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How God Used Others to Provide for Us {Adoption Update}

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{Warning: This post will be long...there's SO much to tell! Regardless of the length, I hope you read it and praise the Lord with us!}

First of all, it's still kinda foreign feeling to me that I have a 4 month old baby and we're in the adoption process. His ways with us have really blown me away this past year. ( that I think about it, this is the week exactly one year ago that I found out about being pregnant AFTER starting our adoption.) I know it's weird to others, too, I see their raised eyebrows and questioning looks when Jonah tells them he has a sister in Ethiopia and I'm carrying Asher in the Moby wrap. However, we're not living for the World and their view of "normal." We're following where God leads, no matter how strange it seems to others.

And He blesses. Oh, how He blesses when we follow in obedience to the call!

Over the past few months we've been on a rollercoaster--one minute we're bouncing a colicky baby and then the next minute we're doing adoption stuff. Oh, the story He is weaving!

Homestudy~ We had some hold-ups during our Homestudy process. First, it was my being so sick with Hyperemesis Gravidarum during the pregnancy that prevented us from having the Home Visit portion finished (it's hard to clean when you can't keep your head out of the toilet). Once I felt better, we had our Home Visit in June. The write-up took a little longer than we had hoped. Then, our adoption counselor advised us that we should wait to have the official write-up approved until Asher arrived. It was a long 2 months to wait, but it made sense...she would have to do an update after Asher arrived anyway. So, we waited. As soon as we went for Asher's first pediatrician appointment, we had her finish things up. We still ended up waiting a while for the Homestudy to get approved by all the people in the chain. {If there is one thing we've learned so far, it is that paperwork takes longer when it is out of your hands....and I have control issues :))

Once our Homestudy was approved, we raced to the mailbox with our USCIS Paperwork (Homeland Security/Immigration). This is the application to be fingerprinted (a second time~we already did it once for our Homestudy). And then we waited for them to "invite" us to be fingerprinted.

This is where it gets pretty amazing....

~We applied for a grant through our local adoption office. There is an anonymous donor that helps local families. We had a fee of $3,500 due and received a grant for $2,000! We were so excited! This helped tremendously!

~Our adoption counselor was contacted by another family that had just completed raising their money. They had done some yard sales and had some leftover stuff that they wanted to pass on to another adopting family. They literally live less than a mile from our church, so our adoption counselor immediately thought of us. {Side note: Asher was a little over a month old at this point and I was NOT interested in entertaining the idea of a doing yard sale.} We weren't really sure about the whole yard sale thing. Not because we don't like them for fundraisers, but because...

  1. They are LOTS of work.
  2. We never have enough big stuff to pull of a yard sale of epic proportions.
  3. It was not "prime" yard sale time for our area
  4. I had a colicky baby to deal with and zero sleep

But, we thought we should atleast check it out. I mean, if God wants to drop things in our lap, why would we pass on it without looking? So we went to look...and there was SO much stuff! Big Stuff! Stuff we could make money with! A basement and a 2 car garage full of stuff!

So we did it. We had a yard sale in November...the weekend before Thanksgiving. I kid you not.

We worked our tails off. We held it indoors at our church so we wouldn't have to worry about weather. I was at the church EVERY SINGLE DAY that week. I stuck Asher in the Moby wrap, said a prayer, and got busy. {Praise the Lord for friends willing to help! Lots of people helped us pull this off, but my friend Dee deserves a special shout-out. I would have cried a lot more had it not been for her and her mad yard sale skills. The woman priced everything when I couldn't think straight enough to formulate a sentence. She came out almost everyday that week. Gosh, I love her!}

The yard sale was hoppin' the first day and I couldn't wait to count the money. We made over $1,000 on Friday!!! Saturday was $800!!! Then, some other people slipped us some checks at church. Needless to say, I cried through the entire church service in overwhelming adoration and thankfulness to the Father.

If you're keeping track...

We needed $1,500 after the grant. We raised over $1,800 with the Yard sale. Current fee paid with leftover to start our savings for our next fee (they are never-ending!)

~We finally received our invitation to be fingerprinted. We were scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving. Black Atlanta. That's 2.5 hours from our house. Nothing like a daytrip to Atlanta for fingerprinting with 2 littles in tow. (Jonah stayed with my college roommate that lives in Atlanta while we did fingerprinting. Asher had to go with me since he's nursing.) I'm not sure if everyone else canceled their appointments because it was Black Friday or if God knew I really needed it to be a breeze, but we didn't have to wait at all. The place was a ghost town and we waltzed right through. It's a good thing, too. Asher decided he was hungry and screamed the entire time I got fingerprinted.

