AP's. IASA. LOI. CCCWA. LID's. I800A.
A few weeks ago, these meant absolutely nothing to me. Now? They're life-changing.
Hubby says that I'm more transparent than I seem to believe. If you've been watching my Facebook wall over the last few weeks, I'm sure you've guessed, but...
First, I'll apologize to anyone who sees me on a daily basis. The select few people who have already been briefed on this subject are surely regretting their place, because this is all I can manage to talk about. My mother and sister have been getting 7am phone calls, because I just can't contain myself.
Second, I know what you're most likely thinking: we've lost it. Eeh, I guess you're right...but let me bring you to church for a minute and tell you what the Lord has done here.
I've felt the call to adoption since I was 12 or 13. I can't remember what caused the initial spark (because I can't really remember what I ate for dinner, let alone almost 20 years ago...), but it was something planted deep down in there to stay rooted all this time. Fast forward to the pre-marriage dating season when Dan and I were getting to know each other, and this subject was discussed and agreed upon. Some day, we'll adopt. Some day...which catches you up to about 4 weeks ago.
The seed that was planted so long ago had finally started to sprout, and I just couldn't get the adoption thought out of my head. The Lord was stirring in me, and unlike in years past, I just couldn't move past it this time. I started perusing the websites of various agencies, just to have enough background information on hand for when I brought this all up to Dan. I scoured the internet for agency reviews, inquired with friends and acquaintances who might have some valuable input, and kept coming back to one agency that just felt right.
As I started to dig into each page of their website, I came across their Special Focus children. These kids are those who have multiple minor special needs, a more involved health condition or medical history, or are older. I started to click right on past this section, because special needs or older children were just going to be something that we couldn't handle. Curiosity (and the Holy Spirit's nudge) got the best of me, and there I went, age group by age group, child by child, looking at each child's profile. The 0-4 age group had some cuties, that's for sure. The 10+ age group had some handsome fellas and beautiful young ladies, but there was something about that 5-10 age group that I was drawn to: they were my kids' age (W is 6, and O will be 5 in less than 2 weeks).
I was scrolling along, checking out each precious face, when I saw him (for the sake of a name, let's call him Z). I'm pretty sure I gasped when I saw him. Charming smile, dancing eyes, seemingly infectious laugh... I read his profile, re-read his profile... that kid!!! What was it about that face that I couldn't get over? The next evening, as I was perusing yet again, I found myself back at his profile, reading more into one smiling picture than humanly possible. I had to tell Dan about him. He was just too special not to.
After almost 12 years of marriage, I'm pretty sure *nothing* I say truly surprises Dan anymore. When I brought up adoption again (as I had been known to over the years), and showed him this little man's face, I think he realized I was a bit more serious this time. Two weeks had passed, and I was still reading Z's 8 sentence profile several times a day. I finally decided that it would be a disservice to our family (and to Z) to not click the button that requested more information on him.
The request led to webinars on adoption, crunching (and recrunching) of financial numbers, and finally, an email back to the agency to say that Z was still in our thoughts and prayers. Now adoption agencies get files on children for a set duration, and then the files are sent to the next agency if the children aren't yet placed. The response to our email was that Z's designation of this agency was being pulled in 10 days. 10 days. If this was something we were serious about, if Z was someone we were serious about, we had to move, and move quickly. Dan and I prayed about it (again), thought about it, and stared at each other blankly for a few minutes before we decided that this. was. right.
Application in, emails flying, consultations with physicians from across the country, forms being signed and notarized, and the Lord was in the midst of all of it. You see, every time I'd stop and think that this was crazy, and that we have no business adding to our family right now, I was reassured beyond doubt. Each time I'd question that this was actually the time that God wanted us to move forward with adoption, I'd hear the right song on the radio, or read the right Bible verse to calm any of my trepidations:
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. Brothers and sisters, pray for us." -Thessalonians 5:16-25
the scariest part wasn't that there would be another child running
around our craziness, or that they might have medical concerns, but it
was the financial aspect of the adoption. I don't know about you, but we
sure don't have thousands and thousands of dollars just sitting around
waiting to be spent. In my head, I know that. I also know, however, that
when the Lord calls you to something, HE'S GOT IT. He calls you to it
to trust Him, not just in the idea, but in the execution. All you have
to do is say YES, and He'll handle the rest (yes, even the $$ rest).
that's where we are! Trusting. Believing. Praying. Wondering. We'll
find out very soon if it will be likely that little Z will be joining
our family. Crazy, huh?
Oh I'm sorry, did I hear something? Did you say you wanted to know how to help us?? How generous of you!
Here's what we need.
Prayer. Sound cliche? My apologies, but that's what we need. First and
foremost. Prayer got us here, and it'll get us through the next
year...and next 20, 50...and beyond.
Financial. So we don't have the roughly $37,000 it will take to bring
our child home. I'm not ashamed to admit that. I bet you don't have it
in your rainy day fund, either...but you might have just a little bit.
While this isn't everyone's possibility, if 37 people could give $1,000,
it's done. Or just sign up to buy some of our chicken and duck eggs.
Fundraisers. We're planning on having a ton of them. These are going to
be a great way to support us a bit here and there all along the way.
4) A little more prayer. Let the funds that we do have be stretched beyond what we can fathom. Loaves and fishes here, people.
tuned for more updates. My mercy, I'm sure you'll be bombarded with
them as this story continues to be written. I'll leave you with the
lyrics to a song that has come across the radio and just the right time, several times:
Call it a reason to retreat
I got some dreams that are bigger than me
I might be outmatched, outsized, the underdog in the fight of my life
Is it so crazy to believe
That You gave me the stars put them out of my reach
Called me to waters a little too deep
Oh, I've never been so aware of my need
You keep on making me see
It's way beyond me
It's way beyond
Anything that I got the strength to do
In over my head keeps me countin' on You
I'm leaving the sweet spot, sure shot
Tradin' it all for the plans You got
Is it so crazy to believe
You take me to the place where I know I need You
Straight to the depths that I can't handle on my own
And the Lord I know, I know I need You
So take me to Your great …
Take me to Your great unknown
-Toby Mac, Great Unknown