attention: adoption isn’t that expensive after all

A couple weeks ago I heard a stat that still has me thinking. The average cost for a healthy pregnancy and birth in America is between $30,000 and $50,000. I had no idea, and you probably didn’t either. Why? Because I have been fortunate to have health insurance that covered a majority of this cost for both of my kids’ births. Lucky me!

This has stuck with me because we are in the process of trying to raise some funds to help with the $45,000 cost of adding two more kids to our family (this time, via adoption). It’s not easy to raise money, and it’s not fun either. But this statistic has encouraged me.

I have heard and sensed some criticism surrounding the fact that we are in the process of adopting and do not yet have the necessary $45k saved up to pay for the process. Some feel that if we are pursuing adoption we should be able to pay for it on our own, and I get that. I too have struggled with this. But the fact is, none of us can afford to have multiple babies on our own. It’s crazy expensive whether we birth them or adopt them (and the actual cost is not all that different). When we have kids biologically we get to rely on insurance to bear the brunt of our costs (good news!) but when we go the adoption route, we do not have insurance to fall back on.

That’s where fundraising comes in, and that is why I am encouraged. This non-profit that we are working with gets it. They know that adopting kids is a great option for certain families, and they know that most of those families cannot afford to go through the process on their own. They see themselves as being an “insurance” of sorts that can help defray the cost and make adoption a viable option for families like us.

So there you have it. I’m not irresponsible after all, and this adoption is actually not more expensive than the previous births of my biological children. And while I don’t like asking for money, I don’t have to be embarrassed. We are fortunate to have a web of very excited and generous people surrounding us during this time, and they are helping us make this dream a debt-free reality. More good news.

(If you want to check out this non-profit we are working with, you can find them at www.adopttogether.org . They are good people.)

(If you’d like to be part of our adoption “insurance” fund, visit www.adopttogether.org/theludwigs . We would be thankful!)

my grown-up christmas wish

Laundry folding. It’s not something I’d say I typically get very excited about. In fact, tonight as I even thought about walking from the cozy house to the cold garage to get the load of laundry that was ready to be folded I grumbled (post on “first world problems” to follow). But as I folded piles of super-hero shirts, footed pajamas, and little boxer-briefs (also super-hero themed of course), I found myself smiling and actually cherishing this mundane task.

Maybe it’s because I was folding in front of a lit Christmas tree and a warm fire burning in the fireplace.  Maybe it was the conversation I had earlier tonight with a mom who was lamenting the fact that her “baby” is getting ready to graduate high school which means a much emptier and quieter house after all these years. Maybe it’s that I’ve actually slowed down a bit recently and can enjoy and appreciate the time I have to fold said clothes.

I’m not sure what it is, but it made me want to write. It also made me long once more for the day when I will have double the laundry to do, two more little bodies to dress, two more hungry mouths to feed. I’m sure I’m idealizing the thought of it, but tonight, I can think of nothing I’d rather do. So, I’m savoring this moment, giving thanks for these little clothes and the healthy bodies that dirty them oh so quickly (knowing that 2 more bodies will nearly double our laundry loads and the time it takes to fold and put them all away), and dreaming of the day when I’ll need to be reminded that I was once longing for more laundry to do. I’m sure it’s coming. But for now, I wait and hope for more. This is my grown-up Christmas wish.