Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stretch Marks - The Journey (Part 2)

So we felt led to move forward with adopting a little girl from China as the Lord provided. And, I hate to put this in writing, but honestly, I felt like I was probably "off the hook" as they say. I mean, international adoption is EXPENSIVE! And I was serious about this not affecting our grocery envelope. (Not a very nice thing for a momma to say, huh?)

Well, about a week later we got a note in the mail from a family we'd never met that included a check for $150! I remember, like it was yesterday, exactly where I was when I opened it and exactly what I thought and felt. My knees felt like noodles! It was from Christy's sister. (See The Journey...Part 1) The note said that they had never been led to adopt, but loved helping other families in the process. The check was for the required Pre-Adoption Workshop and the Initial Application fee. I distinctly remember thinking, "Oh no! This is not my money. I can't back out now!"

I need to make sure to explain that I never REALLY didn't want to adopt. I was just scared. My faith needed to be stretched. Sitting here nearly four years later, one week from leaving to meet my new daughter, I find that last sentence funny. To say my faith has been stretched doesn't even begin to describe it. And yet, I feel sure there is much more stretching to be done in the coming days, weeks, months and years. (Who says you don't get stretch marks when you adopt?!)

The workshop was led by Kimberly (our FABULOUS Dillon-Little Rock social worker and friend) and Christy, and it was wonderful. Other couples were there in various stages of beginning the adoption process. I cried, which is not surprising at all. That was the day I decided that I *wanted* to adopt a little girl from China and I wasn't just doing it for Darrell.

It was only a couple of weeks (maybe even the very next week) after receiving the check from Christy's sister that Darrell got an invitation to provide original music for a commercial with a pay of $800. That's not terribly unusual (though not all that common, either). What was surprising was the subject of the commercial. It was for the state of Colorado. They were doing an "adoption blitz" with the goal of emptying the foster care system. How's that for a gift tag?

Not long after that, a card was left in Darrell's mailbox at the office with $200 cash and a note that said, "For your China doll."

Are you seeing what I was seeing?

In December of that year we went to the bank to open a separate account for the adoption money. The young guy helping us noticed that Darrell works at Fellowship and told us that he attends Fellowship, so we struck up a conversation and told him what we were doing and how God had already begun to provide.

On January 8th of the next year (Darrell's birthday), we received an envelope that had only a deposit receipt showing that $1,000 had been deposited in the adoption account. It was kinda obvious who it was from, so we called to thank him. He told us that his wife is adopted and they are excited about what we are doing.

All of that money got us through the big application, which included ordering official legal documents (birth and wedding certificates) from several states, medical exams for everyone in the family, and background checks with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. We filed that application on March 13th and were told that it could take a month to get a response. We got word that it was approved in three weeks! That was great news, but the next step in the process is the home study and we didn't have enough money left in the account for that.

Darrell and I prayed out loud together that night (not uncommon, but not a daily occurrence) thanking God for moving forward and expressing that we completely trust His provision and timing. We knew that HE knew where the money would come from and when and we would just wait.

The NEXT DAY when I came home from CBS, Parker said a man named Andy had called from Life International (now Lifesong for Orphans). I called, but Andy was out. I asked the lady who answered who they are and what they do. She told me that they help people fund their adoptions through grants, loans, and fundraising kits. We assumed that Darrell had requested information, so she said she'd send me the application, but that I could take my time with it because they don't usually get involved until after the home study has been approved. That's too bad, I thought, because we can't move forward with the home study until we have the money. About 5 minutes later she called back and told me that I needed to complete the application as soon as possible and get it back to them because OUR ADOPTION HAD BEEN FULLY FUNDED BY AN ANONYMOUS DONOR!!! I had to ask her to slow down and repeat what she said. Then I asked her to define "fully funded!" She clarified that it meant all expenses for the adoption would be paid for. Parker says the next thing I said was, "So I SHOULD be rolling around on the floor?!?" I don't know exactly what I meant by that, but I'm just sure it was the perfectly composed and dignified response she was expecting. NOT! I hope Darrell will write about how I told him because I have no idea. I don't remember the rest of that day at all.

If I ever doubted whether we were supposed to adopt a little girl from China, all of those doubts were out the window. If I ever doubted if God could afford (or would care enough) to pay for it...yep...out the window. If YOU ever want to know something FOR SURE, just ask God to prove it to you. His Word says He is up to the challenge.

So, we proceeded with the home study, and finally our dossier was "logged in" in China on August 17, 2007.

And the waiting began.

To be continued...


Natasha said...

so exciting to read your story! I am excited to be neighbors with you and maybe get to be a part of this little girl... God has great plans for her and you are helping to bring them about through your faith and trust in Him!

TracyA said...


Thanks for the note! I am excited for Hayden to meet you and her new neighborhood friends!