Update: I wrote this about 20 months ago, but just couldn’t publish it until we got a lot closer to fruition. We are very close now. So here is the beginning of this new story about the new life of a little girl.
August 25, 2009
My husband and I just made a very major decision.
The 4th Child
Three days from now will be the 2 year anniversary of adopting our 4th child, Luke. He just turned 3 years old. It has been an incredibly wonderful experience. Any challenging parts have mostly been that of adding a 4th child to the mix, which as my friend with 8 says, “is the magic child.” It is that 4th one that forces you, without any second thoughts, to completely simplify your life or die! Just kidding. But sometimes it feels that way. It is all about function over form. Luke is also an extremely energetic little soul. And a boy. Need I say more :)
After about a year of having Luke, we started wondering if we should adopt any more children. I have noticed it is usually after having a new baby in the house for about a year that a mama and a daddy start thinking,
“Maybe another one would be ok. Maybe, just maybe, we could do it.”
Before that time, we are all thinking
“No way. This is the last child for sure!”
This is probably just God’s way of having us focus completely and totally on that child’s first year with nursing, holding, sleepless nights, etc.
A Curve Ball
Anyway, after that first year of having Luke, we started talking about adoption. I even wrote prayers down about it, but some unexpected financial things happened and this last year of our life became all about changing the way we handle money. Becoming good stewards of those resources instead of being characterized by a consumer mentality.
We have got to get out of the rut of ‘work hard, buy stuff, and don’t really do what God intended for you to do.’
“God, get us out of this rat race, please!”
We have worked hard at this. We have gone to all cash. No credit cards and rarely a debit card. Analyzing exactly where money get’s spent. We have grown in this area and we are on the same page. It really started with that Dave Ramsey class. (Here is a post on that.) It has been a year of perseverence, ($1 shampoo and toothpaste from Dollar Tree is a small example) but there is no doubt, the rest of our life will be different.
A little aside: When we started tithing 10% of our gross income to God’s kingdom back in about ’01, we saw a dramatic change in the money flow i.e. the blessings. We learned that God said to tithe and our obedience in that area (among many areas) will bring serious blessings. It is true.
So on August 4th 2009, an adoption social worker from a nearby town came to our house to conduct an interview with us for our 2 year post-placement report to Russia for Luke. She works with families doing international adoption from many countries. After the main discussion about Luke, neither Matt nor I could keep ourselves from asking about Ethiopia and how that process worked. After she left, we were both fairly consumed with thinking about it.
Five days later
we went down to Matt’s office to have our weekly business meeting. We dealt with a lot of issues and then Matt brought up the adoption. What are we going to do? Do we do it or not? All of a sudden it was present in both our minds. And it was obvious, both of us wanted to do it.
I am going to be 49
in a few months and many countries have a cut off age of 49-50 to adopt young children under 4. We probably ought to make a decision about this, don’tcha think? (Ok, lift your jaw off the floor – yes, 49 and still wanting more babies. Who woulda thought? But as Matt says “We are in the kid business. Might as well add one more!)
Anyway, after discussing several other issues, we decided to take a walk around our downtown square which was 2 blocks away. It was about 7 at night, still daylight savings time, with a nice breeze.
Paying for an international adoption happens in several stages over the course of the entire operation which can be 12-24 months.
There are several fees due in the beginning. We didn’t have the money right then, but thought maybe there was some coming in soon that could be dedicated to that.
So, now it’s up to God
We prayed as we walked around the square.
I know God wants those babies extracted from their current situation and brought into a loving family. He tells us to take care of the orphans and the widows. If all of that is true, then I gotta believe that that money we want to dedicate to this WILL come in.
After we made our decision we sent out a tithe check. I wrote in the memo “seed for adoption.” As we sat there we realized if God returned that seed with a harvest 10 times the seed (which is what it says in the bible; even 100 times) that would be more than enough for the adoption. We write those tithe checks before we write any other check for any other bill every month. Otherwise, they might never get written.
The Money Starts Moving
So, last Friday (about 2 weeks later) my sister had a baby. Yay! More babies! I drove the 1 1/2 hour drive to see her and ended up staying in a hotel with my mama and other sister for two nights. What fun. And what a good husband. “Sure honey. Do what you need to do. I will take care of the children. We’ll have fun.” Awesome.
Well that first night I was there, my husband sent me a text at 10:30pm that said:
Matt: Marly, Zo, Chuck, kids dancing and $ came in for the baby.
Allison: Wahoo! Can we start adoption process? Who is Marley?
Matt: Bob and yes.
The next morning I woke up and, as is my usual routine, still lying in bed, I got my iPhone off it’s charger and pressed the “Verse of the Day” app. I have had that app on my phone for at least 1 1/2 years and each day it gives a new verse. In all that time, it has not repeated a verse. Here is the verse that popped up:
For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him.” -1Samue1:27
Wow! Amazing! That is just like God. We believe, and then when the blessings come, they come in a big way!
I looked back at that verse 20 times
that day, in amazement that He would speak to me so incredibly clearly, and was sad to see it go away at midnight that night.
But onward now. There is work to be done.
We just sent in our application to the agency, America World Adoption (awaa.org) with our application fee. They will approve us into their program in about a week and then we will start gathering all the elements for our dossier, beginning with the homestudy. Once the dossier is in, we wait. And pray.