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This year we entered into the realm of fundraising for our adoption. As most of you probably know, international adoption isn’t cheap. There are funds to raise. What does that mean? It means all told, bringing our son home is going to cost $32,000 including post placement visits. It was interesting to see those fees all broken down when we were signing forms back in the beginning. There are agency fees, home study fees, immigration fees, paperwork fees, postage fees, translation fees and more. And those are just the cost here in the US. About half of the total cost comes from what they call in-country cost. Those are the things we have to pay for in China. Airfare, medical, guides, food, hotel, transport, government fees, orphanage fees and more are needed while we are there. It all seems so crazy. Who has an extra $32,000 laying around? But it is what it is and we know the Lord will provide because where the Lord guides, He provides!!!
We started seeing Him provide right from the beginning. The funds started to come in with an amazing $5000 grant from our adoption agency (mentioned in Part 4). That was right off the top when we committed to our son. (Update on our grant. When I started this draft months ago, we thought his grant was $5000. We got a bit of surprise to get a bill with only a $2000 grant applied. The agency had mistakenly put $5000 on his advocacy post. The extra $3000 wasn’t available for orphans from his region. We are grateful for the grant we did get, but it was hard and it was here my faith in His provision began to falter.)
Our FSP, Family Sponsorship Program, through Reece’s Rainbow went from $25 to $816 in one night and we have no idea who that money came from. It was so cool. I had been feeling a little overwhelmed by the gravity of the amount left to raise. Then we woke up the next morning to an almost $800 donation. Are you kidding me?!? Our God is sooooo good. And now it is up another $1200 thanks to gifts from friends and strangers alike. WOW!! You can follow our progress at any time by looking at the total in the widget on the right side of this page.
Since we started this journey, we knew that we would need to raise funds but we also didn’t want to strive and stress about making those funds appear because in the end, coming up with the money would have to be His doing. We did some brainstorming about things we could do that would be as much sharing our testimony as fundraising. Sharing about adoption segues perfectly into sharing the gospel. We knew that we had been given a platform to share our faith and open eyes to the plight of the orphan worldwide. The Lord opened up the opportunity for a pancake feed, two huge garage sales, a donated RV to sell, bibs to make and sell, profits from my sister-in-laws jewelry sales, a gluten free bake sale, a new 5/5/5 grant and people buying items through our Amazon link (please click on the banner at the top of the page any time you have purchases to make). I will highlight these fundraisers this week and how the Lord has used them to bless us.
But I will be honest. Trusting the Lord to provide is not my strong suit. I like to control what is happening and have a plan. As I shared, I was strengthened and encouraged with the grant and increase in our FSP but then our grant got decreased and the FSP quit moving. I find my emotions and my trust waffling as the funds pour in and then as they dry up. As we have gotten closer to traveling, I have found my faith in His provision faltering. How is that for honesty? We still need $12,000 and things aren’t selling. We leave in 4-5 weeks. How am I supposed to come up with the money Lord? Did you notice the problem with that sentence? The pronoun “I”. “I” am not supposed to strive, worry, or stress. I “know” these things. But the closer it gets, the more I question the Lord. It has gotten bad. I have been throwing out fleeces, begging and pleading with the Lord to SHOW ME THE MONEY!!! All to no avail.
You may be starting to wonder. Is this entire post just to ask us for money, purchases, and the like. Is she striving for the money still by asking us? But no, that will come in another post. LOL. In all seriousness though, I am writing this as a testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness even for people like me. People that don’t easily trust, people that question, people that hang onto control with all their might, people that doubt. He will meet us in those places. I was struggling this morning about going to church because I was feeling like such a doubting Thomas but we went anyway. The worship team introduced a new song called “Waiting Here For You.” Here is the first verse…
Through these words, the Lord spoke to me. He told me He loved me even in my times of little faith and that He would not forsake me. He would provide for me, not just financially but in all ways. I just needed to wait on Him. What a sweet time of worship. I was actually able to let go of a little bit of the rope I so desperately cling to. Not all of it but I’m trying.
