I wish I could….

My dear blog readers…today’s post is written for those of you who call yourselves Christians. So, if you are not someone who claims to believe in and follow the teachings of Christ I invite you to “listen in” on the conversation but know that I am directing this post towards believers.

Ok…let’s get right down to it.

As Christians we are commanded and compelled to help orphans and unwanted children. Period. End of story.

I could give you all the scriptures that point to this non negotiable commandment. (for those who may need “proof”Exodus 22:22-23, Psalm 68:5-6, Deuteronomy 14:28-29, Deuteronomy 24:19, Psalm 82:3-4, Isaiah 1:17, Proverbs 14:31, Proverbs 31:8-9, Matthew 18:5, Matthew 25:40, James 1:27, James 2:14-17)  

I could tell you about the long history of church tradition of helping orphans & unwanted babies. (Did you know that unwanted infants in ancient Rome were often disposed of via the practice of “exposing.” Whether undesirable because it was malformed, female or simply inconvenient, the child would be left alone, outside the city walls, without defense before glaring sun, icy winds or roving animals. For centuries, a marginalized group gained a reputation for rescuing these children: Christians. The early church was known, even among many who despised it, as a people who defended the orphan. Believers went outside the city to find infants abandoned there, taking them in, and raising them as their own.) 

I could share with you my own story of adopting one of God’s precious children (if you are interested you can read about it here along with several other amazing adoption stories in the comment section – Chosen to Love and Be Loved)

But really I do not think most of you need any of that to convince you that God has a heart for orphans and unwanted babies or that His desire is that we be like Him and have a heart for them as well.   No, I think you are all well aware of these truths. 

What I really want to have you think about is the part you will play in orphan care and adoption.  What are you being asked to do? (and don’t tell me you are not “called” to help orphans…it is NOT a calling it is a commandment – go back and read the scriptures above) Now a few of you may take in a child and raise them as your own….the beautiful miracle of adoption. Others may become foster parents or legal guardians. Some may start local adoption ministries in your church or community. Many will sponsor a child through organizations like World Vision or Compassion International. A handfull will go visit orphans in foreign countries or domestic children’s homes and bring joy and love to them for a bit.

The bottom line as Christians is that we are all asked to do something.  And I know something that we can ALL do!

I can’t begin to tell you how many people have said to me – “I would love to adopt but it is so expensive”. And that is true for all foreign adoptions as well as many domestic adoptions.(you can however adopt in most states through the foster system for little to nothing…if you can get approved, which can be problematic for those with larger than average families, smaller than average homes or a host of other issues…but for those that qualify it is a great option)  But yes, the cost for private adoptions usually starts at $15,000  and can be as high as $50,000 (yikes!) And it is true that most people simply can’t afford that amount of money. And yet I know many who even without the “money in the bank” have stepped out in faith and began the adoption process hoping that somehow the money would come through. In fact this is exactly our story and the money did come through in miraculous ways and mostly from a large network of people who gave “a little”…that added up to “a lot”.

And that is the something we can ALL do…we can all give a little bit to everyone we know who is in need of financial help to adopt a child. Every family who is willing to take in a child and raise them as their own should not be hindered by a financial need….at least not as long as there are Christians around.

The Hoyle family

If you have read this blog for any length of time you are quite aware that we are not well off in the material sense at this season in our lives. In fact our current financial state has reverted back to our 1998 status (and we have been blessed with four more children since then). We live pay check to pay check and often time the money runs out before the month.  I am in no way complaining, as I know who my provider is and He is always faithful. I only share that with you because I know that many of you are already thinking, as we ourselves could easily fall into – “I have nothing left to give….to help anyone with their adoption.”  In fact just recently some newly made friends, the Hoyles, have begun their adoption journey and are trying to raise funds to pay for this adoption.  The other day I was reading over some of the responses to their plea for help. (right away I know some of you are shuddering at the thought of ever having to ask for financial help for anything…and believe me as one who has had to do this to adopt a child…it is humbling and it is hard. It would be so much easier to just be blessed with wealth…or win the lottery…or have someone just walk up and say…”hey, here’s $20,000 to pay for your adoption expenses.” And yet how often do we get the “easy road” in this walk of faith?)

