That is a big question. How can we afford an international adoption and adopt debt-free? The answer is simple. We can't. But we know our Father can! We had to have faith that He would provide, and we had to budget. Thankfully we were already on the Dave Ramsey program of using the envelope system and his budget sheets. We wanted to do everything that we could with the money that was given to us through our jobs. Knowing that we couldn't just save $30k or more, we did some fundraisers to help supplement our savings. Now we are in the waiting stage of our adoption story and we are heavily resorting to fundraisers to help finish paying for our adoption.
Our fundraisers included selling Just Love Coffee, garages sales, and raffles. Our longest-running fundraiser is our coffee. It is the best coffee you can buy on the market and is fair trade. I couldn't tell you how many people tell me how great it taste. We had one garage sale and it was a big hit! We made $2400 in two days. Our friends and family donated a lot of home goods to make this happen. I would love to have another sale but we moved to an apartment complex recently so we are not able to have one. Garage sales are great if you need quick cash. We only had one raffle so far. And it went really well. Another fundraiser we recently have adventured onto is Olive Tree Promise. They sale t-shirts, jewelry, hats, scarves, canvas paintings and many more. 30-50% of the proceeds that you purchase come to our adoption fund. It is very similar model to Just Love Coffee's program. My favorite t-shirt, which I'm currently promoting, is "superman was adopted" logo.
Another idea to help fund your adoption is grants. I literally spent hours if not days looking/googling different types of grants. I am actually kind of disappointed at the lack of grants that are out there. Grants are amazing for any adoptive family, any amount great or small. Unfortunately most of the ones I found have a $50-$150 application fee. I am very stingy with the adoption money that we have saved up and I don't want to pay any amount just to see if I qualify for their particular grant program.
I hope to post more on our budget and how we are/continuing to pay for our adoption debt free.