We are not broke, we are not broke, we are not broke . . .

Mark and I committed to something a few years ago. We were really grasping the level of poverty that most of the world lives in, and wanting to feel grateful for all that we have. We also started noticing how often we were saying the phrase, "we're so broke". It's just one of those sayings that rolls off the tongue a little too easily. Kind of like "I'm so busy". We wanted to acknowledge that we were NOT broke, if we have a home, a car, and food to eat. Even if we can't afford some things we want, we are not broke.

Once we stopped saying this, I really do think there was a shift. We certainly didn't have more money coming in. But it just slightly changed our perception of the whole thing by taking that phrase out of the vernacular. We have what we need.


But right now, we find ourselves in, how shall we say, a bit of a pinch, along with the rest of our country. A part of it were some unforeseen events, like a ridiculously expensive deductible that will start over right in the middle of my pregnancy, bringing the total cost of this new bundle of joy to just about $10,000. Not to mention the insane premiums we pay every month just to have insurance. Then there is preschool, and the declining economy that keeps people from wanting to pay for therapy appointments, and a crashed computer that I had to replace, yada yada yada. And then there were some of our own decisions. Like taking a trip to New York and not sticking to the budget. And not factoring Mark's lack of vacation pay (or a recession) into our yearly budget. And buying four tickets to Florida for Christmas because I haven't been with my family for the holidays in two years. yada yada yada.

All that to say, the Howerton clan is tightening the belt in a big way. We are not broke. But we might be a wee bit in the red. And we might find ourselves scratching our heads as to how we will pay the rest of our adoption fees, since Washington Mutual just sent a letter to all home equity loan clients telling us we no longer have access to any loan funds. Um, ouch. That was our backup plan.

So you may notice a little ramping up in our adoption fundraising. We have a few ideas up our sleeve, and we are certainly open to more suggestions from other parents in the process. I was hoping to avoid the fundraising aspect, but methinks it's time to swallow our pride and open up to the possibility that people might actually want to help. Not everyone can adopt, but perhaps bringing our son home will be a community effort.
But I am trying to be mindful of the fact that no matter how dire things look in the bank account, we are still so fortunate. I remember reading this a few years ago, and it was a part of the inspiration that led us to being more grateful for what we have:
If you have food in the refrigerator clothes on your back, a roof over head and a place to sleep . . . you are richer than 70% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace . . .
you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness . . .
you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation . . .
you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death . . .
you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful . . .
you are blessed because although the majority can, most do not.


  1. I am right there with ya! We are not broke but definately in the red. We tell ourselves that we have love, a roof, food and clothes...so that is all we need to be happy!

    I wish you luck in the adoption and raising funds!

    So glad to hear you get to spend time with your family. Tell Brooke I said Hi! It would be great to meet up with her again.

    I came across my high school yearbook from OHS and you look the same...and you certainly had a lot going on. That is one thing I regret about high school is not being more involved.

  2. The health crae premiums you guys pay just blow me away! I cannot imagine a health care deductible?? Yikes...

  3. It's a stormy day in the bay area. We have been beyond stressed over this being such a tough year for Christmas. Literally as I was reading the last line of this post, my phone rang. It was my husband telling me he was looking at the most perfect rainbow. The skies had cleared. Perspective achieved. Thank you...

  4. Working in the adoption grant field, I've seen a lot of creative fundraising ideas. This is in addition to grants from other organizations. Shoot me an email if you need some ideas to get you started.

  5. Oh good! I'm glad you're joining me in the cheap meal challenge! :)

  6. Wonderful post! Thank you for the reminder.


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