This morning Rob left the Sunday paper on the kitchen table when he left for church (he leaves before the rest of us are up and we meet him for the 9:15 service) and so while the kids & I ate breakfast this morning, I started cutting coupons. And this is the conversation that ensued:
Riley: Mommy, why are you cutting coupons?
Me: Because it helps us save money
Riley: Is there a coupon in there for our baby in Africa?
It was a cute moment but it scared me a little because the last thing I want is for my kids to think we are purchasing a child! I don't think Riley's actually old enough to really understand much about adoption but I'm guessing he has overheard enough conversations where funding the adoption has been the topic. And I have to admit there are times when I wish I could clip some coupons for some of the fees! :)
I have had some adults question why we would be adopting from Ethiopia (some in nice ways, some not so much) when it isn't so costly to adopt a child here in the US (or have another biological child). I have a few answers for that. The first one is that we have prayed and prayed over this decision and have no doubt God intended for us to do an international adoption. That does NOT mean I think God values international adoptions over domestic. Not at all. It just means that, for our family, international adoption is His plan for us.
The other is this: if I don't do it. Who will? I don't want to be one of those people who hears about tough situations and says "Oh I'll pray about that." I am not knocking prayer. Prayer is great. Prayer is powerful and I believe we need to do lots of it. But if that's all we're doing, we're missing the point. I once heard Shane Claiborne (the guy from the Simple Way who fights poverty & homelessness in PA) say that when he tells someone about a need they have and that person says "yeah, I'll pray about that" then he knows he needs to keep looking to meet that need. I want to be the person who prays about it and DOES something about it. Praying for orphans in Africa is wonderful... parenting one will be that much more wonderful :) And I hope that we will be able to help contribute financially to others' adoptions in the future. And, of course, we'll keep working with Heart for Africa in Swaziland!
It has been a huge step out on faith for us to make a financial commitment to complete an international adoption. And we will be doing some fund raising and are praying that some people who aren't called to parent an adopted child but feel led to help make sure one finds a loving home will help us along the way. I know God will provide funding for this but I really hate that cost is even part of the conversation. It frustrates me that it costs so much because it's such a hindrance to families who would be willing to parent these children.
So yeah, coupons would be nice... but in the end the dollars have nothing to do with all of this. There is a Cassell baby in Ethiopia somewhere and we'd just like to bring him home. If you had a child out there somewhere you'd do all you could to bring him home, too. :)