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May 14, 2010

We're Asking You

From Brent

We've stuck our neck out several times to ask help for others but this time, we are asking for our family. On the counsel and encouragement of those we trust and those who have privately given graciously to our family, we are just flat out asking if you will help us finish raising the money for Abby's Wish (our next adoption).

Please don't stop reading... here's the scoop:

The Right Time

Abby is in the final months of her chemo, over two years of misery. All she's talked about during this whole ordeal is adopting her a baby brother or sister. That's where "Abby's Wish" came from. We have raised about $10K of the $25-30K needed to bring a couple of orphans to their new home.

We have an adult child moving out this week and another one in a year or so. There will be plenty of room. We're sacrificing too... garage sales, reducing our family budget, foregoing things we would normally like to do or have.

If we can finish the fundraising now, it will be 6-12 months before we would travel to get the kids. So now is the perfect time to do the final fundraising.

While we have begun our home study, we will not start the official adoption process until all the money is raised. If you start an adoption then bail out for ANY reason, those kids risk never being adopted.

Why the Fundraiser?

People honestly inquire "if you can't afford the upfront costs, can you afford more children?" No, we don't have an extra $30K sitting around for the upfront costs. That's another level of income above us.

As for "affording" more kids, having a larger family is a totally separate part of the commitment. We live a frugal life. We have a 30 year old house in a small town that I've expanded with my own two hands and lots of sweat equity. We drive 10 year old cars. We live modestly. We don't use credit cards, we have no debt other than our mortgage. We've purposely given up a lot of potential "lifestyle" because we want to invest our resources to adopt orphans. I work very hard, provide for my family and our commitment has always been:

If other people will invest with us in the upfront costs of adoption, we will invest in the long term costs, care and parenting. Both investments are equally important.

What Happens to the Donations

We have an adoption savings account. Every single penny goes directly towards the adoption expenses. Period. That's all it will be used for. We are going to adopt a baby and if the opportunity is there, we will adopt a sibling or 2nd child at the same time. Why?

Simple economics. It only costs about $5K more to adopt two kids at once rather than starting over and having to raise another $25-30K in the future and... that's what we all want. The kids love the thought.

Would You Help?

We would never directly or publicly ask for donations for selfish wants. We know it's expensive to adopt internationally and some people object to the costs. They think we shouldn't adopt "foreign" kids when there are domestic kids to adopt. To that we answer: God calls some to domestic adoption and fostering; He calls some to adopt from poor foreign countries. There are great challenges to BOTH, and you have to be committed either way. We minister to the orphans in poor third world countries. That is where God has led us. We have no other reason than that.

If you don't agree with our reasons, support our objectives, or just don't like that we've asked... then simply disagree and give us the benefit of the doubt that our motives are pure. We'll get plenty of criticism for this post, but we accept that as part of our commitment to adoption.

Please consider helping us bring home a couple of orphans to a new life. We have a large audience that we give a lot of time and ministry too. We don't ask this lightly or take you for granted. We are being as direct and honest as we know how. There is power in numbers and there is hardly an eternal reward more great than the "pure religion" of caring for orphans and widows (James 1:27).

If you will invest up front in the adoption costs, we'll invest the long term care and expense of raising these children. Together, we all will reap the eternal blessings and reward.

That's as honest and direct as we know how to be. Thanks for taking time to consider it.


Kat said...

I wish wish wish I had it all to give you. We are in the tail end of fundraising to bring our twins home from Ethiopia. PLEASE repost this in a couple of months (we will hopefully be back home by then). I wish we could help now, but will be praying that funds pour in like water (I love that phrase!). I reread the following post and I want to say thank you for answering God and not letting a child linger because it's "too expensive".

Precious 3 said...

I wish I could help. I think this is an amazing thing, for Abby, your family, and for the children you will adopt. We have been praying for Abby everyday, we will also be praying for the adoption process. I hope to hear wonderful things soon! I will pass on the word about the fundraising.

Shannon said...

I will give what I can and do anything that will help!!!!! Can I help get the word out??? Help do some creative fundraising?
Just say the word!

Marie said...

I like this post. It's straightforward and direct, and much better than "blog begging" - where someone "guest posts" on a blog to ask for money. It's much more honest to just come out and ask yourself and I respect that.

