Local woman materializes adoption dream
Lisa Lisiecki spent most of her young adulthood hopping from college campus to college campus to advance her career in student affairs, often working 10 to 14 hour days. Although she wanted to get married and have a family, her passion for work took up most of her time and she never met Mr. Right.
However, when her mom died five years ago, Lisiecki reexamined her life and realized a couple of things about herself: she wanted to move back to Milwaukee to be closer to her family and she wanted a child.
"I've always wanted children and it's a dream I don't want to give up," says Lisiecki, 40.
Adoption, rather than artificial insemination, felt natural to Lisiecki, and as a Milwaukee Public School teacher and Spanish speaker, she felt she would make a great mom to a Guatemalan-born child. The problem, however, is funds.
Lisiecki is working with two adoption agencies, the European Adoption Consultants and Children's Hope Network, and both groups convinced her to move forward even though she is uncertain how she will secure the money needed to adopt a child internationally.
My name is Sofia.
So far, Lisiecki has pulled together the cash for preliminary costs, but still needs more than $30,000 to move to bring home her dream of a daughter. She originally hoped to have her home by her 41st birthday -- on March 25 -- but at this point, is hoping for her next birthday.
Many adopters are able to raise the money by taking out a loan against their homes, but Lisiecki is a renter. As an unmarried public school teacher, she was offered a personal loan of $10,000, and her employer, MPS, does not offer an adoption benefit of any kind.
"It's frustrating to know that a colleague can get pregnant and have thousands of dollars billed to insurance but I am unable to have any kind of benefit," she says.
But Lisiecki is not crying about the situation, she's getting creative. She is brainstorming fundraising ideas with friends and families, and has started a "bottle brigade" to collect change. She has bottles and sippy cups in a variety of public locations, asking people -- via a poem that she wrote -- to donate money towards her dream.
"It is incredibly hard and humbling to ask for money, especially when people question the significant expense," she says.
Lisiecki says she knows adopting domestically is cheaper, but it's difficult for a single woman to get chosen by a birthmother, who is often giving her baby up for adoption because she herself is unwed. And adopting through the foster system is just too much of a risk for Lisiecki.
"Adoption is never a sure thing in foster care and I know my heart would break if I fell in love with a child and had to give it back to its parents time and again before circumstances would allow me to adopt," she says.
Although sometimes downtrodden by the situation, Lisiecki's determination to be a mother keeps her going.
" I've never doubted I would be a mother. The most terrifying thing for me is to think it might not happen because of money," she says.
If you have an idea how Lisa Lisiecki can raise money to bring her daughter home, e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
djkalkowski said: Is this woman committed to a particular adoption agency? I have adopted internationally (two times) and have NEVER paid anywhere near 30K to do it. I would seriously question the validity and intent of the agency. This is very sad. It should not be like this.
Macy said: What's next--a baby shower and the general public is invited?! She's given me an idea--maybe I'll have a fundraiser to help me with my utility bills. It's not too different than her idea.
Sherie said: My family is going through the process right now, and even though it's costly, we're finding the ways to manage it. I could never set up a "charity" to adopt my own child. This article is awful and really portrays international adoption in the wrong light.
Dawn said: I'm an adoptive mother of four. Two international adoptions and two State adoptions from foster care. This was after 10 years of infertility treatments. Not exactly cheep! We were blessed to have financial help from our families for the international adoptions. But some comments are correct in that the adoption is not the end of the cost. On the other hand, Lisa's comment is correct about a co-worker that can just get pregnant and have usually at least 80% of their costs covered by insurance. In my opinion, contrary to one of the comments made, if you are adopting to "save a child" you have the wrong motive! You should adopt a child because you have a desire to share your life with a child. Children are a gift from God! He will make it happen if it's within His plan!
Laurie said: There is a little girl out there that needs a loving home. There is a Mom out there that is waiting to cuddle that little girl in her arms and tell her that she loves her and that everything is going to be o.k. Lisa, don't give up. Yes, many of the people that responded would love to adopt - but they are not willing to make sacrifices to make it happen. Adoption doesn't just "happen". You need to make it happen - for yourself as well as for your daughter. Do not stop persuing your dreams by other peoples comments. Your daughter needs you to do "what ever it takes" to bring her "home". I wish you and everyone else that is going through the adoption process the best!!!
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