I want to begin this post with the exciting news….

The most recent fees have been paid in full!!! 

That’s right, one more chunk down.  Josie’s adoption is over 50% funded, only about $14,000 to go.  Whew, what a great feeling that is!  I can’t even explain the sense of relief I’ve had this weekend.

This process is stressful, and I’ve been struggling, a lot, with some major doubt for the past few weeks.  I think I’ve gone through an entire large bottle of Tylenol in the past month.  And I know I’ve ingested more than the ‘suggested amount’ of tums.  I hope I’ve been able to contain the grumpy part of my stress, though some days it was easier thought than done!  (Sorry to those who are local if I’ve been grouchy!!) 
Why the extra stress? Frankly, because I let doubt take over.  I tried, I really did. And at moments, on some days, my faith kept the front seat and the doubt was squelched.  But most days, I struggled.

There are a lot things that kind of stink about the adoption process. 
(Forgive my rant here for a minute.) 
The scrutiny involved…. Will you be a good enough parent? Will you have enough space? Will your family be involved? If so, What is your family like? If not, Why? Give a detailed description of your family tree.  How often do you see your extended family and why? What kind of schools will your adopted child attend? Will they have friends? Who will provide medical care? Where will they play? Who will they play with? What will they eat? Will they have proper clothing? Do you make enough money? Who will take care of them if you can’t? Will they go to daycare, if so, Where? How will you pay for their, medical care, clothing, food, schooling, daycare, toys, books, shoes, on and on and on?  Are you healthy? Are you sane? Are you educated?  The months and months of having to prove yourself worthy to parent, it takes a toll. 
And then even once you have proven that you are worthy (you’re educated, healthy, sane…), that your house is acceptable (your baseboards are clean, your laundry all folded and put away, your bathrooms shining…), that your family is not crazy (and if they are, they are not involved), that your community is award winning (top notch schools, parks and libraries..) and excellent medical care is easily accessible.  Once you’ve been ‘stamped’ acceptable…none of it matters if the monetary fees are there to back it up.  It’s ‘joked’ about in the adoption world that it’s a good thing you take the psychological evaluation at the beginning of the process, because by the end, you just might not pass… because the process itself might just be enough to drive a person insane. 

I was struggling this past month, because I took a leap of faith to adopt internationally.  I honestly didn’t know how I could afford it, I knew I didn’t just have tens of thousands of dollars laying around.  But I wanted to be a parent.  I wanted to be a Mama. And adoption is how that is going to happen. We are called to help the orphan.  James 1:27 ~ Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.  I strongly believe that this is God’s plan for my life. 

I chose Russia, because I felt called to Lizzy specifically, not just because I thought, ‘oh Russia sounds like a nice place to go’. And when He changed the plans, and dropped Josie into my lap, who is in a completely different country, I knew I had to move forward because He was leadingMark 9:37 ~ “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”  I had faith.  I know adoption is God’s plan for me.  Even though all of the  money wasn’t there to back it up and at the time, I didn’t have the answers to the HUNDREDS of questions that would be thrown at me, I knew this was the path I was meant to be on.  I had faith that when I needed answers, they would come.  Some of it by researching, by meeting professional after professional, by talking to people with experience, by some hard work, but the answers would all be there.  And they have been.

I had faith that he would provide monetarily as well.  Not that it would simply fall from the sky, but that somehow it would all work out in the end.  I would have to work more, fundraise, sell, reduce my ‘extra’ spending. (You know you can actually live without cable! And packing your lunch to take to work really isn’t that hard!)

I believe(d) if God called, He would provide. 

This past month, was a big one.  The completion of all of those months of paperwork.
The biggest ‘packet’ complete.  What a relief.  A happy joyous occasion.  (Really, this was a BIG step!!!)
The only downside is that meant the next agency fee was also due.  A big chunk of change that I did not have sitting in my bank account.  And I began to worry.  I began to doubt.  I was praying for what I wanted.  Not what was God’s plan.  I was praying for what I wanted to happen, when I wanted it to happen.  I doubted. 
But then, something clicked, something changed and I realized it wasn’t about me.  It obviously wasn’t happening when I wanted (it certainly hadn’t happened yet, and I wanted it a month ago!)  I realized I needed to give it back over to God (and no, that doesn’t mean I just sat there and waited for money to fall from the sky or grow on a tree in my back yard)  It meant I needed to remember that God WILL provide, in His timing, in His way

And the second that I let it go, He let it happen.  From a source that I couldn’t have planned on. And I can’t shared in entirety, but God does provide.  There is always a reason in His planning.  Sometimes we may never know, sometimes it just takes awhile. But ALL of the time, we simply have to have faith.  We have to sincerely trust..not just say that we do.  Matthew 21:22 ~ “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

This adoption process is difficult.  It’s time consuming, it’s hard, it’s frustrating.

But, I look at this face…

And I’m reminded to keep believing.  Keep my faith strong.  I am on the right path.  The path to bring this sweet bunny home.  The path that God has led me too.  No more doubt, just faith (and lots of hard work!) 

(mmmm…I can NOT wait to cover that little face with kisses!!!)

editors note:  I had this post all ready to go this afternoon, but didn’t publish it because I wanted to read through one more time and was out of time. I needed to head out the door.  It’s Sunday night, youth group.  We’re doing a four part study with the kids right now.  It’s called surrender. Surrender Stuff, Surrender Status, Surrender Sin and Surrender Self.  I know the lesson is really for the kids but as I sit in the room and watch the video portion of the study there is a lot to take away as an adult, as well.  Tonight, we talked on Surrender Self… And I sat there thinking about everything I’d written in this post and how much I needed the lesson tonight.  How much it had tied into my ‘revelation’ this past week.  A great reminder that it is all in His hands and I simply need to surrender and let Him lead.

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