Monday, November 18, 2013

My Provider

This week has been HARD. I like to be tough and independent and a glass half full kind of girl, but I was physically, mentally and emotionally broken over the past few days. Do you ever have one of those moments where no one thing has been devastating but just so many little things come at once that you feel defeated? I know adoption plays a huge role in this. There's no way to explain the heaviness you feel constantly knowing that your little ones are still waiting for you on the other side of the ocean...still.  In addition to that I had just found out that I will have to make the big trips to Eastern Europe with Jacob for the adoption and while I'm thrilled at the chance to spend more time with Captain and Sister, I am nervous about leaving the kids, traveling with a new born and of course the travel expenses (a large portion of our total cost) now doubled. Anyway, this week... Jacob was out of town. That's never a good start. I forget how much I need him until he's not here. We were down to one working toilet, washing machine quit working and to top it off we caught the flu. With our new insurance plan I spent about $700 in one day on urgent care and medicine! Naturally I had really started to stress out over our finances. Jacob has been blessed with a wonderful job that provides nicely for our family but adoption expenses wiped us out this month. Knowing we still had to come up with another $20,000 for the adoption was just overwhelming and really felt impossible. My faith was fading fast.
 This morning I was telling Jacob how glad I was that I had cooked up so many freezer meals last month because our grocery money for the next few weeks was gone and that we would need to at least get some fruit this week especially with everyone fighting the flu. I just needed to wait until we had paid all of our bills and put gas in the cars to do it. At nap time I walked over to mom's (next door) to put a load of clothes in her washing machine and when I got back just a couple of minutes later would you guess what was on my porch? A box full of juice, crackers, a sweet note and FRUIT. I'm sure the sweet friend who dropped it by has know idea the magnitude of this gift. To anyone else it was a box of fruit but to me it was a message from my heavenly Father saying, "Daughter, I've got this. Just trust me. I've had it all along. Put your trust in Me, your Provider. Sit back and watch Me work." In that box was the one thing I had said we needed today.
So with all that said I want to tell you a little more about the journey we went through last year and how we got to where we are now. If you remember it was September of 2012 that we first committed to making Captain and Sister part of our family. In reality it was an email sent but in our hearts we became a family of 8 and they have been a part of us ever since. Of course just a week or so later we received the news that the kids were not available for adoption and likely never would be. They would just grow up in the orphanage until the day they aged out(15 I think). Statistically about 80% of girls who age out end up in prostitution and boys in some form of crime as well. Of course, they are still children with nothing and that is their hope of survival. It's absolutely heartbreaking and just wasn't an option for us. So we decided to fight for them. You can read more about that here. Please do, its a beautiful part of this journey that I am grateful for as painful as it was.
 I guess it was October 2012, just a few weeks later, that I first saw Beatrice. I knew God was calling us to her but didn't understand His intentions. I even begged Jacob to let us adopt her too but he knew she wasn't ours. Reece's Rainbow has a fundraiser every year where you pick a child from the Angel Tree and commit to raising money for them over the holidays. I realized that was why God had showed her to me but I was still reluctant. We had our own adoption to raise money for and we still had no idea how we were going to get the kids. Nothing had changed. They were still unavailable. He wanted us to starting fundraising for this other child who didn't even have a committed family??? I questioned Him and He answered. If you don't believe God speaks to us, you need to just be quiet and listen. Sometimes it's a still small voice and makes no sense. This time He told me to take care of Beatrice and He would take care of our children (Captain and Sister). So we did. We signed up and fundraised our little hearts out all the while wondering what He was up to. A few weeks into Angel Tree a family committed to adopting Beatrice. I was so excited! The family was wonderful and the mom and I became fast friends. I shared with her what had happened in our adoption and she knew someone who might be able to help! Did you catch that? We were taking care of Beatrice and God in His sovereignty brought someone into Beatrice's adoption story that knew someone that could help us! Just like He said! This person was an attorney from the country where our children are and she has done such amazing work! God used her to get our kids registered as orphans and available for adoption. She has been such a blessing to us and our kids. I can't help but wonder how things would have played out if we had not obeyed God.
So in continuing with obedience and trusting God to be our Provider, I am going to ask you for money. It's not for us. I know we may need to start some serious fundraising in the near future, but I have faith that God is faithful and He will do it just as He promised. I can't wait to watch. Right now the Tannehills who are adopting Beatrice are still short about $13,000. They expect to travel in January. I am asking the Body of Christ to rise up and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Trust Him with your finances. Give up something else and give to the Tannehills. I don't preach a doctrine of health and wealth, but I do believe that obedience is followed by blessing. Take a little step of faith. Just see what happens.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November-National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month so I'd like to spend a little time discussing ....adoption.
I'd love to write a happy feel good post but this just isn't it. Honestly as a Christian it's just embarrassing. So if you want to avoid conviction, go ahead and check out now.

I said in my last post that I would spend some more time addressing the question "why adopt?"

Honestly, its pretty simple. There are an estimated 132 million orphans in the world. We are a family. We have a home. They have neither. Adoption is the answer. It drives me crazy that adopting families have to spend so much time defending their decision to adopt, especially amongst other Christians!

Really? Have we all forgotten how we were saved? Were you born into the family of God? Or maybe, you were broken, unwanted, alone...and Someone saw value in you. Someone was willing to risk His own pain, discomfort, vulnerability...was willing to give up riches, to pay the ultimate price...all so you could be...ADOPTED.

  "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12

  "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father."For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children."  Romans 8:14-16

  "But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, "Abba, Father." Galations 4:4-6

 There are some common traps we Christians fall into. The first is that our calling is insignificant(just a mother, just a teacher... )  We envy those with "greater" ministries- because we were called to stay at home instead on moving overseas or called teach a Sunday school class rather than preaching to the multitudes. We forget that we are all part of a bigger picture and our job is to be the very best_____ that we can and do everything with excellence as unto the Lord.

 However, the even greater trap is that because we were called to be ______ we are exempt from other ministries. What a great job the enemy has done...and we let him. We have convinced ourselves that taking care of the orphan is someone else's calling, so much so that there are an estimated 132 million orphans in the world!!! That's just embarrassing! But but but... Look at our church! The sanctuary is overflowing! Look at this community event we put on! See how we donated to the food bank and pray for this missionary and volunteered in this fundraiser?... All while the most vulnerable are left helpless because we are too scared to step out of our comfort zones. Because we are so caught up in material things that we can't possibly pay the ransom for a lonely hurting child? Because we are too busy, too tired, too old, too young, too poor, too ....disobedient, selfish???

So if you are waiting to hear the call, here you go

  "Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed." Psalm 82:3

  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40

 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

" So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." James 4:17

Please visit our Family Sponsorship Page to see where we are at in our adoption journey.