“Buy pajamas. Build families.”
This would be the slogan for a beautiful little operation called Joeys for Kids.
Not to be confused with my operation, because despite that being my daughter and me in that sweet little photo above, I am not the brains behind this life-changing movement. The creator would be my sister-in-law, Lindsey, who is married to my brother, Jon. They’re a huge part of our lives, and Selah and I consider ourselves blessed to get to be just a part of what’s currently happening with Joeys.
Nearly a year ago, Lindsey and Jon let our little family in on a secret that they were about to head down the adventurous path of starting a company that would set out to change the game for adoptive families. This idea would involve some really adorable, and one-of-a-kind pajamas that would eventually be sold, and a part of the profits given to help families in the adoption process with a variety of adoption expenses. It’s been almost a year since we first heard mention of Joeys, and as a close bystander, I can say that I’ve seen with my own eyes the love, sweat, and tears that have been poured into this operation. It has been a labor of love that has no motive of fame or other vain intention, but one that reeks only of compassion, generosity, and a desire to see the fatherless placed in families, and those families taken care of financially through the adoption process.
It’s something that hits very close to home, obviously. As an adoptive parent, I can attest to the financial obstacles that the adoption process can present. When Jeremy and I set out on our journey to Selah, we did not have thousands upon thousands of dollars that would be demanded of us to complete each step of arduous requirements. We did what we could with what we had, but when you’re facing upwards of $25,000 (sometimes more or less), ‘doing what you can with what you have’ doesn’t go very far. And so many families like ours find themselves turning outward, embracing vulnerability, and leaning on the support of community to donate and help raise funds to pay the extensive costs.
We did a variety of fundraisers, and we were so fortunate to have an army of people around us who selflessly gave so that we could adopt. We took it one step at a time, and we gave it all that we had, but even still we found ourselves with a mountain in front of us that still needed to be paid at the time when Selah was placed with us. Our process happened, and it happened unusually fast. The whole thing was about ten months long from the start, to when we brought our baby home. Finalization quickly approached, too, and by that time, all expenses had to be paid in full to our adoption agency before the court would make things legally official. We tried some last ditch efforts to raise funds, including sending out countless applications for grants, but we just could not make it to being 100% funded in our adoption process before our court hearing. So we took out a secured loan to cover the rest of the costs. And to keep with the theme of vulnerability, I will say that Selah is almost four years old and we are still paying on that loan.
I’ve heard a lot of adoption stories, so I know that each one is unique to how they come to be, and how they are funded, and the timelines and durations… and ours was no exception. But we’re just ONE family that has been financially affected by the cost of adoption. Community support is vital. Family support is crucial. Fundraising is helpful. And there are so many creative ways to fund adoption expenses. But speaking from experience, I know that sometimes things just happen. And some things happen in ways that leave many families, like ours, digging their way out of debt. We don’t regret a thing. And we sincerely believe that there is no cost too high when it comes to adoption… But I will tell ya – I get so excited over businesses like Joeys for Kids.
My brother and sister-in-law were front and center through our adoption journey. The description I just gave you is the short version. But they saw the ups and downs. They offered their hands to serve us through advocating for us and spreading the word when we needed help with funding. They prayed with us while we waited, and when we were denied by grant organizations, and when we weren’t sure if we’d get to keep Selah, and when we struggled to pay our balance in full. They saw. And they know. And it sparked something inside of them.
So while I recall the last year and the unfolding of Joeys, I know in my heart that the vision was planted in Lindsey’s heart years ago, really. It’s something I believe in. And Joeys for Kids is something that I can get behind.
We could go back and forth about our individual opinions about how adoption shouldn’t cost what it does, and we can glamorize adopters and put them on heroic pedestals for giving needy children homes. But really, at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, at the heart of the matter… We should all just be FOR adoption. And we should all take a look for ourselves at what we can each do, individually, to make adoption a little easier for someone who is adopting.
Maybe that means you write a personal check. Maybe it means you buy something from someone’s adoption fundraiser yard sale. Maybe it means you share someone’s story on your social media outlets. It will look differently for each of us. But whatever it is, just be FOR adoption.
Joeys for Kids is FOR adoption. It’s at the core of their existence. And it just so happens to be a really adorable way to make it possible for a community to support adoption. And it begins with pajamas. Specifically, kids in pajamas… Because, as Joeys for Kids puts it,
“There’s not much cuter than a kid in pajamas.”
So there are these really awesome, original designs, hand drawn by a fantastic designer out of Fairhope, AL. The first line of pajama themes are done, all depicting animals in human situations and strange circumstances. For instance…
Seriously! What could be cuter than an adorable kid wearing pajamas that depict alligators wearing raincoats, and sheep cutting each others hair?? Kids are sure to love the clever and silly designs, and parents alike are sure to find the humor behind these sweet themes, too.
So now that the designs are drawn, and much more work is underway, Joeys is in need of community support in order to move the process along. They are in Kickstarter mode, and they have set their goal to raise $20,000 by the end of August so that the pajamas can move to production (right here in the USA, too). They have set up their campaign, and you can check out their efforts to fund-raise by clicking on any of the Joeys for Kids links I have posted here. And if you are familiar with Kickstarter, then you know that if a project doesn’t meet their goal by their deadline, they will not receive any of the money pledged by donors.
I believe that any good, and moral, and generous company is worth investing in. And the cool thing about crowd funding efforts is that we get to be a part of the process. All it takes is a lot of people to give a little money. It would take just 2,000 people to give $10. Or 20,000 to give $1. And Joeys for Kids would be 100% funded, and free to move along their process to begin helping families financially complete their adoptions.
The pajamas might appear to be at the forefront, but it’s true that it’s actually so much more. Every time a child adorns a set of these pjs, a parent will think of another child they helped bring to their forever family. Another child who won’t disappear into the system. Another child who can know love from a mom and dad, and ultimately, the love of a Heavenly Father. Pajamas might appear to be at the forefront, but really, it’s about redemption. Restoration. And miracles.
Isn’t that something we should all get behind?
Join their mailing list to keep up with the latest news about Joeys.
Follow @joeysforkids on Instagram.
Tell your friends and family by sharing about Joeys for Kids on your social media outlets.
Have a Facebook account? Share the Kickstarter campaign.
Have an Instagram account? Re-gram their posts, and use the hashtags #joeysforkids and #adoptionislove and #adoptionrocks.
Tweet about them.
Tell strangers about them.
Please. Thank you.
Let’s be FOR adoption like Joeys for Kids is.