To say we've been busy is vastly understated.
We have been blown away by God's provision, but let me tell you, we have not been sitting on our bums praying for the money to come in the mail.
Yes, we've been praying like crazy, but we get up off our knees and WORK.
Sometimes when I tell people we're fundraising for our adoption, they give me this blank stare and I can tell they're trying to process what the heck an adoption has to do with fundraising.
People fund raise for causes, not when they want to grow their family.
They usually get out an awkward "congratulations" and we part ways.
I understand that this takes some processing and change of perspective to understand.
For starters, adoption isn't just a means by which we've decided to grow our family. Believe me, we know there's much cheaper, safer ways to grow our family. After my miscarriage last Summer we met with multiple doctors and each of them told us there was no reason why we wouldn't be able to have more biological children.
With that said, God didn't lead us down that route...
He has called us once again to risk everything and make the sacrifices necessary to rescue HIS children.
A Father to the fatherless; a defender of widows, is God in His Holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5
Let me just say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with fundrasing to adopt because you want to grow your family. God gives us that desire. The ability to love one who is not biologically your own, is Holy in and of itself, but for a lot of us adoptive families, adoption is something we feel is a calling on our lives, just like people who are called to fight for the cause of children battling cancer, or those who feel called to join the army, peace corps, or those who commit their lives to overseas missions.
Everyone is not called to adopt... but we are.
And with any lofty calling, comes the need to unify and seek the help of others.
I had this nagging thought our last adoption and it's been rearing it's head once again... why doesn't God call those who HAVE the funds needed to rescue these amazing children.
I know they're out there, those people that have 25k sitting in a bank account somewhere.
It would be simply a drop in the bucket for so many...
But, strangly what I have found is that the majority of people God calls to adopt, are just average joes making an average income, some even living pay check to pay check.
We get called "saints" all the time. People see us and our lives don't make sense. They don't understand why we would "choose" this; why we would choose Ivan and why we would choose these two children, but the truth is simple.
We didn't choose them, God did.
and I believe that God chose us to adopt them, not because we are "saints" and have it all together, but because we are the least likely. We fall in the catagory of weak, young, irresponsible, nieve, in way OVER our heads, but that is exactly the kind of people God loves to use.
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; (check) not many were influential (check); not many were of noble birth (and... check) But God CHOSE the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things (I can't help but picture all the precious children around the world labled worthless to this world because of their special needs, Jesus sees THEM. Jesus chooses THEM.) and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who have become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
So you see, we're not saints, we're far from wealthy, and we're definetly no where close to ready for this next journey God is calling us to.
We're just an average young family that truly believe that because we call ourselves Christians, our lives should resemble Jesus' life. Our hearts should break for the things that break the heart of God, and we should risk everything so God can be glorified through our weakness.
With all that said, time to do a little boasting!!
When we first began this adoption journey I had some doubts that we would be able to fundraise enough in such a short amount of time, but after seeing God move this month we are now confidently trusting that God WILL make a way.
Since announcing our adoption, we have had an out pour of support and love from others, some already close friends, some complete strangers, but now forever friends, and some people who have chosen to remain anonymous (You know who you are, THANK YOU!!)
This past month we have had a t-shirt fundraiser, jewelry party, I've sold dozens of burlap wreaths, hot cocoa and Russian tea jars, and just a couple days ago we had an awesome event at Dunn Bros, not to mention, the fundraisers the Gathering Family has had going to help with our adoption!!
It has been a full month! On top of all that, I've been working a lot to help cover our home study fees.
It's been crazy and this mama is TIRED!!
We are ready to go home for Christmas to refresh and relax as a family.
We wont be planning quite as many fundraisers next month since we'll be focusing on completing our dossier (a ton of paperwork that will get sent to our children's country), but I still have some awesome ones up my sleeve so stay tuned :)
Now for some numbers!! I know you've all been waiting for me to update our thermometer!
Our FSP is now at 2,117.65 (it seems to have gone up a little or a lot each time I check it!!)
Baby girl is on Reece's Rainbow's angel tree this year! The purpose of angel tree is to get each child's grant up to $1,000. She is clearly loved because angel tree has raised $430.20 for her adoption. with what she already had, her grant is now at 506.70
Reno had $103.50 in his grant. We will recieve both children's grant money when we are ready to travel.
We raised $274.58 from our awesome t-shirts!!
$305.65 from selling our wreaths and jars!!
We had such a beautiful day for our event at Dunn Bros. Everyone had a great time and we raised $1,160!! Which includes alot of wreath orders :)
So our grand total raised during the month of December is
To God be the glory!!
Thank you to everyone who donated even one penny to our adoption. You are being used by God in such an incredible way to change the lives of His dearest ones... the ones that are so often overlooked, neglected, and abused by this world.
Thank you for standing in the gap for them and declaring through your giving that their lives DO matter.
We love you all and thank God daily for your support.
Praying each of you have a merry Christmas and Happy New Year in the days to come!!