We are chugging along on the adoption front. We had the first of four homestudy classes this past Tuesday and have almost all of the paperwork back that we need to submit for the homestudy. We're working on our Dossier as well so that hopefully by the time our homestudy is complete we'll be close to sending it off.
And of course it goes without saying that we are fundraising pretty much non stop. I am making bows and necklaces and other bottlecap merchandise to sell and have started a new line of craft projects that I hope to start selling soon. We had a vendor event/craft show this past weekend that brought in around $300, we still have our adoptionbug and Rada manufacturing fundraisers going and in April we have a huge yardsale as well as our Quarter Auction lined up.
We are thankful for the progress we've made, the funds that have come in, but, its been a hard and often exhausting process. I thought that I was prepared for the mountains of paperwork and the full time job that fundraising would be. I was wrong. Not because I thought it would be easy but just that I underestimated how emotionally, mentally, and even physically draining it would be to love a child, to know in your bones that he is your's and not be able to just go scoop him up.
Multiple times a day I stare at the handful of pictures that I have and I pray for our son who doesn't even know that he has a family coming. Our little boy has waited over 5 years (he was 19 months old when his Mom relinquished custody) for a Mama and Daddy. And, I wonder what the wait had done to our son mentally and emotionally. The more I learn about the psychology of adoption the more I pray for our son's heart.
This picture always pulls at my heart
The first thing I noticed about this picture was his sweet face, then the knobby little knees, the cute ears...but now I see hands hidden behind the back. I don't know if he just felt awkward for the picture or if he was trying to hide his hands. And of course my Mama's heart wonders if he's been made fun of for the hands with the fingers that are exceptionally long because of his condition.
We know that he attends school in his village which is great but I also know that in EE parents would most likely not be too happy for their children to be in school with orphan children. Even if the other children are not unkind to him, it has to make it that much harder to not have parents of your own, to return to the orphanage every day instead of home like the children he goes to school with.
5 years of no one telling him that he is loved, that he is beautifully and wonderfully made. that he is a gift.
And that's why this process is so hard, why its so easy to feel defeated when a fundraiser flops or just a handful of people show up for an event.
But we serve a God who is faithful. So when the Devil tries to bring us down with the sheer amount of money we have left to bring our son home, God says 'My economy is not broke' he reminds us 'My grace is sufficient for you' and we pick ourselves up and we keep moving. Often He works through his people, a phone call from a friend offering words of encouragement, a $5 donation from a stranger, families that are in the process themselves that go out of their way to love on us and our son, and countless other instances where God reveals himself to us make it possible for us to keep moving.
FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION. We call it fundraising but I think we need a better term. We have fundraised before for many causes that are dear to our hearts. We served for three years as the Ambassador Family for our local March of Dimes chapter. We had years where we raised several thousand dollars and exceeded our goal, we had years where we missed the mark and were disappointed.
WE CAN NOT MISS THE MARK here. The CONSEQUENCES of failing to fundraise the money we need is not about missing a goal or being disappointed its about LIFE, our son's life. If we fail we don't get to bring him home and that is a heavy burden to carry around day in and day out. Even when our faith says our God is greater than any obstacle, any burden, any thing thrown at us by Satan...we get weary at times. Not because we don't trust our God but because we love our son so much it hurts.
I feel like my child has been kidnapped and is being held hostage. If your child were ripped from your home and you had no way to tell them that you were coming, that you were doing every thing you could do to get them how would you feel? Ian is as much our son as Nicholas is. That may seem crazy to you but that makes it no less true.
We will do whatever it takes to bring our son home, wouldn't you?! We obviously can't sell off our house (that would make it a little hard to pass our homestudy) but we are doing every thing short of it. We have made a commitment to love our son and care for him for the rest of our lives, we need your help to bring him home. We will work and scrimp and save and sell but we can't do it alone. I'm done being humble, I'm begging for your help.
If you can't help financially you can still help. You can pray for us and all of the families that are in the same process, our children that wait and the children who are still waiting for a family to say yes to them. Not everyone can adopt, but, we can all do something. You can also share our story and our fundraisers. We have two big ones coming up in April that we are blessed to be doing alongside the Rhodes Family who just got home from visiting their daughter and are now working to finish their process.
If you're willing to allow God to use you, even if its inconvenient, even if its hard, then He will.