Back to my reading the comments on their fundraising plea – one of their friends said this: “Oh how I wish I could help”. This caused me to stop and give pause to really think about this comment…..

  • I wish I could help.
  • I wish I could help. 
  • I wish I could help. 

How many of us have said that or thought that? And maybe the better question is –> Why can’t we help? If we wish we could….then why “can’t” we? Possibly this friend is like us….living paycheck to paycheck with no readily apparent extra money to help out. Or maybe they don’t even have a paycheck and are a young college student living at home or off the generosity of others. Or perhaps they are on a very strict budget and have a spouse or financial advisor who will not “allow” any deviation. I do not know what this particular friend of the Hoyle’s situation is…however I am going to challenge all of us, who “wish we could help” those who are stepping out in faith to adopt a child…that the fact is every last one of us, no matter what our particular situation is, in reality…we CAN help!

We can ALL do something.  And that is all it takes for the funding of an adoption to happen –  for everyone to simply do something….anything…even if it is as small as a $10 or $20 contribution. (often times those who “wish they could help” think that a small donation won’t help and they could not be more mistaken. Our adoption of baby girl was almost completely financed by small gifts from many people)

But hey….maybe even $10 or $20 is a huge stretch for you right now. And perhaps you have recently given that “extra” money you have to another family needing help to adopt. Or maybe you are like us and receive several invitations to help with adoptions each month. We currently personally know of four families in the process of adoption who need funds…not too mention the many people we “run across” in life through emails, facebook or mutual friends who are looking towards adoption.

I still believe that if we “wish to help”  we can! (and not to be redundant but we as followers of Jesus we should all “wish” to help every adoption that comes to our attention!)

And here is how. We can all pick merely one of the following ways to contribute to those needing help adopting:

1. Collect ALL the loose change around your house and use that to give a gift. I did a quick run around my house and came up with over $12 in loose change from the bottom of purses, in junk drawers, my husbands pants pocket and in a canning jar in the kitchen cabinet.(if I looked under the couch cushions I bet I would have even gotten more!)

These goodies would sell great!

2. Have a bake sale – just make a batch of cookies (say 5 dozen)….go out to a local youth sports league or park on a sunny day or maybe in your church foyer …set up a card table & sell two cookies for $1. Walk away with $30 ….even if you take out your expenses you’ll have $20 to give away. Or you could even not leave your home & sell them all on facebook….taking a few hours to deliver them door to door!

3. Get creative & find a way to work for a few hours & use that $$ to give (host a Moms day out for some of your friends who need a break, deep cleaning a house one time, doing yard work, taking a short term job doing inventory for a store…there are always people looking for very temporary help. My daughter right this minute is doing childcare for a wedding reception making money for her upcoming missions trip to Haiti) Most of us in just an extra 4-5 hours one time could easily make $50 to give away. I would do that to help a child who needs a home….wouldn’t you?

4. Have a yard sale and give away the proceeds. We have done this so many times…all it takes is cleaning out your “stuff”, asking your friends & family to bring their “junk” and setting up shop in your front yard for a day.  Most people make at least $100 in a yard sale and we have made as much as $1500. (you can sell baked goods too and increase your sales)  Wow! With this type of revenue you could help many families with a gift towards their adoption! All it takes is time and effort….we all have that.

5. Sell something that you are not using or no longer need on eBay, Amazon or Craig’s List. We collected all the books we were not interested in keeping that were taking up space in our house one year and put them on Amazon and within a week had made $50 on old books. Easy Peezy.

6. If you want to raise money and have fun at the same time – host a bunco or other game night…charge a small fee to join (example $10 per person to come x 8 friends = $80)…give away a cute “winner prize” ($20) and use the remaining money to give away ($60)

7. Cut off cable TV and you’ll have $40 -$60 EVERY month to give away to families adopting children. (ok Beth…now you’re getting pushy)

8. Have one night a week for a month where you either skip dinner entirely or have only rice and water…The “average” family will save $30-$40 in a month sacrificing this weekly meal. Give that away to those who are raising funds (we do this at Lent season every year). Bonus: you can lose a few pounds while helping a child be placed in a forever family!

