It has been overwhelming to see God at work in all of this. I KNEW He would provide and it's amazing to see how the pieces are starting to form together. Yesterday Justin and I had our fingerprinting done in South Carolina. One step closer. Our DRC consultant called and told us to send our dossier paperwork even though we still have not received i600a approval. We came home to an email that stated our lawyer in DRC already has the boys' abandonment paperwork, commune approval, and birth certificate judgement! We were super excited! Things are moving faster (and more smoothly) than we anticipated over there. We should get updates (and new pictures!!!!) soon. Now we are waiting on the United States government to send our i600a approval and fingerprint results. I have a feeling this is only the beginning of the waiting game.
Now for more "only God" stories. The past week I received a Facebook message from a friend who I have not seen in a long time. She and her husband moved up north and we stay in contact through Facebook. Her message stated that she had something coming our way. Justin said, "she's probably sending a check in the mail." I decided to check our adoption accounts anyway. In our paypal account there was a deposit for $1,500. I was taken back. I immediately sent her a message to make sure the amount was correct and she didn't accidentally type in a few extra 0's. She told me that the amount was correct and she and her husband wanted to give us the money from their tithes while her husband was waiting to find another job. Her husband doesn't have a job right now. My emotions were full. The faith of this family were remarkable to me. They trusted God enough to keep on giving even when their resources have been limited. . . and even cut short. In an instant, there was almost half of the $3,500 that we needed to wire to the Congo.
The story gets better. . .
Tuesday night we had a fundraiser. It had been rescheduled so I was anxious to see if we would have a good turnout or not. The total from the fundraiser. . . right at $2,000. Within a week and a half God provided the $3,500 we needed to wire to the Congo. I sent the money to our lawyer today. Since we have started the adoption in September we have paid around $12,000 to date. There has not been one instance where we did not get the money someway somehow. We could have not done it on our own. I am taken back at how friends, family, and people we don't even know have joined in raising the money. We don't deserve it. We don't deserve their time, money, or efforts with this endeavor that we have taken on but they do it anyway. Thank you.
Canaan and Neema will probably be moved to foster care within the next week or 2! Hooray! Please pray that they are receiving care physically and medically. My heart aches to be with them, to comfort them, to change their dirty diapers and clothes, and to love on them. Also, please pray specifically that our paperwork will be processed quickly and smoothly so that we can go get them sooner than expected!
One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.
Psalm 145: 4-9
Now for Justin:
Since this is my first post let me take a minute to thank all of you for your overwhelming support. This is definitely a journey of "unexpected" and "how in the world are we gonna make this happen" moments. Through the faithfulness of God and His people we have been given the privilege to take part in some pretty amazing things. I know these coming days will be filled with more moments to trust that faithfulness than I even care to think about. But with that said, this is becoming a journey where God is teaching me more about myself than ever expected.
Just the other night Alana and I were given a few moments to share with the one person who really planted a heart for the Congo in our lives. She shared a specific part of her adoption story with us, and in doing so brought into light just how much my adoption mirrored the one of my future sons.
You see, most orphans don't cry like normal babies. They don't cry like us because no one comes to them like us. No one to cuddle, no one to cradle, and no one to sooth the needs of an infant who has no way of comforting themselves. But comforting themselves is exactly what they must do. Instead of crying they begin communicating. Communicating with each other in the darkness of a lonely orphanage. As they lay down at night, to break the defining silence, their small voices begin to moan. One at a time their moans fill the emptiness in search of comfort from one another. Each baby echoing the other just to know there is someone there. Orphans learn to self sooth because they know there's something they need, but they're totally unaware of what that is. Crying is so foreign to them because nurture is so foreign.
It's mind blowing and a bit overwhelming to think I have the opportunity to teach my sons to cry. Not just to cry for the sake of tears, but because they know someone is waiting to hear. To know they are thousands of miles away and they have no idea how good it will feel to be held in the arms of a mom and dad who really want nothing more than to love them is beyond their capacity to comprehend. I don't even think I fully understand it yet. What's even more amazing is they have done nothing to merit that love. No task, no words, not one thing have they contributed to make me love them. Yet I would already risk everything to let them know their worth.
It's not often in life something mirrors so succinctly the beauty of what Christ has done for us. To know my state of worthlessness is to magnify the gospel beyond my own comprehension. I, along with the rest of the world, was completely satisfied with a self soothing crib that turned out to be nothing more than mere illusion. Just like my sons I had nothing to contribute. God loved me merely because he chose to. Knowing we are given the opportunity to mirror the gospel through adoption should press our hearts toward this purpose. What better banner for the church to wave than that of teaching those with no cry how to find purpose in the cries they were meant to have. May they know we are united by comfort and purpose through those same cries only because a gracious God has granted us with that gift.
16 You did not choose me, but zI chose you and appointed you that you should go and abear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that bwhatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you,cso that you will love one another.
With much Thanks
Justin and Alana