What do you say to people who think we should take all the money spent on international adoptions and instead invest it into the countries from which the children are being adopted?
Nicaragua has a strong desire to move kids out of the orphanages and into permanent homes. They recognize the value, but don’t yet have the resources or wherewithal to make it work. The bulk of the citizens are barely making ends meet as it is, living on a few dollars a day in the poorest Spanish-speaking country in the world, and can not even fathom taking in another mouth to feed.
The widespread poverty, rampant sexual immorality, and high rate of drug/alcohol addiction ultimately cause Nicaragua to be struggling with a culture that is broken. No amount of money can truly change the hearts of people who have been entrenched in this broken culture for their entire lives. While there are many missionaries and social service projects aimed at correcting those ailments, it might take decades to see a great change. And in the meantime, there is an entire generation of children growing up without the love, guidance, and values needed to grow into successful adults.
We believe Nicaragua desperately needs foreigners to adopt its orphans, and to break this cycle, if it ever will begin to turn the tide and give more of these children permanent families within its own borders.
People have adopted from Nicaragua before this ministry existed, so why do you think it is so necessary?
Before there was anyone dedicated to serving these families, they definitely had significant challenges threatening to disrupt the adoption before it was even finalized. Often, families lived in team housing on the property of private orphanages. This created a whole slew of problems when the children went back and forth between the orphan care workers and the adopting parents, sometimes playing one off the other and rarely bonding well. Or, they lived in hotel rooms for months on end! Can you imagine? If they did rent an apartment, it rarely came with sheets, towels, and other household items, so they either had to lug it all from home or purchase new here. But without an easy “all-in-one” store like Target or WalMart, purchasing everything you need to set up a home is expensive and time-consuming.
What happens without a ministry for adoption care is that families barely survive the fostering period. Instead of being able to focus on bonding with their new kids, parents are stressed to the breaking point simply trying to maintain some semblance of a home.
But it doesn’t have to be this way… we can provide the help they need to not only make it through this fostering period in one piece, but to thrive and bond in priceless ways.
Can’t adopting families pay for their own expenses? Why are you asking for donations to cover the cost of things like their transportation?
Well, have you seen the cost of the average international adoption these days? No, seriously. Families are spending tens of thousands of dollars to provide a forever family for the world’s orphans. What they are offering is priceless, and yet it does cost a lot. We believe that if a family is willing to care for a child for a lifetime, the very least we can do is to support and serve them during the critical in-country period of the adoption. If that means we offer secure a long-term lease in order to offer them discounted housing, or provide a vehicle and driver to help out with one of the most challenging and expensive aspects of living in Nicaragua… what a wonderful way to lighten their load a bit! We can not out-give God.
Previously you talked about funding a guesthouse in Managua, what happened to that idea?
When we first started fundraising for this ministry, we planned to raise $5000/month to run a guesthouse for adopting families. Over the summer of 2014, God prompted us to reconsider the longer-term sustainability of this plan. After much pray and wise counsel, we decided we could be better stewards of God’s provision by redirecting our funding a bit. This involved three specific changes:
- A move from funding and running a guesthouse to primarily funding a missionary whose job is to serve adopting families.
- This causes the monthly funding goal to reduce from $5000 to $2500.
- Instead of sharing space in a larger home, adopting families will each have their own apartment unit, and pay for only their own family’s expenses in that unit. However, FIT Nicaragua will secure, furnish, and prepare as many units as our overflow funding allows, so families have minimal in-country housing costs.
In addition, the lowered overhead allows us to focus less on the security and maintenance of a building, and more on the relationships with and well-being of the adopting families.
Note: the change in living location does not affect the transportation services of FIT. We will still maintain a 12-passenger van and full-time driver for adopting families to use at minimal cost.