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Friday, October 1, 2010

.Not My Way, But His.

I shared yesterday in a kind of silly way that we had mailed our dossier in. But I have not been feeling silly lately. I have been candid with our whole journey, and I know that I need to be candid now. As most of you know in order to send our dossier in we needed to also send in a check for $7200.00. Because our situation is abnormal in that we were able to accept a referral prior to sending in our dossier, our payments came one on top of another and stretched us to the max. On September 13 we wrote out a check for a little over $5000 to accept sweet Jamesy's referral and then a few days later we sent in our I600A along with a check for $670.00. Although we have been very careful and saving as much as we could this summer, we just were not prepared to pay these amounts so close together.

We were over $5000 short of what we needed to send in our dossier. It sat here finished for almost two weeks. The way our agency works is that the dossier has to be received by Friday in order to be processed the next Monday or else it sits and waits until the following week. Our agency, AWAA, has been absolutely wonderful to work with. As I have said before they have graciously allowed us to receive and accept Jamesy's referral prior to having our I-171H and sending in our dossier. They are also allowing us to send in our dossier before receiving our I-171H and secure our first court date. (We will then have to have the I-171H approval before making a second trip to Ethiopia and bringing Jamesy home.) AWAA understands and advocates for us that Jamesy needs to get home and get medical attention. That is why things are being expedited and these accommodations have been made. So there has been a sense of urgency on our part to gather the funds and get the dossier sent so that we can move things along.

We prayed and prayed and prayed that God would provide the money. Jim has been into our head pastor's office praying with him and seeking counsel and just crying over what to do and how to proceed. We have sought out Scripture to gain wisdom for this journey. I researched grants only to discover that most take at least 3 months to even respond to your case. We researched interest free adoption loans only to find out the same thing. As much as we would pray that God would give us a peace in this halt of forward motion, we could not get any. It was like the urgency we were feeling was from Him.

This whole journey has been wrapped up in urgency. The urgency from the beginning makes perfect sense now. We needed God to place that urgency in our heart so that we would be at the exact place in our process that we were at when I first laid eyes on Jamesy on The Waiting Child List and realized he was our son. If we were not so far along in the process, we would have not been able to receive and accept his referral. God has guided and directed that urgency and we feel very strongly that He is behind the urgency we feel now. At this time we have no idea why, but it appears as if God wants us to get Jamesy home quickly.

We had exhausted every resource we knew of. We pulled all of our money from all of our accounts and we still could not make it add up to $7200.00. We prayed some more and felt like God was directing us to go to a family member and ask for a loan. Let me make this very clear. This is not what I wanted. This whole time we have been praying and believing that God was going to allow us to take this journey debt free, and that He was going to provide in that way. I so wanted to be an example to other families and even to our families that money is not a reason to decide not to adopt and that God would provide. We wrestled and wrestled with this. I was angry that God would not be doing things my way, and I told Him that. I kept praying that if this was not His will that He would just provide another way. I would check the mail box every day for an anonymous donation. That would be so much easier on my pride, but none came.

As we continued to pray we knew that this was where God wanted us, and finally gave into the fact that He had a different plan for us and our story - a plan that involved taking out a loan. We cried over this, but ultimately we both came to a peace. The peace remained even after a very hurtful comment was made to us regarding our decision, and we knew God was in this. It was not what we would have written for our journey, but that did not matter. We have to get Jamesy home. Some people completely understand that, and some people do not. There are those that just cannot (for some reason) understand that this child that we have never held is every bit a part of our family as Cadi and Scotty are, and that it hurts as much to be separated from him as it would be to be separated from them. It hurts that even some close to us cannot grasp this, but we just continue to pray for hearts to be softened and eyes to be opened. We know it doesn't happen over night.

Now this is the part of the story where the plot takes a sharp twist and God walks in! So, Jim and I knew that we were where God wanted us. We just still did not have a peace about which family member to ask for the loan. Before we could come to that peace a close family member came to us, and asked us what our need was. Jim shared exactly where we were at, and that family member gifted us - no strings attached - with the money!! We still had to empty our own accounts, and we will literally be living on pennies until Jim's paycheck arrives. But honestly it is kind of exhilarating, because I know my God PROVIDES!! I have seen it over and over with my own eyes. We have been the recipient to blessing after blessing after blessing from the moment we said yes to His leading us to adopt. There is no denying that this journey is God's and of God.

