The average cost of adopting a child either domestically or internationally is… yadda, yadda, yadda.

“What if my family is on a fixed income?”

“What if both parents work and the cost of daycare is as astronomical as I think it is?”

“What if I am a single parent struggling to get by, but I still want the opportunity to raise children?”

“What if the Central Banking System decides to start playing high-stakes bingo with the taxpayers’ money again, the real estate bubble bursts like a piñata, and the unemployment rate hits triple digits?”

Okay, take a deep breath, relax, count to ten. Much like what happens with all major decisions, when considering adoption, it’s easy to let panic to set in and start worrying about every conceivable possible problem, especially from a financial aspect. The fact is there is a method of adoption for just about everybody out there of all income levels and social situations. It’s mostly a matter of doing your research and discovering which method is the right choice for your family. Once the research is done, you’ll soon discover that it’s not whether or not you can afford to adopt. It’s more like whether or not you can afford to NOT adopt. Here’s a little breakdown of what I like to call the “Total Happiness Cost of Not Adopting” (THCONA):

Someone to Call You Mommy or Daddy

At first, when I heard my daughter say, “Daddy!” I would start looking around the room for whom she was talking about. Most times, I think I was actually looking around for my own dad. Once I got use to it, however, it was like hearing the sweetest music in the world. Somewhere along the way, I transformed from Dave to Daddy, and I love it every time I hear it. THCONA = approximately 25,000 times less happy from an undeveloped sense of parental pride.

Unlimited Hugs n’ Kisses for Life

A warm hug and a soft kiss from your child can make the whole day worthwhile, even if you got in a fender bender on your way to work, where your boss promptly and publicly reprimanded you for being late, the dog made a rather unsightly mess in your kitchen, and you scalded the roof of your mouth on the drive-thru coffee you got that was about a thousand degrees over the recommended temperature. Yep, as long as there’s a hug from your little boy or girl at the end of the day, everything is going to be okay. THCONA = approximately 150,000 times less happy from a severe lack of childhood adoration and an increased level of work misery.

Special Moments

My daughter, Madeline, is currently 5 years old. From the very moment we first found out that her birth parents selected us to be her adoptive parents, the special moments have been coming fast and furious. From first bike rides to opening Christmas presents and more, no Hallmark movie could ever match the pure bliss that comes from being a part of the childhood innocence and fun that can come from some of these times. THCONA = approximately 100,000 times less happy if you don’t get to participate in some of these moments that will truly last a lifetime.

From “Just Another Worker Bee” to “The Smartest Guy in The Room”

Very rarely at work (never, actually) am I ever known as the Go-To-Guy for answers. I’m much more of a follower than a leader, and really, I will probably be forever mired into the role of worker bee. All this can change when you adopt. Instead of getting a bunch of questions at work you have no idea how to answer and really don’t care about, you get to literally look like the smartest guy in the room when you adopt a child. I may not know the answer to how business speed DSL works, but I sure know the answers to something like, “Are blueberries healthy, Daddy?” Yes they are, Madeline! Then my daughter will usually nod her head in amazement at the worldliness and intelligence of her dad, who must be a genius for knowing this stuff. THCONA = approximately 10,000 times less happy from a diminished level of intellectual self-confidence.

A Playmate

I will always love going out to a nice dinner with my wife or a movie or any other excuse to get out and enjoy an evening as a couple. I still love going to play golf with my friends and watching football on Sundays, too. I still love all the stuff I’ve always enjoyed my whole life. But now, I get to relive my childhood, so to speak. I get to watch animated movies again, go to the zoo, and play at indoor playgrounds and bouncy houses. I may use the exasperated excuse like, “Oh, I guess I’ll take Madeline to the indoor playground again.” Full disclosure, I love going to these places. Are you kidding me? I get to slide down giant inflatable slides, play basketball inside a moonwalk, and run around like a crazy person for as long as it takes before Madeline, much to my chagrin, finds a playmate more her own age at the place. THCONA = 20,000 times less happy from not getting to act like a kid again on a regularly healthy basis.

All You Need is Love

From the day you first lay eyes on him or her, you will begin forming a bond of unconditional love with your child. World-renowned experts and two guys named Lennon and McCartney agree: “All you need is love.” THCONA = infinity and beyond (Buzz Lightyear, 1995).

In Conclusion

After my thorough and obviously precise scientific research, it appears that the total cost to your happiness of not adopting equals 305,000 + infinity and beyond times less happy than you would be if you adopt a loving child who needs a family through one of the many available resources worldwide. Therefore, it just may be completely unaffordable to NOT adopt.