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Browsing Tag

adopt without debt


Growing Our Family Piece by Piece: Day Nine Update

October 3, 2016

Welcome to the last update about our nine-day adoption puzzle fundraiser!!!

A little over a week ago, we shocked not only ourselves but YOU ALL with the news we were chosen to adopt another baby due in December. And with that news came necessary costs we are happy to incur to be approved to go through this process. We didn’t have the funds readily available and y’all stepped in and supported our family in a time of great joy and need.


In just over a week, we will be traveling southbound (We’ll keep the location a secret for now…just for suspense sake) to meet a beautiful expectant Momma who chose life for her little one and from a place of love is considering an adoption plan with us.

We’re honored and humbled by her. We’re honored and humbled by you.

It’s a rare thing to get to watch family, friends, and strangers rally around oneself to move mountains. We don’t take this gift of support and encouragement lightly. In fact, it’s something we will never forget. It’s changed us and your generosity inspires us to want to be radically generous when our time comes to give to others. Thank you for your witness and example.

How did the puzzle turn up after our official nine-days were up?

(PS – Still have a long way to go to the finish line of fundraising so if you or anyone you know would still want to jump in and support us, we’d love to have you come on board!)

  • 382 pieces sold

  • $9,550 raised!!!!

  • 25.47% of our goal of $37,500

Here’s a virtual picture of the puzzle’s progress. You can see the word “delight” forming!!! 🙂



If you would like to donate, please do so below. If you know of anyone who has a heart for adoption, please share our story and invite them to consider joining the journey. Thanks again!

Donate w/ Squarecash


Growing Our Family Piece By Piece: Day Eight Update

October 1, 2016

Welcome back to our puzzle fundraiser!

This is the LAST OFFICIAL DAY of our nine-day puzzle fundraiser. Now, of course if you want to give but couldn’t during this last week, donating later is acceptable too! 🙂

You will see we have a long way to go in meeting our goal. This week alone we cut checks totally $13,800 for the adoption process, which is a lot more than we raised and left our emergency fund raided. We were happy and willing to do that, as would any family in America when unexpected but necessary expenses come up, but we are now exposed to a great deal of risk if any other emergencies pop up. Here’s to praying that Murphy’s Law stays far far away.

If you’ve been wanting to donate but just haven’t gotten to it, please consider doing so today. After this nine-day fundraiser, we don’t plan to come back to our social media family to formally invite you to give again. We plan to begin making individual and specific asks to find the rest of the funds.

The Lord will provide and find the funds for us someway or another, granted we are working our little hineys off asking, seeking, and knocking on every door possible.

Anyone who’s been waffling about giving and leaning towards making a donation – let today be your day so we can close out the formal portion of the adoption puzzle with a bang!

Thank you to everyone who’s donated. We are so thankful and can’t wait to start writing your names on the back of the puzzle. May God bless each of you.

What kind of progress did day eight see?

  • 294 pieces sold

  • $7,350 raised!!!!

  • 19.60% of our goal of $37,500

Here’s a virtual picture of the puzzle’s progress:


If you would like to donate, please do so below. If you know of anyone who has a heart for adoption, please share our story and invite them to consider joining the journey.

Donate w/ Squarecash


Growing Our Family Piece By Piece: Day Seven Update

September 30, 2016

Welcome back to our puzzle fundraiser!

We’re excited to have a few updates not only on the puzzle but on the adoption, birth family, and baby!

Today we had our first face to face meeting to kick off our home study process and it went really well.

I also got a text from the agency at the doctor’s appointment it appears all is going well with expectant Momma and baby was very active. They couldn’t see the gender but heart beat was 140, which of course isn’t helpful as everyone online says anything above 140 is girl but below 140 is boy. Um, what about plain ole 140? So between that and the uncertainty of what was going on in the nether regions, we hope to find out baby’s gender with certainty next week…here’s hoping baby isn’t running around so we can get an identifying glimpse. 😉

The puzzle is winding down and it’s been a week of realizing yet again how many generous people are out there. We are so thankful for everyone who has and will join us in bringing this kiddo home. It’s an honor to have your support and enthusiasm.

What kind of progress did we make?

  • 271 pieces sold

  • $6,775 raised!!!!

  • 18.07% of our goal of $37,500

Here’s a virtual picture of the puzzle’s progress:


If you would like to donate, please do so below. If you know of anyone who has a heart for adoption, please share our story and invite them to consider joining the journey.

Donate w/ Squarecash


Growing Our Family Piece by Piece: Day Six Update

September 29, 2016

Six days down and three to go in our adoption puzzle fundraiser!

Shout out to everyone who shared our post yesterday! We appreciate that so very much and know your shares are working since not only are people we know giving to the puzzle but strangers! You want proof, check out this guy:

Hi guys I just wanted to let you know that your story popped up in my Facebook newsfeed from two different people and I am rarely on Facebook so I really felt called to donate!

