Friday, January 27, 2012

Answered Prayer!

It was exactly three weeks ago today that I got a phone call from Kirk (adoption agency director) asking for another $5,000 by the end of this month. At that time, we had just under $1,000 in the adoption fund and no idea how God was going to provide the rest, but we trusted Him completely to make it happen! And make it happen He did...in ways that are greater than anything we could have imagined!

Little by little, we've seen our adoption fund grow - with T-shirt sales, a spaghetti dinner/silent auction, the Money Tree Baby Shower, our yard sale, people handing us money to help, and David's bonus coming in (which put us just over the top of what we needed for our payment this month)...but little did we know what an amazing gift God still had in store for us!

Last night, I went to my Holding on to HOPE meeting. This is a meeting for women who have/are experiencing infertility, miscarriage, and/or child loss. This group was started in our church about three years ago, with just a handful of members. Over the years, we've seen people come and go...and watched many fulfill their HOPE of having a child (whether it be their first child, or additional children)...and seeing God's hand in each and every one! It's been amazing!

I thought last night's meeting was going to be like any other meeting...but boy, was I wrong! The leader of our group, Sue, was busting at the seams to share some good news with us! She had called the day before to ask if I was coming & said she had a question she needed to ask, but wanted to ask me in person. It was just her way of making sure I'd be there so she could see my reaction when she told me the news! :)

Apparently, Sue knows a couple who have helped other couples with adopting their first child. Usually, this couple only helps childless couples adopt, but they were touched by our story and felt led to help us! This couple (who will remain anonymous to us) is sending payment to Family Creations on our behalf in the amount of $15,000!!!! WOW WE WOW WOW!!! PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!!!!!

I can not even begin to tell you what an amazing blessing that is for us and what a huge weight it has lifted off our shoulders! When we started this whole adventure, we were looking at a HUGE mountain called adoption costs! God moved that mountain in amazing ways!!!! He still does miracles!!!

This means that in order to complete this adoption (financially, speaking), we only need another $5,000 and we are done! Compared to the $32,750 MOUNTAIN we were looking at in October when we first got the phone call about this baby, that's a mere stone! If God can provide $27,750 (which He has to date), then He is certainly able to provide another $5,000!!! Do we know where that $5,000 is coming from? Not completely...but we trust the One Who has provided so much for us already to provide that, too!!!

When I called David from my HOPE meeting, he was crying and thanking God! Not only has God provided for our adoption, but He has also grown our faith by leaps and bounds as we've watched His hand move this mountain and use His people to do so! I am just completely amazed! I mean...you hear of this kind of thing happening to other people, but you never expect it to happen for you! Isn't it just amazing what God can do? I am just in awe!!!

When I look back and think about how God has worked all of this out...there's no mistake that this was 100% God...and He will get ALL the glory for this child that He is bringing to our family! This morning, I was thinking about those events and how they unfolded. Let me share a bit with you...

Right before we got the phone call from the agency, Christopher and I had a deep conversation in the car about God and how He answers prayer. It started with a song on the radio, but I can't remember which one. We talked about how I wanted to marry a man with brown eyes so my child would have brown eyes, but God said, "No, I've got something better" and He gave me David (who has blue eyes, by the way). Then, I told Christopher how I prayed for God to give me a baby in my tummy & God said, "No, I've got something better" and He gave me Christopher! To this, Christopher replied, "Do I have brown eyes?" Smart boy...and yes, he does! When I told him that, he said, "Cool!" We talked more about how God sometimes answers yes, sometimes no, and sometimes wait! It was a great conversation...but I had no idea that God was already at work on answering Christopher's prayer for siblings and our prayer for more children...and in a way we never even imagined!

After we'd gotten the call and things had settled down a bit, we got the first phone call from Kirk asking for some sort of payment. We had about $350 in the adoption fund at that point...not nearly enough. I called David and was in tears. Christopher saw my tears and asked why I was crying. I told him that I was worried that we might not be able to have enough money to bring the baby home. The look on his face totally broke my heart...and I'm pretty sure God spoke through me when I told Christopher that God is bigger than this and if He wants this baby to come home with us, He will make a way. I'm pretty confident that was as much for me as it was for Christopher! And with his child-like faith, Christopher's smile returned to his face and he went away confident that God was going to work it all out!

