• Immediate Needs

    updated 8.29.11

    We do what we do as missionaries supported by people like you.

    We also prefer to give away as much content as we can, and not cloud that issue with a lot of public requests. That said, we do have specific needs that are met by people who believe the work we do has value.

    If you'd like a short list of immediate financial needs, you can find it HERE.


    Note: This will be updated regularly

  • Recent interview on the Patricia King Show.

  • YouVersion Reading Plans
  • Old News

  • TwitterFeed

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • Advertisements

But what about the money…

The most common objection we hear about adoption involves the cost.  It seems a lot of people have a heart for adoption but not the stomach for the cost.   While some fees can be avoided (that’s a long post for another day), adoption is often expensive.  That said, I’ve never met an adoptive parent who regretted plunking down the money either.

What most people are feeling is inadequate when it comes to raising the funds.  Their fees might range from $15,000-$35,000 but it’s essentially immaterial.  To a family living month to month, $15,000 might as well be the size of the government stimulus package. Anything more than they have is out of reach….except for a few important details.  God has all the silver and Gold.   God likes adoption.  A lot of people like God.  Those people and God talk…see where this is going?

If you’re looking towards adoption but wondering how to pay for it, let me give you a couple of suggestions on fundraisers.

Think big.

Often times, people go the bake sale and car wash route.  Unless you’re planning on washing every car in your city at a hundred bucks a pop (and charging extra for trucks), you will ever wash enough cars.  And as for bake sales, even at a dollar a muffin, can you sell thirty thousand muffins?   The surprising truth is that it doesn’t take much more work to do a large scale dinner or auction than it does to do a car wash or a bake sale…but the return on your work will be a hundred fold.

For our first adoption, we held a benefit dinner.  My first inclination involved a bucket of chicken and a case of bottled water.  My smart wife and our friend convinced me this wasn’t the best idea.  “Hokey” I think was the word they used.  We ended up catering a $25/person meal at a nice restaurant in a fun location.  We sold tickets that let people pick their price – $50, $75, $100, $250 and up.   I don’t think we sold a single $50 ticket.  Most were $75-$100 with plenty that sold for more than that.    We raised $13,000 that night.  You’re not going to do that on your best car wash….

Think broadly.

It’s too easy to think “We don’t know anyone who would help us adopt….”.  You need to think beyond who you think might help you to every living soul you’ve ever met, and their rolodex, and their friends’ rolodex.   We got the word out using the internet, word of mouth, and mailed invitations.  We also gave a stack of invitations to the connector types in our world – the kind of person who can’t get through a restaurant without talking to five people.   Those people really delivered for us.

There was a second wave of people who heard from friends, and in the end, a significant chunk of our first adoption’s finances came from strangers.    I can’t speak strongly enough about the importance of blogging your adoption journey – when you’re back against the wire, people you do not know who have followed your story will step up and help financially because they want to see this story to completion.

Think boldly.

You are not asking for a birthday present for yourself, or even a trip to Disney for your child.  You are asking for help in changing the life of a human being for eternity.   Anyone with any sense will know that even with an expensive adoption, the long term cost of raising a child far outweighs the upfront expenses you’re trying to cover.  You are the one taking the majority of the workload – getting the baby home is just step one.

Thinking boldly means asking for specific amounts, through specific ticket costs, etc.  The agency will not ask you to ‘do whatever you can’….they’ll have a solid number.   Granted, you’d take $10 from someone as quickly as you’d take $10,000, but the people you’re asking for help from need to know that the numbers have five digits, not two.

Most people are looking to do something commensurate with the need, not the minimum they can get by with.   That’s why so few people bought $50 tickets – once they saw what we were really needing, most of them stepped up further than they would of had we been vague about it.

It is not easy to raise the necessary funds, but it’s doable. Don’t let fear stop you from doing what is right.  Life depends on someone’s willingness to step beyond fear into the heroic.


30 Responses

  1. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.[a] And by him we cry, “Abba,[b] Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

    Hey the world is the Lord’s and all that is in it! He is good and he will work it out.

  2. I hope I can get my husband to read this. The finances are the biggest thing holding him back from commiting to the little on I feel in my heart God has called us to adopt. That and the plane ride, but if God can deal with the money (and I know He can!) I KNOW he can take care of the plane thing 🙂

    And benefit dinner is an idea I may be swiping for future reference. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Where does all that money go when you adopt a child?

  4. Thank you so much for this. We are still trying to pay for our second adoption. She is home with us, but we have till April to come up with $26,000. If we don’t, it is going to cause a lot of problems with the state and agency. This have given me some ideas and I will be getting together with some friends.
    I have enjoyed reading your articles and following your adoptions.

  5. Thanks Randy! I’m going to print this off for my husband.

  6. Great Post, Randy!

  7. thanks for the insight you bring to adoptions. My wife and I recently adopted a little girl and since is was private it “only” cost 5,000 but God still provided the money plus all the extras. God has a heart for adoption He is looking for people to step out in Faith to pursue adoption. Praise God.

  8. this is a new concept for me … a lot has changed in 20 years … my first pregnancy involved a month stay in pediatric ICU for our son and my second was also complicated … our adoption seemed a “steal” at $20000 … but we couldn’t afford more and we would have liked to have more … but i wouldn’t have imagined asking for financial help with that any more than asking for it with our biological children (we’re farmers & don’t have great insurance) … this is a wonderful new age for adoptions and i appreciate all you are doing to help make it doable and affordable and sharing ideas and encouragement. awesome!

