Funding any long-term endeavor, whether it be completing your education, buying a home or pursuing adoption, often requires more money than can seem feasible. A common hesitation for prospective adoptive parents is the big dollar amount that is looming over the decision to pursue adoption. This leaves many families feeling frustrated or even giving up on their dreams of growing their family through adoption. Although there are hurdles to overcome, there are ways to fund your adoption journey outside of your income alone.
Kelly and Neil, a waiting family on AOW’s inactive list, have been getting creative with their funding ideas for “Baby K’s” adoption. Not only have they been doing extensive research about possible grants and fundraising options, but they have gotten creative with simple ideas that they could do. Kelly and Neil then reached out to family members to let them know about their adoption plan, and their support has been overwhelming! Kelly’s extended family in Tennessee immediately thought of having a bake sale to support Baby K. Take a look at some photos of the busy work days and the finished product. The story below is written in Kelly’s own words about her experience with funding her adoption journey.
“Adoption has always been in our hearts. However, the expense of adoption was something that seemed overwhelming. I am a planner, so I had a plan for how we would make our family of four, which included adopting a child in our late thirties (when my husband had completed graduate school, which would give us two incomes, and life would be perfect). However, as we grew older and began to experience fertility problems I began to worry we might never be able to grow our family or we might have to wait another 10 years. It was then I decided we could do anything we put our minds to and we could find a way to pay for adoption and grow our family. I realized then that there was probably never going to be a time in the near future where we had an extra $30,000 laying around. Like any large, overly ambitious project I have talked my husband into tackling (such as quitting my full-time job and going back to graduate school, while remodeling our 100-year old home) I could put together a plan to grow our family through adoption. After meeting with a few agencies and discussing their practices, we decided that Adoptions of Wisconsin (AOW) was the best fit for us. While the adoption fees were still a bit overwhelming they were broken down and spread out over a period of time, which seemed more manageable. I then put together a spreadsheet, including a budget and savings plan to our adoption fund.
As we started the adoption fund I began to look to see how others had funded adoption. I began reading blogs and looking on Pinterest for adoption grants and fundraising ideas. I started to share with family our plan of adopting and our potential plans for fundraising. Once on the inactive list we made an adoption announcement via email and social media to let our family and friends know of our upcoming plans! We were overwhelmed with the love and support we received from our family and friends. Not only were they so excited for us, but they wanted to know how they could help make our dream come true. We started a crowdfund with 501c3, where people could make a tax-deductible donation that could be directly applied to our adoption fees. We also had family and friends offering to host garage sales and bake sales to raise funds for Baby K. My aunt and cousin that live in Tennessee were avid bakers and had done many bake sale fundraisers. They began to make themed treats weekly, post pictures on social media and sell them at work. Friends and family in Wisconsin instantly started drooling over these baked goods and asking if they would ship. Because the baked goods were not commercial, shipping was not an option. However, my creative cousin came up with an idea to bring the Baby K Bake Sale to Wisconsin for one weekend. We’re not sure they knew what they were getting themselves into. Neil created a “pre-order” form and my cousin created Disney-themed cupcake samplers and a variety of cookie options. Soon after the order form went live, we had nearly 500 orders for cupcakes and cookies. One week later we had over 950 cupcake orders and over 350 cookie orders. My aunt and cousin packed up their truck and brought the Baby K Bake Sale to Wisconsin. They had pre-made and frozen many of the cupcakes, and then set up “shop” at her other cousin’s home for the weekend with banquet tables full of cupcakes to be individually decorated. My cousin spent three days decorating cupcakes on nearly no sleep. At the end of the weekend the task was complete! We spent two days afterward hand delivering cupcakes and cookies to family and friends throughout Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. The “Baby K Bake Sale- Wisconsin Edition” ended up raising a net of over $1,000. As my cousin and aunt packed up the truck to head back to Tennessee, they began discussing the next “Baby K Bake Sale- Wisconsin Edition” and winter-themed cupcakes and cookies!”
A big thank you to Kelly and Neil for taking the time to write this blog post about funding your adoption. Also, we are excited to see where your adoption journey goes and can’t wait to see the winter-themed bake sale!