9. Ask friends who do have the resources to give! We all have friends who do have extra money…perhaps we could step out of our comfort zone and ask them to consider donating towards that adoption we “wish we could help”. (actually even our friends without extra resources could all donate their loose change, we could collect it and I bet it would be a nice size donation.)

10. You tell me….I could  come up with even more ideas but I would love to hear yours. How could someone come up with just a mere $20 donation to help with an adoption of a precious child everytime they are asked? Please share in the comment section!

So the next time you hear of a family asking for financial help to adopt a child…don’t say “I wish I could….” but rather say “Sure I’d love to!” and pick a way to make it happen. (or you can always give up a coffee a week and donate that money you save…I know, I know don’t mess with my legal stimulant addiction Beth! I’m right there with you….Ouch!)

PS – For those who immediately need to put this into action because the Holy Spirit is doing His thing in your heart – the Hoyles still need $8,000. You can read their blog here –  Hoyles Promise  or donate here – Crowd Tilt

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6 Comments

Filed under Adoption, Economics, Faith, Making a Difference, My "take"

6 responses to “I wish I could….

  1. Pingback: Thanks Beth « hoylespromise

  2. Suzanne

    Thanks for writing, Beth! Here’s a little of my story… what began as a simple errand to photocopy the watercolor art of my first two adopted daughters to send to relatives, became an idea that almost overnight change my world, that of my family’s, and I know, because so many of them told me…, so many, many others’ lives too – the ones who participated in what many of them said was a “very small” thing – making a financial contribution of $5. As a customer in Kinkos commented on the quality of my girls’ “art”, stating that she’d pay for a print if they’d make her one, my daughter, Olya wondered aloud, as we drove away, if this was really possible. “Can we sell our art like we sold lemonade last summer in the neighborhood,” she asked. After a chuckle at the “sweetness” of the thought, my mental wheels started to spin, and right there in our little blue van while finishing up the list of afternoon errands, the “Sestra Project” was born. (The Russian word for “sister” is “sestra”). As a now stay-at-home mom to my twin 10-year-old daughters, living on the single-family income of a pastor, and a fully depleted savings account due to the previous year’s adoption, I was unsure how we would find the money to adopt again. We were prepared to provide a forever family for two more girls but the adoption fees (in excess of $15,000 and likely $20,000 were nowhere in sight). A friend who heard of our ponderings took it upon herself to introduce us to a local printer who offered to turn four of Jhenya and Olya’s art into note cards – we paid for the paper supplies which he purchased for us wholesale, and then paid back after some of the “fundraising” was underway. We bought discount brand ziplock sandwich bags and packaged 8 cards (2 of each design) and corresponding envelopes in them. The back of the note card had the girls’ pictures and a brief account of our adoption story and desire to return to Siberia to adopt Jhenya and Olya’s good friends – sisters themselves, Natasha and Masha. (I think I may still have the calluses on my thumbs from the “zipping” closed so many of the 1000 bags we finished in one weekend!) Ten – 20 note card packages were placed in small paper bags with handles that had a photocopied picture of Natasha and Masha glued on it, a collection envelope for donations, and a sheet for recording names of “donors”. A friend hosted a party where people came to collect a bag to carry in their neighborhood, to work, church, or the sports field, to “sell” cards for the suggested donation of $5 a package. How amazed we were when we quickly had to print another 8000 cards to make 1000 more packages. In just a few short months every single penny was raised – nearly $20,000 through the Sestra project. Most all of the contributions were just $5 – several were $50 or $100 and a small handful amazed us with incredible generosity. Many, many people who participated were strangers to us…but as always, God provided, and as He often does, the provision comes from the generosity – small and large – of others! Yes, Beth, we all CAN do something to help an orphan! So, let’s all do our part and know that it does NOT have to be something seemingly “big”.

    • Jason Edwards

      BEAUTIFUL story, VERY resourceful, and very poignant… many hands make light work… thanks for sharing and God bless you and your (growing) family!