And after I gave up a bit of my control and allowed the Lord to take a portion of this financial burden, He gave me a gift. First, a sweet sister prepaid for her baked goodies right after worship. And she paid 6-1/2 times what I was asking because she felt that they were going to be worth every penny. Wow Lord! That was cool. Then I shared with her how the Lord had met me and asked for continued prayer that I trust the Lord for provision. I felt at peace for the first time in weeks about the money. Then we picked up the mail after church. In the mail was a $500 check from an anonymous donor. Really!!!
Yes we still have a long way to go but not only did my gracious Heavenly Father take my burden today, He provided $600. He was willing to give me a small look at what he was capable of even though He didn’t need to. He can provide in His timing but to strengthen me, He gave me a gift right away. What a loving God we serve.
Welcome to my completely inconsistent blog. I’m guessing an adoption update is a tad bit overdue. There has been a lot happening here unrelated to the adoption and I pray that I can fill you all in on that in due time. Right now though…it is a time for some adoption news.
The last few months have been full of the dreaded acronym. Let me give you a quick run through ..
First came PA on April 17th which started the acronym ball rolling. Our home study was full of lots of forms like the i800a for the USCIS and others that I won’t bore you with. We sent all completed documents of our dossier, first to the SOS of WA and then to the US State Dept and the Chinese Embassy in DC. On July 17th we were DTC which led to LID on July 18th. That led to a 77 day wait for LOA. We finally got LOA on October 2nd. Once we got LOA, it was time to overnight it with our i800 application to the USCIS (for a second time) and that then got forwarded to the NVC. We received our GUZ number which will allowed us to do our DS-260 application. Now our Article 5 is being processed and then is sent to CCWA so we can get TA and leave 1-3 weeks later.
Yikes!! Did you make it thought that? I almost didn’t. This has been a most confusing process. They don’t make it easy. I have heard adoption called a paper pregnancy. It is crazy how similar a regular pregnancy and paper pregnancy are…all the emotions, stress, uncomfortable sleepless night, nesting, anxiousness, wondering when the blessed day will come, and so much more. But the payoff in the end, no matter how hard, is worth every bit of it.
So after all that, where are we you ask? We are close. Close to done with all the paperwork and traveling. Close to the truly hard part. The part I can’t wait for. Meeting our son for the first time and bringing him home. Our prayer is to be traveling in around 4-5 weeks. But as with this whole process, it is not a done deal. We have finished all the paperwork now. We can only pray that all the paperwork continues to move at a good pace. We want him home for Christmas sooooo bad!!! But in the end whether I am stressing about whether things are moving fast enough or not, I am not the one in control. The Lord knows the best timing, not me. I have had to work on doing my part and then waiting patiently on Him. Oh how the Lord is growing me in these days, growing me in the areas that I am so weak. He is good like that!!
I have many more things to share with you about our journey but I needed to get this update out like three months ago so the rest will have to wait:)
Seriously. This is the last part. I’m not kidding this time. If you missed any of the cliffhangers, make sure you check them out here. You don’t want to read the end of the book at the beginning right!?!
So we waited and we prayed. Lord please give me one more sign that this is your will. We sent in our info form on February 17th and now have heard nothing since February 24th. Heather Hamilton had been announced as the new children’s ministry director on Sunday March 16th so a huge weight had been lifted for me. Running children’s had been one of the things the Lord had known I would be doing for a period after Katie passed away, one of the reasons he hadn’t given us peace to adopt way back in July and that period was ending. So that night, Than and I spent time in prayer and asked for confirmation and guidance. Should we reach out again? One more time?
I felt much like Gideon. “Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew.” Judges 6:39
Our God is so good. Judges 6:40, “That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered in dew.” On Monday March 17th, I woke up to an email in my inbox from a stranger. Her name is Brooke. She had seen that we were praying about adopting Lenny on the Yahoo group I mentioned in Part 4. I just have to share the whole email with you as it was so out of the blue and such an answer to my prayers. It could have only been the Lord.
