Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It would be so much easier....

We are nearing the 1 year mark of the day we met Joy for the first time.  I can hardly believe it! We are awaiting, somewhat impatiently, a court date for when we can finalize Joy’s adoption.  We should hear back (hopefully) from the lawyer sometime in the next week or so.

While we have not finalized Joy’s adoption in court, she has become our daughter in our hearts.  We cannot imagine our lives without her.  Her spunky nature has brought so much fullness into our lives and it has been such an honor to be a part of the amazing transformation in Joy over this past year.
When we began Joy’s adoption, I never dreamed that God would radically change my life the way He did.  Our family took a very huge step of faith, both financially and emotionally when we began the process to adopt Joy.  And God provided every step of the way. We had the money when we needed it. We had the strength when we needed it. He provided for every little detail, and in the process He stretched our faith.  God is quite funny that way. I thought my faith had been stretched enough, but it seems God has other ideas. God has been stirring our hearts toward adopting again.  At first we thought about adopting through the US foster care system. It would be much easier financially. We would have to travel. The process would be much, much simpler in many ways.  However, just last week, I found a little boy who needs a home on a special focus list from China, and I cannot quit thinking about him. It would cost around $30,000.00 to adopt him and I was told the process would only take about 10-12 months. There is no possible way for us in and of ourselves to come up with that kind of cash! It seems impossible. It is quite daunting and it seems absolutely CRAZY! While I can’t say for sure that God has called us to adopt this little boy, God does specialize in things that are impossible without Him. Pray for us! We desperately need guidance and direction!  Whether or not God is calling us to adopt this little boy, I know in our hearts He is calling us to adopt again someday!
It would be so much easier to say no. It would be so much easier to say we have done our part. It would be so much easier to continue on with our lives the way we are and look the other way. But God does not tell us to live comfortable lives.
It would be so much easier to NOT have to fill out the mounds of paperwork again. Or complete home study visits and background checks and FBI fingerprinting.  Or travel to a foreign country. It would be so much simpler to NOT have to cry and pray and try to come up with $30,000. Or fill out 100 applications for grants. Or sacrifice our vacation, lattes at Starbucks, and anything else we can come up with to save money. Or do a ton of fundraisers.
 It would be so much easier to NOT have to try to integrate another child into our family. And deal with the child’s grief of leaving behind the life he never knew. And deal with a slew of emotional unknowns. And deal with the growing pains associated with adding another family member.

Although a big part of me does NOT want to go through the international adoption process again, there is a part of me that is excited to see what God can do. I feel Him telling me, “Trust me. The money is just a drop in the bucket to me. Trust me. The sacrifices you make will be worth it all.”
While it would be so much easier to just continue life as a family of 5, I don’t want to live an easy life. I want live my life to the fullest, following Him every step of the way.  I want to know God and trust Him in ways I have never trusted Him before. I want to see Him do the miraculous. Please pray with us as we continue on this journey of faith. If we decide God is calling us to adopt this little boy from China, it will be the biggest step of faith we have ever taken and we need clear confirmation whether or not this is what God wants us to do.  Thank you for your prayers as we continue to seek God's will for our family!  

Monday, September 9, 2013

11 months....1 more month to "gotcha day"!

Joy has been home with us for 11 months now and it has been an incredible journey so far. I have to say these past several weeks have been the most rewarding. Joy has just blossomed and she is so happy these days. She seems to have found her place in our family and be very settled. One of the ladies at church told me on Sunday that she was amazed at the changes in Joy. She told me it made her smile how Joy just "glows" with happiness now. She is not the same scared little girl we brought home almost a year ago and she is living up to her name! Joy is still struggling with school and learning how to read and do math, but I am confident we will be able to help her in these areas with time.

One of the things I love about Joy is her sense of humor. She constantly has us laughing and the whole family likes to quote her funny sayings! The more she learns to say things, the more her sense of humor comes out.  At night when I tuck Joy in, I often encourage her to do her best at school the next day.  Last night after our prayers, she took my chin in her hand and turned my face to her and said, "Look at me, Mom! Now you do your very best at work tomorrow!"  She also had a very funny prayer last night. She prayed that she would get shampoo and make up for her birthday!

I can hardly believe she has been home almost a whole year! In just a couple weeks we will celebrate Joy's first birthday with us as a family.  She will turn 8. Last year at this time, we were anxiously awaiting to receive word of our travel approval and we were so disappointed to have missed her birthday. I think God knew that she needed one more birthday with her "family" at the orphanage who loved and cared for her so much. They had a birthday party for her on her birthday every year. I am so thankful Joy was in a wonderful orphanage where she was so loved. It truly has helped her become the amazing little girl she is today and we are so blessed God put her in our family!

Those of you wondering if you can adopt an older child, I want to encourage you. It is not always easy. There can be many challenges; however, there are so many blessings! If God is speaking to you about adopting an older child or a child who is waiting and longing for a home, please listen to His voice. You will be so glad you did! I don't want to sugarcoat things. There will be difficulties. There will be days you will wonder what you are doing.  There may be days you want to quit. Following Christ isn't always easy, but there are always great rewards when you obey the voice of the Father. I am so glad we took the step of faith to adopt our little girl. I cannot imagine our family without her!