Friday, June 25, 2010

Opening the doors to Ethiopia


Once upon a time, Walker and I decided we wanted to move across town. We had great reasons: the move would make us much closer to both sets of grandparents and to church. And to all our friends. And to the Galleria. And to lots of other cool stuff.

We listed our house. For 11 months, it sat on the market. Did it show? Oh my word, did it show. This is where I should mention that I had a 1 year old, a 2 year old, and was preg.nant. And trying to keep a clean house for all those dang showings.

It showed almost every stinking day.
And I mean stinking quite literally, because once it showed when I had left a dirty diaper in the middle of the kitchen floor.

During the entire time, we only got one second showing. (Not the dirty diaper people.) (By the way, during the showing, I kept the video camera running under the bed so I could hear the potential buyers' comments. Walker thought I was the most immoral reprobate he had ever married. I had zero guilt. Still don't. And I learned that they really wanted one huge walk-in closet.)

Once, during this frustrating time, over lunch with Walker's uncle I complained that we were so sure that God wanted us to move, we just couldn't understand why He wouldn't send us a buyer!

And Dan asked, "Why did you think that God wanted you to move?"

I just stared at him and sputtered. Why had we thought that? Um. Because we really wanted to move? Because it made sense? Closer to church, had he heard the closer to church part? Because we had prayed about it and when lightening had not immediately struck our home following the amen, we decided it must be the will of the Lord?

Dan continued, "Usually when God is willing you to do something, the doors will just open."

And then he quit talking, leaving me alone in my confusion to grimace at my broccoli salad.

Dan's words have been repeating in my brain recently.
When it is God's will, the doors will open.


Last summer, we finally decided to start the adoption process. We chose Gladney as our agency, did the initial application, and began collecting the 3,489 trees of paperwork. In November, I pulled out the info from Gladney and realized that in order to take another step, we would need at least $4,250.

Problem: we didn't have $4,250.

Due to the terrible economy, Walker received a paycut last year - which we considered a blessing while friend after friend lost his job - but it had hurt. Every little bit hurts when you're feeding six mouths on one paycheck. In addition to that, he hadn't received an end-of-year bonus in 2008, which used to account for a large part of his salary, and he seriously doubted he'd get one this year. We'd lived throughout the year hand-to-mouth.

Late at night, while Walker slept, I stared at the $4,250 on the fee sheet, plus the $760 required for immigration papers. My stomach dropped. We did feel that now was the time to finally begin our dream of adopting. My husband felt it even stronger than I did, which is exactly how submission typically works in our marriage. But how?

I prayed, God, we can't do it. I don't know when we're going to be able to do it, but we can't do it. I'm sad, God. It's all up to you. {deep sigh} Amen.

And I went to bed.

The next day, the VERY next day, did you hear me mention that it was THE NEXT DAY?, some of you received this email from me:

Y'all, I have to share a praise with you - a BIG one!!

We want to begin the process to adopt but have been stymied by a lack of funds. It takes around 5K to even get to the homestudy phase. Just last night I pulled out the paperwork and worked on some of it but thought, well, until we find an extra $5000, this is just going to sit here, probably until at least February when we can get our tax refund.

Walker just forwarded me an email from work that said that not only would he be receiving a bonus, BUT, his company will also compensate all the employees who received the pay cut by reimbursing what we were withheld!!! WE HAVE OUR MONEY FOR THE HOMESTUDY!!!! We should receive it by mid December!!

Several times lately I have been tempted to "work" the situation, I have eyeballed those checks that come from the credit card company, we have toyed with the idea of taking money out of our retirement savings....but I felt God saying, no, just wait, I'm on it. Just in the past few days I have been in lots of prayer about this. And HE HAS PROVIDED.

Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him!!!!!!

Did you hear a creak?
An open door.

In April, we received an email saying that we were Gladney approved. I had no idea what that meant, but by the congratulatory tone of the email I knew it was a big deal so I celebrated Yea! We're Gladney Approved!

The same email also said "You are expected to pay the remainder of your Program Fee ($2250), Post Placement Supervision Fee ($1200) and the Post Placement Administration Fee ($450) within 30 days from the date of Gladney approval." I'll do the math for you: $3,900.

We had raised $3,400 from tshirt sales, a garage sale, and a book that Walker sold on ebay. Then on May 7, my birthday, a friend handed me a birthday card with a check inside for $1,000.

Creeeeeeeeeaaaak.

God has provided nearly $11,000. In six months.
None of it, believe me, none of it, came from us.

When I initially thought that we would need $22,000 to bring home our baby, and then when the travel requirements changed and I realized we would need even more, I had no idea how that was going to happen.

I just ran the numbers tonight and realized that we have about $13,000 more to raise.
I still don't know exactly how it is going to happen.
But I know Who's gonna make it happen.

Do it, Lord. Open those doors. Bring Your baby home.
Oh, how I praise You for open doors!!

Amen!

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