I, on the other hand, needed a little more convincing. When David got home from work that night, we talked about the adoption and wondered if it was really going to happen. At that point, the only one on the planet who knew I was doubting this adoption happening was David. But, God prompted a dear friend to call me out of the blue and tell me that this adoption was going to happen! Talk about a message from God! Only He could have made that happen at that exact moment!

And now, with this anonymous couple and so many people who have helped us (whether they knew us or not)...not to mention the countless friends, family, and strangers who have been praying continuously for us...I just can't help but know this baby is being brought to us by God's hand! God is AWESOME and He is STILL in the miracle business!!! We're watching one unfold right before our eyes!!! :)

PRAISE GOD!!!!!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Adoption Fund Yard Sale

Yard sales aren't really my thing. I mean, I like a good deal as much as the next guy/gal...but getting up early to paw through things other people have discarded is not really my cup of tea (mostly the getting up early part!). Not to mention, the awkward moment when you realize you have absolutely no need for any of the items on display and yet feel somewhat obligated to purchase SOMETHING since you made the commitment to walk into their yard so you find the lowest priced item that you think maybe, just maybe, you might put to some sort of use (or at least won't feel too bad about tossing later) just so you don't make the folks hosting the yard sale feel bad about their treasures on display...it's just too much pressure for me! So, I prefer to sleep in, thank you very much! ;)

Being on the other side of the yard sale, where you have your discarded treasures on display for strangers to show up at oh-dark-thirty to paw through them and have to come up with a price for said treasures that's high enough for negotiating room and yet isn't so high that they don't even bother trying to negotiate, isn't any fun for me, either. Speaking of negotiating...really, REALLY? You want to give me 5 cents for an item that has a $5 price tag? I'm all for dropping the price a bit if that means the difference between the item hanging around or you taking it away, but let's be just a little bit realistic here...how would YOU feel if the tables were turned? And yes, for those of you wondering, that really did happen! ;)

Having said all that, I think you get the point that yard sales aren't really my thing...and yet, if that's what it takes to bring Christopher's sibling home, I'll do it...TWICE, even! :)

Yesterday was our very first Adoption Fund Yard Sale...hosted at my mother-in-law's house...and it was quite an adventure! :) We had friends all over the area donating items for our yard sale (and we are extremely thankful for that!)...we had quite stash! Lots of GREAT items, too...many of them we would have loved to keep, but for the sake of the adoption, put them out anyway! :) One of Christopher's friends, Jacob, even donated some of his toys that he still enjoyed playing with...he said if he really liked them, then maybe another kid would, too & that would help us raise money to bring Christopher's sibling home! Imagine that kind of selfless, giving attitude coming from a nine-year-old!

I think that's what has humbled me the most in this whole experience of raising funds for the adoption...the selfless giving of some of Christopher's playmates! Christopher's friend Noah and his sister Mollie happily gave up their weekly Starbucks treat for a couple of weeks so they could apply the amount they would have spent toward our adoption. Noah even offered to contribute some of his own money to help the cause...he said that baby belonged with Christopher and he wanted to help make that happen! WOW!!! It's obvious that these children are being raised by parents who are teaching them great values and to live like Jesus! :)

Back to the yard sale...we started making trips over to David's mom's house early in the week to drop off portions of what we'd collected. Friday, David took a few hours off work to start setting up in the garage and Christopher and I joined him shortly after SAINTS PE class. We brought in the final load Saturday morning of the sale. David and Christopher went early Saturday morning (a friend of mine likes to call this time of day "the crack of crazy") to Grandma's house (since it take boys less time to get ready in the morning than it does this night-owl-never-gonna-be-a-morning-person chick!)...and I came shortly behind with breakfast in hand! Let me just say...David is an absolute master at organizing things in general...but especially when it comes to a yard sale! Seeing as I'm not the yard-sale-kinda-gal, this was really my first experience at appreciating his yard-sale-organizing-skills at work! I'm sure it has something to do with all the years he did estate sales with his friend...but still, I was amazed! The yard sale was laid out like a store...toy section, clothing section, video section, etc! I wish I'd thought to take a picture...it was certainly picture worthy! :)

Christopher set up a lemonade stand, which also became a bottled water stand, thanks to some bottled water Grandma gave him to add to his supply. ;) Christopher was very excited to be able to contribute toward our adoption with his lemonade/water stand...he's quite the little entrepreneur in the making! He was a little disappointed, however, that not every customer wanted to purchase his lemonade! ;) Oh well...life lesson! :) I still think he is by far the cutest kid I've ever seen behind a lemonade stand! :) Wouldn't you agree?