I am Brooke and I advocate for waiting kids from China who need a family. I have been advocating for Lenny for a long time and saw your post on the deaf adopt yahoo group. I was so excited! I have a deaf daughter who was adopted almost two years ago. I noticed Lenny was not noted as on hold or matched yet on Madison’s site. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about adopting a deaf child or working with Madison. We used them for our 2nd adoption- our 6 year old son. I am also happy to connect you with someone who met Lenny awhile back.
Advocacy blog: www.littlewondersfindhomes.webs.com
My fleece definitely stayed dry while the ground was covered in dew!!! I knew it was time to reach back out to both the agencies we had sent emails to last month. So I emailed Sara at Madison and Than email his contact from the other agency. We knew we would hear back from them both, He made that clear, and prayed the Lord made it clear who to use for our coming adoption.
Let’s start with the response that Than got. The woman that he had been in contact with had been nothing but helpful on our journey began all the way back in June 2013, so it was weird that she hadn’t responded to the earlier email. Well, she responded back to Than same day this time explaining the situation. Her agency had closed pretty suddenly. She had been very busy trying to help all the families that had found themselves mid-adoption without an agency and his earlier email had just been missed. She had been reeling from the news of the closure. So it was very clear that we weren’t going to be using that agency. Now I need to make sure you all are connecting the dots here. If we had started our process with them last July, we would have been at the very end of our process right when they closed. Trying to figure out how to change agencies, make it to China, and possibly find even more funds. It would have been a nightmare!! Thank you Lord.
Now to my response from Madison. I got a response within an hour. Sara had never gotten the voicemail that I had sent her. She was still waiting to hear back from us. She was super excited we wanted to move forward and asked if I would be available to speak with her on the phone the next day. That’s right…we were moving forward!!!
So on Tuesday March 18th, I spent nearly an hour on the phone talking to Sara. She is an amazing lady and was happy to answer all of my questions about whether or not we would even qualify to adopt. She reassured me that we could adopt Lenny and that they would help us. That afternoon, I received an email with an official application to fill out and send back. Did I mention that they happened to be running a celebration special and had cut their application fee in half from March 15 through the end of April? Thanks for the extra little love God:) We sent the application in the next day.
I found out one other thing while I was on the phone with Sara. She had gotten a call from a family around 6-7 months prior asking that she pull Lenny’s file into their agency. They wanted to adopt him. So she did and then she never heard back from the family. Since then, she had a special place in her heart for Lenny. She had felt such a burden that they had been close to finally finding him a family and that she had let him down. (That tells you this woman’s heart for orphans, does it not?) After waiting and waiting, they added the $5000 grant to try and help find this sweet boy a forever family. That other family inquiring about him led to one of the huge confirmations that the Lord has for us. His hand was on this adoption so many months ago knowing just where our path would lead!!! I spoke to the person at Madison that had a huge heart for my son. She was overjoyed to have seen this burden of finding him a family lifted.
God had been so good to us throughout this whole process. He has given us so many more reassurances that we are on His path and I can’t wait to share those with you all too. The home study, finding an ASL teacher, fundraising and filling out the mountains of paperwork all have their own stories, but this brings our journey of confirmation to a close. The end of the beginning. Finally!!!
So our story isn’t a short one is it? Have you already read our announcement, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Could this be the last part of the beginning of our story? Don’t you wish that I told you? Nope you have to wait until the end to find out.
Where were we? End of January. The amazing memorial service for my sweet friend (what a truly Phenomenal woman!! Watch this video to see her triumphant 3-day walk) was just weeks away on February 8th and I truly haven’t thought about Lenny for a couple months. What changed?
It all started with a dream. I had a very vivid dream of picking up our son in China. *Multiple groups of foster parents were standing in a semi-circle with kids. Our sons foster parents were there and so was he. He was young at the time and hiding behind his foster moms skirt. Flash forward, same place. This time he is a bit older and looking at us from behind her skirt. She encourages him and he starts our way, only to turn around and run back to her. Flash forward again, same place. He is older now and standing beside her. He gives her a hug and walks to us. The transfer is complete. Connor Skylstad is there and is translating which is weird. (Love you man but why are you in China with us?)
