Today is a day I should be doing so many other things. There are kids' Christmas parties, emails, last-minute Christmas gifts (thank God for those sweet teachers who wipe my kids' noses every day and love them so so well!)...
I've been needing to write an adoption update- and if I'm being honest- I've just been putting it off. I've made myself too busy with other things. But for some reason, in the middle of this chaotic day, I've decided to sit down and write. Why? Because as a counselor once told me, "Lissa, you have to start giving yourself time to FEEL your feelings". Ugh. It would be so much more convenient right now to just keep doing all the things and not really think about all those silly emotions. (sarcasm- can you tell I am a DOER by nature?)
However, I am excited to share where we are at in our adoption process right now. We have been logged in to China for 4 months now. Liv will turn 1 in just a couple of months, and that is a special date, not just because it will be her 2nd birthday (which is a miracle in and of itself), or that we will be welcoming a new niece into the world (my little sister, Layne, is pregnant!), but for another reason. When we sent in our paperwork to China, part of our request was that there be at least a 12 month age gap between Liv and our adopted daughter. It is very rare to see a referral of a child under 12 months in China. Because of the systems and processes there, most of the youngest children are around 18 months- 2 years when they are referred for adoption. So, because of our request, the older Liv gets, the more likely it will be that we get a referral.
Can I just pause for a minute and tell you how psycho I feel right now?!? Right now a 12 month gap between my two youngest girls seems like crazytown. Like an all-out circus with bits of popcorn kernels shoved all in the cracks. To be honest, this has been one of the biggest areas of attack for me. I know that Satan knows my love for control, and I am aware that I constantly fall into the delusion that I am in control at all. So in those moments of weakness- when I already feel totally unprepared to even parent the two kids that are at home- I panic. How will I ever parent 3 kids? I can't even get them to school on time, much less doctor's appointments! (I know you moms of 3+ are just chuckling to yourselves right now- go ahead, you deserve it!)
But then there is also all that ugly pride that hangs out in the background, like it should get free rent just because it's been there so long, taking up space in my heart. The illusion that all this blessing was all ME. That EVERYONE expects us to be this or that- that I CAN DO and MUST DO it all. Gross. Just makes me want to spit it out.
When you couple the I-can't-do-it panic with the but-I-have-to-be-the-best pride, you get a mom, wife, and child of God with a serious identity crisis.
And that has been me for the past few months. Mostly holding it together on the outside, while I wonder if we are just straight up insane on the inside. (Bless my sweet friends and family who are consistently patient with me!)
After we got our paperwork to China, I started working on a few grant applications. We have been amazed and in shock at how generous people have been so far. Friends, relatives, and even people we don't know have contributed to our fund. It has been one of the humbling ways God has not only proven Himself and His provision to me, but I know He is working on that old tenant, Pride, as well.
We totaled up the upcoming costs we have left- and I kid you not- it was still over $13,000.00. This is what it will take to get us to China and back. Some of the fees are simply incredible, and you would be amazed at what little portion of that our agency actually gets. Much of it is travel and other fees that we will be paying to the orphanage, government, etc.
Most recently, we got work that we were awarded a matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans. They are going to MATCH up to $3500.00! As soon as we got word, I immediately started brainstorming ideas for fun ways we could raise the $3500.00. We tossed around a few ideas, but after speaking with Lifesong, we found out that we were not to offer any services or products in return for the donations. To be honest, that was hard for me to deal with. As a DOER, I couldn't imagine asking people AGAIN to just straight up contribute to our adoption fund. It would be so much easier to just make something or give my services in exchange. Easier on my pride, that is. The longer I let it settle in, the longer I realized this was a pride issue! So, again, I got to have that I-trust-you conversation with God. And of course, He has been providing just like He said he would!
If you would like to contribute to the matching grant, just click on the "Donate" button! It is tax-deductible!
Additionally, we have decided to put all the income from my How To Work It workshop toward our adoption until enough funds are raised! This has been a dream project of mine for a while and it has been so cool to start working with the very first attendees this month! Check out more on the workshop HERE.
The truth is, He is good. He is faithful. He's made a way. I'm not supposed to be good enough, organized enough, strong enough. He knows our daughter in China. (It's very likely that she is alive and waiting for us NOW!) He knows our future struggles. BUT, I know what He's taken us through to get to this point, and have no choice (logistically or emotionally) but to trust Him with this.
So- for a short synopsis or what is to come:
Within the next few months (anywhere from March-October, we are estimating) we will get a call with a referral from our agency.
They will give us a file to review, and we will have an allotted amount of time to pray over the file, consult doctors and medical professionals, etc.
If we say YES, the paperwork will start back up! Hopefully, we will travel 10-12 weeks later.
It is crazy to think that this time next year our daughter could be home with us- and we could be a family of 5!
There is a large part of me that is ready to not be waiting. I can't wait to know that peace when my heart is not longing for something literally around the world and wondering in expectation if I should be more prepared, what that day will look like when we meet her, what the transition will look like, etc.
But isn't that what this season of Advent teaches us? Shouldn't I ponder all of these things in my heart, just as Mary did? I'm thankful that I don't have to know all the answers. Thankful for my Savior who has allowed us to be here, on this adoption journey. Thankful for Knox and Liv and the way they bless and refine us daily.
Thankful for all of you who have taken the time to listen to my crazy and pray for us, give to our fund and truly impact our family's legacy forever. Merry Christmas!
Do you guys have any questions about our adoption? I would love to answer them and am a pretty open book! Post them in the comments!