Many have asked if we are still pursuing the Ethiopian adoption now that we have adopted C. The answer is a resounding, YES! When we started the domestic adoption for C
we did so as a concurrent adoption. This means it was an adoption while in process of another adoption. This was exciting and scary. We were knowingly committing ourselves to a domestic adoption while waiting for our international adoption from Ethiopia. We did not feel the Lord was calling us to chose one over the other but both.
The scary portion of this comes with the responsibility of multiple adoptions, particularly the financial aspect. So many have been exceedingly generous and faithful in their giving towards these adoptions. In the beginning we were in VA and our church family stepped forward with donations of time, money, and stuff! Since moving we have had support from folks from all over, US and abroad. It’s been amazing to witness God’s provision.
We are currently in the waiting stage for our Ethiopian adoption, waiting for our referral. October 2015 will mark 3 years since our dossier arrived in Ethiopia and we have been on the waiting list with our agency. When we began we didn’t think it would be this long. God is good. He rearranged our plans. We now have a beautiful daughter adopted domestically we didn’t initially “plan” on.
As we wait, He’s been faithful to continue to provide for our adoption. We came home Easter weekend from a lovely visit with family and friends in VA to the joyous news we have received a generous grant from HeritageLink Adoption Foundation. What a tremendous blessing this grant is for us! Another family who had also received a grant from HeritageLink had posted and shared the information and we decided to apply. It has been amazing to see others within the adoption world who have helped, advocated, and shared the blessings they have received. We are so grateful for this grant and being ever closer to bringing home our child from Ethiopia.
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!
I am sure that many of you are already aware of Adopted for Life by Russell Moore. It was published a few years ago and Husband promptly put it on his Christmas list, read it, loved it, and recommended it. I tend to hesitate on reading the books Husband does as they are often very thick in theology. That’s not a bad thing but it is often so over my head!
I have a friend who has been talking with me about adoption and I suddenly started thinking of this book. Husband found it for me and I have been absolutely loving it! I’m still in the beginning chapters, as it takes this momma awhile to get through a book, but I can confidently say it’s worth the read!