Adoption, Money

Adopting Again…How Soon is too Soon?

April 14, 2015

This is a topic that’s been on my heart lately.

I love being a mom. I really really love it.

Not only am I content and joyful with having Josie, I find myself being hopeful for future siblings for her to be close with while growing up.

But then I come up against the facts – siblings for Josie will likely happen through the means of adoption and not a miraculous pregnancy. Now, I am certainly not God nor do I claim to know his will for our family but by looking at my medical history…adoption will probably be how our family grows.

It’s no longer getting pregnant and watching my belly grow that fills my dreams now.

I dream of the adoption process and getting to do it all over again.

Filling out paper work. Having our lives examined and cross-examined. Connecting with a birth family. Being chosen to raise and love the most precious gift of all. Meeting our newest little one at the hospital. Taking the full milk supply I’ve painstakingly built for Josie and getting to continue breastfeeding both my babies.

And everything else that goes with adoption.

But then one thing stops me in my tracks: Money.

We fundraised a majority of the $25K+ for Josephine’s adoption. It was such a gift, honor, and privilege to have the love and support of so many behind us. I can’t tell you how humbled we were and still are that so many people walked our adoption journey by our sides.

But when is adopting again too soon? And can we actually fundraise again or will we get the stink-eye from people?

I don’t want this to come off wrongly but Josie is almost 6 months old…and if I had healthy fertility and was yet again cycling, Jonathan and I would likely begin trying to have a sibling for her. I really like the idea of having a few kiddos close in age to one another, no matter how crazy life would temporarily be. I would rather condense the wild and sleepless years together into as brief of time period as possible….

I can already hear God laughing at that one, as he prepares a nice curve ball for me. 🙂

With a natural pregnancy, the wait time is typically 9 months from conception through birth. With adoption? The average wait is 2-3 years!!!

I am well aware that our first adoption happened from start to finish in under 6 months. Highly unusual! I can’t say it wouldn’t happen that quickly again, but statistically it won’t.

That means that if we start the process all over again in a couple months time…we *might* have a second adoption by the time Josie is 3 or 4 years old. Still pretty close in age for siblings but it’s about as far a part as I would like.

This is when I start to get nervous though. We couldn’t afford adoption the first time around without significant help. We likely won’t be able to a second time around either. Part of me wonders if those cheerleaders from our first round will still be around for the next one. Did we wear our welcome? How soon is too soon?

If we were talking about natural conception, we wouldn’t have to factor in anyone else’s opinion…but I feel like with adoption we HAVE to weigh others opinions and perceptions…since we will likely rely on their help once again.

Hopefully we can start saving right away for future adoptions and be MUCH more prepared and not have to do as much last-minute fundraising. I also plan to do more adoption grant applications that we didn’t qualify for this first time around since things happened so quickly.

But what if we do need the help of others?

Will people judge us for trying for another adoption so “soon” not knowing we could be waiting around for 2+ years? Will people think we are free loaders who want handouts? Do people think we are not sacrificing enough lifestyle to save for adoption on our own? (Trust me when I say your jaw would drop on how little we spend on lifestyle as it is.) Should we be fundraising a higher annual income than we currently are, to build in the cost of future adoptions and not have to fundarise for adoption specifically at all?

These questions come from a place of prudent planning but also of fearing others. I don’t want to be there but I admit some days I am.

The other part of me remembers how special fundraising for Josephine was. I felt united to a large family…people cheering us on from around the globe. People who knew that by giving to us…they were primarily giving to God and doing his work. People happy to give, knowing it was not only a blessing to us but it was a blessing to them to be part of the story. Those memories are wonderful and make me believe fundraising again is possible.

Only time will reveal God’s will for growing our family and other’s reactions to how soon we choose to move forward on another adoption. We will keep praying about when and if God will call us to move forward on that.

Until then, I’m just going to think out loud with you here at True Good and Beautiful.

Feel free to let me know how this topic makes you feel.

Really. I am curious.

