Friday, June 19, 2015

I have asked for him...

  Many times in our married life I have gone to the book of Samuel. Most of the time it has been broken hearted begging God for the life of one of our children. This time again broken hearted for my son, the son God has called us to, Yu Ming. We know he is our son, we know that we are called to sacrifice everything possible to bring him home. Over the last 17 days our hearts have been broken, surrendered, waiting (patiently and not so patiently), questioning, doubting, and then back to resting. 

When faced with any calling that requires steps of faith there will always be the questions from others, or the well meaning comments of "well if this doesn't work out then it just wasn't meant to be".  This week we were reminded many times to go back. Go back to how we knew we were called to Ming, and all the things that have happened since. Every time it has been a journey right up to the deadline and Gods provision has been there. This time was no different.

Saturday we had a killer garage sale. Thank you to all who pitched in and helped and for those who donated items.  Our total was a little over $1,000 from that sale and we are so grateful for the many ways you chose to support that.

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Monday we were at Chick Fil A (yes, AGAIN). This is our favorite fundraiser if you couldn't tell and when they heard of our deadline they wanted to help by having 2 fundraisers for us in that 17 day window. What a blessing! It was at that fundraiser we were able to thank someone who had given us a donation on their own. I had been praying that we would be able to thank him in person. Little did I know what God was doing. We learned of his family and their adoption story. I love this part of public fundraising! 

Tuesday- we were still in need of almost $2,000. That morning we had a very generous adopting family offer to loan us our needed amount. As many of you know we have felt very strongly that God is asking us to adopt debt free. While we know at some point this direction may change, we knew that God was just saying "wait on me for this. I will supply your need." All day our hearts just focused on the fact that we didn't need it yet. That morning we mailed this giant stack of paper to our adoption agency still not having everything we needed for those to even be processed. For us, that was a major step of faith just mail out 9 months of labor and over $2700 in documents and not know if we were even going to be able to finish processing them. But God is faithful...

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 Later that afternoon we received a call from someone we literally just met saying they had a check they wanted us to have before our deadline. Inside the envelope was a note of encouragement and a check for over and above what we needed for our payment the next day. God is faithful. We will never tire of sharing this story. Even if you are reading this and God is not a part of your belief system, I know you can not deny this is a miracle. 
Our little miracles keeps showing us and pointing us to the name we have chosen for Ming.
Samuel - The Lord hears .
 We will keep his Chinese name as his middle name and let him choose what we wants to go by.
God has not only heard our cries as parents, but has heard his cry for love and a family. His longing to be back with us. With joy we await the day we have travel approval and fly to bring him home.

Today we received word that our dossier has been entered into the china system and our papers are being mailed for translation. What an awesome week! 

"now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly above all we could ask or think"

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Exhausted, yet pursuing

   " And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing." (Judges8:4)

Ok so I may not have crossed the Jordan river but I can say honestly "I am exhausted" .  I read this with a new compassion for those involved in this story. As I read the verse that resonated with me in a very practical sense I reminded myself of the context.
Gideon is someone in the bible that I have been reminded of several times over the past 16 days. God called him to defeat the Midianites. From the perspective of many I am sure he was the most unlikely candidate. After all, didn't he require "signs" and confirmations before he would blindly obey? Didn't he want to be assured success before even starting?  Even before that he questioned God and his timing, the things that were allowed to happen ect...
I am so much like Gideon. The conversations that play out in my mind look much like his.
 "ok, so God you called us to this adoption thing. Can't you just give us a peace to take out a loan? That way I can see how this is all going to play out?"  "So God, really? you want me not only to adopt, but to have a biological child at the same time? Did you possibly hear me wrong when I said I would be willing to do what you called us to do, even if it was hard? Was adoption not hard enough? I kind of thought that was like difficult to the MAX."
 Often I picture God listening and just shaking His head smiling as he lets me process aloud to Him, without judgement, so I can fully be empty of my thoughts and be ready to accept His.

Looking over and reminding myself again of the story of Gideon I see several things that encourage me this morning. This morning as I sit and beg God for his provision, not seeing how fully he is going to provide the remaining $1900 before tomorrow morning.  As my doubt was creeping in, I am drawn to this story and see many things that have given me hope and encouragement.

  * Gideon may have needed signs and processed his doubt in a similar way God still gave the victory. Gideon was called to lead the people to conquer and to set the captive free, and that was accomplished

 * While victory was sure, there was a LOT of work involved and he was going to be exhausted. Many times this week I have questioned and have been questioned if doing all of this to pursue debt free adoption is really what I should do. Should I be sacrificing my energy, and feel awful physically all for this "calling" of adoption.

 Today I needed to read that simple phrase "Exhausted, yet pursuing"  The encouragement that I have gleaned from that today is this, While I am exhausted from a weekend of the biggest garage sale of my life, while I want to cover my head and just let things happen as they may, while I could just say "whatever happens will happen". I could choose any of those things, but instead I am going to choose to be exhausted yet pursuing. Pursuing every avenue possible, continuing to sell things online, looking for ways to raise funds, getting up and driving AGAIN to next day air paperwork that isn't paid for yet, and can't be processed until it is. Out of every step, this one is the biggest faith step for me. Trusting that they make it there, that they will be able to be sent to China this week. My heart is heavy but resting in the promise that God called us to this and has ensured victory.

 Until our next post,
Exhausted, yet pursuing

Darrell and Michelle

Monday, June 15, 2015

Glorious Unfolding

Wow! It has been a crazy 15 days! Each day, each hour, each second bringing something new into our lives. If it was paperwork, sickness, contractions, exhaustion, a third trip to the Secretary of States office and the list could go on.

 Last week as we were heading to the Chinese Consulate as everyone was sleeping, a song came onto my spotify that I had never heard before. God usually for me uses music many times to speak to me and bring His word and promises to mind.


The words of this song brought me back to so many verses God has given to us as we sought to know if we were called to adoption. 
    I love the whispers from God in our hearts when He is ministering to our spirits. 
"I know the plans I have for you"   "My grace is sufficient for you, because my strength is made perfect in your weakness"   "Look unto me. I  am the author of this story"  
"Be still and Know that I am God" 

Only God could have written this story for us. When we lost Lliam I begged God to bring beauty to the ashes of grief in my heart. I held on to knowing his plans are always greater than mine. Little did I know he would bring a little boy that gripped our hearts before we knew him, a little boy he called us to adopt before we knew how he would "fit" into our family.  Every time leading to the decision to sign the contract for his adoption we begged for the doors to be closed if we were walking into something we shouldn't be and every step God has provided the money, the time, the correct documents, EVERYTHING.  
 The past 15 days I have had to go back to these things. I look back on the promises fulfilled, the calling affirmed.

Over the last 15 days our need for the payment amount of $6,000  is now been whittled down little by little to just a little over $2300! That is God.  I know that is something some of my friends may not believe in, but it is no denying its a miracle.  We are thankful, blessed and humbled by this. 
We are thankful for those who have supported our adoption with prayer, giving of time, sacrificing their schedule to help us, sacrificing financially because of their desire to support adoption in the ways that they can.

When knowing of our deadline a friend donated this beautiful 31 hostess exclusive bag for a give a way. For each donation of $10 you will receive one entry.
 Example:$10 donation = your name entered 1 time, $100 donation = you name entered 10 times.
 The winner will be selected by a random drawing.
  The deadline for entering is Wednesday June 17 9:00

    Thirty One Style setter bag with clutch and wrist strap ($150 value)
   Hostess exclusive item