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Smith Family Military Overseas Adoption
$100 raised
1% of $20k goal
1 contributor
5 Years running
We are going to bring an unwanted Bulgarian child (or children) in desperate need of help into our Christian family. We have the medical coverage to make sure this child gets care like he/she has never had available. We have the financial ...

We are going to bring an unwanted Bulgarian child (or children) in desperate need of help into our Christian family. We have the medical coverage to make sure this child gets care like he/she has never had available. We have the financial means to support him/her once we get through the initial adoption costs. If it’s in your heart and you have the means, please consider a donation. If not, please share this with your Church and/or social network.

We are a U.S. military family stationed overseas. An overseas adoption can take several years and costs about $30,000-$80,000; sometimes even more. Our family is more than a year and $12,000 into the process. We are already home study approved, and we’re waiting on a match right now from Bulgaria. We are expecting our total costs to be about $35,000-$40,000.

Our adoption is based on Faith that this is the right thing to do. We have two biological children, and it would be much easier and cheaper to grow our family that way. We’re adopting because there are so many children who need homes, and we’ve felt a calling to bring one or more of these children into our family.

Here is a link to the company we are using for our adoption: Here is a link straight to their Bulgarian adoption page:

We are hoping for any child, boy or girl, and we would never split up siblings (meaning we’d take multiple children to keep a family together if that is how we get matched). We are also willing to accept a long list of medical conditions. We have the love and financial means to grow our family. The biggest burden for us in overseas adoption is in the up-front costs.

If it’s in your heart to help out, I set up a “FundRazr” account. The website keeps about 5 percent of all gifts, but it is the simplest way I found to short of sending a check to the adoption agency through the mail (also an option). Since adulthood, I’ve never asked for money, especially since I have a good job and steady paycheck. I’ve swallowed my pride to ask for help here. If you’re interested, please read on and consider sharing this with your Church or social network.

Adoption was something that has been in the back of my mind for a few years. During a 2009-2010 tour in Afghanistan, I re-gained the Faith in the Lord that I had forgotten since childhood. The adoption idea started growing.

At the same time on the other side of the world in Hawaii, my wife, Margarita, was struggling with me being gone so long. She met a woman who one day offered to pray for her. That started her journey toward Christianity.

Quite a few things happened to me that I think are miraculous, but none more obvious than me finding out that adoption was not my plan.

After getting home in 2010, I mentioned adoption to Margarita. She was not a fan of the idea, and the conversation didn’t go anywhere. As we were getting ready to move from Hawaii to England in 2011, I brought it up again. We agreed to talk more after we got set up in our new home.

Once arriving in England, I felt almost daily internal pressure to pursue the idea. In early 2012, Margarita and I had a serious conversation about adoption. She had a lot of concerns, including brining in a child with issues that could create problems for our family. I understood her concerns, but again, it wasn’t really my plan.

The morning after our conversation, I got up really early to work out. While on the elliptical, I prayed about the situation. I said something along the lines of, “God, I think you’re telling me to pursue this, but I need help convincing my wife that this is your plan and that it will work out the way you intend. Please help me realize if this is what you want and guide her to understand……”

When I got into work that morning, I checked my e-mail like I do every morning. In my inbox was an e-mail from someone who I didn’t even know regarding an upcoming adoption seminar. After a few minutes of shock, I called Margarita and told her what happened. I let her know that I obviously was going to the seminar, and I asked for her support. She agreed.

The seminar was about a 4-hour drive on a weekday. In the days leading up to it, every roadblock possible was thrown at us. First, I couldn’t get the time off work. Then, we had nowhere to stay. Next, we had no daycare for the kids. The day before the seminar, every issue worked out in our favor. Things just fell into place at the last minute.

The actual seminar was awesome. We got to meet a lot of parents who shared good and bad stories about their experiences. We also learned that the process can be extremely expensive and frustrating. We saw many pictures of the conditions of orphanages in different countries. We left the seminar with Margarita being a champion for the cause.

We started the paperwork right away through a company called “Adopt Abroad.” They are the only company we could find with a social worker already in the United Kingdom to conduct the home study. They also are used to helping military families stationed overseas. The home study is an extremely long process where we get visited a couple times by the social worker and we hunt down documents from every state and country where we ever lived. Since leaving Pennsylvania for the military in 1994, I’ve lived in many states and countries. We had a lot of paperwork to accomplish.

The home study was finalized and sent to the State Department a few months ago. It sat in some red tape there for a while and was just recently forwarded to Bulgaria where the Bulgarian adoption agency will translate it and start looking for a “match” for our family.

Once matched, we will travel to Bulgaria to meet the potential child. We will have to stay a couple of weeks, and if the social workers there decide we are a good match, then we will return home and wait until all of the paperwork can be completed…We are not looking forward to this step. I can’t imagine getting matched, meeting your future son or daughter and having to leave for months while some paperwork is processed and some fees are paid. Regardless, we’re all in, and we know it will work out.

We have Faith that our family will find the financial means to grow through adoption. I took a loan from my retirement account, took a cash advance on my credit card and re-financed my vehicle to pay for the costs so far. I know there will be additional expenses. We just found out that we received a $5,000 grant. We haven’t found any other grants we qualify to receive. I am prepared to take more loans to pay all of the costs.

My sister recently told me that she donates money every year to an organization that gives grants for adoption. She’s certain it’s a legitimate organization, but she also doesn’t get to see the child it helps, and she doesn’t know the family that is adopting. That was what I needed to hear to get the nerve to set up a fundraising site.

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