On another topic, I think it's a crime that it costs so much to adopt. A real crime. There are so many kids out there who need good homes, and so many families who would love them, but the cost just makes it impossible. I live in Australia where it's even worse. It's around $40000, and takes between 4 - 13 years. Many people age out of the system before they get a kid, and getting a baby is almost impossible. Have you considered using your blog to campaign for changes to the adoption system?

Holly said...

Brent & Michelle,
We too are working to raise funds to adopt our next child. I have been making beaded silverware sets since's been a lot of work and a LOT of money up front. Seems like just when we break even it's time to buy more supplies! :) But God is good.
Have you considered applying for any grants? I know that lots of people apply and only a few are awarded, but it's worth a shot!
I have found that in general, people seem to be more open to letting go of their money if #1 they get something in exchange or #2 they have a CHANCE at winning something.
I know it doesn't always work this way (Block family!!) general. All this to say that IF you decide to do some sort of raffle or "auction" I would love to donate some beaded pieces to help you raise some money.

The Gobble's (Lanetta) said...

praying, praying, pryaing... that God will pour the finances in.... We know EXACTLY how this feels... know that you are being wrapped in prayers... and God will provide!

Debbie said...

Brent and Michelle, I would love nothing better than to help you make Abby's wish come true, sooner rather than later. We are in the process of taking Cheyenne to Cincinnati for surgery, so we are going to have to do fundraising for that. As another commentor said...please repost this later on and hopefully, I will be able to help then.

I totally agree with you about having the up front funds to adopt is a whole different thing than being able to afford another child or two.
Praying for you all.

Sophie said...

Isn't there anything we can do as adoptive parent's to try and get these agency fees to go down in cost? the ransom to bring home children is outrageous, can we all get together and march to Washington and demand something be done? anything?

Wendi Taylor said...

I can't give financially right now. But I will do what I can to spread the word. Just ignore the naysayers - there are those who will bash anything they don't understand just because they can. You know your heart, God knows your heart, and that's what counts.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you asked. It is my privilege to give to my brother and sister in Christ in their effort to serve Him. It is such a very small thing to do compared to the YEARS of effort you will pour into these children. I sincerely hope you raise the needed funds. I'm happy to be able to help, even if it is a small bit.


waitingarms said...

please email me a p.o. box - my kiddos would like to include a personal note with a small gift towards making Abby's wish come true. They gave up their birthday presents to help Abby's wish come true (okay, mommy and daddy helped them make the decision - they are only 1 and 2 so they were none the wiser). My email address is


Michelle said...

if i can't give today, will you still be accepting donations in, say, a few weeks or even a month?

the thing is, i just gave the little extra money i have to Chrissie's family recently, to help with her medical & their living costs with her hospitalization. so i won't have any extra money for a few more weeks. when i do, i'd be happy to give it to you. it's a TINY amount compared to what you need, but the way i see it, $10 can buy a meal when you're traveling.

- michelle

Masto Mama said...

I wrote a post on my blog....if everyone did that, it would really spread the word!!

criley said...

I always like the auctions. I knit hats and would be willing to donate some if you want.

rebecca said...

hey there!
i've never commented... just wanted to say thank you for being honest about the costs... i especially agree with your point that adding a child to a family doesn't increase your day-to-day costs much... but that up-front 30k is hard for anyone to do (we have 2 bio and 1 adopted child).
i'd also like to quickly address adoption costs (because some of your commenters have made points about reducing costs) and hope you can too, at some point. i'm an adoption social worker and work for almost nothing. our agency barely gets by. to have an ethical, solid adoption experience, you want professionals to help you along the way. just as we would never expect our doctors, lawyers, car mechanics, grocery clerks, physical therapists to work for free, we can't expect our adoption professionals to work for free, either. we all have school loans, grocery bills, etc, to pay for, you know? the agency I work for literally cannot cut costs anymore. we have to pay rent for office space, computer time, operating costs, etc, and of course the very very small salaries we make. trust me, in the name of the orphan, we WANT with all of our hearts to make it as cheap as possible. but in order to actually protect children, we need to pay for the ethical practices/paperwork/lawyers/licenses that are in place.
no one really bats an eye at getting that amount of money for a car loan, you know?
i just wanted to defend the costs a little. believe me, i so wish it could be free. but to protect children from child trafficking and worse, this is what must be done, and we should pay people for their professional services.
thanks for giving me space to address this! i hope that maybe you can expound on these points, although i know they can be controversial.
best wishes to you and your beautiful family!