What is your gut reaction to us thinking about adopting (and mostly fundraising to adopt) again? You can always email me using the contact us page if you don’t want to share your thoughts publicly in the comments section. Thanks y’all!

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33 Comments

  • Reply connieann April 14, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I think you’ve answered your question- it all comes down to prayer and God’s will. We can try all we want to control when we have children and how to space them, but at the end of the day it is purely up to God. As for fundraising, that’s something I’ve wondered about too. If we can adopt one, will people help us for the second? I think God will show you that one too. My initial thought is to pray for God’s help and try your best to save, but I have no idea what he has planned in this case. Best of luck and God bless you guys. <3

    • Reply Amanda April 14, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      It’s true. Coming from infertility, I know in my core that God’s got it all in his control and tat includes spacing of kiddos. I don’t know how he will provide…only that he will. Can’t wait to see it all unfold 🙂

  • Reply Tara April 14, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I do find it a bit free loading to be honest. I think financially planning for an adoption over 2-3yrs would be the way to go, even if you jump in to it sooner. Because after child #2, what then? Asking others to support #3, #4, and #5? It seems like yould wear out your welcome and the generosity of others honestly. Or, maybe consider foster caring for children. You could care for a sibling group even and build your family with a few children at a time if you wanted and not have to deal with the financial aspect.

    • Reply Jenny April 14, 2015 at 11:18 am

      I think that using the expression “free loading” with a mama who was just sharing her heart honestly (and very vulnerably, I might add) was a really poorly chosen turn of phrase. Maybe you guys know each other in real life and this wasn’t hurtful for her to read, but to an outsider’s eye, that really stung.

      Amanda, I think your heart for your children is beautiful, and that God will provide for the life He has chosen to entrust you with, just like He does with biological children. It rarely “makes sense” financially to time your pregnancies to perfectly suit your circumstances, and we’ve always found that those babies really do come with loaves of bread under their arms, be it promotions at work or unexpected freelance opportunities.

      Be not afraid!

      • Reply Tara April 14, 2015 at 1:13 pm

        Hi Jenny, I used the term free loader because thats the term she used in her writing. I think it’s great that she shared her heart and ask for input. I was simply giving input as an outsider, as she requested.

        • Reply Amanda April 14, 2015 at 4:47 pm

          Tara, you are correct, I did use that term! 🙂 Thank you for your honest feedback. In some ways we have been up against people thinking we are “free loaders” for the past 8 years being missionaries who fundraise our income. But with added fundraising for adoption, my insecurities come out knowing there will be people who don’t agree with our fundraising. The hope is that we wouldn’t need to do any large fundraising efforts again, with savings and grants…but it’s possible we would need to. I guess we wait and see how the Lord wants it to go. We will do everyhting in our power to be diligent in savings but where we lack, he will make up for it somehow.

      • Reply Amanda April 14, 2015 at 4:44 pm

        Jenny, thanks for the encouragement! And for your own testimony of God’s provision. I know, financially adoption never makes sense but somehow it happened once and in God’s providence if that is how our family will grow, it will happen again. And again according to how he wants to grow our family. I am excited to see how he chooses to come through and provide for us with future kiddos!

  • Reply Michelle Tjardes April 14, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Go for it and let the Lord lead you! Haters will always hate, don’t let the stink eye make you fearful of pursuing your dream. Live with the trust and confidence that God’s will will be done and you are his good and faithful servants. People who follow you and know you understand the process. God Bless you both…you have our support! Bring on Baby #2!

    • Reply Amanda April 14, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Can I click “LOVE” on this comment? 🙂

  • Reply haaker April 14, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    We didn’t give when you adopted Josie, but we would like to give for future adoptions. As far as timing for children, so much of it is God’s will. My fertility has always come back around my baby’s first birthday and then it has taken us varying amounts of time to conceive, despite always being open. I’m sure God has a plan for your family to grow, too! And if you are open to His will, the next adoption will happen at the right time!

