Money is often a touchy topic! With adoption...domestic or international...invariably the topic of money always comes up! It's usually pretty close to the first thing that folks want to know which is not necessarily a bad thing. Jesus tells us to count the cost before we move forward with any decision. Of course, He is talking, I believe, as much about the cost spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. Perhaps, even counting the cost of NOT doing something is just as important.
Anyway, let's talk dollars and cents. Adoption is costly! Tens of thousands. More money than most of us have sitting in our accounts at any given time. But as I look back over our two adoption processes, I see how very different each was even with respect to funds. We know several families that have adopted more than two kiddos...some way more. Without a doubt, I'm sure God has given them unique "dollar-and-cent"stories and experiences each time thay have brought children home to their families. Mostly in the way their thinking has transformed over time!
When we began the adoption journey to Olivia, we knew what the estimated cost would be to bring her home. We had yard sales and that brought in some. We looked at several organizations that offered grants and applied. ....but were turned down. Not sure of all of the reasons, but we knew it would be us figuring out the funds. I applaud all of the families that do fundraising---it's tiring! Overwhelming at times but your heart and soul are poured into it. I do know some of that because two of our girls are in the throes making things to sell to raise support for an Africa mission trip
**[which will be my next post : ) ].
Looking back, however, I think God was testing us to see how serious we were about adopting. We knew He had called us. We applied and waited and waited. Three years passed from that first 'call' to a wake-up call. God began to stir our hearts to consider special needs children. That meant facing areas outside our comfort zone. I can tell you it wasn't easy! It forced me to look at all of the reasons I would answer "no"---for me, most were selfish reasons. Not proud of it...just being honest here! But thankfully, the Lord was working on my heart and my sweet husband's heart---transforming us little by little to a place of trust in Him with respect to waiting children. I'm so glad we didn't shut Him out. We got Olivia's referral while I was at a women's retreat---"When Life Happens". Funny, huh?!
Anyway, back to $$$. Lots of deadlines and expirations in paperwork. Each required more money for updates that also made us question , "What are we waiting for?" We don't have lots but we did have some stocks we sold to bring our sweet girl home. I see now how God was testing us to see if we were willing to give from our "reserve" for the fatherless. I'm oversimplifying the process for us! Believe me!
Fast forward two years. I've already shared the struggles with respect to expanding our comfort level with respect to special needs in an earlier post. Totally God's working that led us to our Shane. But, the money! I have to say we kind of knew what was expected monetarily. We seemed to be able to cover most of the initial payments since they didn't all come at once(whew)! However, when we began to expedite the process because of Shane's heart needs, I can honestly say that we didn't think about how quickly the payments would need to come together---in a short span with travel, etc. You other AP's know exactly what I mean! The thought crossed my mind in December as we were receiving our PA and thinking about the travel timeframe possibilities---where will it come from? I'm not even sure if I actually prayed and asked the Lord at that time time to direct us as to what to do. We were so involved in the decision to move forward--talking with docs and discussing with other experienced parents, etc. Then, of course, the holidays and our older children coming, us traveling as well.
THEN...it happened. One of those surreal things that you see happen to others but not yourself. We had a visit from friends---an ordinary holiday-type of visit. Bringing cookies and cards to share the joy of Jesus birth. We talked a few minutes---exchanged Christmas plans and then said goodbyes. Shortly after, Josiah and I were admiring and sampling the goodies and reached to open the card. As I did, a check fell out! It was one of those moments that slowed down and felt as if I were in a fog. A check? Why would there be a check in this? But I turned it over and looked! Overwhelming! Unbelievable! Stunning! Then I crumbled in tears...honestly not knowing how to receive this substantial blessing. Humbled...knowing that only God could have called this family to help so sacrificially. The card explained it all...a testament to God's great love for this little boy we had chosen to call our son! A card that is preserved to show him how very much God orchestrated His plan to bring him here.
Then again, just a week later...a family member did almost the very same thing! We were astonished! Blessed beyond words...both times...to see that God was preparing us in ways we had not considered because we had been focused more on Shane's health and trying to get him home. Tom and I talked while traveling home from our Christmas trip about how much more money was needed. I calculated as best I could and it came within $50 dollars of what we had been blesssed with. Tom's response? "I thought so!" WOW!
Please understand...I do not say this to boast. I KNOW there are other families that have similar adventures on their adoption journeys! I believe there are others that are considering adoption--or a second adoption-- and have had these same concerns. Just ask one you know! Unwittingly, Tom and I had left the details to God.
What is the take-away in this? :
"The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it."
1 Thes 5:24
Let Him alone be glorified!!