Monday, September 30, 2013

Guest blog post at What To Expect When You're Expecting!

So remember a few hours ago when I wrote about how God just keeps "overwhelming" us with His provision in our adoption? Well, just to drive the point home, here is a recent update:

A few weeks ago I was invited to write an article for the website www.whattoexpect.com. They have a super great section called "Word of Mom" which features articles written by all kinds of moms in all kinds of life situations. I was THRILLED by the invitation and even more excited that the article topic was left pretty much up to me, as long as it involved an aspect of parenting. After a few weeks of throwing a couple ideas around I finally finished my article and today it went LIVE on the website!

Click on the link to read the post!!
http://www.whattoexpect.com/wom/toddler/looking-at-adoption-through-the-eyes-of-my-4-year-old.aspx#

This is a HUGE opportunity for us to share our story and, hopefully, get that much closer to bringing our child home from China. 

Please COMMENT on the article and SHARE IT on Facebook and Pinterest!

If you are visiting from "What to Expect," Welcome! I'd love to invite you to join our blog and follow our adoption journey!

Stay with it.

I am so thankful that for these next few months all we have to focus on is fundraising. We are praying that we can raise around $5000 to $6000 by January so we can hit the ground running when its time for our home study in February. Wondering why we have to wait till Feb? Check out this post for the details. I am thrilled to report that as of this weekend, we have raised about $1200 towards that goal!!

Even though we have only scratched the surface of all this adoption adventure entails, I have already begun to feel overwhelmed. It's not all "stress" overwhelmed. Much of my "overwhelmedness" is due to the amazing ways God continues to show up and confirm His call on our family to adopt. Yesterday I sat down and began to write a list of the people who have donated money, dropped of items for yard sales, babysat so I could work on fundraising details, etc. My list already has over two dozen names! And we are only a month in!! 

Yesterday Pastor Travis preached on living a "risky" life. So so so good. One of the passages he taught from was Hebrews 10:32-39. The last verse brought such encouragement to my heart: 

"But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way."

What was even more encouraging was when I came home and looked up the scripture and realized it was just two verses down from the passage that has become my "theme" for this adoption! I even blogged about the verses a few weeks ago! 

So if you have a seemingly impossible task staring you in the face: financial challenges, kids starting puberty, hand-made Halloween costumes, etc., write Hebrews 10:39 on a sticky note and put it on your bathroom mirror. What great words to speak over your life as you are getting ready in the morning!

Stay with it!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rummage Sale Success

The rummage sale numbers are in...drum roll, please...

We made over $630.00 towards our adoption! 

Here are some pictures of our prep work:

The kiddos and I had fun making and decorating posters for the rummage sale.
Serious business...
Sorting and packing up the great items donated by our friends 

We had a table set up with info about our adoption journey and a donation jar as well as about half a dozen of our annoyingly bring posters notifying shoppers that 100% of our sales were going to bring our child home from China. 


My favorite part of the sale was the many great conversations I had with folks as they perused our goods. I was really surprised at how many people either knew someone who had adopted internationally or had them selves adopted from another country. In fact, the woman selling in the spot across from us had adopted her sons from Korea over 30 years ago!

A huge amount of items sold were donated to us by our parents and their friends and we felt so blessed and encouraged by their generosity. At the end of the sale we were once again overwhelmed by the number of fellow vendors who donated their left over items to us to sell. We brought home two car loads plus Grandpa Don's truck full of items for our yard sale in October.

God is such a faithful provider!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

An adoption "gem" by John Piper

Part of our preparation for adopting has been reading lots of books on everything from a biblical perspective of adoption to living life as a bi-racial family. Everything I've read has challenged me in one way or another. A few things have shook me to my core and altered my thinking entirely. 

One of my favorite adoption prep "gems" is a series of sermons by Pastor John Piper who happens to be a huge adoption advocate and an adoptive father himself. Tim and I recently listened to a sermon titled, "What does it mean to live by faith in the service of the fatherless?" The sermon is based out of Hebrews 11 and is brilliant. I would encourage anyone who has adopted or knows someone who has or is adopting to listen to it. I have attached the link at the end of this post for your listening and viewing pleasure :). 

Here is a portion of the sermon that has stayed with me since the first time I listened. When I start to feel scared and I am tempted to let fear guide my thoughts and and decisions, this section pops into my head and I am reminded that God is enough and better than life.

