Last Thursday evening I sent off our first mailer. You can read about that here. It was exciting, obviously. After I sent it off I felt a big relief. That part, that had taken me 2 months to complete, was taken care of. WHEW! That was last Thursday. More than a week later, on Saturday morning, at 4:00 a.m. I woke up and realized I never heard if the mailer made it! Our agency said they would let me know they received it, it was supposed to be there in two days, I heard nothing. I was wide awake. I laid there and tried to sleep. Thoughts and anxieties were creeping up on me. The "what if's" kept running through my head. "What if it didn't get there? What if it's still sitting in the FedEx box never having been delivered? What if I have to do all that paperwork over again? What if it ended up in Russia or something?" Yeah, that last one was not even a bit logical, but I was anxious and thoughts were spinning! I got up finally about 6:30 and emailed our agency, even though I knew they were closed for the weekend and I more than likely wouldn't hear back until Monday morning.
So what did I do with all this anxiety?! First, I panicked. Not a good idea. I did however put it to good use because I cleaned out my dresser drawers. I have been needing to do that for a while and what better time than at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning! Before coffee!!! That is how much energy I had! Crazy!
Then once that was complete I realized where I really needed to lay my anxiety down, at the feet of Jesus. I texted some friends who I know are close to Jesus and asked them to pray. They all did. I prayed and read some verses that was sent to me and did my daily quiet time with Him. I felt a peace wash over me. It was calming, relaxing and I felt free. Free from the bondage of fear, anxiety, nervous energy and worry it all just fell right off. I was at peace. I knew God had taken care of that packet and He personally delivered it to where it was supposed to be.
That peace was truly a gift. I had an extremely busy weekend and I knew I didn't need for this to cloud my mind. That picture was sent to me from a new friend and it really helped. God gave me that gift of peace. Saturday passed.....Sunday passed. I hardly thought of my "terrible, awful, horrible" situation. The one that woke me up at 4:00 a.m. straight out of bed on a SATURDAY! The day I get to sleep in! God had taken it away so much that I didn't even remember it until last night at church a friend who I had asked to pray about it brought it up to me. I had forgotten about this thing that consumed me all Saturday morning! Thank you, Jesus that it no longer consumed me!
I let His peace rule over me and through me and all over me. Not saying this happens every time I feel anxious or worried, but this weekend was a win!
This morning, I received an email at 7:54 a.m. from our adoption agency saying they had received our packet and had already started the certification process. Thank You Lord!! You are the Prince of Peace and as my friend reminded me, Job 42:2 says:
I have no doubt this adoption is His plan for our family and no one or thing can prevent that from taking place. Not even a FedEx packet.
That is a HUGE relief to even type. Mailer one is in the mail! That just means the last two months of gathering documents, going to the sheriff's office for a background check, going to the doctor for a complete physical, calling and ordering new birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, getting all of these said documents notarized, dated & completely filled out to perfection is done! WHEW! That is one check that I will gladly mark off the list. There were 29 documents in this packet and our blood, sweat & tears were on each one. Thankfully not literally because China would reject it, but figuratively...most definitely!
Now this doesn't mean we are finished with our Dossier. It just means step one is done. We have 2 other "mailers" we will need to send out and those luckily aren't as extensive as the first. Mostly just our home study papers and some other Chinese forms that are needed. Still highly important documents needed...but not so much on the errand end. Which let's be honest, took up most of our time!
This is me...loading our first mailer into our local Fed Ex box...praying everything gets to it's intended destination! You should have seen my face. There's a reason I didn't take a picture of it, and it's not just because I was trying to do some cool photo op with one hand and actually taking the picture with the other. (Mostly) But my face had one thousand emotions on it. Excitement, worry, anxiety, thrill, joy, impatience and annoyance! Mostly the annoyance was because we have no local Fed Ex pick up place with an actual person...and there was no way I was waiting any longer to mail this very important packet than I had to and Jason taking it to Nashville on MONDAY wasn't cutting it. Also because daylight savings time is dumb. This was 5:30 in the evening, people, it looks like MIDNIGHT! Come on!
But nonetheless, it was sent and prayed over and I have fully trusted God with our little labor of love packet. God is in control of everything, our country, our states, our communities, our families and our little packet that I so want to arrive in one beautiful piece. God is in control.
Now on to mailer 2!
I really don't like talking about money. It's just not my favorite subject. It's awkward and personal. That being said, we wanted to be as transparent as possible when it came to the fundraising and "money" part of this adoption. So many of you have supported us financially and we felt it only right to update on where we are with our goal.
So far we have done two big fundraisers. A HUGE yard sale the day before my birthday, October 1st and a t-shirt fundraiser that just closed up. Both of which were very successful. It was amazing to see people dropping off items to donate and people we didn't even know donating items! It was incredibly humbling. My bosses allowed me to use our parking lot for the sale, which made it an even bigger success because we are on the main street through town. We had everything including a kitchen sink! It was overwhelming. Some shoppers even donated their change to our adoption when purchasing. I keep saying it was humbling and it really was. Even still, just now, when I'm thinking about it I have tears, because of all the generosity of folks from our town and beyond, we were able to pay for our entire home study and our first two payments to our agency. It was incredible!
This day, according to my Fit Bit I walked 10,000 steps before 8:00 AM! It was a very tiring but hugely successful day!
We had friends who helped sort during the week and price items. They also showed up at 4:00 am on Saturday to help us get everything set up. We will forever be grateful to those people.
Our next fundraiser just finished. Oh my...what another huge blessing it was! We sold 134 of these t-shirts!!! I couldn't believe it! That is awesome!! Everyone who bought a shirt...THANK YOU!! Jason and I designed these shirts and we are so humbled by the response. God has truly blessed in this effort. We both thought this verse fit in so many aspects. We also are adopted by God, if you are a believer. He came for us. Now in His timing, we will go for our sweet China baby. We will come. We will not leave that child as an orphan. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for not leaving us as orphans! (No..I won't preach...but I could!) :-)
We aren't done yet, obviously, we have a ways to go! But, so far we have raised about 35% of our total goal which is $35,000. And we have had to pay about 20% of that total so far, for some "main" things, which includes agency & home study payments and such. That total doesn't include all the documents needed that we have had to order, passports and various expenses that we have taken care of. Luckily, it is not all due at one time and we are really working hard to do this debt free. We are feverishly saving money and cutting corners. Once our home study is complete, which we are hoping by the end of the month it will be, we can start applying for grants. We are working hard to be good stewards of our money, time, gifts and donations. Every penny donated is going towards bringing our little China baby home. People have already asked us, "Why does it cost so much?" The simple answer is that all babies cost a lot. But one thing we've reminded ourselves is that we are not "buying a baby" we are paying the people to help us get a baby. The agency, the home study, the Chinese Consulate, the orphanage, everything involved and every paper we have to sign costs. That is just the way this works. And our biggest comfort is knowing this is what God has called us to. We are reminded everyday that "He will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 And He has already proven that to us.
Our hearts are so full!! THANK YOU! xiè xie - 谢谢