I haven't updated much about our adoption process lately. Things are moving along really quite quickly. Our home study is complete and we're waiting on our provincial approval to be able to sent off our finished Dossier to China. It has been one huge whirl wind of activity and a ridiculous roller coaster of emotions...and we're only about 2 1/2 months in!
The things we took for granted would come easily haven't , and the things we were most afraid of ( money) the Lord has provided in amazing ways. So instead of focus on the bumps in the road....I want to share with you how incredibly merciful and faithful our God is. Bear with me this could get long...
When we started considering and praying about adopting again back in Feb. We had no savings account, a checking account that we barely keep afloat, and all kinds of things we could justify spending any extra money on...like our broken down second hand furniture, the old fridge that doesn't shut quite right, a vehicle that spends more time in the shop than out of it, or my bed that is more like a hammock after years of use. We most certainly were NOT in a financial position for international adoption by any worldly sort of math.
My husband and I both knew God would add another child to our family. We just didn't know when, who, where or how. So, once again, we figuratively laid our blank check on the table. We asked God to do with us what ever pleases Him to do. Where He leads we will follow.
After a much prayer, many restless nights (and I NEVER lose sleep over stuff) waking up with a specific country and it's children in my heart and mind, and some encouragement/ advice from some mature Christlike friends I really shouldn't have been blown away when my husband (who was NOT eager to adopt internationally at ALL) had the exact same country and program unexpectedly burdening him as well. I had been the one researching options, not him, but somehow he had been led the same direction. We not only agreed that we would go with international adoption (which was the most unlikely) but we were both pointed squarely on China. The Spirit had done an amazing work in both of us individually over the course of a couple weeks.
The same month my husband said "Let's do this!" we received our tax return. So with $2000 in our pockets we took the leap and started the process. We had no idea where the other $23,000 would come from....other than God would have to provide. We didn't expect it to fall from the sky, but we knew that however God saw fit to channel His provision to us we expected it would be one of the biggest tests of faith we have ever been bold enough to step out into.
Now I know some of you are already shaking your heads at the foolishness and irresponsibility of it all. Some of you will make a certain huffing sound at the notion of a one income family, with 4 children, absolutely no savings account, pension plan, or savings of any kind being so fiscally reckless. A few of you may even cluck your tongue that you had the money saved up ahead of time and you didn't need any help from anyone (which is wonderful....as long is it doesn't come with pride and judgement).
We've heard it all....but we remind ourselves of all the times that God has miraculously come through to provide, vindicate and direct us in the past, and we repent of self sufficient pride and doubts as we step out audaciously. Our faith has been tested so many times in the past that we know we can trust in our good God!
I am so thrilled to update you on some of what God has been doing to encourage and provide for us!
This could get long...but I could boast in the Lord all day!
Over the past couple months we have worked, sold things, scrimped and saved but God has also seen fit to bless us incredibly through His church....through our brothers and sisters in a few different countries. The overwhelming common factor with so many of the donations is that they have been given sacrificially. Kingdom math is so different than ours! The people who have given the most, encouraged us the most, and sacrificed their time and money to help us bring home our child have been people who are not able to give out of their excess (in time or money). It has been the people who are already serving as missionaries, caring for orphans, or those whose very modest lifestyles and tight bank accounts reflect their priorities and generosity. It has been the people who already view every penny of their money as God's.
Honestly it is so much easier for me to give sacrificially than to receive it from someone else. However, I know that the only thing that keeps me from allowing others to be a part of what God is doing is my own evil pride. It is my pride that says ....keep your money, I don't want it. We've decided, even though it is uncomfortable, it is ALL God's money and he will lead and use people as he pleases. Who are we to let our pride stand in the way of God working in the hearts of people?
$100 was sent to us by a friend who is a single foster mom working in Mexico (you can find her blog here. She is also grieving the recent death of her son but yet was thinking about us). $500 from a young lady who spent the last couple years working with special needs orphans (when others her age would be focused on dating and college). $5000 from missionary friends of ours ....who are already caring for ophans! We received hundreds more from young families who are barely scraping by and most certainly gave very sacrificially and out of complete faith. Families who have already spent tens of thousands on adopting their own children. We even got a donation from a child recently adopted from China! Each check, $20 bill or Paypal notice was received with tears, overwhelming humility, and worship. We are so undeserving of the favor that God is pouring out on us right now.
The most recent extravagant display of Jesus' love through his people was given to us this past weekend. I'm going to have to write a whole post about our church one of these days...but it would take forever for me to express all the things we LOVE about our church ...the biggest being that they LOVE Jesus, his Word, and his gospel...and their light shines accordingly (which, sadly, is so rare and hard to find..it seriously is like something out of Acts 2:42-47) Anyway check out this link from my friends blog Kim 365 and read about their project. We're still blown away by the crowds of people that worked, donated, made cookies and lemonade, sorted, organized etc.
This was the grand total!! Ridiculous for a garage sale!
Seriously it is so very humbling when people with holes in their only couch joyfully and eagerly hand you a stack of hundreds.
We know that we still have a long way to go in this process. We know that so many things could go wrong, stand in our way or not got as expected BUT without a doubt in our hearts we continue on knowing that our God is growing us and stretching us and will use every bit of this journey for His purpose and glory.
As of today we have deposited $15,280 into our adoption account! Amazing. Every dollar goes toward the cost of bringing home our child! We are trusting that we will reach $25,000 by the time we get our invitation to travel to China!!