My blogger friend, Kristi, brought to my attention Red Letters Campaign. As part of my involvement I will try to answer some of the Blog Buzz questions. I have never been very eloquent at putting my thoughts into words, but I would love to give it a try. This week's question is:
“How do I do this, moneywise? I want to adopt, but it seems so overwhelming. We don’t really have $20,000 in the bank, ya know!” Please blog about your experience, ideas, insight, fundraisers and other ideas that worked for you while raising your adoption money.
Especially as a single woman, I get asked this quite often. To be perfectly honest, funding adoption was the most difficult and daunting part of the entire process. I worried and continue to worry that since I am the only breadwinner that if something happens to me how in the world would I pay the bills? I often feel like I am juggling several balls at one time and that at any minute I may drop one of the balls.
With that having been said, there is no possible way I could put a price on the priceless gift that is Regan. When explaining it to other people I would explain that they would never think twice about financing a 20-30 thousand dollar car, so why the stigma associated with the necessary expenses associated with adoption? I have no magic solution to fundraise money for adoption. I personally took out a home equity loan (back when the housing market was decent and I actually had equity!). I personally did not feel comfortable fundraising and asking for donations. On the other hand, my family did and continues to help me tremendously. When Regan was unexpectedly admitted to the hospital for a month with a life threatening infection 3 weeks after she arrived home, it was my family who helped pull us through that awful time. I ended up having to take an extra month off from work and the hospital, doctor, and medication bills were astronomical. My family provided both emotional support and financial support when they could. I began delivering a paper route as my second job and my mother came over after work and helped me bag and throw the route. That being said, I have always worked a second job to assist with finances. I am fortunate to have a job that allows me to work varying hours to meet my schedule. When I work late, my family assists me by picking Regan up from daycare. It is not ideal, but being single it is what it is.
Instead of concentrating on financing adoption, I concentrate on saving money on a day to day basis. One of the things I try to do is save all my change. I always try to pay with dollars and then put away the change in my change bucket. I know it must be irritating to the cashiers, but even if something is 1.02, I try to pay with two dollars so that I'm not using my change.
Another thing I am going to try to start to do is clip coupons. I'm not so good at this because it takes organization and time (two things I'm not great at), but last week I saved 19 dollars by using coupons at the grocery store. Of course, I hadn't shopped in forever so I needed to stock up. I can't imagine I would save that much every week, but hey, even if it is only one time that is 19 dollars I know have in my pocket!
This Christmas, we are going to try to make most of our gifts. I think it will not only be cost effective, but really fun also!
I am really good at shopping sales! I shop clearances for all of Regan's clothes and shoes. It may seem ridiculous to some, but when there is a good sale I stock up on clothes and shoes in sizes that Regan will grow into. Target was having a huge sale on shoes. The most expensive shoe was 4 dollars. The cheapest shoe was less than 2 dollars. Shoes and clothes do not spoil and they never go bad, so I buy clearance and store them for when Regan grows into them. The picture below is of my weekend finds. I bought 32 pairs of shoes for 85 dollars. Three of the pair were for myself. You can't beat that! Several weeks ago that had a clothes clearance and had shirts and skirts for 1 and 2 dollars. I stocked up, of course! If I don't stock up, she is still going to keep growing and I will still have to clothe her (as much as she would be happy naked!) so I might as well stock up on clearances and save myself hundreds of dollars.
Another thing I do is try to find activities to keep the kids occupied that cost little or no money. Who says that to be entertained you have to spend a ton of money? Every summer we attend the free library programs. Konnor loves them and I enjoy them also! We also go to the park, bike ride, nature center, free movies, etc. We have also found that some places (like the nature center) have annual passes that are really cheap and provide entertainment all year! I guess this post is more about how we save money in general as opposed to how to fund adoption, but it really is one and the same in my house!
We played board and card games Saturday night. I promise, I do clothe Regan!!! I never realized how often she strips down to nothing until I pull out the camera and realize she has little or no clothes on!