~We still had some leftovers from the yard sale that we couldn't seem to get rid of. We had the hardest time getting in touch with the local thrift stores and then some of them didn't want some of the stuff. (Imagine that!) As we prayed about what to do with the 13 desks leftover (Yes, you read that right, 13 desks!) I remembered that I used to pass a used office furniture store on my way to work downtown when I was a teacher. I looked them up in the Yellow Pages and called them. Long story short, they came and BOUGHT 7 of the desks! More money for our adoption fund!

~Some of the most humbling parts of our story have been when we've received donations from our friends and family. Sacrificial gifts that bring us to tears. It's happened a few times now, and I cannot tell you how humbling it is. To know that people love our child enough already that they'd help us in such a big way leaves me speechless. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "It takes a village to raise a child" because it literally takes a village to bring a child home, too. I'm so glad that some of my friends are being the village and not just looking at us with blank stares when we talk about our adoption. Adopting can be lonely at times, but I'm so glad that some of our friends are trying to "get it" even when they might not fully "get it." The trying...that's what counts in my book.

And don't even get me started on the yard sale donation from a complete stranger. That, my friends, is a complete God-thing. A mind-blowing, cold chills, speechless, God-thing. The way He uses others to provide for us is nothing short of amazing.

~So where are we currently?

  • We're waiting on our USCIS approval. After we get this, we can send in our Dossier to Ethiopia. In the meantime, we're working on our Dossier so it will be ready to go when we're approved.
  • We're still saving and raising funds through my Etsy Shop sales.
  • We're planning a big fundraiser through Both Hands Foundation for the Spring. The timing of things just wasn't conducive to fit in a Both Hands project before Winter.
  • We're resting in peace with God's plan that has been revealed to us. We're not scurrying around like so many adopting families tend to do. We're very sensitive to the Holy Spirit leading us to wait and let Him work. He is providing for His calling...and doesn't need us to do things on our own.
  • We're praying fervently for our little one. During the month of December we felt especially burdened for her, even Jonah in his own 4-year-old way. (I can't wait to look back at her timeline in her file and see what was going on during the times we felt burdened to pray for her.)

Shew...thanks for sticking with me and reading to the end! I told you it was long and amazing! Thanks to my friend Becky for calling me out on Facebook and requesting an update 🙂

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Adoption Update & Fundraiser | Happy Brown House

Tuesday 4th of February 2014

[…] from $30,000-$40,000 before it is all said and done. God has been so gracious to us already by providing what we’ve needed at every paperwork checkpoint. The next portion of our adoption will […]

Lindsay @ BytesofMemory

Saturday 29th of June 2013

What a wonderful story God is weaving for your little one! I can't wait to see how the rest of this unfolds!

Kara @ The Chuppies

Tuesday 17th of January 2012

Okay. So I know I don't even need to start telling you how much this post means... I've been praying for you two and the kiddos and wondering what you were thinking with all the colic etc. BUT--I know-deep-down-know-from-real-life-experience.... That God's plan often doesn't "make sense". I mean-- Look back through the Bible. How often does it make logical sense? When we started in with Lydi's adoption (and Selah had died just a few months prior)...everyone thought we were crazy. But--we knew it was from Him. Sure we had doubts, but we held on to those weird little confirmations... Like you shared above. I'm happy for you and will continue pray. Praying for the adoption. And praying away the colic. Praying you'll get some good rest. And that you can rest in Him. Blessings sweet friend. Love, K


Thursday 19th of January 2012

Thank you Kara! You, your friendship, your words of encouragement...they mean so very much to me. I sure do hope that our paths intersect in "real-life" someday!


Saturday 14th of January 2012

It is so exciting to read about God's incredible provision on the journey of adoption! Praying for you! :)


Thursday 19th of January 2012

Thank you Erin! We appreciate the prayers!


Thursday 12th of January 2012

I just loved reading your story. I so much appreciate your willingness and enthusiasm to follow God's lead in everything!


Thursday 19th of January 2012

Thank you for reading Kristi! Although, I must humbly admit, not all areas of my life look this obedient!