The Mini - Maker said...

Hi Riggs Family! First of all, lemme tell you that I am so encouraged by your family. Secondly, (not sure if you've tried this) Steven Curtis Chapman has an adoption fund called Shaohannah's Hope...they give grants to people that wanna adopt from certain third world countries. Not sure if that helps, but I thought I'd throw that out there.
I will be praying fervently for your family and Abby's Wish. I will give what I can, as soon as I can.
Much Love In Him,

Hannah said...

Every little bit helps, right? I will be praying about how God wants us to contribute. He's usually pretty good on specifics if I ask. :)



Sonia said...

I totally support your fundraising efforts!! We have two children from China and both came home through major fund raising and part time jobs and garage sales and donations, and, and, and...

Our second daughter from China has Alagille Syndrome with major unrepaired heart defects and liver problems. We don't have a lot to give, but I will give all I can. In addition, I will blog about your efforts and tweet as well. I'm always about seeing kids find homes in Christian families. Will send a link to you when the post is done.

And as another poster commented, Shaohannah's Hope is a great organization. They helped us with large grants for both of our girls.

Sonia said...

Just letting you know I posted on my blog. Link:

Marie said...

I agree that more people will give for a competition than a donation. Mckmama had a great response when she gave away an iPad, can you collect enough to invest in an iPad and raffle it off?

Suzanne said...

I can leave a very small donation. I am an adoptive parent myself (internation and domestic), and wholeheartedly support you. God Bless.
Suzanne (Wisconsin)

Colton's Journey said...

I can't give right now but what if i could give you something(s) to auction or raffle? Would you be interested in that? I'm sure there are others in a similar boat that would help out? I think your post is great. Straight forward and honest. I love what your doing and praise you highly for it!

Jessica said...

My cousin (who just finished her second adoption from Ethiopia) was able to raise a lot of money by creating cookbooks to sell. She had family / friends contribute recipes from all over the world. She found a publishing company that does these cookbooks specially for fund raising - and they were awesome to work with. Everybody was more than willing to buy one of the cookbooks - they were really easy to sell as well. I took a bunch of them with me to work and was able to sell a lot of them.
Good luck!

Penny said...

Hi Brent

I have been reading along and praying along with the ladies of our church for Abby and your family for a long time. I am excited for your adventure in adopting again!
My friend and I have a business selling hats, hair clips, sundresses, and misc. Would you be interested in us promoting a fund raiser for you? We would arrange a percentage of each sale and then each promote the fund raiser for Abby's wish.
Let me know if you would be interested....... here is the webstore link
I certainly agree the costs to get a child here is much harder to come by than the cost of keeping them. We actually did not go ahead with international adoption becuase of costs. We have 5 children now and finding an extra 30K is not easy!

Prayers for blessings higher than mountains.....


Sara at Miller Moments: said...

Brent - I am thankful for your leadership online in the Christian community and fully support what you do - and I'm so excited to see your family expand soon.

I would love to help you raise funds - and I can do that in a rather unique way. I work from home (minimally) and help other families bridge the gap with their finances. Nope - not an MLM, I don't sell anything, etc...but I WOULD love to share with you and your wife how you can earn a guaranteed $500 this month alone (or more) with very minimal time invested. Please feel free to contact me directly - as I want to leave your comments section free for others. :)

Sara @

Anonymous said...

As soon as I read this, the burning flame inside of me was ignited once again for Abby. If you listen to Klove, you
know that Mondays are "Make a Difference Monday" and I wrote about Abby on their site. I'm trying to figure out another fundraiser, racking my brain, ooooooh, can't think of anything right now. I will try my very hardest to raise more money!
Mattie Patterson

TheSooner7 said...

We hope someday to foster parent or adopt too, right now we are expecting our 6th biological child! God bless you all!

sharprod2 said...

