Faith has seemed to play a huge role in our lives.
Gary had to have faith that he would be okay moving to a foreign country alone even before he became a Christian.
I had to have faith that God knew what He was doing when He asked me to change my career path after I had almost completed my degree.
I had to have faith that God would send me a Godly husband.
Gary and I had to have faith that God knew what He was doing when we felt the call to move to Georgia away from everything and everyone close to us and take care of us financially.
Gary and I had to have faith that God knew what He was doing when He did not allow us to become pregnant the traditional way.
Gary and I had to have faith knowing God would provide a way for us to become parents.
Gary and I must have faith once again that God will provide - not only a child this time, but the financial resources as well that we need.
All of our lives, if we are Christians, are driven by faith. It is the one thing that can bring us to Christ as His child and it is the one thing that keeps us close to Him in our journey called life.
Many of you have asked us lately where we are in our adoption process. To be completely honest with all of you, we have not turned in our paperwork yet. The reason we have not is that we do not feel complete peace in doing so. One reason for our lack of peace we know is financially based. Declan was home in less than 9 months, our agency we plan to work with gave us a 4 month placement time. That is not a lot of time once all of our paperwork has been completed.
In the beginning of our marriage, we knew we were on the same page when it came to finances. When we first moved to Georgia, this became even more important after we both read Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace book and went to his workshop at First Baptist Woodstock. We attended a second class at our church last year. Through all of his teaching on finances and what the Bible has to say about finances, Dave says to save money for big ticket items such as trips, large purchases, etc. We began the plan and began to see our debt disappear.
By this time in our marriage, if we had followed his plan completely, we should be debt free. Of course, facing infertility tends to put a dent in paying off other debt and instead adds to debt. It also adds to stress in a marriage over finances. We knew we wanted to move forward in life, but we also knew we desperately wanted to be parents. We questioned whether completing infertility treatments would fit into our budget and our overall goals for life, but we were willing to pay whatever it took to become parents. We were optimistic. We knew God gave us the desire to be parents. We had faith He would allow us to have children. We ended our fertility treatments without a child and with a lot of debt. We knew God could've worked a miracle had He seen fit, but He had not and we didn't know why.
We came to the point that our marriage and my health was more important than having a child. We knew we both desperately still wanted to be parents, but we knew we still had each other and that may have to be enough. We realized then that God had other plans for us and that He would bring us children another way. This was a very low point in our lives. Low enough that Gary and I almost lost our faith in God and what He could do for us. We cried out to Him in our pain and tears and this is when He led us to the option of adoption.
Little did we know at the time how expensive it would become, but we trudged through the paperwork and the classes and the waiting knowing we would have a child at the end of the wait. We didn't have to wait long either. God knew what He was doing and the process took less than 9 months. I had prayed to God during this time specifically for a short wait after all we had been through. We did complete fundraising, but it wasn't enough so we had more debt added. But, we didn't mind because we had Declan and we were so happy. God had answered our prayers.
After paying for fertility treatments and our first adoption, we are a little apprehensive at going into this again a second time without fundraising first. We have still followed Dave Ramsey as closely as we can. We do not want to go into debt again this time.
Going into this process is also very emotional. We have the answered prayer in our lives because we see Declan everyday and we remember what God can do. But, old emotions tend to resurface and old fears do come back into our minds.
Because of our shared apprehension with beginning this process again, I felt like I could do more research and gain more ideas in order to fund raise. We want to also raise awareness for adoption through our fundraising efforts. We feel the more we open up to others about our story, the more awareness will come. We still are in awe at the questions we are sometimes asked about adoption. There really isn't a lot of information available to most people. There are also a lot of stereotypes and a lot of misinformation.
All of this to say that I am currently reading a book entitled, You Can Adopt Without Debt by Julie Gumm and Dave Ramsey is mentioned in this book.
I am hoping to gain some useful knowledge from this book that can work for Gary and I.
One of the statements in this book so far that struck me is that we don't have to be embarrassed about asking for help in this journey. But, this is a lesson in humility for us. We have always felt guilty asking for help.
But, as I have read, many people want to give to a worthy cause, but just don't know how. We have to have faith that God will supply our needs using other people.
We do not want to overwhelm the same people with fund raisers. We have also gone through our own home to get rid of a lot of things for a garage sale. Previously (Declan's Adoption), we sold our motorcycle to help with cost and are now selling all of our motorcycle gear as well.
We are still selling T shirts which we hope that when people wear them will send a message and bring more awareness to adoption. So, if you have one and someone asks, don't just tell them you are supporting a friend who is adopting. Share with them some information about adoption - the importance of giving these kids a home or the costs associated with adoption.
We are also in the process of getting an online JamBerry party started. I am excited about this because a custom nail wrap was designed to focus on adoption.
We are also planning to sell Krispy Kreme doughnuts in several different neighborhoods. For this one, we would need help. If you think your neighborhood would like to have doughnuts delivered one Saturday morning (especially when it gets cooler weather), we would love to have your help. We would advertise on neighborhood websites/FB pages and have one Saturday for pickup and delivery.
All of these ideas we know will lead to success. But, even though money is needed, the prayers and support mean so much more to us. We really do covet your prayers as the enemy tries to sway us and tries to keep our eyes off of the main goal of bringing a child home to her forever family.