Meeting Us Where We Are
As we have been preparing to bring Faith home and taking classes and attending meetings at Lifeline, one lesson keeps coming up: “As a parent of a child who has come from a difficult place, always remember to look through her eyes and meet her wherever she is.” Practically speaking, while in China, many kiddos will refuse to sit anywhere except right beside the hotel door. Refusing to remove their shoes, they are ready to escape from these strangers, who, from all evidence presented, have just kidnapped them from the only place they are familiar. In that case, you meet them where they are. You sit beside the door with them. Calm, loving and patient. Showing them that you are there and that you will always be there.
This played out practically with Jian just this past Sunday night. We were late to church (as is our bad habit and something I will try to work on.) There thankfully was a packed house, so not many seats were available. Walking into the auditorium in front of all of those people was too overwhelming, so Jian needed to sit in the lobby away from everyone else. I met her where she was and sat there with her, and we avoided a huge meltdown.
I was thinking about this concept and how God has shown the same love and this same concept to us, as His children. He created each one of us and knows how many hairs are on our very heads. He knows that I am a girl of detail and precision. He knows that Daniel feels a huge responsibility to provide for our family and becomes anxious if he perceives that he is unable to do so.
This whole season of fundraising has taught me so many lessons. I will admit that when we were planning our first fundraiser, I fully intended for us to raise every dollar needed that night. Because if we had enough, then I could stop worrying about that aspect and focus more on the adoption process itself.
Did you catch that? If I had enough saved away…then I could stop worrying.
I have had the opportunity to be an assistant recently in the 2-3 year old Bible class at church. One of the lessons was about how God takes care of the birds and the flowers and gives them everything they need, and He will do so much more for us.
We had that first dinner and silent auction fundraiser. We sold our T shirts. Our family in Tennessee had a barbecue lunch fundraiser for us. We had a huge yardsale where dozens of families donated carloads of items to us. We had a 5K/Fun Run. We set up a tax deductible donation link. All along the way, others would donate to our PayPal account or send us a card with a check inside. Still, a week before travel, we were several thousand dollars short.
Honestly, by that point, I was over it. I was tired. I had done all I knew to do. I wasn’t going to ask anyone else for any more money. We could just figure out the difference later on when things settled down.
Then it happened. Daniel came home with an envelope from work with $500 cash inside. A sweet family member gave us a very generous check as we celebrated an early Christmas together. A sweet friend at church gave Jian a Christmas ornament, and inside that bag was a card with $400 cash. A coworker mailed me a card and a $50 check.
I recorded all of these figures, as I have been doing with every donation we have received. Including the card in the mail from a lady who lives out of town with a note stating, “This was all the cash I had in my purse.” It contained a $5 bill and several $1 bills. And then there was the time I went on TV on the morning news show to promote our very first fundraiser. The little guy who assists guests back and forth was moved by our story, and afterwards, walked up to me with 4 crumpled-up one dollar bills. He said, “This is all the money I have with me, but I want you to have it.”
The grand total of everything we have received for Faith as of this writing is $44,349.95.
On my last blog post, I listed out all of our expenses in detail. The last few were estimates, as we had not been approved for travel yet. The actual cost of our travel visas, including postage was $570.90. The actual cost of our plane tickets was $6146 plus $130.35 for a hotel stay in Atlanta before flying out the next morning. We were given the actual total for our wire to China yesterday, which was $12,955.
The grand total of all of our expenses related to the adoption and travel to bring Faith home is $44,349.45.
I am weeping now as I type this. It is too much to take in. God knows that I am a girl of detail. He knows that Daniel needed Him to show up with the money to confirm that we were doing the right thing. I told someone yesterday, “I knew that He would do it, but somehow I’m still surprised that He did.” It reminds me of the father who brought his son to Jesus in Mark 9, asking him to be healed. Jesus replied, “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Verse 24 says, “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
And still I can’t help but have Jesus’ words jump out at me when I read John 1:43-51 where He (paraphrased) tells Nathanael: You believe in me because of this minor detail, you just wait for what more is to come!
We hope that this fundraising journey has also been a blessing for each one of you. We have prayed for everyone who has donated or helped in so many different ways. At this point, I can honestly say that I am glad that we didn’t have an extra $44,000 sitting in an account that would have allowed us to avoid all of this hard work and the blessings that it has brought.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
All of the fundraising is now done. The paperwork is done. The travel arrangements have been made. The packing is (almost) done.
Now the real work begins. We are no strangers to the difficult but rewarding road ahead. We know that God is there. We know that each of you are here, loving, supporting and praying for us. This gives us hope and peace and comfort.
Philippians 1:3-4 “ I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy.”