Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thankful Thursday ~ Laminin and Faith

I saw this on another blog yesterday and was completely blown away by it. I actually got chills as I was watching it. It is about nine minutes, but so worth it, you will NOT be disappointed.

Fundraiser Update: WOW! We are getting closer, dollar by dollar. We are now at 39%!

When I originally started the fundraiser it was solely to help us bring Drew home. Early on in our adoption process Matt was laid off, a substantial grant for Drew was withdrawn, and we continued to hit road block after road blog. Despite all of that and the fact that most people thought we were out of our minds, we continued to do whatever it took to bring our son home. Just before Christmas Matt went back to work (Praise God), and doors began to creep open however, we had a long way to go. Being laid off for a few months really put a strain on our finances leaving nothing left to put back for adoption expenses.

So shortly after Christmas I decided to put together an online fundraiser like no other. Unfortunately we didn't have the money to go out and buy an expensive camera, or laptop, so I had to get creative. It took me several weeks to make contact with people who were willing to donate something for us to give away. Originally the fundraiser was to last two weeks, but as soon as we heard about Jaxon, I had no choice but to extend it.

I had no idea that we would be fundraising to bring two boys home. I had no idea that we would be racing against a clock that continues to tick faster and faster, regardless of our situation. I had no idea that so many people would open their hearts to help us, support us, and pray for us. I certainly did not expect to have my heart or Matt's opened to adopt an older boy and I believe that is why God used Blake to show us that we need to set our fears aside and trust in Him.

"The One who calls you is faithful, and He will make it happen" I. Thes. 5:24

The other day as I was filling out yet another grant application one of the questions asked was "when do you expect to travel?" Without thinking I began typing what my response has been all along, "the first of April." Then I realized that no, we would not be traveling then, but more like the end of April. So as I deleted it and begin to fill in the correct answer I thought for a moment that if we weren't bringing Jaxon home, we would probably more than likely be meeting our Drew in just a few weeks. If we weren't bringing Jaxon home, we would only be a couple of thousand short instead of almost six thousand short. I stopped for a minute, sat back in the chair and realized that what we are doing is not about the money, or the fact that we will travel a little later than we had hoped. It's not about how we will feed, clothe and put six kids through school. It's not about the fears, the concerns, or even the challenges and unknowns that lay ahead of us. What this all boils down to is this, when He called, we answered.

It's no secret that when we began the process to adopt Mylee we had only enough to get us started (application fee and home study). As one door closed, another seemed to open and we were able to bring Mylee home completely on our own. I knew before I left China that I would be back, it was just a matter of convincing Matt. For those who don't know, when I first approached him about Drew he was adamant that we were done. "No more" he said. A few days later he came to me and said that he had been thinking, "if this is what God is telling you to do, if this is what you are supposed to do, then who am I to stand in your way." The next day I requested Drew's file. Of course I had to promise that this was it, we were done with Drew. So, you can imagine my surprise when he said yes to Jaxon.

My faith has been completely renewed because of adoption. Faith has been such a big part of our adoption process. Without it, there is no way we would have been able to climb every mountain, jump every hurdle, and bust through every wall. Without it there is no way we could have come this far, this close to parenting 6 kids (I still can't believe I am about to have 6 kids). Recently we were asked to write a statement of faith for a grant application. At first I was a little hesitant, I had never had to actually put down on paper what my faith meant, but as I sat in front of the computer, I was amazed at how quickly and easy it was to do.

Faith is something that I have always been around. Being raised Catholic I went to a Catholic school, took all of my sacraments (baptism, first communion and confirmation), and sat in Church every weekend. As a child I don't think I really got it, but now as an adult with children of my own, I get it and do my best to make sure my kids get it. But if I am being completely honest, it wasn't until we started the process to bring our daughter home from China that I really and truly began to understand my faith and knowing that it is my faith in God that made it possible to bring her home. Before Mylee I sat in Church, but didn't really listen to what was being said. I acted out all the motions simply out of habit, not really aware that I was doing it or why. I took and accepted the body and blood of Christ simply because that is what we are supposed to do.

Please don't misunderstand what I am trying to say. Mylee's adoption changed something in me that I didn't really even know needed to be changed. It was through the ups and downs of financing her adoption that I really started to understand fully what it meant to have faith. It was during that time that I really started paying attention to what was being said, that I didn't just make the sign of the cross out of habit but out of love. I no longer accept the body and blood of Christ because I am supposed to, but because I want to. I get it now, and it is that faith, love, and devotion for God that is getting us through the ups and downs of Drew's adoption.

God planted the seed of adoption in my heart many years ago, at that time I had no idea that is was Him. I just thought it was selfish on my part to want a Chinese daughter. It wasn't long into our adoption that I realized that He was the one who planted the seed, and He was the one who sat next to us on the roller coaster of emotions. He was the one who was there with us as we were faced with another hurdle to jump. He was the one who as a brick wall was placed in front of us, knocked it down with us.

So, it is with complete faith that we stepped out to adopt Drew and now Jaxon. It is complete faith in our God that we are doing exactly what He wants us to. Not only do we have faith in Him, but He must have faith in us as well for not only entrusting us with three biological children, but with three more children that he put on this earth especially for us and our family.

We have 43 days (actually less if you figure in travel) to not only come up with the rest of the money, but to get 6 months of paperwork done as well. Is it possible? Absolutely! Why? Because we have complete faith that we are doing the right thing and that God is going to be there every step of the way.

Looking at them, Jesus said, "With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God." Mark 10:27

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