November is National Adoption month, and one woman is helping turn dreams into reality for families looking to adopt for those who don't have the financial means to do so.
When Becky Snyder Fawcett and her husband were ready to start a family, they were faced with the harsh reality that they would not be able to have children of their own. The couple, eager to find a solution, attempted five rounds of in vitro fertilization, which resulted in three pregnancies and three miscarriages.
"My journey to become a mother was not what I expected it to be," Fawcett said. "I really didn't think I would have any problems getting pregnant the old fashion way and having a child."
After the emotional and financial stresses of their failed attempts at having a child, the two decided to try something else.
"We had just the amount left in our savings that would cover an adoption. And I think during that first meeting with the adoption attorney for Jake's adoption it just hit me of how lucky I was, how lucky I was to be making these choices on my terms," Fawcett said.
Fawcett started to wonder how other couples took on the same hurdles and surprises. "I asked the question, 'What do people do in my shoes if they don't have this money?' Because an average adoption costs $40,000 in full and upfront," she said.
Once the couple adopted their first son Jake, she knew she wanted to do something to help others get a fair shot at adoption.
"We have to do something to help these other families become families and to help these kids get homes," Fawcett said. "Because the trick of it all is if people can't afford to adopt children, what happens to these children?"
Fawcett developed her idea into a plan and launched "Help Us Adopt," an organization that helps give financial assistance to other adoptive parents from all walks of life. "We don't discriminate. Period," Fawcett said proudly. "Family is family. You want to adopt a child? You have a valid home study? Come."
The organization is now in its ninth year and has helped build 179 families, awarding more than $1.5 million dollars in adoption grants to all kinds of families.
"I believe that we have changed the way Americans perceive adoption," the now mother of two said.
"I have my-- these children are my own," she explained of her son Jake, 10, and daughter Brooke, 7. "It is so funny that I literally have to pinch myself to remind myself at points throughout the day that these children did not come out of my body...They are my children. They are my own. We are a family," she added. "We just went about it a little different."
For the mother who at one point thought she may never have a family of her own, she realizes now that her journey is what shaped her vision to help others overcome the trials and tribulations that can come when starting a family.
Fawcett said, "It really is cool that you can take an idea and make it happen...It's pretty easy to get up and go to work everyday."