Friday, October 12, 2012

The Truth About the Adoption Fund

More about this at the end of the post, but can I just get something off my chest that I've been dying to share?! 

We've decided it's time for us to adopt!!!

When we started Scarlet Threads, we were living in China and working at a private foster home that provided medical care for orphaned children.  These children sometimes had medical files 6 inches thick, the complexity of their conditions only overshadowed by the miracle of their survival.

And those 6" thick files?

Sometimes they were abandoned with them.

Let me just stop and let that sink in.  It's worth saying again.  

Sometimes they were abandoned with their medical files. 

Do you understand what that means?

Sometimes a family doesn't abandon a child because they weren't wanted; sometimes it is because they want them to survive.

As I've observed far too often, it's easy to vilify parents who abandon their children, but if I had to choose between leaving my daughter on the steps of a hospital so that she might have a chance to receive the surgery she needed but that I couldn't afford or watching her die before my eyes, I'm fairly certain I know what I'd choose.  And I don't think I'd be a villain for it.  I think I'd be a victim, too.

I tell you all this to explain that at the very, very core of Scarlet Threads is a desire to provide dignified and safe economic opportunities for families who might need to pay their child's school tuition or maybe even pay for their medical care.  I firmly believe that if we could prevent even a single child from ever becoming an orphan, we'd be a smashing success.

But there are still children who are already orphaned... who through the nature of the system will unfortunately never be reunited with their birth families.  And the only thing as tragic as being abandoned in the first place is never knowing the love of a family.  Becoming an orphan is a tragedy.  Adoption is a redemptive response to a tragedy. 

While adoption and orphan care have always been close to our hearts, we haven't integrated that with the mission of Scarlet Threads before.  But we've decided it is time.  Scarlet Threads has launched a couple of new initiatives to personally respond to the orphan crisis.  We have started a fundraising program whereby people can sell Scarlet Threads products and raise money for their adoption, and we've launched Scarlet Scraps, a delightful line of beautiful bits and pieces with 100% of the proceeds going into an adoption grant fund.

And just today we've added a few items to the Scarlet Scraps line that aren't made in China... instead, they're from here in the USA - hairbows for starters!  (And more unique creations are coming!)  They may not be made by rural women in Asia (instead they're made by me!), but 100 percent of the proceeds will still go to the Scarlet Scraps Adoption Fund.

But I gotta tell the whole story... be completely up-front and real.  I've felt kinda funny talking about it just in vague terms the last couple of weeks, and my heart is bursting with excitement. 

I've talked with my fellow ST co-laborers, and we've agreed that our family will be the first beneficiary of the Scarlet Scraps Fund.

We are doing everything we can to save like crazy so that we can start the adoption process from China, hopefully sometime in the first part of 2013.  We don't want to go into debt to adopt, and it costs at least $26,000.  We've seriously adjusted our budget so that we can save a good chunk of that over the next 2 years, but if we're able to raise $5,000 by the first of the year, we could get started much sooner than we anticipate.  (I'll be honest... That seems like an impossible goal, but I'm just putting it out there.)

This picture makes my heart beat a little faster.  My little blonde girl with a raven-haired-sister-of-the-heart. This is a friend's little girl, but when I see this picture I feel like it is a promise for me to hold onto... a promise of what is to come.  I can't wait to meet my next little one, and I want to do everything I can to get him/her home.  When you purchase a Scarlet Scraps product, you are partnering with our family to make this very personal dream a reality.  (Or in the event that you don't want any more "stuff" but still want to be a part of building this fund, there's a ChipIn widget over there to the right where you can contribute.  100% of your contribution goes to the adoption fund.)

Our hope is that Scarlet Scraps won't just help us.  We may be the first, but we want Scarlet Threads to continue to expand and the fund to continue to grow... wouldn't it be amazing if we helped another family bring home their child?  Or what if it were 10?  And as Scarlet Threads grows, we also help our partner artisans meet their children's needs in a way they otherwise would have been unable to do.  I have big dreams for Scarlet Threads and feel like we're just at the very beginning of an incredible journey... in more ways than one.


  1. Congratulations on making this huge leap of faith. I have four from China (three boys and one girl), all special needs. I don't have proof, just a feeling in my heart, a couple of them were greatly loved for sure by their birth families, and that their birth parents were victims of the system in which they live. They wanted healthcare for their children, and more hope for a future. I think that's why I like your vision for Scarlet Threads so much.

    You should put a "donate" button on your blog as well. Some of us might want to just give without necessarily receiving. OK?

  2. That is so wonderful! VERY VERY HAPPY for your family and Scarlet Threads and the families and kids out there who will benefit!!

  3. @Kimberlie, Thank you! And we took your advice and linked the ChipIn box here, too. It's on the right column of the blog. I'm so glad as an adoptive mama you recognize that your child's birth parents loved them... I think that attitude will undoubtedly impact your children and color their own perspective of their biological family, ultimately in positive ways. (Not that it makes hard questions go away...)

    @Joan, thank you for your excitement and enthusiasm!! It seems like confirmation that we're moving in the right direction (as an organization, I mean) when people can really get behind it!!! :)

  4. praying it goes faster than you are anticipating! I will put the Scarlet Threads button on my blog right now :)

  5. Best of luck to you and your family on this journey. Hoping that you get good news faster than anticipated!