A Family Story: “Please Let Me Be a Part of Your Story”
God has called you to adopt so He will provide the finances, right? Certainly. But it doesn't always come the way we expect. Many times, God wants to use others.
America World family, Matt & Melanie Hendricks, share some great insight into their adoption fundraising experiences and how God is using others to be part of their adoption journey.
When my husband and I began our adoption journey we were of the mindset that if God had called us to adopt, then He had also called us to solely cover the expenses of the process. So when friends and family would ask how they can support us we were almost awkward with our responses. My heart changed with an honest conversation where a sweet friend told me how much she loved adoption, but that she knew it was something that she would never get to experience fully. She ended our conversation with, “Please let me be a part of your story.” And it was with that one simple line, I realized that though our intentions of doing this on our own were not bad, we were denying people the opportunity to be a direct part of our son’s story, and even more so we were denying God the glory and credit by thinking we could do this on our own. So when another America World Adoption (AWAA) family so graciously asked if they could do their annual benefit to support our adoption we said yes.
Fall Festival is and annual event that started as a community outreach through a local church. After several years of the church hosting the event they realized it wasn’t necessarily reaching out and meeting the needs of the community the way they wanted and they were going to try something different. Instead of the event just stopping, it evolved in a beautiful way when Matt and Elizabeth Bertsch decided they would continue to host the event at their home as a benefit to a local family either adopting or going into mission work. Every fall they open their home and give of their time and talents to bless others.
This year the event included a hog roast, chili soup, caramel apples, homemade caramel corn, and all those delicious fall foods that we crave as it starts to get cold. There were hay rides, barrel train rides, games galore, and a huge inflatable obstacle course that both kids and adults could race through. A local photographer set up to take family photos, and donated proceeds. Another adoptive family brought their pony and gave pony rides, which was a huge hit! The event is a low pressure free will donation which gives families the relaxed opportunity to come have fun together for as long as they like.
I have always known that we live in an incredibly supportive community, but to be on the receiving end is simply overwhelming. We estimated that over 500 people attended this year’s Fall Festival. We were blessed by hugs from friends and family, encouragement from other adoptive families, and prayers from complete strangers. We were also blessed with enough financial support to cover almost all of our travel expenses. This is a HUGE blessing because we thought the process of our adoption would take a long time and we could work hard enough and save enough to do it on our own, but God knew that our son was going to need us long before then. And He is teaching us so much through this process, His perfect timing is always better than our planning, and His provisions are more than our needs that we didn’t even know we had. Fall Festival will forever hold special meaning to our family; we can’t wait to get to bring our son with us next year, and be able to give back by blessing another family.
– Melanie Hendricks
America World Mom
We have heard amazing stories over the years of how God has provided the financial means for America World families to fill the call to adopt. There is a great deal of help out there for adoptive families to lessen (or eliminate) the expenses. From the Adoption Tax Credit to grants, from employer adoption benefits to fundraisers, these resources can make a big difference! Be sure to check out our Financial Resources page for ideas.