Still waiting and leaning deeper into His arms each and every day. I have had some quite weary days just not entirely understanding why this is taking longer than we were told it would...the BIG approval we need, that is. So much has gone so quickly that I suppose it was just a matter of time before we'd hit a bump in the road. The roller coaster of adoption is just that...many ups and downs and curves and bumps. One moment I feel as though we are full steam ahead and the next I am certain the brakes were put on hard...pretty much giving me whiplash!
I honestly cannot imagine going through this process without my faith. It's truly not for the faint of heart. We were told things would be sped along come the end of February...and they were...for one day. Then we hit a bump with a "slight smile" that was in one of our photos and had to redo that and resubmit. Thankfully, it was approved and accepted after we had a whirlwind of an afternoon to get a new photo taken and sent to the great database in the sky that holds more information than I think one person could really be comfortable with!
And, here we are again...waiting. And trusting. And praying. And learning an even deeper dependance in the One who loves Ailee James even more than me. Clinging tightly to His words to restore and redeem and rescue. He is, after all, the only One who can do just that.
In a way, it's a gift...this wait. It's teaching me so much and for that I am thankful. It's also giving us an opportunity to truly pour everything we have into this incredible opportunity to serve both the orphan and the widow this weekend. The Body is rallying strong and funds are finally starting to pour in...to help us finish this holy and hard calling He has led us to.
We knew when we first said "Yes" that the money would be an issue. It always is for most & is sadly what holds so many back from this incredible gift. We had just built our home less than a year earlier and were in no shape ready to take on the high cost of adoption...totaling nearly $40,000. We were not planning this sweet surprise & truly felt like somehow we had just wound up pregnant! We made decisions to do everything we could to take this giant leap of faith and trust God with the rest.
A dear friend said to me the other day "Do others realize that you literally are standing in the gap for this baby girl?!?". I have been far too proud to truly share so much of the money side of things because I never for a moment want my children to be seen as a purchase or as being bought. But, isn't that exactly what Jesus did for us??? He bought us with the highest price possible...His own blood. So, we respond "Yes, Lord, yes. We are trusting YOU!"
And...true to Who He is, He has graciously provided and allowed for every penny to be provided for. We have dug into savings more than we are comfortable and cut back drastically in our "extras". Hopes of once taking everyone to China to welcome our little bookend quickly turned to the reality that we just didn't have the ability financially to do so...with each person adding another $2500-3000 each after airfare & food at the least. I've applied for every grant we qualify for and received two that have totaled in $6500!!! Wow! What a blessing!
We are grateful that amount will help make up for the nearly $24,000 that we are already out of pocket. Um, yes. Really. And we still have travel and flights and orphanage donations and guide fees and more. I haven't even added up the amounts that I've spent on FedEx...ugh.
Yes, adoption is not for the weary. It has humbled us in a new way...having to rely on The Body to help us fulfill this Gospel calling in our lives.
Isn't that exactly what we are commanded though?!? I will tell you that this journey has totally opened my eyes to helping others...with even the littlest that I can...in the future. By default, as a Christ follower, I am called to care for the orphan. For our family, it is literally to take them as our own. For some, it's supporting us in prayer or serving in a project like the one we are having this weekend and others are able to give financially. But, we are all called...it's not IF, it's HOW.
If you have the smallest nudging at your heart to be a part of this Glory Story, please consider giving...we are praying we can raise enough in this final, giant push to have what we need in advance as God begins to part the waters and give us dry ground to walk across! Because, gracious y'all, when He does move...it's miraculous & that is exactly what I am praying for!
To Join us in Bringing Ailee James home, please visit: https://bothhands.org/project/butcher-410