4) The common feature of the faith that escapes suffering and the faith that endures suffering is this: Both of them involve believing that God himself is better than what life can give to you now, and better than what death can take from you later. 
When you have it all, and everything in adoption goes well, faith says that God is better; and when you lose it all, faith says God is better. The clearest illustration of this is verse 35: “[by faith] women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection.” 
What does faith believe in the moment of torture? Or the moment of family agony? That if God loved me, he would get me out of this? No. Faith believes that God is better—now, and in the resurrection. God is better than the miracle of resurrection that brought the widow’s son to life, only to die again later. 
In other words, faith is utterly in love with all that God is for us now, and will be for us beyond the grave. Faith loves God more than life. Faith loves God more than family. Faith loves God more than job or retirement plans or ministry or writing books or building the dream house or making the first million. Or avoiding the painful disruption of this adoptive family. 
Faith says, “Whether God handles me tenderly or gives me over to misery, I love him. He is my reward (11:6), the builder of the city I long for (11:10), the treasure beyond the riches of Egypt (11:26), and the possession that surpasses all others and abides for ever (10:34)." 
The great challenge of adoption and orphan care ministry is to cultivate a death-defying passion for God above all things. A faith that rests in him whether living or dying, whether comfortable or miserable, whether successful in our orphan care or not. Our aim is to cultivate and spread the unshakable confidence that God is better than what life can give us and what death can take from us.
video

 http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/what-does-it-mean-to-live-by-faith-in-the-service-of-the-fatherless

Monday, September 9, 2013

Remember the Great Reward

Hebrews 10:35-36

35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

I really, really love this verse. The Lord has continued to bring me back to this passage in Hebrews these last few weeks as we have been making a game plan for the next 6 months of fundraising. "Patient endurance" will definitely be key. But, oh, the great reward that comes with "confident trust!" 


This past week was filled with God showing up again and again. I launched an etsy shop in order to beef up the adoption fund and within 20 minutes of launching the shop, had my first sale! A second sale came the next day and I am hopeful that Shop937 will be a successful means of fundraising. 


On Friday I received an notice from paypal that someone we don't know donated $100 towards our adoption fund. They read our blog and wanted to participate in helping to bring our son or daughter home. We received another $50 check in the mail yesterday. 

God is so good and we are thankful.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Let the Fundraising Begin!

Please take a few minutes to check out my new Etsy store, Shop937! I will be listing mostly vintage, all cute, household items for sale. All earnings will go directly to our adoption fund and help bring our child home from China!

You can help us generate business by sharing the store on your facebook page or pinning any items you like on your Pinterest board to help get things circulating on the world wide web. We've already made 2 sales since launching the shop on Monday! 



 


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Down with personal pronouns.

For those of you who don't know us well, we don't exactly have thousands upon thousands of dollars in a bank account somewhere to be used to pay for this adoption.  To better illustrate my point, last month we had a yard sale in order to raise the $300 we needed for our agency's adoption application.

Not gonna lie, there are moments when I think about the cost of international adoption paired with our financial limitations and I wonder what the heck we are thinking. Is it "financially responsible" for us to take this on? How PC is it for us to be asking other people, many we don't even know, to give us money?

We call it "fundraising" because it makes it sound less intrusive but the reality of it is that we will be asking pretty much anyone we come in contact with to consider helping us pay for things like postage, notary fees, mileage for our social worker, plane tickets, etc. If I let myself analyze this reality for too long I start to get anxious and uncomfortable. I start thinking that the "responsible" thing for us to do would be to wait until we have saved up enough money and we can pay for this adoption ourselves.

-Pause-

Note how many times a pronoun was used in the previous two sentences.

Eight times.

This train of thought only leads down the road of "me." Like somehow this adoption was all my own great idea and that Tim and I can and should do all of it purely on our own strength and good will and killer budgeting skills.

WHAT A LIE!!

Tim and I didn't decide to adopt. God called our family to adoption. We haven't agreed to take on this massive, life altering adventure because we just happen to have $20,000 in the bank and don't know what to do with it. We are moving forward because we believe we have a child who is currently living in China and we are on a mission to bring him/her home.

We know that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and that all we have comes from Him. He is going to provide the money for our adoption. Every. Single. Penny. Don't get me wrong, we are going to work our butts off to raise over $20,000 dollars, but we are very clear about the fact that every dollar bill a stranger gives us to pay for something at a yard sale is God's money that He is entrusting to us to bring our child home.

I find all of this so very exciting!

I have no doubt that one of the many reasons God has called our family to adopt, in this specific season of life, is that this adoption will be a testimony to the faithfulness of our God who is a father to the fatherless. I can't wait to blog about the ways God is going to blow our minds through crazy successful yard sales or anonymous gifts in the mail or strangers volunteering to help or God speaking encouragement over this adoption process through friends and family. There are good things ahead. Stay tuned...