We had a pretty slow start to our morning...but it didn't take long to find out why. One of the customers came in and made a reference to finally making it through border control...and several others made similar comments as they walked up! ;) You see, David's mom lives in a gated community...and most of the time, this is a good thing, especially for her safety. But, the community had recently hired a new security guard company, so they were flexing their muscles a bit and being very strict about the rules. There was apparently a line a mile long at the gate, and the guard was requiring anyone coming to the yard sale to have the complete street address of said yard sale! It was apparently not enough to just know what street it was on...you had to know house number, too! If you did happen to know the full address, you had to produce your driver's license and have your tag number written down before he would allow you access into the community. A few of the more tenacious customers made their way through...one lady said she got through because she was making the guard wait while she looked up the address on her phone from the newspaper ad...he apparently got frustrated enough, he let her through anyway. ;)

So, we probably didn't have as many customers as we might have had otherwise...but all in all, we did fairly well. We raised an additional $362 from the yard sale & Christopher's lemonade stand toward our adoption...not as much as we would have hoped, but still a respectable size dent in what we owe.

Needless to say, we were all tired after the sale...but the work was far from over! Once the yard sale was over, the work of repackaging the items that didn't sale began...and then, of course, the caravan of cars to bring it back to our house for the next sale! We loaded up my car, David's car, and David's mom's car and the three of us drove across town to bring the items back to our home. It was quite a sight to behold! ;) Once we got the three cars unloaded and let David's mom head back home (probably for a nice rest), and then rushed to get cleaned up and ready for church! Whew!!! :)

So...yard sale numero uno is behind us... but there's no rest for the weary! In two weeks...on Sunday, February 5th, (yes, Super Bowl Sunday!), we'll be joining our neighborhood in a community-wide yard sale! Hopefully, we'll be able to get rid of the bulk of what was left...as well as a few items that never actually made it to my mother-in-law's house because we simply ran out of time to transport it all! ;)

So...we're a little closer to our goal. Thanks to the Money Tree Baby Shower that my friends Sherry & Tonya are hosting, this yard sale, and David's bonus that we'll receive at the end of this month, we will be able to make our $5,000 payment at the end of this month! WOO HOO!!! :) We have absolutely NO IDEA where February's payment will come from, but God does...so, we try not to worry too much about it...He's got this! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tribute to My Grandmother - a Proverbs 31 Woman



Three years ago, my precious grandmother left this earth that had bound her in disease and taken away her ability to do some of the things she loved, and entered the gates of Heaven, where there is no disease or disability...only perfection! Her absence on this earth is still being felt very deeply by those who love her and who were loved by her!

It was in February 1927 that Mary Kathryn Wells made her entrance into the world. She was the middle of three surviving children in her family. On September 27, 1945, she married Rev. C. Ray Till (my grandfather) and began a family of her own. Her oldest child is my mother. I had the joy and privilege of being her first (and for several years, only) grandchild. Everyone who had the privilege of knowing her could easily see the traits of a Proverbs 31 Woman being displayed in her life.

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Proverbs 31:10

My grandfather (who went to Heaven years before her) was a Baptist pastor at the same church for 43 years and she was an excellent help-mate to him. She was always by his side and helped in so many areas of the church. She was his greatest advocate...even to the very end. You see, my grandfather developed Alzheimer's, which took away the sharp mind that he had grown to depend on. I later learned that as his memory began to fade, she became his memory for him. When they were out in public, if a member of the church came up, she would make sure to say the name for him so that he wouldn't be embarrassed. If they were far enough away, she would whisper it to him so that he could be the one to respond first. If there wasn't time for that, she would make sure to call them by name when she greeted them.