  3. Ray

    Beth, some of these scriptures are stretchin it abit, but i see where you are going, don’t get me wrong i call myself a believer not a christian, and i know you strongly belive in adoption, but that doesnt always mean take them home with you to live, in fact I read all your verses and it spoke mostly of the needy..I believe there truly is limitations to ones help…We in America who call ourselves christian and i hate that word cus it is so cookie cutted and name it and claim it and suger coated jesus when it comes to being called a christian it makes me sick.
    So many people are interestd in helping the outside 3rd world countries and should be focused on the right here and now, the United States and helping the widows and orphans here, but I believe that does not mean take them home with you, there are very few orphans in America, Orphan is all the wrong word…Left by their mothers or fathers who simply dont want or wish to care for them, there should be some type of prison here for them now not later, and again when God comes back to judge..We all have some type of family here in America…
    I’m very angered and it’s a rightous anger at the moms who just let there children roam and not care where they are or what they are doing and who they might be with…and call at 9 or 10pm to see if you had seen them or know where there at…I am no longer playing that role and will not inable partents like that any longer…My home has always been a safe havean for kids such as the ones i have just discribed, but i will no longer be taken advantage of or for that matter have my kids taken advantage of because some mom wants to go have tea with the girls or attend a ball game that last till 10pm and then takes an hour to get home or just to go to town, which is over an hour away….and not say anything to an adult figure on what your doing and ask young children to relay a message….excuse me??
    I have seen alot, my husband use to bring in every strange and stay kid in from Seattle he could and help them out the best he/we could…but you have to watch and find that fine line of inabling someone….
    I can no longer handle the stress that comes with widows and orphans due to my condition with the pain i have from my past tumor and current one. Along with the constant struggle i have with my very painful Trigeminal Nuralgia…when i think of it it pains me the way our children are treated here in America, how can i think of other children elsewhere…I hate it ! I hate it !! I hate it !!! and I truly have nothing to give…my heart know hurts…I wish things Here in America were much different…Ilke how bout killing all our inmates on death row, who get three hots and a cot and who can get a college education and read law books and be on the internet to surf lifes simple pleasures they dont deserve to have that sort of luxury, that would free up moneys lots of moneys for widows and so called ophans..
    I’ve been to lot of major cities and i will NOT HELP the homeless, the homeless, well bout 90% of them choose to be homeless and beg on the streets, I asked a guy on the street one day as I handed him the sandwich i bought for him and he looked at me and said “I don’t want your sandwhich i can by my own, I want money!” Then I asked him “how much in a day do you make?” He looked at me and said “bout $400 to $700 a day” and “I asked him then why are you homeless then?” He replied cus I Like it and I get a Free place to stay and free meals free clothes and i get all the liquere i need with the money i panhandle
    I asked more homeless the same Q and got the same answer…So I will buy the homeless man or woman a sandwich but i will never fund them money or a place to stay, even weman at shelters are the same you might find 2 out of 10 who want out….Until we cut out the planters wart and root of America there will be no change and we despartly need change here in our own back yards first!!…..
    And yes I do think that people who cant and wont ever have kids..yes they should be the first to Adopted, but those who have familys already need to make sure their own bycycles are running properly before adding assecories…because no one needs to be adding when a wheel or flat tire might be happening…

    those are my thoughts on people who call themselfs christian, widows and orphans and homeless and needy….I hate it when a christian calles himself a christian cus then it’s the same as religion and religious tradition and rituals done in the name of christ…but it’s not the same christ jesus i will and do know…I am a believer!! and my name is Ray, and i know my name is in the book!!

  4. Jason Edwards

    i must say, i read the blurb on my Facebook about this being “another very opinionated blog post” and i COULDN’T wait to read it! 🙂

    i’ve never even met your sweet little Kristyana… i don’t have fond memories of her like i do of the older ones that get stirred up when i see the pictures, she never fell asleep in my arms, i never carried her and her closest sibling (Daniel in this case) around the house at the same time while they baby-talked to one another, spun her around in the back yard, got glared at in the mall taking her to get Santa or Easter Bunny photos by people who assumed she was mine… but she absolutely blesses me from 3,500 miles away with the light in her eyes and the joy in her precious little smile… i am so very thankful that you found it in your heart and strove to find it in your bank account to take one of the “unwanted (let’s be clear here people, and i know it’s a semantic argument, but seriously, SOMEONE wants EVERY child) and show her just how loved she is and what a blessing she can be to your family…