But I would be remiss if I left you here to think that we received the money and that was that. Again our plans were changed. Even though we were elated to send the dossier in and be another step closer to Jamesy, I was still a bit upset with God. I didn't want a gift of money to come from someone so close to us. I wanted it to come from a stranger. I wanted it to be impersonal. I was crying on the phone about this to a very dear friend of mine. And she just calmly spoke wonderful words of truth into my heart. Tiffany, this is God's plan, and you cannot take away from these family members their desire to be a blessing and to be part of your journey. You have no idea how God is working behind the scenes. She is right, and although my pride has taken another tackle, and I have had to swallow a mouthful of humble pie - I know she spoke truth. I am so thankful for it and for her.

So although God did not seem to get my plan book and use it, His plan seems to be unfolding rather beautifully. Have you ever noticed how His plans are a little messy, but when you step back they are the most beautiful mess you have ever seen? He has brought us so far, so fast in this journey and provided every penny. The money needed for plane tickets (hopefully soon) well that should be pretty easy for Him! Remind me of that in a few weeks when I fall back into my sinful worries. {grin} It stinks being human.

Oh, God, you are soo good to us. You have knit our family together in extraordinary ways. You have taken a piece of all of our hearts over to a transition home in Ethiopia. You are the One that has placed such urgency inside of us and an empty spot in our family that we are so desperate to fill. You have given us these desires and now you are making those desires come true! Thank you for giving me new eyes, and a new perspective. You are amazing. You are my mountain-moving God. Thank you for the unexpected friendships you have placed in my path. For women who are taking this journey alongside me, holding my hand, and speaking truth to me when I cannot speak it to myself. You are teaching me so much about life and my expectations for others, and what it means to truly live in community with believers. I have always been so scared to live like this, but now that I have a taste I can never go back. Please continue to write our are so much better with a pen than I am. I love You. I worship You. God I am so broken over the fact that you have allowed us this joy - this journey. I am so undeserving. I am overwhelmed when I think of the privilege you have given me in allowing my heart to break even a tiny bit over what your heart breaks for every moment. I need You always.

"When you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you....Do not be afraid, for I am with you: I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west." Isaiah 43:2,5

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rameelin said...

So happy for you guys, Tiffany! God is just so incredible. Sometimes it takes us to be so vulnerable that it's uncomfortable in order to see Him move in His most powerful ways!

When I began reading this post I was going to comment about how just because we have blogs and choose to share our lives, we shouldn't have to feel the need to justify our life decisions (like if you had chosen to take out a loan to finish the process...) then I continued to read and thought, "Of course God pulled through. Of course we need to justify that!!!" :)
Love you lady!

Tessy said...

Awesome! Praising God along with you!

Addie Talley, Photographer said...

beautiful... thank you for sharing

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

What a beautiful testimony..when we come to the end of ourselves, we make room for God to be God. Praying for your amazing adoption journey!

Jessica Kramasz said...

I just left my donation from Ramee's workout challenge.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that all is going well with the adoption process and that God truly shows that He provides for His.

Thank you for your beautiful testimony.


jkseevers said...

amazing! We will continue to pray for you as you move closer to bringing your little guy home.
We are super eager to also be traveling to bring home our little one. Trying to enjoy the ride and be patient in the process...

BARBIE said...

What a beautiful testimony! God is so good to open our eyes so that we can see clearly. I rejoice over what God is doing through this process in you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Hi - not even sure how I got to your blog. But I adopted two children as a single mom, and both times, God always provided exactly enough money to complete both adoptions. Both times I thought I had made a big mistake, had no idea where the money was going to come from. Both times things worked out miraculously, always exactly the right amount of money at exactly the right time. God is looking out for the orphans, he does what needs to be done to bring them home.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing - women in many different situations will see this and be reminded that although God won't follow their plan books either, it will still turn out for good if we trust! Somehow we all seem to need those reminders no matter how often we experience God's miraculous provision!

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