"Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you...bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the ends of the earth."
Isaiah 43: 5-6
Wow.It has been quite a weekend. I have been constantly thinking about and planning on the finances and the logistics of travel expenses. There are many who do not understand adoption expenses, fees, etc. Many people comment to me that adoption should be free for the adoptive family. What they forget is the services that are required in order for a child to be adopted. For example, there must be a homestudy done, and the adoption agency must do that. They need to get paid for the work they do. They arrange paperwork, talk to the orphanage and Chinese officials, and advocate for the child and the family. this is the 3rd agency we have dealt with, Madison, and they did all of our homestudies. They are over-the-top amazing. I just love them. They have helped and advocated and their hearts are all about getting children home to their families. When I pay their fees, I am glad that they are there to help us, and will be there to help other families.
There are airfare fees, hotel fees, travel between provinces, food, and other expenses. Once, a woman (adoptive mom) looked at me with disdain at families who fund raise for adoption. She told me in no uncertain terms that if people did not have money for their adoptions, they should not adopt. If everyone who wanted to adopt had $25000 in cash, there would be more than 147 million orphans, because no one would adopt! Because we are all called to help the orphans, we all do it in different ways.Some of us open up our hearts and homes, and truly change the face of our family, the dynamics of our homes, and we welcome a child into our lives. For those who cannot open their homes, they open their hearts with love and support for the child and the family. And for those who can, they open their wallets and give, even the smallest amount, and by doing so, become a real part of the Family that is chosen for adoption.
The past few weeks, as the holidays are behind us and the fees for travel have piled up, I became more and more concerned about the mounting travel expenses.While I have been saving furiously, many things have transpired to chip away at our savings for the adoption, like two major car repairs, unexpected medical bills, etc. I would find myself awake at night, worrying and counting the pennies in my head. While I tried to pray the sleepless hours away, worry would creep in and my best intentions left me tired and bleary-eyed in the morning. And then the other night, Thursday, to be exact, I had about had it. I woke up again, about 4 am, and started to worry, to pray, to worry more. I thought of the decision to adopt Maeleigh, and how I knew it was the right decision. Of that I have never wavered. I thought of all the angst that goes into saving the money, figuring things out, and at the same time trying to pay the bills and raise six kids. Suddenly, I felt a release, a total surrender. I spoke to God directly "She is Your daughter, Lord, please figure this out."
When I got home Friday night there was an email from a woman who is a Physical Therapist in California, and who had been sent my blog.She was a volunteer at Maeleigh's orphanage when Maeleigh arrived there in 2000, and she used to take Maeleigh home with her on weekends so that she could see what life outside the orphanage was like. She said she used to feel so sad because she knew WuShuang (Maeleigh) would not have a bright future in China. She will be sharing pictures and stories with me about her time with Maeleigh, so stay tuned. About an hour later, I received another email from another volunteer from Maeleigh's orphanage, and she asked for my address to send us a check to help with our expenses. In addition, the travel person from Madison is working hard to help me make this trip affordable and not overly expensive. It was only within the last week or so that Madison changed travel providers to help families manage the travel costs. Had we traveled any earlier our costs would have been much more.
It is a constant privilege and honor to be the recipient of these kinds of blessings. I know so clearly that God has answered my prayers, and the He is working hard to help us. I know that I need to get out of the way, stop worrying, and trust that He is in charge. It is the most awesome and awe-inspiring experience to know that we are truly not in this alone. I am so buoyed up by the Holy Spirit, and so full of excitement to be a part of the work of bringing home a child into our family, and thankful that we have been asked to do this.
Thank you to all who have been so very generous and thoughtful to us during this process. We are forever grateful and keep you close in our prayers.