I remember it like it was yesterday. My wife, Leigh, and I had been in Uganda for a total of three months with our son. Because our jobs had no adoption benefits, we had gone a total of three months without pay on FMLA leave, while still having all of our bills back in the States. We were legal guardians of our son but couldn’t bring him home until his visa was approved, and in a sense, we were stuck.
We discussed our financial options, like, “Should I go home to return to work?” But that would ultimately leave Leigh and Bo to stay in a foreign country that we weren’t fully comfortable with, not to mention the costs of a second round of pricey flights. We also discussed having family come to Uganda to stay with Leigh while I left to go back to work, but just like the other options, nothing quite felt right breaking up our newly formed family of three so quickly.
Our bank accounts were drained, and all we had were family, friends, and a God with unlimited resources.
God Was Strong in Our Weakness
I’ll be honest; there were times we joked (although there was a lot of truth in it) that we wouldn’t have enough money to get home. But that’s when God stepped in. When we thought all of our outlets of fundraising had been tapped out, God provided more. Most notably, with one week left in our journey and not enough money to cover the flights home, we had someone unknown to us graciously offer a matching $1,000 donation to fund our trip. Our only explanation was that, through prayer and faith, God came up big.
My only explanation comes from 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Because we were weak, God’s power shined brightest.
Let God’s Strength Shine through Your Donations
Fundraising is a critical part of many adoption stories and involves two parties: the family raising the funds, and the community who donates—God gets glory on both sides. First, for the family raising the funds, they get to see God keep his promises in what he called you to in caring for the orphan. Second, the community who donates gets to let go of what they can’t keep (money), to see someone gain something they cannot lose (a last name). God gets glory and praise on both sides.
If you are just starting the process of adoption and would like to learn more about effective fundraising, we would love to be a resource for you! We are having our first fundraising seminar on April 14th to equip you in your process. Click here to register, and we would love to see you there!
-Matt Watts (MH Member)