Saturday, February 9, 2008

If I had a Million Dollars...I'd be rich.

I miss that song.

Seriously though, the money is huge with adoption. The typical Ethiopian adoption ranges anywhere from $17- $25 k. Ouch. (As of November for new people, it's gone up to $25-$30 - gulp.) One of the biggest reasons we drug our feet at the beginning was money. We didn't have it. But we figured, "who does"? So, as soon as we had enough to begin, we began - trusting that God would provide the money. After all, He called us to do this ... which means He would provide. Boy, what I've had to learn that means!! But we figured this is how most people did it, and it worked out for them, right? Wrong. We've had so many people tell us what faith it took for us to go into this w/o the funding in place. he he. God is funny to me. So the truth is, some have it, some don't. We didn't. (One thing worth mentioning, is my home based business. I really thought that it was just going to grow and flourish and be the means to adopt. God had some different ideas though.)

We applied immediately for some grants -- none of which we received for various reasons. We were able to make it through the first part pretty smooth aw we did have most of the money needed. I do remember one situation with the home study though. We were $500 short of what we needed. So we continued to pray for God to provide. And the coolest thing happened (which I soon realized was going to be a pattern). When it came time for payout - I came home from the store one day and found a letter on my doorstep. A dear friend of mine (who I have to add was a missionary and thus in the process of raising their own funds), left me a letter w/ a $500 check enclosed. WOW. She said they felt God impressing on them to do this for us. Now if that isn't God at work, I don't know what is.

So then you'd think that would have been enough for me to feel confident that we would have the money needed. Oh no.... not this doubting heart. It quickly resorted to it's sinful humanness. (Is that a word?) We had a few months to come up w/ almost $5000, as that was the lump sum we needed for submitting our Dossier. A family at our church approached us stating they wanted to help by putting together a fundraising event for us. We all decided on a benefit luncheon. So I made up cute little invites, they found a caterer, and everything was in place. We really felt positive that this would be what brought in a large sum of money for us. One of the social workers at one point told us that it would be selfish of us to try and pay for this on our own. Our child is going to effect our community, and thus we needed to include them in this process - largely in a financial way. After all, not everyone is called to actually adopt - but we are all instructed in scripture to help widow's and orphans. This is one opportunity for those who don't want to adopt to still live this out. Okay... that makes sense. But then the RSVP's started coming in. Looks like God had a different plan AGAIN. What though?

For weeks we prayed and prayed - even our kids would pray, "God, help us get enough money to buy Malachi". :) (Oh, side thought while on the prayers of our children for the adoption. At the very beginning of the process shortly after explaining it to our kids - our middle child, Eden prayed the cutest thing ever. She was only 3 at the time. Here is how she translated us asking her to pray for God to give us enough money to adopt a baby - her prayer was "God, help us to have enough money to get a baby with dots." Get it? Adopt - Dot's? I love it!!!!) Anyway, I was able to take a night away into the mountains on my own. This was such a sweet time for me. I was able to sing (my songs, not Veggie Tales), pray, and worship for 4 hours in the car alone (8 round trip). Plus I had much time to pray and reflect on my own. I really felt like I was at a point of desperation. Aside from the money issue, I just was feeling so anxious about all the silly things I grow anxious about. It was suffocating. I remember just sitting there and asking God for relief. I trusted Him, and knew He would provide. And for all I knew...He was planning to drag it out to the very last moment. But I still asked for relief....something, anything. It was a good trip and I went home very refreshed.

Well that relief came ...and not in small doses either. Within a week of coming home, a family who knew we were adopting (but amazingly doesn't really know us) sent a check for $5000. Jaws dropped, we thanked the Lord God - giver of all things. I'm not doing this part of the process justice at all. To be honest, the money has been one of the hardest most trying things for me (and the most emotional). Like I said at the beginning, I knew God was going to provide since He called us - but I didn't realize what it really meant to cling to that faith and that belief and live it it well even. I can't really describe it much better - I wish I could. Maybe something creative will come to me later and I will write more. But first I'll tell you one more story.

We misunderstood the remaining amount of money after the Dossier. We thought we only had travel expenses left to come up with. We found out though that we had to pay a chunk to Ethiopia upon accepting a referral of a child. What??? More money? How did we miss this? All that was left in the bank, put us about $1000 off from what we would need. Once again, I began to panic. We definitely wanted to be sure that we had that money so we could accept a referral when it came (which could have been as soon as 2 months). I didn't panic as much as before, as I was still riding the high from the $5k. And guess what? He proved Himself again. In a christmas card from some dear friends...was a $1000 check. They also stated that they felt God leading them to give this, and that they were sorry it had taken them so long to get it to us. (Hadn't been long to us, we didn't know they were feeling that.)

So here we are - needing about $6 - $7 more for travel. And guess what? I'm not at all worried. I have complete confidence that God, in his funny and sovereign ways, will provide!

Checks can be mailed to......... ha ha

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