I know that the Lord speaks to us in many different ways. I have wonderful Godly friends in my life that have heard from the Lord clearly in dreams. They have very prophetic dreams so I have no doubt that the Lord gives glimpses of what is to come in dreams. However, that isn’t the way the Lord has spoken to me before. I always try to take a look at the dreams I remember and analyze them for possible meaning but purple cows running through McDonalds in a snowstorm? Hard to make sense of that;) But could this be…could the Lord have given me a vision of what is to come. Remember, I hadn’t thought of Lenny for months. Life had been too crazy. Why did he come up in my dreams now?
I shared my dream with Than but I knew that I needed confirmation that this was of the Lord. If we were supposed to move forward with something so drastic and life changing, I needed more. So I began to pray. I would pray, “Lord if this dream was from you and you want us to adopt Lenny, show me a sign. Give me confirmation and peace.” I prayed and prayed and prayed.
Then about a week later, February 6th to be exact, I got this message from my dear friend Alicia on Facebook…
“Hi! I hope this link works: https://www.facebook.com/MadisonAdoptionAssociates/posts/796134780403232:0
I’ve never tried to link a post that way. Anyway, I thought of you when I saw this from my agency, and I’ve been meaning to tell you that Reece’s Rainbow also has a warrior program. If you felt drawn to him but not to adopt, you can pledge to pray, share, and even help raise funds if you want.
Talk to you soon!”
Ok Lord, you caught my attention. On top of this message coming out of the blue just after my dream, we had signed up as Lenny’s warriors but it never showed up on his profile, he had come up on her adoption agency’s list, and he had a huge grant!!! This was like a whole bunch of confirmations rolled up in one. I can’t deny His hand in this. But still we prayed some more and then peace came. When you sit through the memorial of someone that went to be with Jesus too soon from our perspective, things become more clear. You realize that this life isn’t your own and that the Lord walks before you. He has a hand on my life and I needed to trust His leading, whether I was scared of not. So on February 17, it was time to send an email out to get more information and see if the Lord continued to open doors. So we followed the link from Alicia and sent in the family info form. I also thought I would go ahead and become part of the yahoo group for adoptive parents of deaf children.
We sent off the form and waited and waited. It had been a week when we finally got an email back. It was a bit of a form email that said we would need to find a local agency to do our homestudy. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to find a different agency for the whole adoption or what. So I called and left a voicemail figuring it would be easier to chat since I was pretty adoption clueless. At the same time, Than sent an email to the agency we had contacted months before. They asked a couple questions which Than answered and then went dark. I never received a call back. Was I reaching about this dream and confirmation? Maybe the Lord was closing the doors. That is what I had asked Him to do, wasn’t it? I didn’t want to strive but I didn’t want to let one roadblock by the enemy stop me either. We just want to walk in His Will, adoption or not. So we would just pray He would make it clear. So we waited and waited and waited…
Hello all ~
My name is Sarah Nap and I am the author of this site. While this isn’t my final draft for this page, I figured it will at least give you a little idea about who I am. I hope to expound on it soon. I am a…
Lover of Jesus
Helpmeet to Than (an amazingly talented, handsome, and loving man)
Mama to Teagan, Logan, Rowan, Declan, Dresdan, and Lawson (trusting the Lord in family size and everything else)
Live in North Bend, WA
Homeschooler (of eclectic style)
Natural Living Enthusiaist (Home cooking, traditional whole foods, natural medicine, Young Living essential oils, cloth diapers, Shaklee cleaners)
Hobbies (crocheting, organizing, reading, sports)
I hope this gives you a little insight into me. If you know me and I’ve missed something crucial, leave me a comment. If you don’t know me and want me to give a little more info on something right away, leave a comment too. May the Lord Bless your day.