Monday, March 18, 2013

MONEY - diapers

Adoption is expensive.  It's the number one reason I hear from others as to why they feel they cannot adopt.  The costs can seem astronomical, especially here at the outset.  Believe me when I say, Zack and I share this sentiment.  We do not have a lot of money to throw around.  Therefore, Zack and I are trusting in the Lord and his provision.  He has already provided for us in ways we never thought we'd get to witness.  We are planning on doing some fundraising.  First and foremost in importance, however, we feel it necessary to bring our personal finances and savings in humble submission to God.  If I was giving to a cause like this, it would  be encouraging to know that they are trying to be good stewards.  Thats what we aspire to be.
  In a series of posts about this topic, I'd like to highlight ways that we try to save money where we can.  Also ways we try to use our spending power to do good.  This has been heavy on our minds as we begin the adoption process- how can we maximize the money we already have?
  The picture I've included is one way we are trying to do just that.  Yes, since Kian was born, we have been one of those "cloth - diapering" parents.  The picture is a representation of my stash.  About half of the parents we know also do this, so we are not alone.  There are several different approaches.  There are many fantastic options in the cloth diapering world, yet many have large up front costs.  All in ones, pocket, hemp, fleece, organic cotton, etc.
  We decided early on that we were quite happy with buying a few covers (the colorful ones in the picture), and using hand me down diapers from my mother.  To that we ended up adding some cheap gerber trifolds from an amish store, a few more covers bought second hand, and a few more cloth hand me downs from a friend.  (i love knowing that we are using diapers that were on my butt!  these things are lasting generations!)  We also use cloth wipes.  When our second one was to be born, we knew we would need more of those in our stash (hello, twice the poop!).  I bought flannel and terry on sale (a few bucks), and made some of my own.  I hardly feel more thrifty when making one diaper purchase every other month (we use pampers at night and with certain sitters).  So there you have it.  Maybe the second cheapest way one can do cloth diapers (besides good old rubber pants, which we do also own just in case we get in a bind!)
   On average, those with two in diapers spend about $80- 100 a month on pampers.  We spend about $10.  Sometimes nothing.  Hooray for saving money! When trying to eke out for adoption expenses, every little bit counts!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

PAPERWORK - agency

We think we chose one!  We decided on an out-of-state agency.  We would have to use a separate home study agency, but we decided that that wasn't a big deal to us.  This agency really seems to specialize in special needs and has the most experience in Ukraine that we found.  Also, the aid they provide to the unadopted is extensive.  So there you have it!  Printed out the application this weekend and will try to fill it out this week.  Some essays that seem daunting, but I'm sure won't be too bad.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Proudly marching where we are led

It's 5am over here.  I was just up with our littlest (3mo old).  He's ben asleep for a bit, but I'm up thinking about this adoption.
   This happens a lot these days.  I wouldn't say that I'm consumed with worry.  Not at all.  I wouldn't say that I'm paralyzed by fear.  Hardly.  I consider these moments of nervous vulnerability... counting the cost.  It even gives me some comfort to know that I'm uncomfortable.  This discomfort lets me know that I'm going into a place where God will be present, and since I have faith in his trustworthiness, that's a big deal.  Stretching, to me, equals growth.  Heaven knows I'm all for growth.  As my grandmother taught me, you must always be going forward.  So forward we march!  Yet to say that I have pure unadulterated confidence, and not a hint of nerves, would be lying.  We are being called to trust in a lot of big ways.  Trust for provisions, trust for healing, trust in a big God to fill the big gaps in our human-ness.  We are entering this devine calling as humans.  That is never more evident to me than when I'm sitting awake in the wee hours in the dark with nothing but my thoughts.
   We have not taken this journey lightly.  I think some of my immediate family has asked some very important questions to that effect, and I hope that we have been able to adequately assure them.  They will be a big part of our children's lives, so we want them on board but also assured of our commitment.  We have been taking some measures to ensure that we stay focused on prayer here in these early days.

   Zack had been fasting every Monday from 7pm Sunday night to 6pm Monday night.  He spends that time in reflection and prayer.  I have been fasting from my phone every day until 2pm except for calls and texts.  That means blogs, internet, pinterest, facebook, etc.  Every time I think of picking up my phone to check a blog or look something up, I say a prayer for leading and for this adoption.  The days get so full so fast and we often forget to sit down together and pray.  These deliberate actions keep prayer happening when it is of utmost importance.  We don't have a support network per se of others who have walked this road.  Prayer is our lifeline.

  Please join us in prayer.  Count the cost for yourself.  What part can you play in God's work in the world?