  • Reply Deana Klein April 14, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Amanda, thank you for being so open about everything adoption! I have continued to be inspired by your journey with adopting, parenting and finances. I think that there is nothing more wonderful than a sibling–I will support you and Jonathan should you embark on the adoption path again!

    • Reply Amanda April 14, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      Deana, thank you for your encouragement…the first time around and for a possible future second time 🙂 I know a sibling soon would be crazy but so good for Josie. I am sure you’ve experienced that with your kiddos!

  • Reply Tara April 14, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    I tried to post previously, but it must not have gone through. I find it somewhat free loading to continue to ask people to fund each of the children yould hope to add to your family. After child #2, would you do the same for #3,4or 5? What about saving for 2-3yrs? That would seem more prudent, even if you start the waiting process sooner. Or, if you don’t want to save, you could foster to adopt and even go for a sibling group. You wouldn’t have to wait on finances or continue to ask friends to support each adoption in that case either.

  • Reply Linn April 14, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I agree with Tara. I enjoyed seeing your adoption journey from start to finish the first time, but at what point do you stop? And at what point do you take responsibility for funding your own adoption? I am curious too, why given that you at debt free, one of you can’t get a job that doesn’t center around fundraising your income. You could afford an adoption within a year if you did, and you both worked. You are both college educated so I don’t feel like finding a job should be difficult. Just a thought though – I don’t know of your circumstances any more than you have shared online.

    Regardless of what people think, only those that don’t feel you are freeloading will give, so I guess it doesn’t really matter! If they don’t feel the need to give, they won’t!

    • Reply Amanda April 14, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      Thank you for joining the conversation. We see that we took responsibility for the first adoption…just with the help of others. We didn’t go into debt, which is very responsible to avoid. And as to why we fundraise our income – it’s a missionary calling we have responded to in FOCUS. It’s part of living a true missionary spirit and lifestyle. We love fundraising because we’ve been humbled by God’s providence but mostly because we get to meet the best people in the world and invite them to serve alongside us in FOCUS through giving. Yes, we are college graduates but I am a nurse and my license has expired so I cannot actually get a job in nursing without significant effort again and retesting. It’s possible but for now I still serve in FOCUS and feel God continuing to call me to that work alongside Jonathan. If we worked in the corporate world, we would make probably twice as what we make now…but it’s just part of the life of being a missionary we have embraced and sacrificed.

      And you are right…people that think negatively won’t help us anyway so it doesn’t matter all that much what they think.

  • Reply Mandy April 14, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I think if God desires a sibling for Josie He will provide a baby and the money, just as He did the first time. It’s one thing to expect people to donate and another thing to trust that God will work it out through a combination of savings and donations and I think your heart is in the right place. We’re behind you and praying for you!

    • Reply Amanda April 14, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      You’re right, Mandy. And no way would we ever “expect” anyone to give again, so yes our hearts are in the right place. IF we are in a situation where we would have to fundraise, God will provide as he has time and time again not only for us but all his children!

  • Reply Caitlin April 14, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I think that fundraising for a second adoption would give others the chance to get involved. Maybe there is a way to target those who didn’t give the first time. I agree that you will probably get some negative feedback from others which is too bad. Including others in your story is a wonderful thing. I would also like to say that if it is on your heart so deeply don’t like fear (or embarrassment or pride) stop you. Start! Continue the journey that God has planned for you. Thank you for continuing to open your life for us, the readers. (Also, I am sure that you have discerned foster care, but if not, I think that that could be a great option. But it is a calling, NOT a choice to make because you want children and you don’t have any $)

    • Reply Amanda April 14, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      Caitlin, we have absolutely thought about foster care and you are SO right in saying it in itself is a calling. It’s hard when people like to throw it around as the “cheap” way to adopt and have kids. It’s unique and needs its own discernment which we have done. it’s not off the table but not for the next adoption we don’t think. Probably will stick with private domestic another time.

