The past three days have been such a roller coaster of awesome I just don't even know if I can describe it in words... and yet here I am trying ;)
Around a week ago we received a call from a friend during dinner and she informed us that there was a car dealership in town that wanted to GIVE us a minivan.
Supposedly a man who works at the dealership saw our news interview months ago and was touched by it. He found out from one of our friends that we only have one vehicle and right away said he wanted to help us.
Instant tears as I'm hearing bits and pieces of the phone conversation Ryan is having with our friend. I understood enough to be completely in awe of what God had done.
Ryan and I had discussed purchasing another vehicle, but it was something we knew would be a year or so down the road for us.
It wasn't even something we were praying for!!
But God knew....
I am brought to tears even today as I think about all of the past days where Ryan and I have woken up the kids at 6am so we could take Ryan to work because we needed the vehicle that day. On appointment and therapy days it wasn't unusual for me to unload and load the kids (and wheelchair) 8+ times into the vehicle. Most days I would take the kids home after a long day of appointments or therapy and they would get maybe an hour nap in before I'd load them back up to go pick up Ryan.
I'm not saying this so you feel bad for us, I'm saying it because I want you to believe that God knows our needs even more than we do.
AND HE CARES...
He cares that this life is hard a lot of the time and our bodies and weary and tired.
He sees us...
That truth would still be true even if God didn't give us a van, but isn't it mind blowing that we serve a God that delights in giving good gifts to His children?
We picked up our beautiful minivan on Saturday...
And as if that wasn't enough, that night I got home from work around 11pm and I noticed an envelope duct taped to our door. I took it inside, unloaded my stuff, and then Ryan and I opened it.
It took me three times of reading through the letter to comprehend that it was about me and the boys. AND I initially dismissed the money as I thought they were "just Bible tracts". LOL
Once I realized this was for real and not some sick kind of chain letter, I didn't even know what to do. I felt like I was going to have an emotional breakdown (the good kind, not my usual ;) first a van and now this!
The person that left us this envelope had no idea that we are funding an adoption, that Ivan isn't our biological child, or what an immense blessing, confirmation, and encouragement this would be for us....
But God knew :)
Ryan and I just kept looking at each other with huge eyes and saying "thank you Lord!"
As if THAT wasn't enough...
The next day was Sunday and we knew that our church was dedicating part of the service to our adoption.
When we got there, we noticed that the majority of the congregation were sporting our adoption t-shirts which was so encouraging and amazing by itself.
After the message they showed a short interview that they did with us a while ago and then had us up to give an update and pray over us.
Before the prayer our pastor handed us a check for $5,500 (4,000 we already knew about, but the rest was a total shock!!).
I am just pausing at my laptop right now because I can't even....
Let me clarify that our church is not large by any means and I don't think we have any extremely wealthy people in our congregation. We don't even have our own building right now so we meet in BSC's science center, but the heart of this church is what drew us in. To the outside world it may not look like our little church has much to offer, but our churches motto is "live out love" and that is exactly what Revive Christian church does.
After our pastor prayed over us we were dismissed, but people kept coming up to us, hugging us, and slipping us checks and envelopes.
I was just an emotional mess.
The support we received from our church was incredible and we felt God's presence and pleasure the whole time.
I don't know if I've really let anyone see just how hard this adoption process has been for us. It wasn't the money, or even the paperwork, more than anything we just wrestled with "why us".
We already have lots of long, hard days and there have been so many times during this process that I've just locked myself in the bathroom and told God "I don't know if I can." "I don't think I'm strong enough" or my most popular "UHHHHHHHH ARE YOU FREEKING KIDDING ME...You think I can handle MORE!!"
Sidenote: why does no one warn you about 3!! It makes age 2 look like Candy Land!!
In the past month, we have really begun to see a change happening in our family though. Landon is still a typical 3 year old
but our hearts somehow feel lighter.
Being surrounded by our church family last Sunday and having just received such tangible confirmations that God knows how hard this life is and He WILL meet everyone of our needs.
EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
I'm NOT saying that God always rewards us with monetary blessings if we follow His calling.
That would be prosperity gospel and that crap makes me sick!
No, I'm saying that God will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). His ways are so much higher than your ways (Isaiah 55:8) and He doesn't give to us the way the world gives... He gives us peace (John 14:27). Peace to walk through any storm that this life could throw at us. Peace to walk ON water, even! If we're willing to step out of the boat (Matthew 14).
So we left church last Sunday renewed and revived in so many ways.
It's hard to explain the emotional and spiritual battle that wages when your heart knows what is right and fully desires it, but your brain and your body are telling you it's not possible and it doesn't make sense.
We were relieved that we were so close to being fully funded, but more than anything we had a peace.
A peace that surpassed our understanding and broke down any last walls of fear.
We haven't ever doubted that this adoption was God's plan for our family, but we've had a hard time accepting it and feeling ready for such a huge change... while at the same time COMPLETELY falling in love with our future babies, dreaming about them, and counting down the days until it's our turn for a travel date...
We have believed that God would make a way, we have taken countless crazy steps of faith, we have coveted each and every one of your prayers as we've battled not just our own fears, but delays and documents being lost. We have worked hard and prayed harder... and guess what!!!!
God HAS INDEED come through!!!
WE ARE FULLY FUNDED!!!!
This morning I recieved a message saying that we were accepted for a $3,000 grant!!
That put us only $400 away from our goal!!
I contacted Kelsie with the Gathering Family because she had told me a while ago that they had some money raised for us, but I told her to just keep it until we were closer to traveling.
$1,500 they raised for us!!!
There was lots of screaming going on in our house today!!
How crazy is that?!?
In only 3 days God provided over 10k for us and a minivan!!
If I had to guess, I would say that He may be preparing us to travel sooner than we were expecting. We found out that there is only one slot in front of us for travel dates and they could be traveling at any time, which means there is still a possibility that we could be traveling to meet our babies this month!!!
You may be wondering what we're going to do about the giveaway we have going on now that we've reached our goal.
There will be news about that in a coming blog post.
For now, I just want to thank each and everyone of you who have prayed for us and supported us in any way. God has used you in an incredible way to change the lives of these two children and our families life forever!!
If this adoption has taught me anything, it's that God CRAZY LOVES us.
From those of us who wresstle with fear and doubt to the child who has laid alone in a crib for years...
GOD. CRAZY. LOVES. US.
We don't have to be perfect to accept that love, we just have to come as we are, give God the pen to our lives, and HOLD ON because he's NOT a boring author :)
We love each of you dearly and can't thank you enough for following us on this journey.