Friday, May 3, 2013

The Sparrow Fund - Building the Nest 2013

        When I started this blog, I really intended it for our small family of four.  Seeing as I forget just about everything, and feel that many of my memories are more vague than they should be at my age, I thought this would be the perfect way for me to keep the entire journey detailed in one place.  I also had been told you could have blogs turned into a book, so I figured it'd be something that Levi could have in the future if he so desired.  As time went on, it became helpful to share the happenings of our journey with friends and family all over the country who we aren't able to connect with as often as we'd like.  Here and there I'd see someone at a function, or just in a store who would comment that they were following our blog.....really?  I've always loved to write, but obsess over things being too perfect and was never a fan of other human beings actually reading what I wrote.  So I decided from day one that I would just write what was on my heart and mind and leave it at that (hence the many grammatical errors and sometimes repetitive-ness, yes and made up words).  I am grateful for the many that have come along for this journey, in so many ways, but also through reading this blog.  I know it has nothing to do with us, and has everything to do with God wanting his glory to be shown through HIS work, but I'm grateful for all who have followed nonetheless.  This has opened so many doors and so many of you have reached out to us and supported us beyond what we ever imagined, as a result.

        All that to say, I don't intend to use this as a platform for sharing every adoption agency, organization and group's efforts and seeking your help and support.  There are so many great ways to advocate for orphans and it is a personal decision.  I am sharing the following on my blog, as an exception, because it is close to our hearts.  The Sparrow Fund is a wonderful organization that a couple started to help adoptive families.  A brief description of their story is below, and we are so thankful for them!  We applied for a Sparrow Fund grant early on in our journey, which would cover the costs of working with a doctor specializing in international adoption.  This is highly recommended, and a huge help in understanding the Russian medical descriptions as they are often very different and sometimes misleading.  We were so grateful  to be recipients of this grant.  Furthermore, when news of the ban hit, this couple took the time to reach out to us and see how we were being impacted.  They are truly a blessing to so many families and we are happy to share a little of their story and how you can be a part of what they do!  So, apparently I'm incredibly long-winded this evening.....on to "Building The Nest 2013"......

Have you ever considered adopting? Simply looking at the stats, about a third of you have. About 30% of Americans have seriously considered adopting. Yet, only 2% have actually adopted. That means that of those who say they've seriously considered adopting, 14 out of 15 don’t ever do it.

Why not? Well, it’s daunting—the financial cost, the impact this child will have on your family, the unknowns…so many unknowns. It’s no easy thing. We get that, because it was daunting for us.

As we walked that road ourselves and alongside other families like ours, we saw a need. That 2% of families who were taking that leap of faith to bring a child into their family through adoption—they needed more support. So, we took the leap of faith ourselves to do whatever we could to do just that.

Two years ago, The Sparrow Fund was started to give grants to families specifically for the purpose of family support through programs around the country that provide preadoption support and counsel, on-call support for families while they travel across the world to meet their children and bring them home, and support once they are home to help both the parents, new son or daughter, and family as a whole become a family.

Recognizing more need, we added programs to encourage and support families from those waiting to meet their children to those who have been home for years. We’ve helped families learn about the unique needs of children who have been adopted in the classroom and how to use correction as a vehicle of connection with their children in a way that is sensitive to them and their histories. And, we offered a weekend retreat for couples to be reminded of their calling as parents and refreshed to continue serving their children.

We’re not interested in growing the number of families adopting; that’s not our focus. Rather, our focus is on pouring into that 2% who are adopting; we want to love and serve them and do whatever we can to make the daunting a little less daunting. And, maybe, just maybe, as the daunting becomes less daunting and the support available becomes more readily available, we’ll see more of those families who have seriously considered adopting say, “maybe we can do this after all.”

There’s something special happening this month. A whole bunch of folks are now coming alongside of us, saying, “Yes, we support adoptive families and the work of The Sparrow Fund to pour into them. And, we want to help.” This May, in our third annual fundraiser, about 50 businesses have made a commitment to help us build the nest so that we can help others as they build their nests. In addition to event sponsors, these business partners have made the commitment to give 10% of their total sales during the month of May to The Sparrow Fund so that we can do what we do.

That’s where you come in. We need you to click here to see all the businesses and then we need you to shop purposefully. There’s really no better way to shop. Share the link with your friends. Let people know about this easy and fun way to help! Together, we can make that 10% something crazy big.

Forever changed by our experience of being adopted and adopting, Kelly Raudenbush is a stay-at-home mom/manager to 4 children and a professional juggler, juggling her calling as wife and mother with her secondary callings (editing and serving adoptive families through The Sparrow Fund). You can learn more about their adoption story, how they've been changed, and what life for them looks like on their personal blog (where she's going to have some super sweet giveaways this month, by the way).


  1. We are so thankful for you sharing about The Sparrow Fund and count it a real joy and privilege to have served your family!

  2. Thanks so much Kelly! We're so happy to hopefully help you at least a small amount in return!