Mark: Genesis 22:14 says, "On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided." Abraham proclaimed this after God provided a ram to be sacrificed in place of his son Isaac. Erika and I have seen time and time again God's provision and this past month as been no different. Erika will go into more detail below.
I have seen Heroes in action. Since this journey began Erika and I have been humbled by the financial generosity of those who want to see us bring our "baby girl" home as quickly as possible. Once again Erika goes into more detail below, but because of the efforts and gifts from many of you we are able to go further, faster. We are ahead of the curve with our process and paperwork because money has not slowed us down. Thank you for being our Hero!!
Erika: We've had LOTS going on in the last week or so!! We sent in our homestudy application and a majority of the required paperwork. We received an email about a week later that said they received it and would contact us soon to set up an appointment for a social worker to come and interview us. That was huge!!
We also went on Monday to apply for our passports. I knew the cost for the application and for the pictures but didn't realize we also had to pay other processing fees. It went very smoothly and quickly but I was a little surprised at how much that whole process cost! The amazing thing though is that each step as we face new needs and as we find out how each piece of paperwork seems to come with a new cost...God is ahead of us already providing. One family sent a check to Nightlight with our homestudy paperwork. God provided!
Another family has donated money each month for the last 3 months. Each time that donation arrived it was JUST as we were having to pay for 16 birth certificates from 3 different states...or finding out Mark needed to go back to Columbia again to order 6 more marriage certificates...or right as we received an email from Nightlight announcing that Ugandan lawyer fees went up in price another $1500. So this journey is definitely already a bit of a roller coaster ride, but God is saying hang on!! He is definitely in charge:)
We have some dear friends, Chris and Cookie Cawthon, that have been such an encouragement to us in this adoption process. Their two girls, Carson and Campbell, had a cookie and lemonade stand a few months ago and raised over $32.00 toward our adoption! Chris decided he was going to run the Myrtle Beach Half-Marathon to help us raise funds toward our adoption. Well, Chris is highly motivated and I've never met a person that doesn't think he is great!! We knew he would be successful at whatever he put his hand (or foot) to...but we have been blown away at his success.
We spent the night at the beach and Mark spent the morning of the race following Chris from point to point as much as possible. Chris did a great job running and finished the 13.1 mile race in 2 hrs 12 minutes. Even more impressive is that Chris' friendship and influence and efforts raised over $2500 toward our adoption!!! Isn't that so cool??!! We are so grateful for people like the Cawthons and other friends and family that are helping us reach our goal!! Our God provides!!
So next steps are:
1. Working on our dossier which is essentially all the paperwork that goes through the US Government's hands and then into the Ugandan officials' hands. Lots and lots of notarized stuff!
2. Waiting to meet with and be interviewed by a social worker from Nightlight as part of our homestudy.
3. Taking an online class and doing lots of reading and research to fulfill our education requirements for our homestudy.
I will also try to blog soon about the neat ways God has been preparing our boys' hearts for their little sister. We have prayed that the Lord would already begin bonding their hearts with this new sibling and God is answering that prayer!