Sunday, September 13, 2009

Money from a birth mothers perspective!

Ive wanted to post about this for a while. I am trying to blog about every aspect of the adoption from my point of view as I can in hopes it will help others through their journey.

Money...when you put the word money and adoption together...most people just cringe. I know I do now.

I never thought about money when I first decided on adoption. From a personal standpoint...I was OK. I had a good job, made plenty of money to support my children, and had medical insurance to cover all my medical expenses. Beyond that, money didn't cross my mind. I thought Id pick the parents, have the baby, hand him over, and wala, everything will be fine. Boy was I wrong.

Things took a drastic turn for me during my pregnancy with Ty. I made my money by babysitting out of my home. When I got pregnant "out of wedlock," the family I worked for fired me because I was immoral, and I was left with nothing. The birth father owed me money, and refused to pay me so I knew he was going to be no help, and with me so pregnant I didn't see any chance at getting a job.

Before I got fired, and I was comfortable financially, the agency would regularly ask me if I was OK financially and I would tell them that I was fine but if anything came up I would let them know. I was told by my case worker early on that she could get me anything I needed, including 300 dollars worth of maternity clothes, money for food, and if needed, I could request that ALL my rent be paid each month up until a month after the baby was born. I was appalled. (remember I'm just being honest about what I felt) I didn't know EXACTLY how much this adoption was costing B and R but I knew it was up near 20,000 and so in my mind, for me to ask for anything from them was just not going to happen. In fact, I posted this blog here, and talked about how I would "never" ask R and B for extra money. So when I lost my job and wasn't sure what area to turn to I felt forced to talk to Rebekah about this. She was so sweet and told me that if I need anything then they would be happy to help me out. There was no way I was going to ask for ALL of my rent...that's near eight hundred dollars a month and really I didn't need all of my rent paid (child support covered a bit of it) I just need a small bit of money to get me through the rest of the pregnancy. Everything had to go through the agency so I told my case worker how much I thought I needed and they again told me that it would be OK if I wanted ALL my rent paid. They said that some girls (birth moms) don't need the money for the rent but they take it anyway and put it into savings for after baby was born. My thoughts were "I would really like R and B to be able to have some money left over to RAISE my son, thank you very much." SHEESH!!! Its bad enough that they are being robbed(IMO)of precious money just to get a baby, what happens to people after baby comes home and they are just leaked dry financially. Its maddening.

I don't really know where I am going with this. I just remember the money thing being a HUGE stress for me. I remember the agency presenting these options to me as if they were free to me...and maybe they were free to me but they were not free to R and B and that really stressed me out. I understand that I was giving my baby away and that it was OK for me to accept things in order for the pregnancy to go smoothly and I in no way want to discourage other birth moms from taking what they need from their adoptive parents...I am just saying that in my situation, I really felt a weirdness about the whole thing. Maybe it was because I was so close to Rebekah and Ben, maybe it was because I wasn't prepared for all that was involved...I'm not sure.

At one point I had to sign a paper stating that if I did accept any help financially that if I changed my mind in the end, then I would be responsible to pay back all moneys given to me. That scared me...not because I was going to change my mind, but because I had NO idea how the end would turn out with the birth father. It was so scary to me NOT to really know how it was all going to go. I didn't have any other options as far as taking the money each month, but I knew that if anything bad happened and I had to come home with a baby because the birth father was a jerk, I could never pay that money back. I hated the thought of hurting anybody. Can I just tell you I was STRESSED out? LOL

Thank God everything turned out good. I still hate that I said here that I would never take any money and then later had to EAT my words. (sigh) But I think, because of the way it turned out, everything is OK.

The reason I blogged about this was to give my perspective on this area of adoption. I should have been open to the help when needed and let my guilt fade away. I should have not spoken to soon about never taking help and just let things go as they needed to. Sometimes I have a hard time asking for help and I let it show. So there you have it.
On a side note. Can I just say that I am OVERWHELMED? This single mom thing is really really hard. I'm in tears tonight thinking about how on earth I am going to make all of this work, and Im not talking about money. I need some cyber hugs tonight for sure. I also want to say I am sorry for not leaving comments on all your blogs. I do read them and you are all so important to me and have been there for me through so much. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Britney said...

I love you, Rebekah!!! Lots and lots of cyber hugs!

The money thing was kinda weird for me, too. I didn't have much in the way of medical expenses to be covered, so I did get some help toward the end with groceries/supplies for after the birth/OTC meds/etc.

