As I mentioned in the last blog post, Daniel and I got plugged back into church after coming back from Hawaii. After the post-Hawaii blues, we felt that we needed that extra "pick me up" on a weekly basis. Prior to getting back on a regular Sunday morning routine, we finally felt it was time to sponsor a child through World Vision. We have felt the calling to sponsor a child for several years and it was time to stop saying and start doing. We found the most precious little girl in India who was born on our wedding day. She has become such an inspiration to us. In fact, we feel like she is our own child, only half a world away.
Our first Sunday back to church was a doozy of a day. Satan was trying everything in his power to keep us from attending that service. To start things off, we were late, which caused us not to find a parking spot at the church campus. We were headed out when we overheard a parking attendant mention to another car that there was a van picking up the overflow at a nearby lot. Luckily, we found a spot and were able to finally make it to the service. Since we were about 15-20 minutes late, there were no seats in the main auditorium. We were ushered to sit in the lobby to watch the service on a couple of tv's setup there. The ushers brought in chairs for everyone to sit on, but there were so many people that there was only 1 chair for me. Daniel ended up standing for about 10-15 minutes until an usher found another chair for him.
Upon the start of the sermon, Pastor Chris talked about the importance of giving, but not just of your money, but of your time. He mentioned several ways for the church to get plugged in and give of their time around the city. It wasn't until his last point that Daniel and I realized exactly why we were called to go to church on that particular day and why Satan had tried everything in his power to stop us from going. And Satan almost succeeded, because I was this close to telling Daniel let's leave since he didn't have a chair and listening to a sermon in the lobby of a church is rather distracting. I am so glad that we stayed. It was in that moment that Pastor Chris started talking about foster care through Lifeline Children's Services and how the church was going to hold a meeting for the church body for those who felt lead to foster a child. God has called us to give our time, money, and, most importantly, love to a child who isn't as fortunate as we are to have grown up with loving parents.
And so it was settled...
Daniel and I are excited to share that we are adopting a child from China. Isaiah 43:5 states "Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west." There have been many signs throughout my life (prior to knowing Daniel) where I knew adoption was in my future. When Daniel and I were married, we had talked about adoption and felt God leading us in that direction. At that time, we felt we would have a biological child before God called us to take action on this decision, but God works in mysterious ways. With that being said, at this point in time, a biological child is not His plan, at least not right now.
Every child up for adoption through Lifeline Children's Services is a special needs child. These special needs range from minor, correctable needs to severe needs. As you can imagine, this was not an easy decision to make. Adopting a child is hard enough, but a special needs child too? As scary and unsure as we were about adopting a child with special needs, the greater the peace we had that this was a part of His plan. Daniel and I know without a shout of doubt that there is a child who is/will be in an orphanage in China who needs us to love, teach, develop, nurture, and care for him/her. Honestly, I get teary-eyed every time I think about it.
Since returning from Hawaii and attending that one church service, God has sent us daily signs to point us to adoption. Did you know that November is National Adoption month? Neither did we, but we found out after we made the decision that adoption was our calling. Upon our decision, we youtubed other families' adoption stories and one video clip caught my eye. The family was standing at the place in China where you meet your child for the first time (I forget the name of the place, but it happens on "Gotcha Day"). It was then I remembered a dream that I had a few years ago........ Daniel and I were standing in that exact place waiting to receive our Chinese daughter. And where, you may ask, was our daughter during this dream? She was the one running around, acting like a crazy kid. As soon as I saw that place on the youtube video, I told Daniel that I had dreamed of that place before. And in the dream we were there to adopt our Chinese daughter, which is how I knew that China was our calling.
I could go on for the next hour or two recalling signs that Daniel and I have experienced within the last month about God pointing us to adoption. We are beyond thrilled to share this with you! In the coming days, weeks, months, and year, we will covet your prayers. It isn't going to be an easy road and Satan has already started his work in distracting us from where our focus needs to be. Please pray for guidance, direction, boldness to obey, open hearts, and peace about this journey. I don't think it would be normal if Daniel and I weren't a bit anxious about this process, but we are trusting in the One will never leave nor forsake us.
Along with your prayers for us, please pray about how God can use you to help support us: with words, letters/emails, and even financially. We don't want this to turn into a plea for money, because that is not the primary focus of this adoption journey. However, the means to the end result requires money and a lot of it. The total cost of this adoption is close to $35,000 for the fees and travel expenses as outlined by Lifeline's website. This amount doesn't even include the items needed once the child arrives: clothes, furniture, diapers, toys, etc (all of which are dependent on the child's age). Throughout the coming year, Daniel and I will announce various opportunities for you to give through fundraisers, auctions, raffles, etc. If you would like to participate in any of these areas and give of your talents/time/fundraising skills, please let me know. We would like for you to be a part of the journey in raising money rather than just writing a check. Support is key!
For those of you who are called to give, first we thank you. Without people like you, we will not be able to bring our child home. Please visit our fundraiser website to donate: Anchored in Faith. No amount is too small.
Even though our journey has just started, God has already started to teach us to trust Him fully. During our initial call with our socal worker, we found out that our first payment of $2,775 is due in just a few days. Luckily, we have a couple of months before the second payment of $2,775 is due so that was a semi-relief. However, she asked if this first payment was going to be a problem. I told her that it wouldn't be, because God will provide, but we are next to nothing in our adoption fund. This is when the real test of trusting God comes into play.
Again, huge THANK YOU to you for supporting us through this journey. We look forward to sharing it with each of you!
"For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is." Colossians 2:5