The Gift (Part 2)
Words cannot describe the shock and awe I felt yesterday when we received the news that Legacy 685 (In partnership with Lifesong for Orphans) had given us not one, but TWO grants to help bring our boy home. Legacy 685 was a huge part of us bringing Bridget home as they gave us the last minute grant that helped us meet our fundraising goals, so the fact that they blessed us AGAIN was just overwhelmingly amazing. Any one who has gone through the adoption grant process knows how "competitive" these grants are (I say competitive because so many families are applying, and these organizations have limited funding and have to make the very, very hard decisions on who to say yes and no too). I know these organizations do not take this task lightly, these applications are covered in prayer, tears are shed over the families they can not help and they rejoice with the families they can. Since we had received a Show Hope grant, a Legacy grant and a loan from ABBA fund for Bridget's adoption, I was honestly not optimistic to receive any grants for this adoption but I knew that if this was God's will, He would provide a way - and what a way He is providing!
We have not done the fundraising for this adoption that we did for Bridget's. With the trouble I've had with my asthma since coming home, along with adjusting to life with four kids, getting into a new routine and catching up on the school we missed while preparing for Bridget, I honestly could not commit myself to fundraising. I just didn't have it in me. Fundraising for Bridget's adoption wore me out. Garage sales, puzzle pieces, t-shirts, candles, this, that, whatever! God used all those things in a great way to help make a way home for Bridget, but I couldn't do it again. It took time away from my kids. It took emotional energy I just did not have, and as I have said in the past, I hate fundraising. Besides, for sanity's sake, we needed to stay on a routine with school and just have some normalcy in our lives! But when you have $30,000 to raise, you can't sit back and do nothing, can you? When you have a child half way around the world waiting for you, you can't NOT fund-raise. So whats a girl to do?
I had to give it to God. I had to surrender my pride and say "God, I just can't do it, you are going to have to" (As if I could really do it in the first place?!?!) I felt guilty, like I wasn't fighting for my child. Like I should be scouring the internet for every fundraiser, grant, loan application out there. I should be making bees wax candles, handmade somethings off pinterest and using our school time as a sweatshop to make handmade goods to sell for the adoption - but I couldn't. This is one of the hard parts of adoption - while you are longing for a child half a world away, your world right here still needs you too. There are kids that need fed (oddly enough, they want to eat, every day, more than once!) Those children want clean clothes (Well, I don't know if they care about that really, but I want them in clean clothes, I don't want my kids to be the "smelly Solecki's") and there are only so many hours in the day - I am not saying fundraising is wrong - I went buck wild with Bridget's adoption and drove my friends crazy with ideas on crafts I could make to raise money - but this time around, God told me to sit down, be still and let Him. And lo and behold, the support came in. Friends from church organized a secret raffle, friends that adopted with us the first time organized a dinner, friends and family encouraged their friends support our adoption, one sent out letters in their Christmas cards, another did a photo shoot and donated the proceeds to us, friends/family went to social media and advocated on our behalf. Money was being added to our adoption account and I wasn't doing a thing! God was. He was moving in the hearts of those around us and in the hearts of those around them and here we are, suddenly, almost to our goal, just a month or two away from getting our son and I can honestly say I have had so little to do with it. God has given us our son. He has provided every penny. He has moved mountains and provided beyond what we could have ever imagined!
Let me say this - we can't afford to adopt. And that is one of the top things I hear sooooooo many families say - "I would love to adopt, but its so expensive, we could never do it". We obviously cant afford it either! We totally have the means to raise another kid, but to adopt? Its not like $30,000 was just sitting around with nothing to do in a piggy bank on our dresser. I have been blown away by Gods provision. This is His adoption. These are His kids. He is the one fronting the cost. He is the one moving in the hearts of those around us - and if you feel called to adopt but are fearful of the financial cost - please, let our family be a testimony of God's provision to you.
Four years ago when we bought our house we hadn't even started talking about officially adopting yet. 3 months after we moved in, Mike got a significant pay cut - I'm talking HUGE. We weren't even sure how we'd pay bills let alone add to our family. A little over a year later is when God prompted us to adopt Bridget. We sat there looking at each other, almost laughing, because we knew it would take a handful of miracles to bring Bridget home - but God was so very faithful, and she is here! In the four years we have lived in this house God has allowed us to adopt not only Bridget, but now our son?!?! We probably would have told you BEFORE the pay cut that we couldn't afford to adopt, but clearly it's not about what we can or can not do - it s about what God wants to do.
I am reminded more and more that this is not about me (shocking, right?) Yesterday, I was telling God how unworthy I was of this gift. How I didn't deserve such grace and goodness - I see my other adopting friends who are struggling - longing to bring their children home - and I think "God, they are so much more faithful than I am!" "They spend more time in the word/prayer/soup kitchen/mission/holy church activity than me!" Why would you give this to us when we are so unworthy? And then God gave me an ego check. First off I was reminded what a gift is - it is undeserved. We don't earn gifts - sure, we live in a culture that now expects gifts, but really, do we deserve them? No. Also, God lovingly told me to take down the "me, me, me" talk down a bit because this wasn't a gift for me. It was a gift for my son. This gift is to bring him home. Oh, yes, I get to benefit from that gift (just like we benefit from someones birthday cake! We get to share in the sugary delight, but it is not "for us"). God is doing this for him. For our sweet boy, half a world away that has waited years for a family of his own. This boy, who has watched his friends, some of his family members even, adopted while he sat in wait...
Which leads me to the most OVERWHELMING emotion of all - will I be cut out to be this boys mama? Clearly, God has something amazing planned for his life. To see how God has moved... to see the response to his story... I'll be honest, I am a little scared that I won't be what he needs! But I am so humbled, so very, very humbled that God would allow me, a selfish, sarcastic, goofball, to mother this boy. I am so deeply in awe of God's graciousness that he would rally so many together on our behalf to help bring our son home. I am so amazed by God's provision, that strangers would hear about our family and our son and feel led to give grants, donations, pray and show love in so many ways.
I pray we can stand as a memorial stone for other families that want to adopt - they they would hear of how God provided to bring these amazing gifts into our home when we had ZERO means to do it on our own. It is not that we are amazing, special, spectacular people - we did nothing more than say yes when God said "go". We had no idea how God would provide, but He has, and He can for you.
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us"