The holidays are officially upon us; and while many of us are currently busy planning our holiday parties and getting our Christmas shopping done, one Florida couple has a different mission this season: raising enough money to have a child. And they’re doing it in one pretty clever way.
Already parents to two biological toddlers, Ben and Jaimie Homan recently opened a small Christmas tree stand in their town to cover costs for the pending adoption of their third child — a soon-to-be 1-year-old girl, who currently lives in an orphanage in India.
According to the latest stats, adoptions can cost anywhere between $30,000 and $40,000, which is a pretty steep financial undertaking for any family. And while many couples seek assistance through crowdfunding sites or by holding local fundraisers, Ben tells Babble that he and Jaimie wanted to go another route.
“We weren’t comfortable asking for money without providing anything in return,” he shares. “So, we just tried to be creative and thought selling Christmas trees could be fun, because everyone loves Christmas trees.”
They certainly do.
And so, last month, Ben traveled from Florida to North Carolina to purchase 200 Frasier Firs from a tree vendor before setting up a tented shop in his hometown, just in time for Thanksgiving weekend.
It hasn’t been easy, though. Aside from having no prior experience in Christmas tree sales, Ben is tackling this side gig in addition to working full-time at a local creative agency. And Jaimie, a stay-at-home mom, is holding down the fort at home, while managing their usual holiday to-do list.
But the good news is, the Homan’s Christmas venture is paying off — literally!
“We have about 40 trees left,” Ben says, with more than two weeks left until Christmas Day. He expects that proceeds could garner $5,000 to $10,000, which will make a huge impact on the couple’s remaining adoption expenses, such as airfare, passports/visas, court fees, and other costs.
The Homans have also been humbled by all the support they’ve received from their close-knit community in Clermont, Florida. You see, typically, they’re the ones offering support to others.
In 2012, the couple founded Priority One Worldwide, a nonprofit whose purpose is to provide financial and spiritual support to orphans and evangelists around the world. Because of their work, Ben and Jaimie briefly lived in India. And while the couple always intended to adopt at some point, it was their temporary stay in the country that made them want to adopt a child from that region.
Though the Homans’ future daughter currently lives in an orphanage, Ben hopes to bring her home within the next six months to a year, depending on the adoption finalization.
“Hopefully, next year she can join us in the tent,” says Ben. So yup, it looks like the Homan family will return to their Christmas tree business in 2018 and, potentially, help someone else in need with their future profits.
The doting husband and father says that his wife Jaimie (whose birthday is actually on December 25!) is the family’s true Christmas miracle.
“My wife is the real hero,” Ben shares. “She is working with agencies and organizations and going through the paperwork loops,” he explains. “I’m just handling Christmas trees, but she’s really spearheading the adoption and should get all the credit.” (How sweet is that?)
If you already bought a Christmas tree, or have an artificial tree like me, you can still support the Homan’s adoption fund via their website.
And to the Homans — thank you for spreading some true holiday joy and goodwill. I think you’ve more than earned your way onto Santa’s “nice” list this year.