Many times we have been asked how in the world we can afford seven children. The honest truth is, "We can't, but God can."
When we decided to try to adopt one little girl out of foster care, we weren't sure how we would afford it, but we figured we would pinch pennies and make it work. So, when our hearts were torn by the sibling groups being separated and needing adopted together, we really felt like we had gone crazy to even consider it. We decided to open our hearts and home anyway and trust God to work it out if it was what he wanted for our lives.
During the year that the children remained in the custody of the foster care system, we received payments to cover the cost of their care. We were able to save enough out of this money to purchase and pay off a practically brand new van that seated twelve.
We were unsure of how things would work out once the adoption went through. However, we found out that there was an adoption subsidy that was paid each month by the state to families who adopted out of foster care. We didn't know how much of a subsidy the children might receive. There was no guarantee. The purpose of the subsidy was to help families adopt children out of foster care with special needs.
We didn't consider our children to have special needs, but because they were a sibling group we learned they would at least receive some subsidy due to them being hard to place. When we went to sign the adoption agreement, we found out that our adoption placement worker had already decided they would need to receive the full subsidy amount. She said the children were considered "special needs" not only due to their number but also due to their medical conditions of asthma and allergies. There was also on record the diagnosis of RAD for Michael and behavior issues for Troy.
We were shocked. The amount per month although less then the payments for providing foster care exceeded what we felt we needed to properly care for the children. Also, we found out that they would receive their medical care from the state until they were 18, and that all adoption costs would be covered by the state. This was huge!
Although we are not proponents of big government and government hand-outs, I've learned to be thankful for what he has provided through the state. I give thanks to know that some tax dollars are spent in a worthwhile way. Ideally the church cares for the orphans and widows, but we've learned that God uses whatever means he can to care for his children.
(As an added side note to God's perfect timing and provision, here is something else amazing that happened. The month before we signed our adoption placement agreement, the state decided to increase the amount of the maximum adoption subsidy by $100 per child per month. If we had licensed any sooner or if parental rights had been severed any sooner, we would not have received the increased adoption subsidy amount.)
God is good all the time!
Looking back, I've been so grateful for His provision. To not have the added financial strain on top of the other challenges adoption brings has been a huge blessing.
All the time God is good!