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:11-12


When I was a little girl, she would make clothes for me...oh how I wish I still had some of those items that she so lovingly made for me! But, not only did she make things for me, she also taught me how to make some things myself! She taught me the basics of sewing (how to cut a pattern, thread a needle, etc.), how to crochet, and how to cross stitch. I can not walk through a fabric store or start a crochet or cross stitch project without thinking of her. The amount of time she poured into me will be with me for the rest of my life. It's worth more to me than any earthly treasure that the world considers valuable. When she passed away, the most treasured item of hers that I received was a cross stitch project she had done, which hung in her home until her death. It now hangs in mine.

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
Proverbs 31:13

One of the many things I enjoyed doing with my grandmother was to go shopping...it didn't matter what kind of shopping it was. She could even make grocery shopping fun...more like an adventure than a chore! She would see something new in the store and ask me if we should give it a try. Sometimes we'd imagine what it would be like before we even got it home. To this day, I don't mind going grocery shopping because it reminds me of when I used to shop for groceries with her!

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
Proverbs 31:14

But grocery shopping wasn't her only food skill...she could make the best meals! If you have ever been lucky enough to sit at her dining room table, you know exactly what I mean! Every meal was a masterpiece...not always so much in how it looked, but in how it made you feel. To sit at her dining room table was to fill up not only on nutrition, but also on love! She always poured a lot of love into whatever she made. I can remember times during my childhood and teenage years when I would spend the night at her house...sometimes even on a school night. She would not hear of me leaving the house without breakfast (as was my norm then)...and cold cereal or grabbing a PopTart on the way out the door just would not cut it, either. She made a full-blown sit-down breakfast! She wanted to make sure I was ready for whatever I was to face that day. My grandmother was a firm believer that a full belly could fix most problems and give you the strength to face the rest! If a small child was ever cranky in her house, she was sure it was because they were either hungry or tired...never because they were ill mannered! ;)

She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
Proverbs 31: 15

There are so many other examples I could give of why she's a Proverbs 31 woman, but I think you get the picture. She was an amazing lady...and I don't think she ever realized just how special she was to each and every one of us. And as much as I tried, there's just no way mere words could explain how amazingly special she was/is!

She had a way of making each of us feel like we were her favorite, though she never really played favorites. It wasn't until her funeral that I realized that some of the things she and I shared...things I thought were just between us...were also shared between her and other members of the family, too. One of these things is that during the prayer time at church, she would slip her pinky finger over mine and lock them together. It was a simple gesture...but one that filled me with love and made me feel so important. I don't know if I ever told her while she was here on earth how much that meant to me...but I would suspect she knows now.

She had a way about her that you could talk to her about anything...and even if your opinions were dead wrong or just something she didn't agree with you...she could tell you in such a way that you still felt valued for your opinion, but she still helped you see things from her wise perspective. I hope that I am able to do that with my son and his unborn sibling. What a valuable life lesson that is!

She taught so many valuable life lessons...just by the way she lived her life. She was as gentle as the day is long, but she would fiercely defend her convictions or any member of her family when the need was there. When I was with her, I was at peace and I felt like I could do anything. She taught me how to dream! She held on to the belief that "someday" her "ship would come in" and the Publisher's Clearing House van would pull up to her front door and present her with a check. She often talked about what she would do when that happened...and yet, she didn't spend her life waiting for it, either. Because she knew that the most valuable thing on this earth cannot be placed in a bank, but in the heart of those she loved most. And boy, did she bank some great memories in our hearts!

One of the neatest things for me was seeing the bond she formed with my son that was every bit as strong as the one she and I shared, even though we live over 650 miles away from where she lived. She took the time to get to know him in the only way that was possible at the time...over the phone. When he was only a little over a year old and babbling things that only he could understand, she would take the time to have long conversations with him over the phone...and she made it sound like they were really communicating (I guess in a way, they were)! I would put the cordless phone on speaker and hand him the handset. He would walk around the room as he "talked" to her. I'd hear him say, "Blah, da, blah, blah, ya, da." Then Nana would respond with, "Is that right? Can you tell me more?" And he would! This would go on for quite some time...sometimes for an hour or more. And I just loved hearing him babble on to her and hear her respond to him. It was the sweetest thing. My only regret was that I never got one of these conversations on tape...oh how I wish I had that now! :) But, these conversations formed a bond over the miles that you wouldn't have thought possible! When we made one of our trips up at Christmas when Christopher was little, even though he was at a stage where he didn't really go to anyone he didn't know very well, he went right up to her and loved on her! Even to this day, he remembers her and misses her. She only got to be in his life for a very short period of time...but she made a huge impact in it...just as she has done with everyone who ever had the privilege of knowing her! :)


