Julie Zaborowski understands the emotional turmoil and financial obligation tied to adoption, particularly international adoption, as she and her husband adopted their youngest child from China. She has made it her personal mission to assist parents going through the financial burden of adoption. After all, international adoptions can cost up to $35,000 and can take several years to complete.
With three biological children, the Zaborowskis decided they wanted to adopt a fourth child. Julie said they decided to adopt because “There are so many kids without parents in orphanages. These kids are released at sixteen into the world, and some go into prostitution… they just have no way of knowing how to take care of themselves.”
Gigs: Mother, nurse, nonprofit guru, baby hat maker, student
Kids: Scott 19, Madisen 16, Ella 12, and Grace 5.
Pet: Cat named Claire
Law of Life: “Live each day like it’s your last.”
Reason to love Toledo: “It’s the town that I grew up in, and my family is here.”
Readables: Toledo Parent, Better Homes & Gardens
TV Show: Survivor
The entire adoption process took two years and cost the family $23,000. Many international adoptions can take much longer, but Julie said their shortened adoption process was mostly due to the fact that “Grace was considered special needs because of her birth marks.” According to Julie, many physical traits, such as “scars or a finger that’s longer than the others,” can qualify one as special needs in China. When the adoption agency sent the Zaborowskis a picture of Grace, they knew without a doubt that she was meant to become part of their family.
Julie said the people from her community and the members of her church, Church of the Cross, helped tremendously with the adoption expenses. It was this generosity of spirit that inspired Julie to give back to her community by founding the nonprofit Graceful Giving. The current goal of Graceful Giving is to provide Church of the Cross members with a $500 grant to help with adoption costs. Julie’s vision for the nonprofit is to open up the grant process to the general public and to provide up to $2,000 per family in adoption support. In order to reach this long-term goal, Julie started her own fundraising project: she makes baby hats, sold at Bloom Flower and Gifts in Maumee, and donates all of her proceeds to Graceful Giving. Eventually, she hopes the nonprofit “could even go global.”
Julie’s husband would love to adopt another child from Africa, but Julie laughs and asks, “Honestly though, doesn’t it sound like I have a lot on my plate? I would love to, but between being a mother to four kids, working full-time as a nurse at St. John’s, going to school at UT, and making baby hats for my nonprofit, I just don’t have the time!”
For information on Graceful Giving visit www.cotcumc.com/graceful-giving-adoption-grant-fund.php. To purchase hats visit In Bloom Flowers and Gifts, 203 Conant St., in Maumee or www.newinbloom/InBloom/welcome.htm.