We have friends who adopted a little boy from China. They appealed to their Facebook friends for donantions, but they cleverly divided out the total sum needed by the number of their fb friends. I wouldn't have sent them anything, but when I saw that "MY share" was only $13, I happy, easily, readily, immediately sent it to them!
As an adoptive mother and grandmother, I wish you much success!
Amy Sharp

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

I like the combined ideas of two blog commenters. One said that she could "only" give about $10, but that would buy a meal when you travel. Another said that her friend gave a specific amount and said if each FB friend donated that amount, the money would be raised.

In reality, you have 1400+ blog followers. If each blog follower gave just $10, that would raise $14,000 for you. Wow! You would almost be at your goal of $20,000, if we could all add $14,000 to what you already have.

Maybe you should throw that idea out to everyone. I think some of us just think, "I wish I had $100 to give." But, how many of us could give up a couple of coffee shop visits, or a fast food meal? I could.

Maybe give a creative list of all the things that we might be spending $10 on ... and ask if it isn't worth that same $10 to give a child a forever family.

Praying that God provides for you in His AMAZING ways!!!


Jenny said...

I donated and I wasn't going to leave a comment but then I decided to leave a comment that might encourage others to give a little. You see, I almost didn't donate because I could only give you $10. I honestly almost didn't click on the PayPal link because I felt it would be insignificant. But then I realize, if each of your "followers" gave $10, you would have $14,000 and be almost where you need to be. So I decided to comment to say that small amounts can help if large amounts of people do it. So I encourage your readers to give $10 or even $5 if that's what they can do. It will add up to more. Good luck and God Bless.

Becky said...

I'm with Jenny. I wasn't going to donate, because I simply don't have the money. But I donated $5 because I'll happily give up a few 'extras' in order to help. I hope lots of people can donate a few dollars here and there. When I have more, I'll give another 5. I'm all for adoption, I hope it's in my future too. Good luck!

Vanilla Comfort said...

I found your blog by chance. I did a google search for "cluster of tiny bruises" (I have this on my thigh) and a post about Abby in 2008 came up. At the end of the post there was something asking the reader to share the post on their social networking site, so I posted it on Facebook. I rarely post there but I have a lot of friends so hopefully people will see it. I only recently "came-back" to Christ, I guess you would say. My OWN CURE FROM CANCER AT age 25 and blessing of my first and only child a few months later prompted this. Anyways, after reading your blog for a few posts I happened to see about Abby's Wish but the post was over a year old, and then I saw this and donated. I thought for sure you would have your child home already and it makes me so sad you don't. I want to do whatever I can to help Abby's Wish come true. Both of them. I will pray for her health and that you bring home your children soon. Please accept my small donation and offer of prayer and support. If there is ANYTHING else I can do, please ask! I suggest checking out the cloth diapering community. I've cloth diapered my son since birth and the mamas on and are usually more than happy to help raise funds for adoptions! I would love to donate some diapers, handknits and yarn for your cause! Lisa (

Holly said...

I just saw on the Patterson's blog that in lieu of flowers for Princess Chrissie, they are asking for donations for RR (Reece's Rainbow) and to Abby's wish!
Oh how my heart fell when I read Lorraine's words that Chrissie was dancing with Jesus. It is such a strange feeling...such sorrow and yet joy. WE are the ones left behind. Chrissie is in the presence of our Savior!!
Praying that the Lord continues to make a way for you all and especially Abby.

Megs said...

I am a student living off of loans and didn't think I had it in my budget to donate. How silly (or foolish!) of me -- it just took me a few days to realize that! :) I make this donation in gratitude for your family's commitment to bringing children home and loving them unconditionally. This donation is also made in memory of beautiful Chrissy Patterson, while my heart is sad for her Earthly family, she must be having quite the ball with Jesus and the angels.

I will continue to Keep Abby, your family and the Pattersons in my thoughts and prayers.


Anonymous said...

I will donate $10 as well (and I'm not one of your "followers" so it's a bonus $10!) in Chrissie's memory. I found her blog through you so, while Reece's Rainbow really touches my heart, I do find this fitting. I was wondering if you have decided what country you'll adopt from? Have you considered one or two of the Reece's Rainbow children? Their stories are heartbreaking. Their are some new waiting kids posted recently where the children are clearly drugged (at an orphanage known for doing such) and it absolutely breaks my heart.