There are three major checkpoints we must pass through on our way to Katerina.
The first was obtaining an approved home study, which is being written now.
The second was having our application approved by the adoption agency.
The third is receiving the Golden Ticket, the approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. As soon as that home study is completed and any necessary revisions have been made, and God provides the funds, we will be able to apply for this approval.
In the meantime…
There are many ministries that offer adoption loans and grants, as well as providing a means for others’ donations to be tax-deductible.
We believe that it would be unwise to presume on the future by going into debt, so we will not at any time apply for a loan.
We are researching various ministries to apply for available grant funds.
But we are most eager to set up a way for the gifts of others to be tax-deductible.
We are finding that all these ministries require applicants to have an approved home study, or be nearly there, before applying. And most of them take one or two months just to process the application.
The first ministry we approached for this kind of help turned us down, and unnecessary words of impossibility were spoken over us. I know that we are not the only ones who have heard discouraging words regarding their adoptions, words that come from too high a view of man and his ways, too low a view of God and His ways.
These words came upon us when our strength was already at low ebb, for various reasons, primarily because…
I had misunderstood the timing of some of the the upcoming fees, and mistakenly thought that, for the first time in this adoption, we could not pay what we owed.
Owed? Yes, owed.
Some parts of the adoption process are like taking a purchase to the checkout counter. It is clear when God is sending us up to the counter, because He puts the money into our hands. If He doesn’t, we know He is saying, “Wait.” Our USCIS application is in this category. If we have the money in hand when it is ready to send, we will send it. If we don’t, we will wait for God’s signal.
But we have also had to sign three contracts, one with our home study agency, one with our attorney in Katie’s country, and one with our adoption agency. We have promised to pay them large sums of money at very specific points in the process. We signed these in full faith that God would not abandon us on the field. Large sums of money to us are pennies on the sidewalk to Him.
When I thought, for those few hours, that the bills were due and the money was not there, I agonized over questions I had never asked before. We know God can provide. We had wholeheartedly expected Him to provide. But He hadn’t. WHY?? “Oh God, what are You saying to us?”
And then the words of skepticism and faithlessness were spoken with what felt like threatening undertones.
For the first time, I looked full on the face of the enemy, and knew his name. His name is Fear. He grabbed for my throat and hissed, “Envision failure, you crazy fools who will let a lot of people down. She will never be yours.”
He wants to force us to look at him, listen to him, give in to him.
“But God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind!”
Fear has no power, no love, no sound mind to give us! We reject this enemy and his malevolent whispers.
We rejoice that God had indeed provided for what we actually owed at that time!
We pray boldly that the threatening undertones in that ministry’s words will come to nothing.
We pray boldly that our I-800A application will sail unchallenged through the USCIS approval process.
We ask great things of our great God!
Alone in the van on the way to a nearby friend’s house, I sang this at the top of my lungs~
“Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before:
Christ the royal Master leads against the foe; forward into battle, see, his banners go.
At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory:
Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise!”
Then I sang it all the way back home again after a pleasantly restful afternoon.
A visiting friend of our older boys requested it during our family’s Bible time.
Which came after a phone call from Kim that filled my eyes with tears of joy. She told me that Merle came home from the Bath Barn with two more large checks, both from friends who have already given. Oh friends, what rejoicing!
Thank you to those who are praying for God’s strength for us, strength that He has promised to give us! By Him we can run against a troop, and by our God we can leap over a wall.
We PRAISE HIM!!!
[The above recording–did you click on that link?– is the only one we have readily available to us of this new favorite Welsh hymn tune. It is one of many teaching tools that my brother has made to aid others in becoming familiar with lesser-known but worthy hymn tunes. Thank you, bro! You are a blessing to us!]