Tuesday, August 2, 2011

To Fund Raise Or Not To Fund Raise?

Apparently, THAT is the question of late!

Recently, the hot button topic of adoption fundraising has been making its rounds in the forums, blogs, and even the newspaper columns again. Really, I tend to think its an issue that will never be settled.

If you check out this blog and its links and comments, you will see one perspective on the issue. It was hard to read. But I forced myself to read it all and think hard about the comments and the reactions that all sides of the adoption issue had to share.

And if you head over here, you'll see the exact same "Dear Abby" letter and a very different set of conversations happening about that issue (and frankly! an even broader perspective that wasn't adequately addressed at all in the original "Dear Abby" post). Not a ton of agreement, for sure, but again a challenge to me to think before I speak and really consider where I fall on the spectrum of beliefs and ideas.

(Kudos, Dawn, for targeting that additional conversation
that should have been handled much more
compassionately and realistically in the original "letter!")

I guess I had a lot more going on inside my head and my heart than I thought when I finally got around to reading and processing both blog posts and their comments.  Cuz look at what came pouring out of my fingertips after I'd read them both a few times and took some time to step away from it all and think it through.  Sheeesh, I feel like I just unloaded a ton of bricks from this old brain of mine.  I've re-posted my comments from the Creating a Family blog post, (I commented there mostly because I'm more familiar with Dawn and many of her regular readers).  What are you all thinking about these issues? I'd love to hear from you - but be sure to read the above links first.  It's worth it.
The way I see it, this discussion will never be agreed upon by those who camp strongly in the “adoption fundrasing is never right” and those who reside in opposite field of “adopt to save/rescue a poor little orphan.” Too many polarizing worldviews between them, methinks.
I am so torn, myself, frankly. I strongly resist the “adopt to rescue” mentality for myself and my Gang. Yes, we are born-again believers who will be raising all of our Gang in our belief system that says we all need Jesus. And without Jesus life is meaningless. BUT I don’t believe that proselytizing my faith should be the reason I work my hiney off to bring another sweet little girl into my home. We are gearing up for another adoption BECAUSE WE DON’T FEEL OUR FAMILY IS DONE YET. BECAUSE WE HAVE MORE LITTLE ONES IN OUR HEART TO LOVE AND WE WANT TO SEE THEIR LITTLE FACES IN OUR HOME. Period. In fact, I want it so badly that I am tearing up as I am typing this. In my view, it’s already been too long a wait for my next daughter.
Having said that, I will be the first to admit that we don’t have the necessary $24+K sitting around to do that. Granted, we have more tightening up to do. We have more debt-snowballing to finish. We have more STUFF to sell and more income to generate. (Anyone need some editing or writing work done?!) But if we wait till all those ducks are in a row to HAVE all that $$, we have several unwanted extenuating circumstances that will occur. Circumstances that are private. That are tender to a momma’s heart. That can be solved if we had the money sooner than later.
So we wonder. Can/should we fundraise? In my particular circles (church, special needs/adoptive moms), the vast majority say “Yes. Go for it. However we can help.” And I have some kickin’ good ideas (aaaah, that communications/public relations experience and degree are coming in handy now!) floatin’ around my head. Ideas that could turn into a great annual event that would possibly help us help other families build their families. Which is the second thing that I wonder about. When I do feel as if my family is “complete” (I hope sincerely that it is with this next one for whom we are working and waiting!), I wonder if I can parlay my passion to see kids find families into some fundraising and/or awareness support. I WANT to parlay my degree and my experience and my passion into something that creates permanent and loving change for kids and parents.
Which brings me back to the fundrasing… If it is done rightly, without the “save my child, the pitiful orphan” focus; if it is done with integrity and with a sincere effort at helping folks build families, what on earth is so wrong? I know, I am not an adoptee and I don’t fully understand the implications for how it might make them feel. But really? Shame on the folks who would allow that message to settle over their adopted child! That would allow lies and wrong motives to attach themselves to their child’s psyche without swooping in with loving TRUTH of the matter. When I hear a lie, any distortion of truth spoken to or about my child’s life (any of my children!), I correct it.
I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. And I’ve never laid out my thoughts or heart about fundraising and adoption quite this publicly before. I fully realize that I am likely speaking in great niavete. Sigh. I am just a Momma who loves her kids. Those here in my gang’s headquarters and those not yet home. And frankly, most days, I feel like I will do anything I have to to get my next mei-mei home where she can be loved and doted upon like Li’l E is. Even if I make major faux pas along the way.
Which, I fully recognize I am likely already doing. Another sigh.


Desiree' said...

ok, I get what you mean by giving feedback....now, if you've read my blog you know I fundraise, but I don't use the term saving an orphan. That's not what we are doing, we are adding a son...or a daughter to our family. And I do use the term "help us bring our child home to their forever family" I don't know many people who have the 24-30k needed to bring their child home on hand...and for those of us who have adopted multiple times in the past couple of years, well we just don't have it. I could go on...but won't!! LOL I guess you just have to be thick skinned and do what you feel is right for your family~

Christie said...

All I could think while I read those articles was how struck I am by the selfishness of others. Choose not to be offended people! What's the worst thing that happens here? A child gets a family to love? A family gets a child to love? Childless mothers and motherless children come together through a community of people who reached out? OMG. Find something real to complain about. I hate this kind of crap. And you know, I'm a huge fan of fundraising to adopt - I don't care your reasons. If you want to fundraise and those that love and care about you want to support you in it - then who is ANYONE to say "shame on you". Where is the sense of community? This makes me sick... (but let me tell you how I really feel.... ♥)

withgratefulhearts said...

We fundraised to bring our daughter home...and in talking about another adoption (if we do), this time we will need to fundraise even more. Who has 25K lying around? I find that people get excited about bringing another little one into a loving home. (nice people that is). It really promotes love and community. People want to be a part of something greater than themselves.
Faith is loved and adored beyond belief!!!!

People can say what they want and unfortunately people always do feel the need to speak their minds no matter who it hurts. But the fact is, say it however you want, these sweeties would NOT have a mommy and daddy, would NOT have a home and cousins and grandparents to love on them, would NOT have a cozy room where they get sung to at night, etc...if we did not fight and struggle to get them home. So, they can say what they want...but a fact is a fact and all the fussing around about it in the world doesn't change it.

Lavender Luz said...

There are so many perspectives on this issue! I nod my head when I read one person's "side" and then I nod again when I see an "opposite" side.

I like that you read through everything with open ears, really trying to hear the viewpoints. And then incorporating them into your own.

The Gang's Momma! said...

An old friend recently shared this quote that I think is a good life lesson for this post. And for pretty much all of our choices and interactions.

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

That Mother Teresa was a wise woman.

Kateri said...

I'm sure that I should say something deep or much more thought out....but there was one thing that stuck out when I was reading all of the comments. There was mention of asking for help to "pay for the child." NOT! We aren't paying for the child. We are paying for the process, and all that it encompasses. As far as I know, none of our adoptive children have priced tags placed on their foreheads! As I've said before, biological parents should have to go through what adoptive parents go through to bring their children home, including some of the fees. This world would have far less unwanted, abused and neglicted children! The money involved to bring them home is the same thing...it's a heck of a lot cheaper to expand your family through biological means but it's not always possible or the call that has been placed on ones heart. I could have more biological children...we adopted when I was still very fertile. But that's not what I've been called to do. And I would adopt again if we could afford it but we can't...and so I will continue to help other families fund "the process"...because it some small way it feels like I am bringing another child home..and another...and another....

Kateri said...

Oh dear me...please excuse the spelling errors in my comment...Sheesh!!!