Thursday, March 12, 2009

Money Matters

When it really came down to making my decision, the main thing that worried me was finances. Not having money to raise a child was a very scary prospect. I kept imagining my future kid, dressed in rags, eating at McDonald's every night.

But it was hard to let money be the ONLY factor causing me to choose adoption because my family -- and extended family -- is fairly well-off. It wasn't as if my family didn't have resources. It just didn't seem right to conclude that we couldn't afford another baby.

I have now realized that it still matters most whether _I_ can afford something. Because really, I've always provided for the majority of her costs. Maybe other families are different, but it's not like I can ask for money from my family. And it's not like they've been offering me money over the years.

But back to The Decision... At first, I had to deal with the immediate costs, like medical insurance and hospital fees. After I became pregnant, I was able to continue my student health coverage to last until June, so all of my OB/GYN visits and her delivery were covered.

Some very generous women at my church threw me a baby shower. My friends threw me one as well. I was able to amass the baby paraphernalia I needed for the first six months.

After I had my baby, I moved in with my aunt in my hometown for several months, before finding a job and moving out to an apartment. Since then, we've hopped around apartments, always small 1 bedrooms.

I was on WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) for her first year, which provided free formula and some grocery items. She's had state-funded health insurance, on-and-off.

For the first five years, my mom helped me financially with rent money here and there. I also inherited some money when my grandparents died a few years ago. Both of those things really made it possible for me to survive financially.

When my baby turned two, I went to grad school for two years, taking out loans to pay for that. Now I am steadily employed as a teacher and can pretty much make ends meet without financial help at all.

We don't have many luxuries, but we haven't lived a deprived life. Opportunities pop up for us to attend fancy events. We've traveled a bit on the East Coast and through California. My mother pays for our plane tickets whenever we visit her.

And, my daughter has never had to wear rags. Over the years, she's worn hand-me-down clothes and new clothes and fancy dresses from Nana... but never the rag of my imagination.

And, we only eat at McDonald's a few times a year. So, all-in-all, I am thankful that it has worked out financially. At the rate I'm going, I will never be rich. But I am "rich" in love from her.

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