I have debated doing this post for a few days now.
When we first started the adoption process I must have read 100 or more blogs. I was "friending" other adoptive mamas on facebook and creating a community of like minded people.
On occasion I would read a blog or a post about a family going on vacation or making a large purchase and I would wonder, how can they do that while trying to save for an adoption? I would judge. I would assume they had tons of money. I was being human...but wrong.
Many of you saw my facebook post a few days ago about buying a new vehicle. Some of you may have even looked up this vehicle (because it is unique and you were just curious) and saw that it is not cheap. Some of you may have wondered how we are doing this. Some of you may have even thought, "is this where my money is going that I have donated to this family?" Now, I could be wrong about all of this but the truth is, we are all human.
My first thought was that it was not any of your business. Then I realized that is not entirely true. In the past year and a half we have done fundraisers and asked for you donations. Right now, our finances are your business. So, let me tell you a little about our decision.
My husband and I have been discussing vehicles since we started the adoption process. Once we decided to adopt siblings we realized that a 12 or 15 passenger van was probably in our future. We had been researching Chevy's and Ford's for a very long time. Comparing prices, safety features, and other options. My husband is in the military so he has seen many large passenger vans. He was less than thrilled with the idea of owning one. He agreed that it would be nice to have the space but just didn't like the vans. We discussed large SUV's. I had been researching on Craigslist here and in the different states that we may get stationed when we leave here. We planned to buy an older used van and hopefully pay cash. One day, as I was browsing Craigslist for the umpteenth time, I came across a vehicle that looked kind of like an SUV. I started just to scroll by it when I saw the words 12 PASSENGER underneath. I clicked on the picture and saw a Nissan NV 12 passenger van. I googled this van and showed my husband that night. He was very impressed and actually excited about this prospect. The only negative...it is a new vehicle. We didn't have the option to buy used. We discussed, researched, test drove, discussed more. After a few weeks we decided this was the best option for our family.
Now for the financial part. Currently we have an older Chevy minivan that we bought here in Hawaii. We also had a Dodge Durango that we bought a few years ago and regretted doing so shortly after. We were still paying on the Durango and it wouldn't even fit our family once our Ghana kids come home. So, we traded it in. We did not have a down payment (due to every extra penny going towards the adoption). We were able to get 100% financing, our Durango paid off, and keep our payments in an affordable range. We are also quite fortunate, due to being military, that we can get a waiver of sorts for the registration fee. So rather than almost $500 we only pay $25. So, as you can see, very little out of pocket expense and once the adoption is paid we plan to make large payments to get this vehicle paid off ASAP.
Rest assured that any money donated to us goes to adoption related fees. We wouldn't dream of using it for other purposes. And, quite honestly, life must go on. I don't think families should completely drop everything in order to adopt.
Hope this clears up any questions some of you may have had. Now, if you are in the market for a passenger van, stay tuned. I plan to write a review about our vehicle very soon!