    kk, that’s enough of the sappy talk, i’m kinda’ opinionated about this myself and i don’t want to seem to be turning soft in my old age… i especially love your challenge to families to eat a much less extravagant meal once a week (personally, i’d say you could throw some beans in that rice, a little seasoning, maybe even an onion and a bellpepper, have a pretty tasty and nourishing meal, still save a bundle, and you would barely even realize that you were making a sacrifice…), it’s basically how i was able to donate to ‘Beckah’s mission to Haiti (to be completely honest for the casual onlooker that doesn’t know the whole story, i didn’t skip a meal, or even eat just rice and water… i just ate some leftovers that night instead of having a frivolous and extravagant cook-out… i saved $50 to eat something delicious my wife had made a couple days before that probably would have been thrown out if we hadn’t had it again that night instead of spending all day cooking too much food, some of which would have been thrown out too…)… as tight as times are, i think that absolutely EVERYONE still has their little splurges they hold onto and some of those are rather pricey little splurges when added up… for example: a fancy Starbuck’s will set you back about $5, PLENTY of people go for one EVERY DAY… one a week=$20/month… or, get the regular coffee every day for half the price instead of the treinta double mocha chocolatta ya-ya or whetever it’s called =$2.50×5 =$12.50/wk =$50/month… yeah, i know you want your awesome coffee, but some kid wants a home and some family wants to give them one, suck it up and pitch in… and don’t give up on all of your little splurges, just reign them in a little and use the extra to bless someone… reward yourself every Friday with the good one, and while you drink it, think about what a kind person you are and how you’re making the world a better place and see if it doesn’t taste that much better for it… it’s still $40/month… i personally use this method (not at Starbuck’s but we’re not going to get into THAT) to save at least $4/day (often more like 8-10) 5x/wk to have some love money around to help when called upon to help…

    i work about 60 hours a week and only get paid for about 40 of them (long story), my wife works full-time in the public school system and waits tables 3-5 times a week, and we just make it by, AND we’re saving up to move to Texas to be with my ailing family in June… and i don’t WISH i could help, i find a way… thank you, Beth, for this inspiring and challenging start to my workweek! i’m sure the next time i’m at a cash register, i’m going to be compelled to find a way to chip a buck or two off of the price tag so that i can do a little more (i grossly overtip the people i work with for carry-out food that i made and they didn’t “serve” me, i think i’ll start getting them to help out a lil’ without their knowledge, consent, or commitment, if ya’ know what i’m sayin’ 😉 )…

  5. Sadie

    Great post! I think the church, as a body of believers, has an opportunity to start and support a huge adoption revolution. I’m an adoptive mom, as well, to an 8-year-old little girl with Down syndrome. She was born at 29 weeks gestation and needed open heart surgery, ended up being in the hospital for the first 4 1/2 months of life. She came home on 24-hour oxygen until she was almost 2 and was on a nasal feeding tube for much of her first year. She was our first baby, and we didn’t know any different than to lug around an oxygen tank and heart monitor with our diaper bag and stroller.

    Her NICU doctor told us we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into because she would either die or be a vegetable. Yep, she said that word in 2003. Fast forward 8 years, and she is a happy, spunky, funny, thriving!!!, girl who loves to sing and is even reading on grade level!

    God is good, and we are the blessed ones to have her, rather than the other way around. We’ve had three birth children since then, the last one was diagnosed prenatally with a condition considered “incompatible with life” and ended up being stillborn at 29 weeks, the same point at which our fragile, now thriving, little girl was born. It was early in that pregnancy that I told my husband that I was starting to feel a strong nudge to adopt again. The beautiful thing was that my husband didn’t say, “Are you crazy? You’re pregnant. Let’s just have one child at a time.” He’s the same man who didn’t run screaming from the parkbench on our first date when I told him that I had always wanted to adopt a child with Down syndrome. 🙂

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