Thursday, September 29, 2011

$283.77

Generosity breeds generosity.  This I am sure of.

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Meet our friends the M's.  This family dove head first into the adoption world last year.  After deciding to adopt domestically, they endured the heartbreak of a failed adoption before their littlest guy A was born and came home with them, his forever family.

Since then, their eyes have been opened to the plight of the fatherless both here and around the world.  They are currently pursuing another adoption of a sweet brown skinned beauty (or maybe two), only internationally this time.

Although they are facing the tremendous costs of their own adoption, they keep a jar on their counter called the "Adoption Jar".  In it, they collect spare change and put money in it when they are consciously making a choice to forego a treat such a coffee or a meal out.

Their children have gotten very excited and involved.  They look for spare change on the sidewalks and in couch cushions and have at times chosen to donate some of their hard earned chore money to the jar.

Every so often, they choose a family in the adoption process or an orphan related cause to give the contents of the Adoption Jar to.

Then they take the empty jar and start all over again.

We enjoyed the M's company for dinner last Sunday and had no idea what they had in store for us.

$283.77 towards the cost of bringing Mrs. Nesbit home.

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I was blown away and full of emotion when they unveiled it.  We are grateful beyond words and our kids immediately wanted to start a jar of our own.

Generosity breeds generosity.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

God's math

I have written about the crazy unusual timing of our decision to adopt a child.  By the world's standards, it made no sense.  My Beloved changed jobs and left the company that had a $10,000 reimbursement benefit toward adoption and gave up his company car.  We had just emptied our savings on refinancing our house as well as buying a new(er) car for our family.

We are known by those who know us well as pretty financially anal conscious.  We plan ahead for things we want to purchase, track our monthly spending carefully (envision DETAILED Excel spreadsheet), and other than our home mortgage, we haven't carried any debt in our fourteen years of marriage.

I'm not bragging, but that was an important detail to my story.

So here we are, new job, cash poor, and deciding to adopt a daughter with special needs from China.  To us, that kind of decision could only come from God.

I have been very open with others from the beginning of this process that I am FREAKING OUT very worried about where the money for the adoption expenses will come from.  Really, we had just accepted that we were going to be taking out a loan for the thousands of dollars of adoption costs.

Accepted is a bit of an overstatement.  I should say that we realized while kicking and screaming and throwing a toddler-sized hissy fit about it.

But, pretty soon, we were in too far to quit.  People kept reassuring me that God would provide for this.

Blah-blah-blah.

After a pastor (and friend) at our church told me of several ways that God had provided for their adoption costs years ago, I quickly countered with, "That's great Eric.  But you're a PASTOR.  It is SUPPOSED to happen to you.  I believe that God does these things, I just don't believe that He will do it for us!  We're just 'regular Joe's!  My husband has a good job that pays our bills, and we live in a nice place, but we don't have the money to pay for a $20,000+ adoption without going into debt."

Lord, help me with my unbelief.

I believed that God thinks that adoption is a good thing.  I believed that He laid it on our hearts for a reason.  But I thought we would be on our own to figure out the financing.

Our homestudy was approved in July, at which point we were responsible for the next portion of payment in the process to the tune of $3,000.  We didn't have the money and we decided to wait until we had all of our documentation ready to move forward before we took out a loan to pay it.  Unfortunately, I was informed by our lovely non-human government that we would likely see the page of October on the calendar before we would receive this lovely $890 piece of paper in our mailbox.

Between July and September, we made significant household cutbacks.  Bye-bye cable television, meal plans, hand-me-downs, etc.  No extras around here.

Two Saturdays ago, my Beloved and I sat down to look at our Excel spreadsheets from the summer and put together a plan for moving money little by little into a savings account for adoption expenses as they came in.  We didn't want even one extra dollar just to be absorbed by the miscellaneous expenses paid out of our checking account.

We were expecting to be able to put some money in there, we each had a number in our head of how much we should be able to save after expenses.  We don't have huge amounts of surplus income each month, so both of our predictions were only a portion of what we already owed.

After studying our checking account and comparing it with our budgetary tracking, we realized that there was exactly $3,000 waiting to be moved out of our checking account.

Isn't that just like God?  Not $2,800, not $3,150.  Exactly the amount on the adoption invoice waiting to be paid.

My Beloved is a numbers man.  When the budget is finished each month, I depend on him to make the pie charts and the summaries and savings decisions.

He looked over everything again carefully and made the statement, "I have no idea how we had that much to save.  I can't find it anywhere."

With plans to move the money on Monday when the bank opened, we went outside to take a bike ride with our boys.  Sweet Rufus went to get the mail from the carrier as we all waited in the driveway and he handed the stack off to me.

Nestled in the middle of junk mail and bills was a simple envelope with the return address "Department of Homeland Security."

God's perfect math.  God's perfect timing.

APPROVED We were both a little shaken - my faith more than my hands.  My strong man looked at me and said, "I think we have just seen God move."

Amen.

The next invoice we see will be in the ballpark of $11,000.  I'm excited to see how God's math will add up for that one.

Monday, September 5, 2011

full swing

First day of school pictures are finally up.  This is the last year these three will go to the same school.  Rufus is in first grade, The Hunter is in fifth grade and Sauce is in third grade.P1000122

They were literally running to the bus stop.

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  Until I made them slow down so we could enjoy the walk together.

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With their buddy at the bus stop.

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No tears from Squirt this year.  He happily rode home on his bike and enjoyed the day with Mommy.

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About Me

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Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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