With the cost of a domestic infant adoption hovering around $30,000, couples often feel stretched financially to make it work. In recognition of that need, Faith Christian Reformed Church in Tinley Park, Ill., has created an adoption assistance fund to help couples with the cost.
A young couple in the church, Jason and Marcie Uelman, served as the catalyst for the initiative. Their efforts to conceive included five unsuccessful in-vitro fertilizations over a span of three years.
Jason and Marcie Uelman are in the process of adoption.
“After some grieving and healing,” Marcie said, “we felt our desire to be parents did not go away—it really only grew stronger. We felt God lead us to adopt. He closed the door on us having biological children but did not close the door on us having children. Adoption, however, is extremely costly.”
The Uelmans approached their elder, Sandee DeJong, to see whether Faith CRC’s benevolence fund might be able to cover their home-study fee. While the church was willing to help, a fundraiser was suggested as an alternative. Church members enthusiastically embraced the idea, and near the end of May they held a dinner and silent auction, attended by nearly 150 people. The benefit raised more than $5,000.
“Their desire to have a home for a child, a Christian home, is so strong,” DeJong said of the Uelmans, who are currently waiting for the state to come back with their background checks.
While the Uelmans will be the first to benefit from this fund, the goal, DeJong said, is for more couples to take advantage of it in the future—perhaps even spurring consideration of adoption those by those who now think it too costly. The church plans to host more benefits down the road.
“Jason and I think it’s wonderful that, hopefully, somewhere down the road someone else could benefit from it,” Marcie said. “It brought tears to both of our eyes to see our church come together and do something that was for the fund and for us.”