  • Reply Mr. M April 14, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    It seems like you are asking not when is the right time to adopt, but when is the right time to start fundraising again. Why not apply for a grant this time and use the money from the adoption tax credit you received from your first adoption to fund the second adoption? That way, you don’t have to worry about asking for funds again. I think that will be close enough to the $20,000 you need and the rest you can just pull from getting a part-time second job. Just an idea.

    • Reply Amanda April 14, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      You’re very right, and we plan to put the tax credit towards future adoptions but we won’t get the full amount for several years since we don’t have that high of a taxable income.So it’s helpful but won’t be a huge amount all at once, if that makes sense. And yes, we will totally go the grant route this time around even though it can be really rough. We have friends that applied for several and got denied for all of them.

  • Reply justharried April 14, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    We are fundraising for our first adoption, but we have already decided that we will not for future adoptions. Just becoming parents is a dream come true, but we will not ask for help a second time. I’d rather pay the love forward by helping others adopt and become parents for the first time and encouraging those who helped us to help others become parents.

    We’ve talked about adopting more than once, and we know we cannot afford to go through a private adoption agency again. We’ve discussed other ways, including foster care (which I know requires extra layers of discernment) and always having a home study ready to go in case we can be available for a situation that comes to us through our existing relationships.

    I personally see a difference between asking for help to become parents and asking for help to become parents again, but that doesn’t mean that others will. You know very well that those that feel called to give financially will, and those that can’t/won’t give financially help with prayers and other ways to support. You will certainly have our spiritual support, as always!

  • Reply Genevieve April 14, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    For my part, there’s nothing about fundraising for a second adoption that seems strange – if it is a blessing to a child to be adopted, it’s no less of a blessing because they will have an older sibling! And adoption is no easier or cheaper with a second. I would love to contribute to a second adoption by you guys!

  • Reply mandie April 14, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    When I ponder adoption, I view it less as being about the adoptive family, their wants or circumstances and more about the call we havr from God to help provide any and all children a good, loving, Christ centered home. What makes that child any less deserving of a good home? Who are we to judge? If people are supportive, or they feel called to give, they will give. God has a path for your family and any child or children He may choose to send to your home. Trust in Him.

  • Reply Danielle April 14, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Amanda,
    Thank you so much for sharing your journey! I say go as God leads you. As far as I’m concerned, I wish I had more opportunities to support my friends in the adoption process. As pro-lifers, we frequently stress the importance of giving a child up for adoption rather than having an abortion…but what about the second half of the adoption process…these parents also need our support.
    My husband and I are looking into adoption even though we have no problems wth infertility…and I feel more families with a heart for an “unwanted” generation should consider doing the same.

    I hope you feel encouraged friend. Be blessed.

  • Reply Janelle April 15, 2015 at 7:12 am

    You two are brave for being open to discussion on this topic. High fives for that.

    I say do it! You gotta do what works for you.

    As for the money, you’ll find a way through various means, just like before. Perhaps a new opportunity will come up, like writing and selling an ebook through your website/blog. Ya never know!

    I wish only good things for you guys! 🙂

  • Reply Mitch April 15, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Amanda,
    We are all freeloaders, being held in existence by God at every moment in time, and depending entirely upon his gifts to buy, sell, trade, and save. So don’t worry about being called a freeloader, and realize that some people will feel guilty or annoyed when others ask for financial help but others might enjoy the opportunity to help give a child a family. My decision to help would be more about helping the child, and less about helping the parents, and I think your decision to adopt should be similarly framed (and made with a generous spirit)!

    If you targeted some people and put a guilt trip on them, that would be annoying, but if you just opened up another fundraising campaign through your blog to let ppl opt in, I can’t see how that is a problem. You could argue that by not fundraising you are depriving people of the choice to help or not, and projecting on them that they can’t see the bigger picture. I enjoy being able to contribute to placing a child in a good home, and appreciate knowing of the opportunity. I have no problem with not contributing if I don’t believe it to be prudential or an act of good stewardship of our money, and I have no doubt that you would respect my prudential judgement in that case. So, I say open it up with another puzzle-piece opportunity, and let people choose to help put a child in a good home if they desire.

