When we started R.'s adoption, we knew we could make it work because of her grant. If we were only bringing her home, there would have been no real issues and the small expenses we would incur would be quite manageable. It is a truly amazing grant that the Baobei Foundation has provided for her. Yet, we knew that not only was R. our daughter, but Y. was as well. I truly don't know how to explain the jolt I felt when I first saw Y.'s picture. It was as though my body knew that this face was somehow important to me. I saw her photo at about the same time as R.'s. Two girls whom I felt a connection with. And I knew this was crazy because we knew we were done, and even if we felt as though we weren't done, there was quite literally no money to even start an adoption, much less pay for one. So all I could do was advocate and hope and pray they would find families. I would scan the advocacy lists for news of them, both hoping I would see they had families and at the same time, holding my breath, wondering at the sadness I felt at the thought they might be someone else's daughters.
And then the grant and the approval for R.'s adoption came, along with the crazy thought that if we were already in China, maybe, just maybe, Y. could be our daughter as well. None of us needs to live through the craziness of the first half of the year trying to get our home study approved for two. Once was enough, thank you very much. But it was approved. We held our breath and asked for permission to adopt Y. as well.
And China said yes. We were going to have two new daughters, and while many of the fees were taken care of, there would still be significant expenses that we were going to be on the hook for. We went ahead, holding our breath, and knowing that if God really wanted this child in our family, it would all work out. This is easy to say at the very beginning of an endeavor and at the end when it is all said and done, but another thing entirely in the midst.
I won't kid you. There have been moments of sheer panic that we would not have the money to pay the next fee. This is not something I am proud of, but I would not be truthful if I did not share that the year has been full of doubts and fear and complete inadequacy.
Each time there was a fee due (and sometimes even before I realized it was going to be due), a check from a friend or relation or complete stranger would arrive. Every single time we had something come due, the money would be there. For those of you who felt compelled to share with us, thank you. Because of you we have made it this far. It has been both an agonizing and amazing year all at the same time. We are humbled and overwhelmed with gratefulness to all of you.
When I do begin to panic about finances, I am trying to remember the provision we have already experienced. I am realizing that while we all love a really good God story and to hear of other's experiences of miraculous provision, we (at least I) tend to forget that to experience miraculous provision, you have to first be at a place of complete need. That is a very difficult place to live in. Yet, it is the place most likely for God to show up.
We have been living in a place of complete need in many aspects of our lives this year. I can say, God has truly shown up. If He hadn't, we wouldn't have plane tickets to fly to China. We also wouldn't be at a place emotionally to take care of other children. It has been a tough year. Yet at our lowest points, God was there, guiding us through, supporting us, loving us.
I want to share one more example of provision before I stop.
There, what do you think of that photo? Not quite down to my usual standards, huh? That's because dear friends bought us a new camera and came and dropped it by last weekend. 'Find camera' was on my list of things to-do before we left for China, and I had hoped to find one before Christmas. It was yet another of those expenses that you need to pay for, but wonder exactly how you were going to move the available money around to make it work. I actually didn't even feel quite right praying about it, since we had much bigger things to send God's way. Our friends' gift to us really felt as though it was God saying, "I care about the little things, too."
And all I can say is thank you. A teary, heart-felt, overwhelmed, humble thank you.