What a treat! Kelly Hernandez, and adoptive parent, shared with us how her and her husband financed their adoption. Their story encourages me because it shows that although adoption is expensive, it is possible to adopt without breaking the bank! She offers 5 very practical things her family did to creatively fundraise their sons adoption!
We are going to break this up into a series–it is too good not to share!
When my husband and I first considered adoption, we looked at both international and domestic choices. Financially, international adoption made no sense. The needs are so great here in this country, and there are thousands of children in the foster care system who need and want a family. I was one of them personally and so was my sister (from another mother); we were both adopted after being in foster care. It is practically free to adopt domestically via foster care. But sometimes, somehow, it is on your heart to do something that seems to make no sense at all—like go the irrational (financially speaking) route and adopt a child from abroad. The paperwork, the finances, etc.; it demands a lot. But again, somehow the dream or the seed of a dream or the will or the desire remains. Yet the challenge for many families is financial; most get stuck at the sticker price of international adoption. They look at all those zeros and think it couldn’t be an option for them. Well, if it is a dream that God has brought you to, I believe He will get you through it. But it will take some creativity and a little craziness too.
I think God is quite a hustler (an honest one, of course) when it comes to making things happen. Just take a look at the parable of the shrewd manager! It took some “hustling” on our part to make this all happen. We became quite the entrepreneurs. I would like to share what we did to raise money. Our strategy basically comprised of five methods:
• Sold everything we could in the house that hadn’t been used in a year
• Turned our house into a B&B for tourists
• Held a big ole’ huge hot dog fundraiser
• Applied for grants and loan and created a fundraising website
• Took on odd jobs
Selling stuff–online, consignment, and yep, pawn shops:
I had never sold anything online, but I have bought a lot of things online, and I knew the kind of descriptions that caught my attention. I figured we needed the space for the child, so it was time to go through every nook and cranny in the house and just get rid of as much stuff as possible. And I found a lot of things to sell! I found interesting old but eccentric fabric to sell on www.etsy.com and a flamenco dress to sell on Ebay and some non-kid-like furniture to sell on Craig’s list—among other things. There is always something to sell—like even old phones and scrap metal or a dress you bought but never wore but once. Just be creative. Garage sales are fine, but sometimes you don’t get the money that the item deserves because people expect super low prices and aren’t thinking that this is a money making venture but only a means to clean out the garage. Selling online takes some patience, but ultimately the stuff will sell with a good and catchy description as well as a fair price. For example, I bought two paintings for $25 each (for a total of $50) at a local garage sale and after waiting for about two months to sell them online and via a nearby consignment shop, I got $500 for them on Ebay. The consignment owner was looking to get more like $750, but it was first buyer’s priority because we needed that money sooner than later. Start your purging and selling earlier, so you can wait for the best offer, but hey! $50 to $500 isn’t bad either.
I know it is kinda kitschy, but don’t overlook your local pawn shops. We even pawned some items too. You meet some interesting people there for sure(!), but for example, we had some old silverware, speakers and electronics we could pawn. It all adds up. If I haven’t used that old silverware in over 5 years, why not turn it into something useable?
Check back next week to see phase two of the Hernandez adoption fundraising strategy!