Friday, June 11, 2010

Icing with a Cherry on Top--A HUGE Thank You

I have always envisioned our whole family in China when we meet our little girl. When we got news of Hayden, and that we'd be traveling this summer to get her, we immediately asked the adoption agency for information about the added expense for our other children to go with us. The answer was staggering. And we "knew" we could never make that happen. But, we also knew that if them going was something that God wanted, He could make it happen, so we just prayed.

Easter weekend Jay Martin, a friend from our first community group here at Fellowship, approached McKenna and told her that he and his wife, Terri, wanted to buy two of the plane tickets to China. That is HUGE! And, one of many times that words of thanks seem inadequate.

Well, once again, we have been blessed beyond anything I could've ever imagined. Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about because you are a part of it. I am referring to the secret emails that were circulated by a friend who strongly believes our kids are supposed to travel to China with us to meet Hayden.

Yesterday our dear friend, Clarissa, gave us an envelope containing $2,600 in cash and checks. She wishes badly that she could have remained anonymous (to us), but timing didn't allow that. For those who don't know about this, I'll fill in the details.

Clarissa told me that she and McKenna were talking a few weeks ago and Clarissa asked McKenna about the trip to China. McKenna told her that it was looking like they would not be able to go because the cost of the kids' travel is the same as Parker's first year of college (!) and we just knew there was no way to make it happen. Clarissa said that at that moment she felt strongly impressed that the kids were supposed to go with us. In fact, she said she's never felt more strongly about anything. So, she made a plan to have McKenna "hack" into my computer and Darrell's to get email addresses of our friends and family and sent a message asking people to consider giving $40. It was very important that we not know about it because she knew we would not feel comfortable with what she was doing.

Clarissa, and her husband Rodney, have a different perspective on money than most people I know, including me. But, I must say that after this experience, I may see things her way. She says that everything we have belongs to God, whether we have much or little. And that the very best thing we can do with it is use it for His purposes. I "know" all of that with head knowledge. It is much harder for me to live it. Here's the amazing thing. Clarissa and Rodney left this morning to take a team of teens to Uganda, Africa on a missions trip. Many of you will remember that Parker went with them on that trip last year. So, she has been raising support for their trip, along with all of the details that go into planning that kind of adventure. Oh, yeah, not to mention making arrangements for 9 of their 10 children who would not be going on this trip with them. I write this through tears of humility and gratefulness. How in the world--why in the world, would someone with that much on her own plate take the time and energy to do what she did for my family. And with the sweetest disposition. In fact, the only time she seemed rattled was when I questioned what she had done. She quickly chided me and encouraged me to have faith.

My only opposition was this: God, and the Church, have already given SO much to my family for this adoption. I don't feel like we deserve any more. There are so many other needs--other families adopting who need help with funding, even. Clarissa was not slow to remind me that this is not about me. It is about God. Always about Him. And, about allowing the Church the blessing of giving gifts for His purposes. She said it has been a huge blessing to her to hear and read how excited people are to have the opportunity to do this for us. I can't even see the screen right now for the tears.

So, to all of you who have contributed, a HUGE thank you. That seems so inadequate. I don't know how to say thank you for this. Knowing that Parker, McKenna and Logan will get to experience Hayden's home country with her is priceless. Everyone we know who has taken their older children on the trip to receive their child has said so. In fact, every one of them told us that they would do whatever it took to make it happen. We just didn't have the resources to do it on our own. This is a gift without end. It will not end when we return home. Hayden will treasure forever that we came to her world. She will remember that her siblings got to meet her foster family, eat her food, smell her smells and see her land, forever. The pictures we'll have of our family together in China will be a testimony of God's faithfulness--not just to us, but to the Martins and Clarissa and all those who felt impressed that the kids should go with us.


Mo said...

I love the way God shows up. Tracy, your struggles are so similar to mine. I'm here because people have made sacrifices. Asking for a little more is hard and I often think, I've already gotten my share, why should I receive any more (even knowing it's all God's and for Him to do with as He pleases for His Kingdom). I'm so happy for you, not only that the whole family gets to go together, but that God has revealed something big about His nature. We never stop learning, do we.

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

I just finally read through all of your old posts. Kristin had told me you had a HUGE answer to prayer. I loved reading about it all. REading it strengthened my faith, I think. Soooooo excited for you. :)