Thanks for checking in and following along in our journey towards adopting a little girl from Russia. We are emotion filled: excited, nervous, anticipating, overwhelmed, and did I say nervous? One of the things I am nervous about seems silly and Steve kind of mentioned it in our most recent video: the fear of whether or not God will provide.
For our first adoption, we came in having no idea what to expect and God totally blew us away. This second time around, we do have some expectations since we have done it before. It seems like the second time around should be easier, since we "know the ropes" a little more. But in actuality, we are more afraid. We DO know what to expect. We DO know the paperwork we are getting into. We DO know the travel that lies ahead, the waiting that stands before us, the uncertainty that can easily swallow our hearts and minds, and the financial mountain that plops itself right in front of us.
So there is this war that continues to battle inside of me. One part of my heart says, "God has done it once, He won't do it again. He's blessed you guys once and stirred in the hearts of people to give already...He's given you your portion, You don't get another."
And then the other part of my heart says, "He's done it once, why don't you believe He will do it again? He may not do it in the same way, but why don't you believe that He will overwhelm you again? Why don't you believe that He will provide for you again and bring the perfect child for your family again?"
"Do you not know, have you not heard? Our God is an an everlasting God, the creator of the ENDS of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom." (Isaiah 40:28).
So, who will I choose to believe: the fleshly part of me that feels that God has a ration of blessing to give? Or His Word, who speaks about the Creator of the Universe, the one who loves to lavish and pour out His blessings on His children again...and again...?
January 2010, Steve received this Facebook message:
Hey Steve, I know you dont know me but I attended Cornerstone when you were interning there and I heard you speak at a few of our events afterwards. I just happened to stumble upon your facebook and I began thinking back on some of the things I remembered you speaking on and I realized that you really did make a big impact on who I was and who I have become. I just wanted to say thank you, you are a man of God and at least to me you have done a fantastic job of serving him. I also happened to check out your blog about your adoption thing. I dont use a credit card but if you send me your address I can mail you a check. I dont have much money but reading the story stirred something up in me that wants to help.
The same day, Steve wrote him back:
Of course I remember you. How are you doing? Still at Cornerstone?
I really appreciate your willingness to give towards our adoption. My wife and I have been blown away by the generosity of people. We truly could not have done this on our own.
A few days later, we learned the tragic news that this boy committed suicide the very day after this Facebook message was sent. The interaction he had with Steve was one of the last recorded conversations this boy had. Our hearts were broken for him, for his family, and for his friends. Ashes.
Fast forward 2 1/2 years...
On a warm summer day in the middle of June 2012, after about a year of praying, Steve and I finally made the decision to move forward with our second adoption. We spoke with our parents and no one else. The day after we officially signed on with our adoption agency, Steve went to the mailbox and opened an envelope with an unfamiliar return address.
He read it, handed it to me and we sat in silence. In the envelope was a letter from the mother of this boy who took his life. She wrote about her son's death 2 years ago and how she and her family had been grieving over the past 2 years but have slowly been able to rise out of the ashes of grief. She remembered that one of the last things her son had told her was about our adoption (our first adoption with Dima) and how he had felt stirred to give money. But, he never had the chance to.
So she said she wanted to honor her son's wishes from 2 years ago. She said that she knew we had already brought our son home, but maybe this money could go towards a nice vacation or something for our family. She just wanted to honor her son's wishes. Little did she know, she was sending us our very first financial donation towards our second adoption. Beauty from Ashes.
"Beauty from ashes" seems to be the theme of this adoption. It is what God continues to bring to mind as I think and pray about our little girl who will soon join our family. She will come to us with ashes from a story that started with loss. But the God I serve is one who thrives on making beautiful things out of dust. And though there are so many fears and questions I have as to how God is going to provide again for this adoption, I have to believe that He is a God who is making all things new.
And so we pray that God continues to give us amazing stories like this one - of people who are compelled to give and pray and support, maybe even out of their own brokenness. And that God would take that offering and turn it into something beautiful.
- We have officially signed on with an adoption agency (we are not allowed to disclose the name of it on a public blog)
- Our social worker came out to our house and we are continuing to work on paperwork to complete our home study.
- We still have adoption training, mounds of paperwork and fingerprinting before we complete our dossier (our massive file of paperwork that we will send to Russia)
- We think it will take about 2 months or so to complete everything before we can finish our dossier
- For our little girl (who may already be born) that there would be someone special who is loving her in a unique way during these formative months
- For diligence with paperwork and organization
- For God to stir in the hearts of people to give financially as we continue to move forward
Until next Monday, love Kate, Steve, & Dima.