You might read the title and think this is a post about the terrible weather we've had lately. It is true that our weather has been crummy the last few days, but that isn't what this is about. This story is about God's overwhelming and uniquely refreshing faithfulness.
We've shared bits and pieces of the story along the way - of loss and hope, of a call and our response, and even a fundraising update. But to be honest, the theme of the last 10ish months has been "How on Earth Will this Ever Happen?"
Because adoption is expensive. We're talking a little over 3/5 of Lucas' annual salary expensive. And we are not people who have that kind of money lying around. We only had a rough idea of what the expenses were when we first started praying about adopting (in all honesty, I kind of assumed we would end up adopting domestically because it would be more realistic financially). I remember praying, "God, if you really want us to adopt, please let us have $7,000-8,000 by the end of our 6 months." That amount in that short of time seemed pretty enormous to me, and would truly confirm both our calling to adopt and God's providence. 3 1/2 months later we had $8,500 in our account. Wow. We were over the moon. This was it! The same week we hit that mark, we discovered an agency with a program with the country that had been on our heart all along. We were ready to fill out our application that day! God had answered all our prayers! But, we had committed to 6 months of prayer and preparation. "We should stick to that," I insisted "We don't want to miss God doing something amazing because we rushed a timeline we set." 2 weeks later, we sat down and looked at the specific costs of the specific program with our specific interests in mind (we'd really like to adopt 2 children). The actual cost was so much more than we thought that a part of us truly despaired actually ever having the money to make it a reality.
For me, it was almost a crisis of faith. My head said, "The amount of money may have changed, but God didn't. He can give $80,000 as easily as he can give $8,000. No amount is too big for Him." But I found my heart almost whispering, "It's ok, God. This is big, and I know there really isn't a feasible way to bring this amount of money in. It's ok if you can't do this. We will be patient until it can happen. I understand. It's just too big." I felt ashamed that I felt this way, but, as I told one person, "Money would basically have to rain from heaven for us to even have the portion of the cost we would like to have before we apply." And the reality was that I truly didn't believe it could happen.
And then I felt a sprinkle.
It started slowly. We put out a request for donations for a yard sale, and not only was there an overwhelming response, the sale also brought in way more than we ever expected! And then money started coming from really unexpected places - a check from the hospital that double-billed us, gifts from unexpected places, accounting errors. It was incredible. At one point, Lucas said to me, "It feels like money is raining down from heaven." He never knew I said that to someone else, and when my words came back to me I started to cry. In my heart, I knew that it really was.
And then Lucas remembered his airline rewards that he has been collecting for years. After many calls to Delta to go over and over how it all works, how many reward points we need, ways to get extra points, an incredible offer where Delta matched all points gifted, and generous friends who gifted significant amounts without hesitation, we feel confident we have enough points to cover our tickets round trip, and tickets for our children to come home! That is about 1/3 of the budget! And, the amount it covers added to the amount we have in the adoption savings account equaled almost exactly the amount we had as our goal for application.
I am overwhelmed by the faithfulness of God despite my complete lack of faith. I lost sight of how big God is, and believed that the cost of what He was calling us to do was too much for Him to provide. I sing this song to the kids almost daily, but these past few months have been a very tangible reminder of how great our God really is!
So we sent in our application. In fact, we have signed all the consents and contracts, sent in our first agency fee, and have our program orientation next week! At one point we couldn't imagine being in this place for at least a year, probably 2. It feels a little surreal to be here now.
There is still a lot ahead. We have been told that from application to bringing your child(ren) home it takes about 18-24 months. Potentially more. I keep trying to imagine what life will look like in this time in-between - home studies with a social worker, getting all of our documents together to send overseas, the business of preparing and then the unbearable still of waiting to be matched, our trip there, and our incredible trip home. The one thing I know I can count on? More fundraising. Seriously, we still have a significant chunk to pull together in the next 18-24 months! But the one thing I really know I can count on? God, who will provide according to our needs and His purposes in His perfect timing.