And they obviously paid for all the pumping supplies... but, that's a horse of a different color :) I always wondered what people around thought when we exchanged coolers and he handed me money... oh, well!

Anonymous said...

Huge huge huge cyber hugs. We are all overwhelmed at times sweetie. Always remember "this too shall pass" ♥

Paulette said...

((HUGS))... so sorry that you have to go through this parenting alone. It is hard with two parents at home. My prayers are with you.

M/J Granata said...

Dear Rebekah... I can't imagine what you went through... and what you are currently going through.

"Money" always get in the way. There is such a fine line when it comes to money and adoption... If you need the money,as a birth mother, you need to be provided with it so that you can remain healthy and comfortable, especially during your pregnancy You were very sweet and honest to only ask for that which you needed. I am sure R and B understood when you needed to ask for a little bit more...

I don't understand how money gets in the way with adoption. Some agencies are ridiculous... and they only give the birth mothers very little and pocket the rest (advertising, etc...). The most important thing in my eyes, is the birth mother... not the agency and all of the extras.

I am sending you tons of hugs! I will pray for you today! You are so special. I know God is so proud of you. I will be lifting you up today!

Love and blessings...

Jen said...

Sending you huge hugs Rebekah!! You are a strong woman and wonderful mother. Thank you for sharing your story here, I'm sure you help more people than you realize :D

Andi-bo-bandi said...

They seriously were going to make you sign something that said you would pay it back if you didn't place?! THAT is immoral. Not you! Geesh.

Stay strong, girl! God is on your side. ;-)

Kel said...

Big hugs Rebekah. You are a wonderful mom, and I respect your integrity.

Hang in there!

Leah said...

Cyber hug coming your way. :-D

I'm sorry at how judgmental the family you were babysitting was. That is really disheartening to hear. :-(

I'm so happy things worked out for you, and I can only imagine how hard it must have been to eat your words, but R and B obviously understand.

Mandy and Jack said...

I'll give you some cyber love!!

Every time I read anything from you or Rebeckah, I'm blown away by how much God has used you to change one anothers' lives. It gives me hope in a world where people aren't good to one another any more. You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you! I'll be praying!

Also, I really am working on your blog design. Really. I am. Thanks for your patience on that! :)

Rebekah said...

Love you. That's all I can say. Hang in there!

the Spocks said...

Hugs. Have a great day and a great week!

Deb said...

You are an honest, righteous, integrity-filled woman. I believe in you. Hang in there, kids can be maddening. How about mandatory early bedtimes tonight so mommy can take a breather in quiet?? Wish I could help. I would.

Pam said...

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!!!!!! I love reading yours.

Doula Mama

Chaukie said...

Thanks for the comment.

I have spent some time reading through your blog. As an adoptive parent, it was interesting to read. Thanks for sharing.

I'm following you now.

LL said...

I have never had an issue with paying birth mom expenses as long as they were reasonable. And I don't think the birthmom should be expected to pay it back if she chooses to parent. Unless it is obvious that it was outright fraud, which I honestly don't believe is the intention of most birthmoms.

I think that adoptive parents need to decide and really decide what amount they are comfortable with paying and perhaps losing. And if it an amount that would put a bad strain on them financailly then they shouldn't do it.

With our failed match the mom said that she would repay us the money. It was minimal (@$1600) what were we gonna do-take money out of her pocket that could be used for the care of her son, just so our wallet could feel heavier? Nope, not necessary.

Anyway, you have a heart of gold! And everything worked out just like it was meant to!

~Katie said...

Girl, I know I say this all the time to you... but could you be any more honest, and perfect. B and R anre the luckiest people in the world for having YOU and Tye!! Zac's birth mother was asically trying to SELL him. She wanted all she could get. We also had already forked over 20K and counting. We are not financially blessed and this took EVERYTHING we had. All we wanted was to be parents. She even asked us to buy her a MINI VAN!!! HUH? I drive a junker around and you want a mini van? We walked away - we walked away several times. This breaks my heart now b/c it means I wouldn't have had my Zachy, but God interevened. Changed her heart, and in turn blessed us with the most beautiful baby boy in the world (along with baby Tye of course :) One day I WILL get this all out on my blog. Finding time is hard! I don't know how you do the single mom thing, but you sure do a hell of a job at it! Keep it up! Thinking and praying for you always!!