CHELSEA: ON TODDLERS AND TEENS + SPECIAL MEDICAL NEEDS + THE (MASSIVE) EXPENSE OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION
Chelsea McKoy is a biological and adoptive mom of six. Even with a full house of bios, Chelsea and her husband made the jump to an eight person family when they adopted two little girls from China. This week we talk about juggling a family that ranges from toddler to teen, and the whole family's transition to adoption. We dive into making the decision to adopt from China and what it looks like for a family who doesn't have $80,000 lying around (i.e.: all of us) to fund international adoption. Chelsea shares deep (stepping out in faith) and practical (fundraisers and grants and where to get help) about the money and adoption. We finish up talking about adopting a child with special medical needs (I try not to faint). Chelsea has some of my favorite final answers yet (her "what you're doing" list is spot on). If you've ever considered adoption but have worried about the costs (or even if you haven't), this one will be a gold mine for you.
• The intro song, The Source, is brought to you by one of the best new worship bands out there, The Evidence. Yes, the frontman is my (talented, brilliant, adorable, Jesus-loving) cousin. No, that's not why I love them.
• Chelsea talks about finding her daughter on a China "waiting children" Facebook page. Check out the photos and stories of these precious children and pray that God breaks your heart, in the best way possible. There's a similar site for children waiting in foster care in the US if that's where you think you may be called.
• Chelsea talked about the Chinese New Year bash they hosted to help fund their adoption. I've known people to do t-shirts and Instagram/Facebook auctions and yard sales and a million other things. Tap into the creative part of your brain (or, even better, a friends') and involve the people around you in the community call to adoption.
• Here's a whole list of adoption grants that Chelsea tapped into at Fund Your Adoption.
• Both Hands is an awesome organization that creates opportunities to fundraise for adoption while fixing up the home of a widow. As in, serving the widow and orphan with "both hands." Chelsea and I heard the founder (who was an orphan himself) speak at Refresh Seattle, and he is an awesome guy with an awesome vision to do awesome things for widows and orphans. If you're looking to adopt, consider partnering with them to fundraise for your adoption. If you're not, consider giving to them or volunteering to help on a project. Show Hope and Lifesong for Orphans are two other great organizations that provide grants to adoptive families. Again, everyone should either be getting one or giving one!
• Deeply Loved is the retreat that Chelsea helped start in Whitefish, Montana. You guys, "retreat" is the perfect word for it. At a beautiful resort in the mountains, you will worship and hear teaching and be refreshed and have fun and laugh and cry and all the things. I was there last year, and it was a highlight. If you're near Montana, get there. And if you're not near Montana, get there still.
• Chelsea talked about Moms in Prayer International. This sounds like something that every mama who has a kiddo in school should be participating in. Love it.
• I love the idea of reading along with your big kids. My girl and I are reading Voyage of the Dawn Treader (full disclosure: it's a homeschool assignment) and Wonder together. Chelsea is reading Ready Player One with her teen son.
• I could never pull off the all-cash envelope system of Dave Ramsey, but I know he's helped so. many. people. out of debt and into financial freedom. His book Total Money Makeover is a great tool if you're in debt or need help learning to budget.
• Chelsea is a self-proclaimed podcast junkie and recommended the Relevant Podcast.
• I think Lauren Graham (ala Gilmore Girls + Parenthood) is just adorable and hilarious. I've considered reading her book, Talking As Fast As I Can, before and Chelsea's listening to the audiobook.
• Chelsea's loving "King of My Heart" by Bethel Music, and I love it, too.