  9. I’m new to your blog, just found it through a friend recently. Today was my first day to stop by and read a post – THANK YOU! I loved this, so practical and encouraging. We have a 2 year old and 1 year old in our family and want to include adoption as we grow our family. I think I’m going to need to find some more time to read your blog, lots of inspiration!!!!

  10. Very good and practical. Thank you!

  11. I love to read about all this adoption stuff. It’s getting me prepared. I long to give a child a home, but not sure if I should do it before I get married. I hear pros and cons on both sides – better w/ you than in foster care vs. you can’t purposefully deny a child a father…. So for now I pray and prepare, bu I haven’t taken any active steps yet…

  12. […] Funding Advice Posted on March 9, 2009 by Jason Kovacs Randy and Kelsey Bohlender have a contagious passion for adoption. They are full-time missionaries in Kansas City and recently […]

  13. OK, I’m young, so humor me. When I hear of $5,000 or $20,000 dollars of fees, I feel like screaming. I’m sure that everyone tells you something along the lines, “I don’t want to BUY a child”. I feel the same way, and so your suggestions trigger another question, “are we not just fueling the beast by paying all that money?” Don’t these children need loving families?
    Any explanation is welcome.

  14. Stephane – is there a better way? Yes, I’m working on it….

    Meanwhile, I don’t like fueling the beast, but I’m not so lofty minded that I refuse to participate in a system just because it’s unjust to me. When I take a hard look at my three daughters and consider where they might be if someone hadn’t paid the price, just or unjust….seems worth it to me.

    Fair? No. Worth it? Totally.

  15. I remember the indignation in my father’s voice when he told me he had looked on websites (after knowing we were going to adopt) and asked me if I knew these people were selling children. I told him, “Yes, they are selling, and I am buying!”

    On a more serious note, if you think about all the paperwork that is involved in an international adoption and the care that the child is receiving at the orphanage and the fact that there are other children arriving daily at the establishment that need to be fed and cared for before they are adopted, it is surprising that adoption costs so little.

    There is a website that does a good job of breaking down the costs involved and what they go to if you are interested in knowing more specifically:


    That is just representative of one country, they are all different, but this gives you an idea.

    Thanks for the encouragement about funding an adoption and trusting God to provide. We are considering another adoption and there is almost nothing there to get it going. 🙂 (Still getting over the last adoption!) Once we are sure that God is calling us to this, we will head into it asking for His provision. You are right, it all belongs to Him.

  16. If you adopt an abused child in state custody, they will pay you instead of the other way around.

  17. […] 11, 2009 Adoption Funding Advice Posted by justonechild under Finances   Randy and Kelsey Bohlender have a contagious passion for adoption. They are full-time missionaries in Kansas City and recently […]

  18. […] More on Adopton and Money?  See Randy Bohlender’s comments. […]

  19. […] From Randy Bohlender, who created the Zoe Foundation, which “exists to further the cause of adoption as a positive alternative to abortion in America” […]

  20. Awesome post Randy. I will definitly keep this in mind when we hopefully adopt again in the near future. Very encouraging!

  21. I recently became an adoptive mother this past winter and have thoroughly enjoyed our adoption experience. We were clients of CAC and it was overwhelming to look at the potential costs (not even including travel, home studies, post placement, etc…) of the agencies. We were lucky to be matched through a low cost agency in a great state and were able to write a check for all our adoption expenses. We did not do fundraising but with God’s help we were able to save several thousand dollars in a short amount of time. We are very blessed and our sweet little girl is worth every penny and then some!

  22. I’ve just become the Director of a Pregnancy Care Center in Upstate New York.
    We don’t have an adoption program. We refer girls to another pregnancy care center about 25 miles away. I love the CALL. How can I be involved? Any ideas?

  23. We are an adoptive family in process. We are inspired by your advice. Were you able to make the contributions tax-deductable to contributors? Did you front the money that it took to pull of the benefit dinner? We could really use your expertise here. Inspired!

  24. In case you didn’t get it….my email is osideloc@gmail.com

  25. Awesome. Insert in brain.

  26. @Kerri Craig – I know this is a YEAR later, but….just in case…I say: Go for it. Do it. If your heart wants to adopt, then adopt.

    People will be nasty to you, no matter *WHAT* you do. So you might as well do what’s in your heart. At the end of your life, only YOU will look back and be happy, or not, with your choices. The naysayers will have been long gone….

    What if you wait to get married to adopt “so that the child will have a father” (a.k.a., “so certain groups of people won’t be judgmental towards me”), and then on the first day home he gets hit by a truck? OBVIOUSLY you would never wish this on anyone, heaven forbid, I’m just using this extreme example to say:

    “It sounds like you’re more worried about what certain groups will think of you, than worried about if you’d be a good parent (single or not).” I’m sure you’ll be a great parent!!

    For what it’s worth, my father passed away (my parents were married), and I turned out ok, if with some disdain for particular groups who are judgmental.

    (P.S. Can you guess who these groups are who are judgmental and nasty towards single mothers? Hint: it’s not liberals…)

  27. I am not married yet but will be soon, I have always wanted to adopt and have had many dreams about it. I know God put this in my heart. I know that when the right time comes someday God will provide.

  28. What did you do at the benefit? I don’t know many people who would attend just to help us. What was the draw to people wanting to attend besides the kindness of their heart?

  29. […] money and raising funds, check out this past article entitled What About the Money.  Also, listen to this archived podcast as I talk about the why and how of raising […]

  30. […] all about it, but one of the best responses to the fundraising question I’ve ever read is here. We encourage you to THINK BIG.  Both Caroline and I have raised a lot of money for both of our […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: