Our Story told by Rebecca
When I was 12 years old our church had a guest speaker come and talk about adoption. The speaker passed out a little flyer with the precious faces of two babies on the front and spoke about the many children just like these that needed a safe and loving home to grow up in. I couldn’t take my eyes off that flyer and in that magical moment, my heart confirmed that I would adopt someday. After my first year of college, I decided to travel to Southeast Asia with a team of people to work in aids orphanages and hospitals. This experience was beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. In the months I spent with those amazing Cambodian children, my deep desire to adopt grew stronger and my love for orphans overwhelmed every part of my heart.
Shortly after I returned to the United States, I met my soon to be husband through some mutual friends. The next day we bumped into each other at a coffee shop and Jared told me about how he had just gotten back from Southeast Asia as well and was in the process of planning a trip to Sierra Leone, Africa. Jared and a few of his friends wanted to share their love of art and the healing that takes places through art therapy at an orphanage there. They also wanted to get to know the village with the hopes of opening up a center for women with disabilities. When women are unable to provide for their children due to disabilities, many of those children become orphaned. I left the coffee shop that day wanting to be a part of Jared’s life. He had the most beautiful, kind heart and his desire to help those in need was contagious.
While we were dating, we had all the typical conversations couples have about their dreams for the futures. During one of these converstations, I asked Jared how many children he wanted. This question felt exceptionally important because Jared comes from a big family! I love big families, but also never wanted to have more than one biological child. I nervously shared my adoption dreams with Jared and as I spoke, his eyes lit up and a huge smile formed across his face. Jared said, ever since he was young he has wanted to adopt too! My heart leaped out of my chest because I knew we were a match made in heaven! Jared and I married a year after that fateful day in the coffee shop and we will celebrate our 10th anniversary together this summer. A year and a half ago we welcomed a beautiful biological baby girl into our family and we cannot wait to welcome another precious baby girl into our family through adoption!
The cost of a domestic infant adoption can be upwards of $45,000. Over the last few years, we have been diligent with saving and we were able to put away $10,000 to cover all of the expenses thus far. We are hoping to receive some grants, as well as your generous donations to cover the rest. Our goal is to have $35,000 by April 1, 2019 and funds will be accepted until our adoption is complete. Many of you have asked why adoption is so expensive and we have asked the exact same question. We thought it might be helpful to see a breakdown of estimated expenses.
Homestudy- $2,000, Documentation and Authentication - $1,000, Postage- $200, Post Placement Fees- $1,000, Attorney Fees- $13,000, Agency Fees- $9,000, Birth Family Counseling- $2,000, Birth Mother Medical Expenses- $14,000, Travel- $3,000
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story and consider helping us in whatever way you feel led to give!
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Schlender 8213”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.
Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
- In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.