Q: Whew! Isn’t this moving a bit fast?!
A: Right now it is, yes. We are beginning to wonder if God has marked us with an “E” for “Expedite!”
Just a few examples out of many…
Do you know that January and February are the slow months for the carpentry business? Joe has the ability right now to work full time for this adoption. And God has been providing income in other ways to meet the extra costs of drywall and other building materials, plus the $892 we have put toward the adoptions costs so far. More about the finances further down in this post.
Our family doctor’s office kept their doors open for me a few minutes past closing time, to allow me to drop off a form, and his head nurse “happened” to be behind the reception desk. She told me what to do with the form, and shocked me by saying that she has been following our story, when I didn’t know she’d even had the blog! Those of you who also keep blogs know exactly how encouraging it was to hear that!
The state police officer who took our fingerprints for the FBI check asked lots of questions and turned out to have a very soft heart under his imposingly burly exterior.
We got to the post office fifteen minutes before closing time to discover that we needed photocopies of our ID. We waited in line at the copy machine until the man in front of us told us it was out of paper. We eventually made those copies and got back to the passport counter with minutes to spare, but the man took us good-naturedly, and turned everyone behind us away.
Our home study social worker has been extra accommodating and helpful in telling us the fastest way to accomplish everything. She told us her schedule was busy next week, but she had three days this week available for our first interview. We had to hand in the bulk of the paperwork beforehand, be able to pay her first installment of $750, and not be snowed in. We handed in the paperwork yesterday, we found out in the nick of time that God provided $750 for us to pay her, and the snowstorm came early! Our appointment for those interviews is set for tomorrow (Thursday) morning, at 9:30.
At one point, an internet site was so confusing to me that I needed to ask Joe for help. When he looked into it, he found that we didn’t need to do what I was trying to do! I take that as God leading His ignorant child by the hand! I am so thankful that I can trust Him to do this!
Even our location is helping the process move faster. So far, we haven’t had to travel more than twenty minutes away from our home to accomplish any adoption-related errand. We will eventually need to travel to our state capital, but that is not a burdensome distance from our home.
None of these things are truly within our control. GOD IS IN CHARGE.
Q: What is your next step?
A: This process can be best described as slices, with many layers in each slice. We are given one slice at a time, and work our way through the layers, then go back for our next slice.
1. Right now, we are in the middle of the home study slice. The next step is tomorrow’s appointment at the home study agency office for our individual interviews. Joe will be interviewed alone for an hour or so, then it will be my turn. On Friday afternoon, Joe and I have appointments with our family doctor for our physicals. Joe is planning to be finished the drywalling process by Friday night, and Brian Carpenter is planning to paint on Saturday! That leaves the flooring and finishing for next week.
2. We are still waiting to hear from Lifeline! We have heard nary a peep! We don’t even know whether they have received our application, but Stephanie has been very quiet today…
..and I am so grateful to know that GOD IS IN CHARGE, not the Lifeline adoption agency!
3. I am working on filling out the commitment papers that will go to our girl’s country for our attorney to translate, along with the first $1300 of her fee.
But we cannot commit (send the papers and money to T***) until Lifeline approves our application! If I didn’t know that GOD WAS IN CHARGE of this, I’d be so nervous as to be worthless around here! As it is, I jump for the phone quickly these days!
Q: Will you need to travel to Eastern Europe?
A: Two trips are required. The first is typically five days long and the second is six to seven days long.
Q: When will the traveling take place?
A. Stephanie said that if all continues to move speedily, it could be as little as four months until the first trip. We don’t know what the timing will be, of course. But we do know that GOD IS IN CHARGE of it! We are resting in that!
Q: How are you managing to do all this extra work and still have a peaceful household?
A: We believe that God is allowing this in order to give us courage to keep wading through this process. If our family was feeling the kind of intense pressure we felt six months ago, we would be more likely to question whether God was leading us this way.
In human terms, it may help to understand that six months ago, our family essentially had to learn to function without me. Compared with that time, this feels like no pressure at all. The children have grown more competent. We’ve learned a bit more about functioning as a team. We’ve simplified many areas to make life more manageable. We are making very simple crockpot meals, we have pared down the “stuff” that steals more time than it is worth, our school routine from that time has worked so beautifully that we’re sticking with it, and we don’t iron our cloth napkins anymore–to name only a few examples! The changes we made then are making more time available for our family’s assignment now.
Verity’s feedings take considerably less time than they formerly did. We have 300 additional square feet of living space. We have all been abundantly healthy. Verity does not have doctor’s appointments like she did in the past.
But in reality, GOD IS IN CHARGE of this adoption. These details are just some of the means He is using. He could be sending difficulties, but right now He is not choosing to do that.
To give you an idea of what this looks like in real life…just today…
Monday and Tuesday were very full of errands, but they are completely done for now. Today is Jane’s birthday. It just happens to be the one weekday that neither Joseph nor Daniel work. God provided an additional break to prepare for her little party by sending enough snow that Verity’s occupational therapist is not coming today. Joe put the second coat of drywall compound on the bathroom walls this morning, and that coat takes twenty-four hours to dry before he can put the next coat on. That will work perfectly with tomorrow’s plans to meet with the home study social worker in the morning. I could go on…
Q: How are you planning to finance this adoption?
A: So far our plan has been to look to the Lord to provide, and so far He has been providing.
For many reasons, we are not planning to keep going on and on about how others can give. We are not looking to man, we are looking to God. Since some of you had asked me to let you know when we began to need funds, Stephanie thought we should honor that request.
God has sent us experienced help in the form of Kim Zimmerman. She is taking time from her own busy life to set up a plan for tax-deductible giving. When it is all settled, we plan to place all the logistical giving information on the sidebar of this blog so that if God moves someone to give, they don’t have to ask us how!
This is not an easy stretch of the journey. From here, it looks a lot like this~
“Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’
And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water,’
So He said, ‘Come.'”
We don’t want to bring shame on the name of Christ by treating Him as less than He is.
We’re reminding ourselves of a few truths.
~God leads by how He provides. If God puts the money into our hands, we will take the next step. If He does not put the money into our hands, we will not take the next step. Either way, we will accept it as His leading.
~For me, it is not wise to look at the total cost, or even to look further than the amount we will need in order to take the next step.
~Our heavenly Father often waits to provide until right when it is needed, to keep our eyes looking to Him. He’s keeping this journey exciting for us by doing just that!
~When others help financially, they are giving to the Lord to help bring this little girl home. They are not giving to us.
Can you tell that this aspect of this journey is by far the most difficult and uncomfortable for me? I think it’s because being here makes me feel vulnerable to criticism and I hate like anything to approach obnoxious. It would feel much more comfortable to not have to talk about this to you! But GOD IS IN CHARGE. And He isn’t interested in making me feel comfortable. Huh. <grin>