    • Reply Amanda April 16, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      I like your point about how we are all freeloaders 🙂 And the rest of your comment is spot on too. We wouldn’t ever be people to guilt anyone into giving or participating in a fundraiser. Never have, never will. So I guess knowing that I feel more freedom that I know people will make their own choices and some will want to help and some won’t/can’t at that point in time. God will provide nonetheless if we need to do any adoption fundraising again.

  • Reply Elisabeth Renne June 2, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I’m way late to the party, here. And since we don’t know one another in real life, my opinion hardly counts for much. That said, I do not think fundraising for another adoption (or 2, or 3, or 4!) is free loading! I do understand your hesitations, because I have always hated fundraising, BUT adoption is such a selfless act – anyone participating to raise funds for your adoption is not ultimately helping YOU, that person is ultimately helping a child find a permanent home! It’s not like you are fundraising to afford a vacation or a car. You are – as with missions – fundraising so that you can participate in the ministry of forever changing another person’s life for the better. I am a little biased because I have always wanted to adopt, I married someone who is adopted and also wants to adopt – so I have really enjoyed reading your and others’ adoption stories, and I completely understand your heart and excitement about it. But Josie’s life is forever changed because of you, and it’s exciting to think that you could have that same impact on other children! Their lives are important, cherished, and valued! These are not “band-aid babies” adopted only to help you heal from the pain of infertility. These children you are adopting are so deeply loved in a way that they might never have experienced, because of you. So, no. You are not freeloading. You are giving so much of yourself and I believe God will richly reward you for it!

    • Reply Amanda June 2, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      Thank you for your encouragement! I really liked what you said about “band-aid babies”. I’ve never heard it put that way but that is so very important in pursuing a healthy adoption…making sure it’s not meant to patch up a hole left by infertility.

  • Reply stsandel August 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I just found your blog while searching adoption…our oldest and only daughter (adopted) is just over three and, after some agonizing prayer and waiting, we’ve finally decided to pursue adoption again. CJ’s adoption took place in under 3mos (miraculous!) and due to the circumstances, cost us less than $10K. EVEN SO…I *totally* get where you are coming from. We, too, were missionaries for about four years, raising our income right at the start of the recession – it was hard and vulnerable and we trusted God for every penny. Though we are no longer missionaries, I have some of the same questions about raising money for our second adoption – how much asking is too much? How much working/saving should we do? With fertile mamas, there is no outsider opinion to consider – though they certainly OFFER opinions, their contribution is not required. With us…it would be years before we could save the required $20K, while we wait on the generosity of others. #sigh At any rate – I don’t have an answer, but I do have sympathy for the journey and will be following your blog to see what God does!

  • Reply Lucy Guzman December 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Amanda, I just started reading your blog today, though I’ve been intrigued by the headlines before. My thoughts:
    #1, by all means up your fundraising! (I say that as a former 4-year FOCUS missionary.) Your vocation is your family, and to live the gospel of life in that context, and your fundraising is to make mission possible on top of a vibrant family life! Do the prayer, workshops, and emotional work necessary to believe in the good of this, and your worth.
    #2 I would love to support you with a second adoption. But I wasn’t in on the first. And maybe I wouldn’t be up for the third. But this comes back to mobilization of resources. Even if some of your donors are limited, God is not. He is infinite, and he will give you resources he wants to support his plan, if you are open and participate. So I say, trust boldly!!!! Our God is a God of infinite blessing, and what we receive does depend in part on our faith, that is, what we’re open to receiving. 🙂 As a matter of fact, I think I’ll join your support team right now.

    • Reply Amanda December 9, 2015 at 11:51 pm

      Oh my Lucy!!! Thank you so much for your encouraging and inspiring words. It means a lot to hear that you would support another adoption and to be reminded that God is not limited. Amen!!! And THANK YOU for joining our support team on the spot! LOL!! How wonderful to have you join our family on mission. Looking forward to partnering with you in taking the Gospel to the world 🙂

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