Please pray for: the Snow Family (see below), the "B" Family (keep reading), the "G" Family, still waiting for the powers to be in an African country to release their two children in the adoption process; the "V" Family, waiting for a referral and knowing that God has a special little boy planned for them; the "P" Family pushing forward against bureaucratic obstacles in their adoption journey; the "K" Family, holding on to hope that God will soften hearts in Russia and make the way for the little boy to come home soon...
And pray for people who continue to argue that Americans should just adopt American children. Can you imagine if God said that he would only adopt Jews? What if He said that His Son's death wasn't good enough to set Gentiles free? That only the Israelites would be saved. What if God said that He was a God of one nation only? Jesus died as a ransom for all. He came to set ALL sinners free! That's you and me, peeps, regardless of nationality, culture, heritage, ethnicity, language, race... I'm a child of God, adopted into His eternal family. Thank You, Lord that You love me...just because You LOVE. Thank You that all Your children deserve love and families. I don't know why you chose us to adopt African children, but then again, I don't know why you chose my home to be in America. I know that you have chosen families to adopt American children, too. Thank you for the Zoccolis, Clardys, Castellanos, Browns, and many, many more! Only You know what the purpose for each of our lives is - for Your kingdom, and all I can do is listen and follow.
I just read a post on our friend's blog - The Snow Bunch. http://mel-snow.blogspot.com/ Geez, this adoption stuff is really tough. It's a roller coaster ride, and we all need to hang on tight so as not to be thrown out or get sick to our stomachs during the ride. Melissa and Brian have been through all of this and are buckling up for more! Bless them, Lord, as they forge a path ahead of us. Their girls are preparing to celebrate Christmas with our boys. This somewhat selfish mommy is grateful my little boys will have good friends with them for a short while longer. But, God speed the Snow Girls home in your gracious timing and love!
In the same breath, I pray God speed our boys home, too. We received our dossier safe and sound on Christmas Eve! Woohoooo! Now we receive direction from our agency as to which papers are still good, and which ones need renewal, update, etc. We hope to have all international papers in place by the middle of January. Then we wait and pray for a court date, sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we still pray also for God's guidance with fundraising. Each time I have applied for grants, or attempted to apply for grants, there has been some type of roadblock we've had to face. We were declined by one, completely brushed off after several emails by another organization, unable to complete two other online applications due to computer or internet issues, and don't qualify for about half-a-dozen more I've come across through searches and research. Gggrrrrr. My analysis: God does not have a grant in the near future for us. At least not one of these! I trust in Him and His provision completely and wait for Him to speak to us regarding the next method of raising the funds needed to bring our boys home. I LOVE how He has touched the hearts of so many people through our boys and their journey home.
I want to share one story that came out of our Two Week Timeline and Testimony of God's goodness. I had prayed several times to the Lord, basically crying out to Him that I am such a wimp and that I really needed a Gideon moment. I really needed that fleece - that tangible, "This is Me!" moment from God. (Judges 6:36-40) I asked Him to please speak through Paul; that He would confirm His will and direction through words from my sweet husband. After all, this really had to be led by Paul. This is his family as much as mine, and his heart had to be completely invested in this as much if not more than mine. Well, God delivered, as usual. Twice, He spoke through Paul. Once was very immediate when I asked God to confirm my "Yes" through Paul's direction, and Paul within 24 hours said, "I think these are the children we're supposed to adopt." The next time came through a "this could only be the Holy Spirit" event. My very private and humble better-half wrote a letter. It was written from his heart and his own desire to bring our boys home. He wrote a letter to Todd Wilson, AKA The Family Man. http://familymanweb.com/ Mr. Wilson is well-known in the homeschooling community. He travels to conventions all over the country, speaking to thousands of homeschool families everywhere. He has also written several books, has a great business and website, and publishes an email newsletter received by countless homes throughout the country. And my Paul wrote him a letter regarding our desire to adopt the boys and the needs involved! Say what? Yup. He did it. I didn't even know he had done this until one evening, actually, late night, we were both checking our emails and I was preparing an adoption update on our FB account. I heard Paul say, "He put it in his newsletter." The words were quiet, but the emotion behind the words...well... let's just say I knew it meant something big. There it was, big as life, Paul's letter in Todd Wilson's newsletter! Amazing! That could only be God, and through this God-move, we received support and prayers from the other side of the country. East meets west! Again - Amazing! Not only did God touch Mr. Wilson's heart somehow, to encourage him to send Paul's letter to all of his subscribers, but God touched other families who were waiting for direction from Him in terms of His plans for our little boys. Those families probably had no idea this was destined to happen, just like we didn't know during our Thanksgiving meal this year that we would be introduced to our boys before Christmas. However, I want to share at least one story of a family who was specifically meant to read that letter.
The "B" family in another state far from us sent me an email after reading the letter. Mrs. B asked that I call her so that we could talk, as she had some questions about our adoption. I now have another sister far from Arizona whose heart is burdened for adoption and orphans as mine is! The B family had been in deep prayer mode for a while, not hearing clearly whether they were meant to adopt a little boy ("Little X") from China. He has special needs and more than anything needs a family. He needs a mom and dad, but Mrs. B and even more so, her husband, were not convinced that this was exactly what God had for them in terms of adoption. When they read the letter that Paul wrote, they were immediately tugged. She said that right away she thought that maybe this is how God wanted them to "adopt" - by supporting other families in need of funding. Whoa there, Lord. You continue to rock my world! How is it that two women on opposite ends of a continent, can be brought together for the purpose of giving orphans a home? Only by Your hands, God! Only You. As this new friend of mine and I prepared to close our phone conversation, we committed to praying for each other; that God would make all His plans clear and evident to both families, and that He would provide for all orphans and families. Before we hung up, my new friend shared this with me. She said that she and her husband were in the car driving just the night before our conversation and they were talking about their continued desire to help our boys. They couldn't get our family out of their minds and felt that it really was God prompting them. Right at that moment, they looked up and saw two shooting stars. She said, "Look! There are the boys!" Then, she knew she had seen another confirmation from God that He wanted them to help bring our boys home.
Do you see what I mean? Our boys' story is so not about me, or my heart's desire, or my will, or my strength. It's completely about God's heart and those of us who hear Him stepping out in obedience. Jeepers! God continues to perform miracles every day! Thank you, Lord, for the "B" family. Thank you for writing a story through two, beautiful, Ethiopian children! I have no doubts that You have great plans for them. How honored and privileged we are to simply be part of the story.