Yes, she's missed greatly here on earth...but the beauty of being a Christian is that we know that when our time here on earth is done, we will get to spend ALL OF ETERNITY in Heaven with her and others who have gone on before us! Oh what a day that will be! :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Faith in God's Timing

I found the above picture in my digital file of assorted pictures I've found on the internet and liked. I'm not exactly sure where this one came from, but it was most likely Facebook...seems to be where I find most of them! :) And that makes this even more appropriate, as you will read in this blog post!

This picture/saying is so perfect for where we are right now. Today is January 16th - just a little more than a week from when I got the call from Kirk asking for another $5,000 by the middle or end of the month. Here we are, smack dab in the middle of January...do we have the $5,000? Nope...but we do see God at work and have complete faith that by the end of the month, it will be here!

Let me just fill you in on some of the goings on over the last week...and you'll see what I mean! :) When I wrote my last blog, I had NO IDEA how our $1,000 in the bank could quintuple in just a few short weeks...and to be quite honest, I was starting to feel a little (ok, more than just a little) worried. This baby is already so much a part of our family that if we were to lose the possibility of adopting him/her, it would be like a death to us...the loss would be felt that greatly. But you know what? God is bigger! He knows the plans He has for us...and those plans are NOT to harm us, but to prosper us...to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). I firmly believe that hope and future includes Christopher's sibling joining our family!

So...I get a call from my friend Sherry Kendrick just a couple days after the phone call from Kirk. She said she's been thinking & praying about our adoption and she had an out-of-the-box-thinking idea and wanted to run it by me before she just did it! :) She said, "Kara, do you realize you 750 Facebook friends?" While I didn't know the exact number of friends, I was not completely surprised...after all, between attending 2 high schools, my Avon business, church friends from several different churches I've attended over the years, teacher friends, and students I've worked with in various church ministries...not to mention close friends and family, it can really add up! Well...her idea was to do something on Facebook and ask all my Facebook friends to contribute $10, $20, or $25 in January and February. She had done the math and figured out that if everyone sent just $10 each of those months, that would be $15,000 in the two months...which would get us to where we need to be for now (the last chunk isn't due until the baby is born). Obviously, not everyone can/will participate and some will do more, as they are able. I talked it over with David and he agreed it would be a good idea. Sherry worked with our mutual friend Tonya Haskins and together, they created the Jansen Family Money Tree Baby Shower (you can click on the name/link and it will take you to the event on Facebook)! The only thing David worried about was putting our home address on Facebook, so we rented a mailbox for 6 months so if people wanted to mail their contributions to us, an address could be posted. The event was created on Wednesday, January 11th...and by Saturday, January 14th, we had $295 in hand! Can I just pause a minute and say WOW!!! And I can't even think of this without giving glory to God!

Now, you may be thinking...but $295 is no where near what you need. And you'd be right. So why am I praising God and giving Him glory? Because we are now $295 closer to where we need to be...and He did it in just 4 days...using people who care about our adoption...and even more amazing...some of them DON'T EVEN KNOW US!!!! They are friends of friends...some even so far removed we don't even KNOW what the connection is! How cool is that????

So...even though I have no idea how this is all going to come together, I have faith that it will...and that it will come in His timing, not mine! I've had the feeling all along that God is going to provide right on time...stepping in at just the time when we need it...and not a minute sooner! To live by faith is to trust God for what you cannot see. We are absolutely, 100% living by faith on this! WE cannot do this in our own strength and abilities...but we trust GOD will!!!

