Please read: Who is Shadow?
I’ve always struggled with the whole fundraising thing. If you knew me, you would know that I always try to put myself in the other’s shoes first, sometimes, or really, most times, to a fault. What would I do, if I were in that position? I can understand a person doing things like having a garage sale to raise money. What I can’t understand and get past is playing on others sympathy by advertising the reason for the garage sale, bake sale, dinner, or whatever, by using the child’s unfortunate circumstances. If a person asks the reason, why not tell the truth, that you want to adopt and are just trying to raise money to do so. Advertising the reason by posting a picture of the child, or telling the congregation about the poor orphan, turns it into something totally different from just coming up with the money to pay the adoption expenses.
I see nothing wrong with trying to do what a person has to do to come up with the money needed. It’s what people do when they want to buy a home, a car, or build a swimming pool in the backyard. You earn the money; the key word there being “earn”. Can you imagine what your fellow church members would think if you held a BBQ dinner in order to raise money so you could buy a new house? A few friends and family would help you out, but probably not many strangers or acquaintances. Most would probably even be a little put off by it.
Becoming a parent, whether you give birth, or adopt, costs money. It’s just a fact. What would the congregation say if you were pregnant and held a bake sale at church in order to help pay for the hospital stay and prenatal care? Have you ever heard of such a thing? Someone in the church might see your need and ask others to help by donating something, and giving it out of the goodness of their hearts, but would you ask them to do so? Were you to ask, I’m sure there would be those, who were generous enough to help, but probably not as generous as they would be if a poor, pitiful, orphan, from a poverty-stricken country, was staring them in the face. Those commercials for “Feed the Children” immediately come to mind. How can anyone not contribute to the cause of saving a child from their unfortunate circumstances, especially when a potential adoptive parent has so very much to offer?
Why not host a fundraising dinner to help get the funds for infertility treatments. What would happen if you posted a picture of you and your spouse, looking so longingly at a crib, on a flyer? Surely some people would, well, want to help you out, and donate? Is it really so hard to see why fundraising to get the money to adopt a child is offensive, especially to adoptees. Can people really not see why it is advertising, why it is a form of manipulation? Even more offensive is asking people to “help us bring our baby home”, when that baby is not theirs to begin with, at least not until the adoption is finalized. I really cannot believe people cannot see the hypocrisy in this.
Its one thing for people, or a church, to take it upon themselves to help out potential parents, it is what they do when they see a need, it’s entirely another when they use a child’s unfortunate circumstance to play on the sympathy of parishioners, and others, to get money. Is it really so hard to see how that is using the child, your future child, for personal gain? Do what you have to do, but is doing it at the expense of your child’s privacy, and well-being, really how you want to begin your new family? What will it teach your child? Will it teach them that when you want something bad enough, it is acceptable to play on the compassion and sympathy of others to get what you want?
When I think of fundraising in adoption, what it says to me is simply one thing. It says “entitlement”, whether it be potential adoptive parents, the church, or agencies. When I hear of the outrageous amounts of money people pay to adopt internationally, I am truly amazed. When I hear people advising potential parents to “Do whatever you have to do“, I hear them saying, “It’s all fine, as long as you get what you want“, with no consideration given to the child, or their feelings. After all, look at how much better off that child will be, and, seriously, people wonder why we, adoptees, talk about feeling obligated and grateful. No one has to tell us we should be grateful. It simply implied on a continuous level by well-meaning people, and society.
Most adoptive parents don’t expect their adopted children to feel grateful. You don’t have to expect it. We will do it anyway. It’s just part of the deal, and I would imagine, though I can’t speak for international adoptees, that it is even more so when they hear their stories.
Though I won’t argue that it might be part of God’s plan for a couple to adopt a child, I don’t see God’s will in it at all, especially when it comes to potential adoptive parents intentionally holding fundraisers playing on the compassion of others, by posting a picture of the child and asking for a handout. What I see is the “human will“, hard at work. If you truly believe adopting is something God wants for you, then trust him to help you find the resources without soliciting everyone you know, and even those you don’t by playing on others sympathy for a child’s unfortunate situation.
There are thousands of missionaries all over the world doing all they can to help improve the lives of children, and the families of these children. These missionaries left their homes, and families, to do the work of God in places most of us would never dare go, much less be able to survive in. They risk their lives daily for God, doing God’s will, which is to spread the Gospel and love one another. Why doesn’t anyone hold garage sales, bake sales, and spaghetti dinners, to raise money for these missionaries, thus enabling them more money to do the work of God in these situations? Why is it that special offerings once or twice a year are taken to support these missionaries, who are there witnessing and doing what they can to help improve the lives of children all over the world? Do you realize what these missionaries have given up in order to help improve the lives, and simply love children all over the world? Why is it we give our offerings in church, and then expect that the church will take care of the missionaries, providing them with funds to continue their work? Do you really think that is enough money to help them adequately do the job at hand?
Do you have any idea what a missionary can do with $30,000-$50,000? Do you know how many children you can help with that kind of money? When God instructed us to take care of widows and children, I have a hard time believing that he meant we were to take the children of their country, away from their culture, and origins. What about the thousands of children, right here in the USA, who need loving parents, and a home to call their own? You don’t need $30,000 to $50,000 to adopt one of them. With so many children, right here in the USA, in need of loving parents, it really pushes me to question the motives of anyone holding a fundraiser to adopt internationally. When I think of the cost, the amount of money needed for international adoption, and what that money could do when used properly by missionaries all over the world, well, all I can do is shake my head, look to God, and wonder if he looks down on the human race and says, “What was I thinking?”