The creativity of the Lord’s provision for this adoption continues to amaze me. As we have become more and more in the adoption community I have seen folks who have incurred some large last minute flight expenses. Due to our birthmother having a scheduled C-section our travel to the birth will be a bit more planned than some others may experience. At this point in time we won’t be paying for our airfare! We are truly thankful!
Part of the way I contribute to our family’s finances while at home is by following various deal blogs and forums. Through these forums I have been my introduced into the world of travel hacking and points and miles blogs. Oh my! What a vast and unknown territory I had missed previously! And now I can say I’m barely skimming the surface but it has been enough to provide what we need for this moment! It is through the tips on these blogs that we’ve been able to earn over 100,000 points towards travel with Southwest. Southwest also has the unique benefit of the companion pass that we are very close to earning which will save us even more on our flights. You may be wondering what’s the big deal? We have been able to book our flights to GA using these points (plus the required $2.50 security fee). Additionally, since we are not sure when our paperwork will be approved and we will be able to return with baby we have been able to book multiple return flights for free using points. Flights with Southwest are fully refundable, so by booking now we can “lock in” the low point rate instead paying the rate showing for last minute flights. Then we simply cancel flights we don’t need and we’ll get those points back.
How in the world did we earn so many points? Well, I would like to share what I’ve been learning in the past months that has dramatically help us save on our travel costs. I share with some hesitation because it requires folks to be aware of and exercise a lot of self discipline in terms of their personal finances. My father lovingly warns that I’m giving away all my information…you may agree, if so this is probably not the best method for you.
Some of you may already be using credit cards to earn cash back rewards for your purchases. We realized after a year or two of marriage if we could be disciplined to completely pay off our credit card each month that we would be better off using a cash back credit card for our expenses rather than our debit card linked to our checking account. We choose one that has bonus categories that seem to align with our spending habits and I am thankful to say we have stuck with that initial commitment.
Southwest is currently running a promotion to earn 50,000 bonus points when you sign up for their Rapid Rewards Visa. You can earn additional bonus points by signing up for the business version as well. These cards do carry an annual fee due the first month so you should factor that in when you consider if this method. Frankly to go into details would be a post in and of itself, which I am delighted to do and give more resources if there are folks who want to know.
Generally, I wanted to let folks know that there are ways, with some time and a little extra brain power, to obtain free and cheap airfare by researching points and miles blogs. After this adoption is completed I hope to further explore ways we can do the same for the international flights we’ll need to book to Ethiopia. Also, I have dreams of using points to give travel “grants”, so to speak to help other families travel for their adoptions! I’m so thankful for the unique way the Lord provided!
During a recent grocery trip to Aldi my 5 year old daughter overheard the cashier ask “would you like any cash back today?” I politely declined, only to have her interrupt to say “Mommy, we DO want cash back! We’re adopting!” A precious response, even if a bit misguided on the ways of money and cash flow. She’s watching and taking in the big picture of bringing home baby sister or brother.
We’ve said it multiple times as we’ve walked this road, we’ve been so blessed! We’ve seen the Lord provide and meet needs throughout the process. We’ve been humbled by the generosity and genuine excitement of others as they share in this little one’s adoption story. We are now 8 short weeks away from meeting our little one. The c-section is scheduled for July 10th and our flights are booked for July 9th! The excitement and anticipation is growing.
Thanks be to the Lord our flights will be free due to miles and points with Southwest (more on this in a future post!) and we’ve been graciously offered hospitality for as long as we need while in GA. Both tremendous financial blessings. The flights are even direct and this time we will travel together! I’m so thankful to have hubby along for this trip! We will be staying with the same dear family I stayed with when I met the birthmother in April. Their home is quite convenient to the hospital and we will be near grocery stores and such to pick up any odds and ends. Moreover, we will have the encouragement of fellow believers as we enter into a unique and potentially highly emotional phase in this journey.
As the travel date approaches we have two specific requests:
- We are prayerfully asking the Lord to provide the remaining $2000 prior to our flight out on July 9th. Will you join us in this prayer? We know He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and we’ve seen Him provide already in mighty ways!
- Will you specifically pray as often as you remember and are led for baby’s protection in the womb? Pray that as this little one continues grow in the womb that his/her Maker would watch over them, protect them from harm, and grow the baby.
This weekend has been one filled with memories for me. You see my birthday and Mother’s Day have shared the weekend, next year they’ll share the day. Being a mother now myself I realize that there were many times my dear mother sacrificed her day, yet again, to celebrate my birthday. Growing up birthdays meant celebration of the child. Celebration of the life. Celebration of family, really. My mom was not able to have children biologically and when they adopted me it was her dream of motherhood come true. I have the spaghetti recipe (it’s a favorite!) she was making for my dad the day she found out I was born. I have my dad’s story of coming to the hospital to bring me home and then my mom’s concern as they waited for the official word that I was indeed theirs. Continue reading
It won’t be long now until baby is here! We found out this week that birthmom is scheduled for a July 10th c-section. After two biological children and not knowing when they might make their grand entrance it’s a little odd knowing the exact day of our 3rd child’s birth so far in advance. While it will make the birthmother’s recovery more difficult she seems excited to have it on the calendar. We are communicating via telephone after each of her appointments and since meeting in April there seems to be a greater openness and eagerness to get to know us.
As baby’s arrival approaches we have several prayer requests.
- For baby’s protection and health in utero. There are some potential health concerns that we won’t know fully until baby’s birth and we would covet prayers for baby’s protection even now as he/she grows in utero. Our Father knows this child and cares for him/her already.
- For continued financial provision. As we approach the birth there are some large upcoming expenses. We have received an overwhelming amount of support already and we are so thankful.
- For details of travel, lodging, etc to work out smoothly.
- For continued growth of relationship with birthmother. That she would know our love and respect for the choice she’s making and ultimately that it would be a reflection of our Heavenly Father to her.
On a random practical level, if you have creative video making skills and would be willing and interested in helping us to create a short (3 minute) long video about our adoption journey, we’d be ever so grateful. The Lord has given us a variety of talents and gifts but compelling creativity with video creation is not one of them.
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! Can’t believe little one will be here in just about two months!