Friday, January 25, 2013

Running over....

Wednesday morning was when I posted that we really wanted to be considered for a birth mother that is due soon....but we definitely needed $10,000 to be considered.  I honestly was at the bottom of my rope.  I was so discouraged....and knew God COULD do it....but totally expected a no.  I was definitely fighting some heavy spiritual attack and couldn't shake this feeling of hopelessness.  So I wrote the blog post.  I was discouraged to be "asking" again.  I was trying to figure it out in my own strength again.  I wanted to figure out what I could sell or how I could earn this money fast enough.  One friend simply reminded me that sometimes we just need to open our mouths and ask.  Folks will say no or yes, but leave it up to them and the Holy Spirit.  So I did...and I reached out to some friends asking for some strong prayers for my heart and spirit. 

Wednesday night we had our small group and we started a series on God's promises.  Umm...yeah...He has impeccable timing.  I won't share all three pages of my notes, but He reminded me that He is about His business.  I can walk by faith while I wait for Him to work because His promises are exceedingly great.  And when it comes down to it I experience His promises through Jesus every day....through Him.  He is enough to sustain me until I see, someday, what I am hoping for.

So after an exhausting day of hoping, but grieving because I expected Him to say no.  I had worked myself up all day to accepting a no answer, not very graciously.  I had no idea that during the two hours we met, several people had called and emailed leaving messages saying they were sending....$6,800.  Oh my goodness!!! By noon on Thursday people had pledged by Feb. 1st to make sure we had in our hands over $7,500!! A-MA-ZING!!

We needed $7,000 to meet our agency fees so they could feel comfortable showing our portfolio to the birth mother this weekend. We were so thankful to be able to email our agency director Thursday morning and say that we are on board!! Hopefully unless the snow changes the plan, they will show our portfolio, along with several other families to the birth mother.  So please pray that the Lord will close the door if this is not the little one for our family or help us find favor in the birth momma's eyes if this is our little Chapman.  There are some amazing, incredible families that are waiting to be matched.

We are still continuing to raise funds because we need to pay for lawyer fees and traveling expenses; as well as other random expenses like FBI fingerprinting, having our homestudy changed to a domestic study and fixing some things at the house that need to be done since our household has changed a bit for homestudy purposes. We will have to travel out of state for at least a week when/if we go to get the baby.  This will require at least one trip, maybe two.  And there may be medical bills we need to cover for the birth mom.  Lots of uncertainties that may require funding.

The Lord is taking care of that too.  Friends have already started planning fundraisers, including a 31 party and a hair-cut-a-thon!  We have also had two people pledge different amounts for the future, as well as people send messages from other states letting us know that they are sending donations.  Once again we are overwhelmed and amazed at people's generosity and willingness to invest in our family.  What it really comes down to though is people's obedience and willingness to sacrifice to obey James 1:27.  And our prayer is first of all that all of this will bring Jesus great, big glory!! We also are praying this verse for each person that has given and reached out to let us know they are praying:
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Luke 6:38

We are praying the Lord pours out His blessings on you!  Thank you for your sacrifice and your obedience in blessing us!! We are so undeserving and so, so thankful!! We may not get picked this time.  However this will make us ready for whenever we are chosen.  It could be next month...I believe there is at least one, maybe two other mothers that would be due this year that might possibly choose us.  And who knows, we are still #1 on the Uganda waiting list!!

Regardless we want to give praise to the God who provides.  As Philippians 4:19 says, " And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."  He knows what I need best.  So we may need to wait longer:) but I'm so astounded at the number of loud "yeses" we have heard over the past three days!

Thank you friends and family!! We love you so much! We will update again once we know more, I promise!  And if I haven't responded to your email/text/fb message/phone call, please forgive me!  I will soon!  I am so blessed to have received many, many, many messages from y'all letting me know you are praying, or asking how to help, or encouraging me.  I will respond I just am also finishing more adoption paperwork, doing some Norwex parties, feebly attempting to homeschool, trying to keep up with my wonderful CBS ladies and keeping the household afloat:)  Someday I will get caught up and respond in a timely manner....maybe...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Higher than the mountains that I face...

My emotions are everywhere and I honestly am not sure I should be the one writing this post.    However you all have walked with us this far so I wanted to just lay out there where we are and what we face.  

We already updated you last post that we are #1 on the waiting list for Uganda.  A referral still appears to be quite a ways off which means maybe 6-9 months, possibly less.  We did hear back that the 4 yr old boy that we prayed about adopting did find a family.  Thank you Jesus!

There is a birth mom that the agency would like to show her our portfolio.  However we were told yesterday that basically we need to fill a $10,000 gap before they feel comfortable showing her our info.  She is due in February so a decision needs to be made quickly and the possibility of bringing a baby home is soon.  They are letting us transfer some of our funds from the international program over to domestic.  Much of what we have paid already went toward our home study and the recent update.  We also spent thousands of dollars on immigration approval, fingerprinting, birth certificates, passports, adoption education required for the home study, dr. appts, paperwork, etc, etc. 

However to finish the fees for the domestic program, the lawyer fees and traveling expenses we need to have access to almost $10,000.  The whole amount is $18,000 but through generous people and through fundraising we definitely have $8,000 readily available.