Yup – because of y’all. 🙂

Yesterday a heavy majority of our paperwork got turned in, which is a huge weight off our backs. Now clearances need to come through and the home study meetings are all that stand in the way of us being officially approved to adopt again! Oh and the funds we are trying to raise but you know what? God will provide. He will. As long as we work diligently and prudently with our time and resources the Lord will bring whatever we lack.

I had a strong sense of his providence yesterday while riding in the car ad listening to Hillsong’s Oceans. (Sorry to anyone at the intersection of 132nd & Harrison who saw that ugly cry). I asked the Holy Spirit years ago to lead my life and do whatever he wants with me to bring glory to God. There have been some major ups and downs already in this adoption process (can’t go into detail) but I’ve been begging for peace and it came. We are right where we are supposed to be no matter how things turn and bend ahead. Being confident of that leaves little room for fear…just for love.

Today I want to throw out a challenge. Many of you already have BUT if you are someone who’s life has been positively impacted by the presence of True Good & Beautiful or through Jonathan and I’s friendships/mentorship/whatevership we happen to have – would you join us in this adoption puzzle? We sincerely thank you for considering it.

What kind of progress did we make on Day Five?

  • 237 pieces sold

  • $5,925 raised!!!!

  • 15.80% of our goal of $37,500

Here’s a virtual picture of the puzzle’s progress:


If you would like to donate, please do so below. If you know of anyone who has a heart for adoption, please share our story and invite them to consider joining the journey.

Donate w/ Squarecash


Growing Our Family Piece by Piece: Day Five Update

September 28, 2016

Welcome back to our day five update for the adoption puzzle fundraiser!

We continue to be grateful for ALL the donations and support that has come in. You all can see that we have a LONG ways to go before our puzzle is done, which is slightly overwhelming. We plan to continue inviting you to join us through our puzzle but do want y’all to know we are working our tushes off doing additional things to scrimp, save, and make extra funds. 

  • We had an 5-year anniversary trip to Paris planned months ago that we cancelled last week and got a full refund on.
  • I’m writing a few eBooks and have taken on speaking opportunities this Fall.
  • Jonathan is planning to snag a seasonal job on nights and weekends between now and due date.
  • We have stripped all extras from our budget. If we don’t need it to survive, it doesn’t make the budget.
  • We are selling things in Craigslist and eBay. If it isn’t nailed down or breathing, its fair game.

In some ways we are back to gazelle mode from our early Dave Ramsey days. Back then getting out of debt was certainly a motivator…but bringing home our next child? WAY more motivating! 🙂

I share that for those people like me out there – those who might be tempted to think, “Well why should I donate to people that aren’t willing to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and do some good ole hard work and cut back their lifestyle?” We are working real hard and fundraising is part of how we are taking these expenses seriously and planning to tackle them without debt.

So thank you to all who’ve partnered with us as we scrape, claw, and press our way towards meeting our financial goal. We want to specifically thank those of you who have SHARED about our puzzle on social media or sent it in a message to select friends and family.

Statistically it’s been shown that each social media share is likely to bring the campaign $37 on average. We obviously have a lot of shares to go for our goal to be met but every share counts. So if you’re willing to share, that would be helpful. I know, there are probably many of you like me out there who are not big posters or sharers on Facebook. If that’s you – perhaps think about who YOU would call if you were fundraising and then connect us privately with them.

What kind of progress did we make on Day Five?

  • 200 pieces sold

  • $5,005 raised!!!!

  • 13.35% of our goal of $37,500

Here’s a virtual picture of the puzzle’s progress – We can actually see the top of the text forming!!!!! 🙂



If you would like to donate, please do so below. If you know of anyone who has a heart for adoption, please share our story and invite them to consider joining the journey.

Donate w/ Squarecash


Infertility, Marriage

How We Plan to Fund our Adoption

May 10, 2014

Some of you may or may not know that adoption can come with a hefty price tag – average being about $35,000. Yowzers.

Most couples don’t just have that kind of cash just laying-around without a purpose.

If you know us well, you know we are incredibly diligent and intentional with our finances. We’ve been thinking about how to fund adoption without debt for a while now. We don’t believe God wants us to pursue debt to grow our family, since He has a lot of negative things to say about debt in scripture. 

Listening to The Dave Ramsey Show one afternoon, I heard an interview with Julie Gumm, author of “Adopt Without Debt” and it confirmed our conviction in this area. Knowing we will not go into debt, we are still left with a few options to grow our family. On this blog, I want to document how we plan to pursue funding for our adoption – for others in the future who pursue a similar journey AND to provide a glimpse for those who don’t know all the ins and outs of adoption.

