I could also tell you about the amazing people who are leading fundraisers on our behalf. But then I worry, are you tired of hearing about fundraising? Are you tired of hearing about the money we still need even after the awesome fundraisers we've already had?
I shared these thoughts with Steve and he said, "well, there's your blog".
Donald Miller is the author of one of our favorite books, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years." In it he writes about a time he decided he wanted to hike Machu Picchu, an amazing trail up a mountain in Peru. He talked about the intense 14,000 foot hike up the mountain, back down, then up another 12,000 feet to the top.
He wrote about the joy, awe, and fulfillment he experienced at the top of Machu Picchu as he looked across the majestic expanse all around him. He discovered something else about the top of the mountain: there are bus tours that take people right up to the exact same view. But at what cost?
The person who steps off an air conditioned bus gets to see the exact same view Donald Miller and the rest of the hikers saw, but can you imagine the difference between their perspectives?
A dirtied, sweat-filled climber who spent hours and hours pushing their body to the brink, must stand at the top of that mountain with a sense of wonder and appreciation. He has seen God's glory on display all the way to the top, through the pain and through the sweat. An experience that will change him forever.
Then there is the tourist who hops off of a bus. They may be filled with awe over God's beautiful creation, maybe they snap a few pictures, hop back on the bus, and update their facebook profile picture. Moved? Maybe. But not changed.
So, here we are with our international adoption journey. In some ways I want to apologize to you for where we are. I wish we were at the end. I wish we could take a bus that transports us to the airport escalator with our new daughter in our arms. But the reality is, we have to hike the trail.
This trail is filled with paperwork and tedious hours of document filings. It's a trail filled with us asking you to join us financially and come to our fundraising events...and then asking you for more.
The path of international adoption is not for the faint of heart. We are in the season right now where our main focuses are getting our paperwork completed and raising money. That is just the reality of this leg. The next leg of the journey is the months and months of just waiting...and waiting...and waiting. But I believe that if you continue to walk with us, holding us in prayer and encouraging us with your words as you have been, through these parts, you will experience along with us a deep and powerful encounter with God when we reach our "mountain top" and will be changed forever.
Thank you for hiking with us. Let's keep our backpacks strapped tight and stay hydrated - we've still got a long way to go!
- We finished our part of the home study. Now we wait for it to be approved and submitted to our adoption agency
- We now have officially begun the "dossier" - compiling and authenticating a huge batch of paperwork that will be submitted to the Russian court. Every document has to be precisely prepared and there is ZERO room for error.
- My Wednesday morning Bible study ladies are hosting a HUGE Multi-Family Yard Sale THIS Thursday and Friday from 9am-3pm. They have been working so hard collecting and pricing items. It is going to be great, with something for everyone. So come on out and invite your friends! Here is the ADDRESS
- A high school student in our ministry totally surprised us on Sunday morning with T-shirts she designed and is selling on our behalf- so cool! I will save the story for another blog, but look for a way to purchase one soon!
- When we complete our dossier, we will have to also submit our first big chunk of money that will go towards our agency costs and translation fees and submission fees. The total will be around $10,000. We are praying that God will give us what we need right when we need it.
- Please pray for us as we work on our dossier. There is nothing more frustrating that submitting paperwork and having it get sent back to do over because of a tiny error (we have experienced that before). Pray that our minds would be sharp and focused and make zero errors!!
- Continue to pray for our little girl, her birth family and anyone else who may be in her life right now - for her caregivers, (if she is in the orphanage) that she would be loved specially and cared for uniquely
- Pray for Dima and his heart as he intently watches us go through this process, that he would feel only love and not frustration for the errands he gets to take with us.
Until next Monday, love Kate, Steve and Dima