We hope/plan to do another yard sale on Sat. , Feb. 2nd.  That usually makes around $1,000. And just this morning two more friends pledged to gift us $600.:)  We are applying for an adoption grant today with a local bank.  We also are pursuing some adoption grants but unfortunately many of them don't guarantee a response for 60-90 days and they cannot be awarded once the child has come into care.  So if we are going to pursue this baby that is due in Feb, those won't work.

So we definitely need $9,400.  So will you pray with us?  We are also looking to sell some personal items...hopefully on ebay. Like my violin from high school, and my china, both Christmas and regular. The agency would really like to show this young woman our info this week but we don't want to sign paperwork until we truly feel like we have access to $10,000.  

This might be a door that closes.  Regardless we still need to raise $10,000 for travel to Uganda.  So either way that is our current goal.  I would be false if I didn't say that my heart really, really wants at least the chance for this birth mom to pick us.  I would love to bring a little one home.  But I know that the Lord has His plan and it is indeed best.  I choose to trust that and trust Him.  More than anything...truly, truly, we want Him to get great big glory!

So, so, so many of you have given sacrificially to us along this journey. THANK YOU!!!  It is not wasted, but hopefully about to bring our dream to pass.  Please hear me say we are not asking you to give again or more!! We are forever grateful!!  If someone is reading this though and feels a quickening in their spirit to help in any way though, we humbly and graciously would love for you to be part of this journey.  

I will update you as soon as we hear back from the bank about the possible grant.  We also are looking into a no-interest adoption loan to see if that would be a possibility.  We are also praying we might find someone willing to loan us a gap amount that we could repay within the year.  We potentially should get some refund money back through the adoption tax credit but it would be the beginning of next year.  So...

This is humbling and scary. I have been an emotional basketcase the past two days.  So if you see me and my eyes are glazed over, please forgive me.  I so, so hope that this is it!  But it very realistically might be another no...and that honestly makes me cry.  If the Lord fills the gap in the next few days then the birth momma will look at our stuff and we could potentially travel to get a little one in the next couple of weeks.  If that doesn't happen then we will continue to find ways to save and earn money and pray and wait for another referral.

Shew! Thanks for reading this long craziness and for journeying with us.  If you are contemplating giving, then thank you and bless you!!  If you can and will pray for us then thank you and bless you!!

This is what I know:

Higher than the mountains
That I face
Stronger than the power
Of the grave
Constant in the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me
Your love

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen 
Ephesians 3:20-21

Friday, January 18, 2013

What is new!

Sweet friends and family-

What is going on with us? :)  The exciting news is that we have officially moved up to the #1 spot on the waiting list for Uganda through Nightlight/A Helping Hands Adoption.  The disheartening news (in a sense) is we are probably at least 6-9 months away from a referral.  There are a few more children that have come into care but they can't even be considered for referral until at the very earliest possibly May. Then we would have to wait for a court date, etc.

We have been blessed over the last few months to reconnect with a precious friend, Lakeisha.  She was in my Community Bible study group last year and I had the privilege last May of being present at her daughter Paris' birth.  We didn't see much of each other this summer but in August we reconnected.  Lakeisha lived quite a ways from town and was having car issues so we started helping get her to work and also I offered to watch Paris while she worked.  Over Christmas it became apparent that her living situation wasn't going to work out so she moved into the apartment attached to our house.  The week before my parents, who had been living in the apartment, moved to Atlanta. We were sad, sad to see them go, but are believing with them that 2013 will bring them boatloads of blessings in Atlanta. So it all worked out.

Lakeisha hopes to eventually move into her own place but this helps her in the in between.  We love having her nearby and hopefully this will help her get back on her feet more quickly.  Through our time with Paris, as a family, we realized that we really would love to have a baby.  We are open and excited about the possibility of adopting older children but we newly recognized that adopting an infant would be a blessing too.

So as a result, we decided to look into domestic adoption as well.  Right now we are on a waiting list for both domestic and international ...we will just see which door the Lord opens first!  We have had some unusual possibilities arise over the last month or two, but nothing has come to fruition.  So we continue to pray and wait and just believe that the Lord will make it crystal clear and everything will fall into place at just the right time! We asked for prayer just today because we were contacted by an attorney in the state that we have communicated with in the past because he is looking for a family for a little boy from out of state.  They needed to place him very quickly. We were willing and excited but the details just did not fall into place, so we had to pass on that referral.  We are praying that Jesus brings that little man just the right family and quickly.

Mark also started a new job in December as the Discipleship Director at the Florence Newspring Campus.  He is loving this change and we are all adjusting to the transitions it brings.  The Lord is so good to us.  I have to be honest in saying that I am feeling a bit blue at still not having a referral, but I am thankful.  I realize the process is part of the journey and we are definitely learning and growing.  These are growing pains.:)  Thank you for journeying with us, supporting us and lifting us up in prayer.  You all are such an encouragement when you ask how things are going and send me messages and notes of encouragement.  We continue to pray that Jesus' name would be glorified and lifted high, high high through this entire process!!