The agency we are working with carries a price tag of $25,000 for domestic infant adoption with the possibility of a few thousand extra depending on the situation. Now, there is a possibility of pursuing designated adoption (getting matched together with a birth mother ourselves) which would be approximately one-third to half the cost. We will do all we can to pursue designated adoption and we will talk about that below and how you can help us with this!

Without further ado, here is our plan:

1. Budgeting and Savings

Understanding how to be a good steward of your finances is vital and key. I don’t think this step can be stressed enough. Jonathan and I have been on a journey the past couple of years toward financial peace. We read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and facilitated Financial Peace University. We recommend them for everyone who handles money, adopting or not.

Specifically applying this to adoption – Jonathan and I plan to more or less go back to “beans and rice” while we are scrimping and saving for adoption. We’ve already cash-flowed nearly $3,000 from our budget through intentional budgeting and saving. With each step in the adoption process, we will continue to say “no” to wants so we can say “yes” financially to adoption.

2. Adoption Grants

In “Adopt Without Debt” she lists off many adoption grant available out there. She also makes them available on her website.

This summer, we plan to take a couple weeks of accumulated time off so we can dedicate 60-70 hours/week filling out grant applications. We’ll probably camp out at a local coffee shop so we can stay stimulated at all hours of the day through the process. There will not be a grant we qualify for that we will not apply for. We will turn over every stone in due diligence with grants.

3. Adoption Tax Credits

Adoption tax credit laws are changing all the time. This website helped provide me with information on just how important the adoption tax credit can be. For 2014, the maximum adoption credit and exclusion $13,190 per child.

I am not sure how big of a difference this will make on our bottom line…since it’s non-refundable like it was in 2010 or 2011 (jealous of those of you who got back big checks post adoptions back then). Basically we will be able to claim that amount as a tax credit, making our taxable income lower but not really significantly since we aren’t high income earners to begin with. It will be something but really won’t change our situation much, like a refundable credit would.

4. Fundraising

This can be the scary part for some adoptive couples out there. Since Jonathan and I already fundraise our of income this portion isn’t that frightening. We know too many generous and kind people to be afraid of fundraising. We also have watched God provide for our needs time and time again in the most random ways. If adopting is God’s will for our family – the money will come some way or another.

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction…” James 1:27

Sure, we could simply rely on grants, tax credits, and personal budget/savings to do this adoption. But we feel an actual calling to involve others. In our self-sufficient society, we feel God asking us specifically to make ourselves vulnerable in this way. To expose our needs to others – for judgement, generosity, kindness, cruel comments, etc. I have no idea as to what people will think but we are being obedient to God in this, so I can’t care what people think.

This adoption isn’t just a means of growing our family. It can be a way to bring The Body of Christ together in a powerful way to answer God’s call to care for orphans. Who are we to prevent others from being able to answer this call in a concrete way by supporting our adoption efforts financially? For most, this will be the only way they ever have to care for an orphaned child in an up close and personal way. Through financially supporting us, they are giving a child a family.

We aren’t sure exactly how we will pursue fundraising. There are TONS of ideas out there in books, blogs, and on Pintrest. Once we become home study approved, we will take more concrete steps to put together a fundraising initiative.

5. Designated Adoption

I mentioned up above that pursuing designated adoption versus agency domestic adoption is significantly more affordable. As in one-third to half of the cost. It involves locating a birth mother on our own or via family/friends connections and then going to our agency to set up the legal paperwork and proper counseling to facilitate the adoption.

The hardest part of this type of adoption is locating a birth mother. We plan to make an adoption video/profile and set up some sort of social media campaign to let others know we desire to adopt and are looking for any connection to a birth mother out there. If you have any connection at any time to a birth mother discerning adoption, LET US KNOW!

Again, a very vulnerable thing to do but we are convinced that if God wants us to do a designated adoption – a connection will be there. If we are supposed to pursue domestic agency adoption – the connection won’t be there. Time will reveal His will for growing our family.

There you have it my friends. Our basic game-plan on how we plan to financially pursue adoption.

I have experienced many emotions in the past couple of weeks. In any given day I can range from excited and happy all the way down to bitter and resentful. Thankfully the happy times are winning out far more often than the negative. What works me up so much is the seeming unfairness of it all. We’ve spent thousands of dollars trying to have biological children over the past couple years and no baby. Now we are spending tens of thousands of dollars trying to adopt a child but we have no garauntee it will work out. While this is happening – women are aborting their babies, parents are neglecting or abusing their children, drug-addicts are using throughout their pregnancies, and couples everywhere simply try for a baby and end up pregnant seamlessly. All those situations humiliate our infertility and it’s hard to process them in the midst of so much struggle.

By God’s grace we will teeter onward towards His will for our family. Jesus, have mercy on us! All you holy men and women, angels and saints, pray for us!