Today we'll start with emails. Ahh, emails. In the process of adoption, every email that comes through could be "the one we've been waiting for." You know, the one that provides an update on our child or our paperwork. The one saying the government, immigration, or some other important entity has approved our most recent request. The one confirming that we've been legally matched to our son.
Those emails look something like these:
And sometimes, emails that come do so to inform us of the next payment due in the process. For numerous reasons, international adoption can be very expensive--this is different than adopting from the US foster care system which typically requires very little expense on the adopting family's part-- & This blog post from Show Hope does a great job of explaining the expenses involved.
So sometimes when the chime on my phone signals a new email it's wonderful news, & sometimes it's a new opportunity for us to put our money where our faith is & trust God with His plan!
[By the way, the agency we're working with for our China adoption has been FANTASTIC when it comes to giving us the cost estimate up-front & I'd be glad to discuss this part of it with anyone that is earnestly interested in learning!]
If you've read previous posts, you know my amazing hubby Jonathan--whom I like to brag about publicly--recently graduated & was given a mandatory 8 weeks off between graduation & starting his new job. This was precious time for us as a family & a couple, but it meant we had no income for that 8 week period.
So we prayed. And we planned. And we saved. And we pinched pennies to ensure we could finance our everyday life while in the midst of an international adoption.
You see, up to this point, we have been blessed to have paid for all our adoption costs out of pocket, but we knew this hiatus & the timing of our paperwork could be tricky.
But as with every story that God writes, He had a plan to show up & show off during this time, despite our best planning efforts!
We knew what the costs were going to be that were associated with sending our paperwork to China, & we knew we were looking at a substantial amount in fees as our paperwork moved. Honestly, the best plan we could come up with was to wait until Jonathan got his first paycheck--which would include a sign-on bonus--to use that money to move forward. This would have resulted in an approximate 8 week delay in our paperwork, but we saw no other choice at the time.
So God showed up & showed us His plan.
I have to tell you that we have this INCREDIBLE community of adoptive families in our lives. They are nothing short of AMAZING & it is such a blessing to do life with people that get it. People that get the joys & sorrows of stepping into this world & recklessly pursuing the Father's heart in this way. They are truly a blessing from God! If you're a foster or adoptive family & you don't have a community of support, FIND one! Right now, go! Or call me if you get stumped & we'll find you one! It's that important.
Back to the story: One summer afternoon we spent some time with one of the families & as we were leaving, they handed us an envelope. We didn't open it until we got home, but the amount of the check they gave us to support our adoption nearly knocked me off my feet. $2,000.
Of course we tried to give it back, & they wouldn't take it.
The following week we were advised by our agency that we needed to pay $1,950 to send our paperwork to China. With no income. But we had a $2,000 check from friends that love like the Lord does. So we paid the bill & our paperwork inched forward.
Chills up & down my spine FOR REAL! Our friends had no idea, we had no idea [we knew that payment was coming but didn't know when & we hadn't discussed it with anyone]. It was simply what they felt led to give--only God can do that y'all!
Ready for the "goats in Guatemala part?"
So I have this friend whom I've only met once in person. She too is an adoptive mama & has had her eyes opened to the plight of women living in poverty around the world & how that directly contributes to the global orphan crisis. She has since partnered with an amazing company that allows women to make jewelry, accessories, & home decor to be sold in the US. These are women living in areas of the world where they would otherwise be unemployable. Amazing stuff, truly!
So she emailed me & asked me if I wanted to do a Facebook fundraiser for our adoption. We would partner together, she would virtually "host" a show, & she would donate her entire commission to our adoption. Raising awareness & support for women around the world while fundraising AND our supporters would walk away with incredible gifts that would tell the story again & again....no-brainer!!
And one of the coolest parts of it all is that this particular company--in addition to having a superb business model--picks a charitable organization each month & provides donations to said charity as incentive for the entrepreneurs to sell more items. So during the month of August, for every $600 sold during a show, the company agreed to donate a goat to a family in Guatemala. Each goat provides sustainability & income for these families. Whew, I'm getting chills just writing about it almost 6 weeks later! YAY!
It was the first effort by my friend to partner with an adoptive family & raise money.
Y'all ready for this: our little FB party sold just over $1,200 in goods, so we earned 3 GOATS for GUATEMALA!! EEK!! 3 GOATS--1 for each of our sons!!
All together, the company donated 98 goats to families in Guatemala, Haiti, & Costa Rica because the Guatemala program didn't need all 98!!
And the amazingness continues: our partnership resulted in $450 commission which my friend graciously gave to us to support our adoption adventure.
Guess how much the next week's email told us we needed to pay? Remember we are still "unemployed" & income-less.
$360 translation fee. EEK!!
And God shows off yet again!! Seriously.....I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!
Y'all for real: God will show up. He always does. He keeps His promises that when He asks you to do something, He will faithfully walk the journey with you. It doesn't always look like what I want it to in my life, & Lord knows His timing & mine are not always in sync, but He is always there, waiting & wanting to show how much He cares about you!
This week our pastor said, "We all want a miracle, we just don't want to put ourselves in a position to need one."
I challenge you to put yourself in the position to need one. Most likely it will be hard & it will get messy--hey, He might even turn your world completely upside down--but it is worth it y'all! Worth the heartache, worth the tears, worth the struggles to get to see His hand at work in your own life.
It's worth it.
To check out the company I referenced above, you can find JJ Roberson on FB at JJ Roberson Trades of Hope S. Florida or online here. It's a great way to educate yourself & support our sisters around the world!
Plus their stuff is BEAUTIFUL!