn't feel like fish out of water in the entire pregnancy process.  Everyone expected us to have children and so he was part and package of our marriage.  

We counted pennies over and over and over again for Aaron.  We researched arthrogryposis and had multiple panic attacks about what in the world we were getting ourselves into.  We felt alone most of the time in a world where special needs adoption was extremely uncommon.  Did I say we counted pennies?  Over and over and over again???  We wrestled through the paperwork and wept again and again as we hit barrier after barrier trying to get a proper dossier across the ocean.  We screamed in agony when our finished dossier needed to be fixed and we had to paper chase once again.  And we counted pennies.  Over and over and over again.  We lived in terror over what transfer meant and in what condition we would find Aaron.  

Having Ben changed our lives.  Having Aaron rocked our world.

I wouldn't trade either of them for the world.

In the end - God provided every single penny we needed. 
In the end - God orchestrated an adoption process that not only allowed us to bring one very precious son home but allowed for a closed facility to begin to open to the world.   
In the end - God carried our quaking and reluctant hearts through hell and back, teaching us about trust and faith and hope.

In the end - we have Aaron.

He was worth every single penny we counted... and then some.

I hear it often said that international adoption is too expensive.  People ought to adopt from the United States instead.

Honestly.... let me rock your boat a bit in terms of what it costs for some people to adopt a special needs newborn baby in our world.

Some friends of ours here in this area are in process to adopt a special needs infant.  When they received their referral for their little one they were told it would cost $30,000.00.  Shock me out of the water!!  That was how much Aaron's adoption cost!!  But our friend's cost didn't include travel, hotel or food.  Aaron's did.  BUT.... GET THIS...  When the lawyer went through their paperwork and saw that the family made a certain amount of money.... they were then told that the cost would be $40,000.00.  FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.  The birth mother gets NOTHING.  All that money is going to the lawyers and other what nots who are making a mint on special needs adoption here in our country.

A few weeks ago I met a family at Shriners who adopted an absolutely precious little angel from the United States.  I nosily asked them how much their adoption cost.... $49,000.00.  FORTY NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS.  Again - this amount did not cover any travel or food expenses. The birth mother gets nothing.  The lawyers get unbelievably rich.  

Yes, international adoption is expensive.  So is domestic adoption unless you adopt through the foster care system and that route is not for the faint-hearted. 

Aaron's country normally costs around $24,000.00.  Our adoption cost more because it was more complicated and required a longer stay in country.  

In the largest EE country the process is more like a special needs domestic adoption - the costs are around $40-50,000.00.

Why am I sharing all of this???

Because one of the RR families has been trying their hearts out to raise the $40,000.00 they need to bring their little one home and they are just struggling to get over the mountain.  

I'm asking you to help them.  

She is worth every counted penny.  They have already met her and are totally and completely in love.

They are leaving in only a few days.  They are thousands short.  They have raised so much of what they need but they are still short.  Please won't you help?  Help add a few more pennies onto their pile.  Help ease that part of the terror.  

Their  blog is HERE.  You can go over and enjoy seeing all the precious pictures of their precious treasure!!  You can also drop some money in their pot.  They are doing a pretty cool Giveaway with a boatload of prizes that you may win if you donate.  Most importantly - you will get the satisfaction of knowing that you helped bring a treasure home.  Where she belongs.

Because it is worth it.

It is so very very worth it.

Every single counted penny!


  1. Great post Julia, I met with a family today that was considering domestic or int'l I will be having them read this post.
    Thanks for helping our sweet Charlotte come home!

  2. Oh my Julie beautifully written. Thank you so much although I only know Kelly through RR God has laid her burden on my heart in the past two weeks. I am so thankful for people like you and Patti and any others who keep on helping. God bless you and your family. By the way I have been following your blog for a long long time ;)
    In Christ Ann Plummer now a proud mommy of Varvara and Matvey from Russia. :)

  3. Thank you Julia for sharing about Charlotte - I am just in AWE!


  4. If God called us to adopted again we would go!. IT IS WORTH EVERY CENT AND GOD PAYS FOR WHAT HE ORDERS.
    We can testify to that because of His provision for very one of our five adoptions and still continues to faithfully provide.
    Praying for these families to be strengthened and encouraged by the Lord.
    Yes these blessings ARE worth every cent :)

  5. Thank you for sharing this Julia.



Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!