I've had some people tell me when I've shared with them about the Facebook event that they aren't on Facebook, but would like to help. If that's like you and you would like to join the Jansen Family Money Tree Baby Shower without joining Facebook, you can send your contribution to:

David & Kara Jansen
4888 Davis Blvd. #130
Naples, FL 34104

We appreciate every bit of help...it all adds up to something pretty amazing! :)

Now for a little update on baby and where we are in the non-financial aspects of the process! ;) The pregnancy is coming along fine. According to my Baby Center update, the baby is 19 weeks along, weighs 8 1/2 ounces, and measures about 6 inches...head to bottom, about the size of a large heirloom tomato. ;) We don't yet know the baby's gender...but are hoping to find that out in the next month or so. The birth mother had a doctor's appointment last week, but it wasn't an ultrasound appointment. Hopefully, she'll have an ultrasound next month so we can find out if Christopher's sibling will be a brother or a sister. According to Christopher, he's having a girl! He decided somewhere along the way (shortly after he had to give up the idea of one of each) that he was getting a sister! He has started drawing his "sister" in pictures that he draws of himself and/or our family! He's not alone...so many people think this baby is a girl. Only a few have mentioned they think the baby is a boy. It will be so fun to find out who is right! :) Right now, though...only God knows! And for us, it doesn't really matter! Just like when we started the process to adopt Christopher, we just want the baby to be healthy! And we just can't wait to welcome this baby into our lives, our home, our family!!!

Thank you for joining us on this journey! It's quite a ride!!! ;) God bless!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Roller Coaster Ride!

I don't know who said that adoption is the "easy way" to having a baby...but nothing could be further from the truth! I'm pretty sure that whoever said that has never been through the adoption process themselves!!! Granted, I've never experienced a full-term pregnancy, let alone the physical pains of labor, so I really have no basis for what that is like other than what friends have shared with me of their pregnancy experiences & my time spent in the delivery room watching my son being born. So, I won't even begin to try to judge which is "harder" - because from what I've seen and heard, I know they are both hard (some harder than others)...just in different ways. So, for what it's worth, here's my description of the adoption process, along with a little update of where we are in the ride! ;)

Adoption is like a crazy, mixed-up, multi-turn, drop you before you even realize it, turn you upside down and inside out, roller-coaster. You never know where the next turn is going to be...nor if that turn is going to be thrilling or incredibly scary! Sometimes you don't even have an idea when that ride is going to end. Wanna catch a glimpse of what adoption is like? Next time you are at an amusement park, hop on the biggest, scariest roller coaster with the most twists and turns you can find...and just before it takes off, put on a blindfold! You have no real idea where the ride will take you, you have no idea where exactly you are in the ride...but you know when it's over, everything will be OK. :)

Now, if you know me at all...you know a roller coaster is SO NOT my kind of ride! ;) I'll hang out with the kiddos while you ride the scary rides, thank you. I'll be just over there...you know, where the gentler, calmer rides can be found! Looking for me at the fair? I'll be the one holding everyone else's personal belongings while they ride the wild rides. Looking for me at Islands of Adventure in Orlando? You're more likely to find me hanging out in Seussville, rather than riding the Hulk! And yet, here I am. Willingly riding this crazy mixed-up ride and refusing to get off unless they force me! Why? Because the prize at the end is one of the best I can possibly imagine right now...bringing our son's sibling home! :)

So...where are we in the ride, you may be asking? I get that question a lot. It's not usually phrased that way, but I'm sticking with my theme here (and I'm willing to bet after reading this blog, at least one or two of you will start asking me about the adoption process in just that way). ;)

Where we are is in one of those scary, mixed-up, not sure how or when we're gonna get out of it twists and turns. I'm imagining a roller coaster shaped like a tornado, but with twists within the turns...that's what it's feeling like right now. I'm not sure if that type of roller coaster really exists or not...but that's the visual image I have for what I'm feeling right now. ;)

I got a call from Kirk (adoption agency director) this afternoon. He said he wasn't trying to put undue pressure on us...but (don't you just hate it when someone puts a "but" in a sentence like that?)...he would like another $5,000 payment by mid-January, end of the month at the latest. Um...it's January SIXTH...mid January is only a few days away! End of the month is just three weeks away! YIKES!!!!

