We know that all children need a loving home. But unfortunately, many children around the world don’t have that essential need. In the U.S., as per the Adoption Network Law Center, 428,000 children exist in the foster care system. Moreover, in 2015, the last year of available information as of this writing, 670,000 kids spent at least some time in the foster care system. Fortunately, however, adoptive parents adopt 135,000 of those kids. However, adopting is an expensive proposition. But today, we’ve got some adoption information for you through the story of one family seeking to adopt. Check out our adoption webinar from our sister brand, Shoes With Heart below.


As many adoptive families soon discover, once they start on the road toward adoption, adopting a child is expensive. On the lower end, it could cost $10,000. If a child is getting adopted from overseas, fees could go as high as $40,000. So, many families discover very quickly researching adoption information that they have to consider the finances of adopting. That said, many families move forward and figure out how to raise the funds they need. And that’s what happened with the LeMay family.

Deciding to Adopt Internationally During a Pandemic

We got to know the LeMay family when they did a shoe drive fundraiser with us. The LeMay’s are a fantastic family, with parents Chris and Natalie and their children, Charlie, Scotty, Morgan, and Shelby. Despite the fact, the world faced a pandemic, once the LeMay’s decided to adopt, it was an “all go.” Ultimately, the family decided to adopt a little boy from China.

The family decided to work with Small World Adoption, in Tennessee, to help them adopt a child. When they started the process, it was early in 2020, and at the time, the once in 100 years pandemic hadn’t officially reached American shores. A little over a month later, they submitted their adoption information to Small World Adoption. It was a joyful moment to receive word from the Chinese program of their acceptance. From that point, things moved rather quickly with application and fees for the necessary home study.

It was more important to see that they could move forward with the little boy they wanted for their home. His name is Lei Lei. Knowing that they had a little boy in mind only motivated them more to keep things moving for their adoption, despite the increasing challenges brought by the pandemic. As we all know, travel restrictions, masks, restricted education, and stay-at-home directives became part of our everyday lives.

Raising Funds for Lei Lei by Collecting Shoes

As we mentioned earlier, it’s expensive for most families to adopt. With adoptions ranging on average $10,000 to $40,000, it’s a costly proposition. However, when adoptive families decide to give a good home to a child, the funds almost become secondary. Our team has heard often how adoptive families believe that the funds will come their way. All they have to do is to stay open and creative. And, that’s one of the reasons many families, such as the LeMay’s, turned to a shoe drive fundraiser.

Many families discover when they do their adoption information research that a shoe drive fundraiser is a creative way to raise funds. You see, as the LeMay’s learned, as do other adoptive families, there’s no need to ask for any money. Nope. Instead, the gently worn, used and new shoes adoptive families collect from their families, friends, places of work, and communities become currency. In short, for the collected shoes, a shoe drive fundraising partner issues a check. It’s that simple to raise thousands by collecting shoes for an adoption fundraiser.

By the way, when adoptive families do a shoe drive fundraiser, the sky’s the limit. In other words, there’s no maximum in the number of shoes they can collect. And each pair contributes toward more money. So, families could also reach out to sports teams, clubs, schools, universities, and even corporations to help them by giving shoes. Also, a shoe drive fundraiser is good for the environment because it extends the lease on the life of every pair of shoes collected. What’s more, the shoes get shipped to micro-entrepreneurs worldwide in developing nations. They sell the shoes for a profit and to help themselves out of poverty.

Staying Connected and Moving Toward Adoption for the LeMay Family

The LeMay family continues their work toward adopting Lei Lei. And, although as of this writing, the pandemic continues, the LeMay family keeps its spirits up. In late 2020, they received pre-approval to adopt Lei Lei. A short time later, they got permission to send a package to Lei Lei about the LeMays. It was a way for Lei Lei to get to meet the LeMay’s—even from a distance.

Early in 2021, the family received an incredible gift in Lei Lei’s photos and videos. Currently, they await final permission to adopt their new son, and of course, at that point, the logistics of traveling to China need to get sorted. In the meantime, we wish the LeMay Family and all adoptive families the very best wishes. We’re incredibly fortunate to be part of the story of many families in their fundraising efforts for an adopted child.

To find out more about marketing and fundraising, check us out on our YouTube channel or follow our Facebook page.


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