I was driving down the tollway, talking to the Lord and letting Him know how thankful I am for our two children, and asking Him not to bless us with any surprise babies. I felt His response, "Do you trust me?" "Well, of course I do, Lord! You know best!" and again, "Do you TRUST me?" "Uh, yes...of course I do!" and once more, "Do you trust Me?" "I really do...what are you getting at?" and what I got next made me wonder - "Hang on then, because it's going to be a wild ride!"
Uh, ok. Wonder what that means! Fast forward a bit to March 2012, and I'm reading Jen Hatmaker's book Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess as prompted by my high school and youth group friend. And I feel God laying adoption on my heart to grow our family. I prayed quite a bit about it, and then told my husband what I was feeling was from God. He chuckled and said, "Well I'm definitely not getting that!" and I told him to pray about it. He asked for a week, and we would talk again the next Sunday. Two days later, he agreed that we were being led to grow our family through adoption. We prayed a lot about it and asked the Lord to make it clear where we were supposed to adopt from.
We researched many different countries and their requirements, keeping in mind that we have two biological children who need us around, so some of the country requirements would keep us from choosing that particular country. We finally landed on Haiti - reasonable travel and stay requirements, it was closer to home than most other places, etc. Even though at the time the marriage requirement was 10 years and we had been married almost 8, we felt it was the country we were supposed to adopt from.
So we applied with a couple of different agencies and then started our paper chase. We didn't get very far into the process before we had to wait until we reached that 10-year-anniversary mark. But then in October of 2013, the law in Haiti changed to 5 years and we started back up with our paper chase. It took many months to procure the half-ream of paper (literally) needed to start our home study. Part of the hold-up was just having the money to get started. A precious friend of mine sent me a message and asked if I'd meet up with her for coffee because she wanted to chat with me about our adoption process. I hadn't seen her in a while, but she's one of those friends with whom I can pick back up where we left off - like no time has passed at all - and we sat in a Starbucks coffee shop for a good 3 hours talking about life and our adoption and just catching up on things. And then a couple of weeks later, she called me and said she had talked to her husband, and they wanted to pay for our home study. I had told her during our meeting how much we were needing (it was a LOT of money - we not only had to pay for the study itself, but also pay in advance for the twelve post-placement visits that are required at months 1,2,3,4,5,6,12,18 as well as years 2,3,4,and 5, at $350-550 *each*). When I talked with her, I didn't know she meant pay for the ENTIRE home study. I thought maybe she meant they wanted to help contribute toward it. So when I followed up with our home study agency (which is different from our adoption agency), and asked what the balance due was on our account, they informed me we had no balance. WHAT?! Oh my - the tears flowed once again as I marveled at the greatness of God and of my Christian brother and sister who walked in obedience where the Lord called them, and provided 100% completely for our home study!
I do need to backtrack a little bit - in January 2014, Brad's maternal grandfather passed away. We had set aside a certain amount of money that we needed for our initial adoption agency application. And then we had these unexpected travel expenses, so that money needed to be used. While we were in Chicago for the services, a sweet friend from my high school and youth group days called me and said they wanted to send us a check to help with our adoption expenses. And it was exactly what we needed to replace the funds we'd spent on travel and get our application started.
There have been times I have questioned our calling to adopt. And every time, the Lord sends me a message of affirmation in various ways. Sometimes it's through people sharing a story with me. Recently, I had one friend send me money via Paypal, saying she felt the Lord leading her to contribute to our adoption expenses. I had another friend generously donate not just her commission, but an additional amount toward our expenses for a Jamberry party I had earlier this month. People are walking alongside us in prayer and other support. Two sweet friends helped me write a song, that we are hoping to use in some way to raise additional funds.
My God is my provider - He has called us to this process, there is no doubt in my mind any longer about that. And He will walk us through every moment, giving us exactly what we need in the exact moment that we need it. How wonderful it is to walk in obedience to His will!