I find it no small coinky-dink that my little Bible app has me reading Job right now in my year-long plan of trying to read through the Bible! I'm really feeling Job on some of his sentiments expressed in those passages right now! ;) I'm doing a chronological plan of reading through the Bible...so I was a little surprised to see the book of Job show up a couple of days ago in my reading plan. However, after my phone call today, and then sat down with my Bible app to read through the passages, I was comforted in the knowledge that the God of Heaven and Earth...the very One who formed the Universe with His own hands and set the events of time into motion...this same God who made me and allows/encourages me to call Him my Heavenly Father...HE was not at all surprised by this twist and turn of events and HE knew I would need to read those very words on this very day! You see, He was on the design committee for the roller coaster ride I find myself on...in fact, He was the Chief Designer! ;) So, this phone call that sent me into a complete tails spin of emotions and a fit of tears this afternoon was no surprise AT ALL to Him! And when I took a moment to sit alone and tell Him just how I was feeling about all this, I found Him right by my side, holding my hand, and reminding me that He is in control. In fact, He knows exactly how that $5,000 is going to get paid, even though I don't. Scratch that...He already knows how the whole kit and kaboodle is going to get paid! Suddenly, the ride doesn't seem quite as scary anymore.

Do I know where the money is coming from? Not really. Did God suddenly drop $5,000 in my bank account? Nope (and yes, I did check!)! ;) But, I have the calm assurance that He is in control. My world may seem totally and completely OUT of control at the moment...but that's only because I haven't reached the end of the ride yet. And I'M not in control of the ride either (thank goodness for that!)! But, I know the One who knows that not only will the ride end, but it will be OK when it does.

So...until I see that end, I ask for your prayers. I need them each and every day!!! Here's how you can specifically pray:
  • Continue to pray for the health of the baby & birth mother
  • Continue to pray for the birth mother's salvation
  • Pray for God to provide all we need financially to make this adoption happen
  • Pray for wisdom as we consider further fundraising efforts to help us get there
  • Pray that God will lay it on someone's heart to make a large contribution toward our adoption fund - someone who has the means to do so.
  • Pray that the $5,000 we need by (preferably) mid-January will be made available to us
  • Pray we will have at least another $5,000 by the end of February (which will put us at the half-way point.
  • Pray that the adoption agency will continue to be flexible with us
  • Pray for the remaining $15,000 to be provided before the baby is born in June and that there will be nothing to keep us from bringing the baby home from the hospital! :)
Yes, I know that's a tall order. Believe me, I know! As I put each and every one of those requests in writing (particularly the financial aspects), fear starts to wash over me. Whenever I get the phone call from Kirk asking for more money, it breaks my heart. I hate to think that a lack of money is what could keep us from the baby we already love and have already made a part of our family. I wish I had the money to just write the check and be done. But I don't. My sufficiency is not enough. I don't have enough in my bank account. I don't have the ability to make that kind of money in that short of a time frame on my own. There is NO WAY David and I can make this happen in our own strength. And yet, believe it or not, there's a little excitement in knowing that! Because, I also know that God loves to take those who lack the ability in their own strength and do some pretty amazing things in their lives...because HE will get ALL the glory! When this ride is done and we've pulled into the final gate, I'll know (as will you and so many others) that there was no way I could have ridden the ride alone - no way I could do this in my own strength. But because our Heavenly Father rode the ride right along with me, it was possible! He will make a way where there seems to be no way! :)

So...as you ride this ride with me, know that as much as I try to put up a positive front, I'm terrified inside. I may seem calm and collected and in control...but if you could see past my brave front, you'd see I'm a mush of scardy-cat jelly inside! ;) And yet, I've been on enough of God's roller coasters to know that when the ride is over, I'll be so glad I took the chance to get on! So, when I tell you things are coming along...it's not because everything is under control, but because I have faith that God will work out all the details that are scaring the bejeebers out of me! ;) I trust Him and know that any roller coaster ride He puts me on, though scary and completely terrifying during the ride, will be completely 100% safe and according to His plan...and He will be right there in the seat next to me...holding my hand when I'm most afraid and cheering me on when I let go of my fear long enough to enjoy the ride! :)