As May begins, we are in a little bit of a standstill. We have finished our home study, most of our dossier paperwork and all of our training requirements. The paperwork is extensive and annoying, but I kind of love a little binder with tabs and a checklist...I can control that, I can DO this! Knowing the uncertainty that awaits us in this process, I embrace the small part of the process I can control. However, we are waiting on a little form called the I-600A, which is a petition to our government to allow us to adopt and bring an orphan into the United States. It is a quick and easy form to fill out (except for writing the $890 check that accompanies it), yet it takes 12-14 weeks to get your "letter of favorable determination" back from the state department. So we are waiting...
The last couple of months have been emotional. We have had some painful personal things we have dealt with but in the midst of this, though, God has brought people into our life who have served as nothing but encouragement for us. Dear friends and family, other adoptive parents we met at our training, and new friends who we know the LORD has placed in our lives. We have not felt alone and are able to rest in His provision for us.
The money thing has been (and continues to be) tough for us, yet up to this point there has never been a bill we couldn't pay. God has provided through ways we never planned or expected, and also through the generous hearts of people who love us and love God. We are so grateful and humbled. One of our first official donations came in the form of a crumpled $20 bill from the piggy bank of a beautiful girl whose heart and world view is mature way beyond her 7 years. Does she understand the suffering and destitution in Africa? Has she studied the Bible for its teachings on orphans and understand the idea of the "least of these?" Probably not...well maybe (she is a smart cookie), but she surely does know that her baby sister found her way home from Africa. She knows that the love she and her sister have for one another is real, her family is complete, and she will do whatever she can to make sure Brody and Anna can get to their baby brother or sister.
"...for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Cor 9:7