And He loves me! And he knows what a train wreck my life would be without Him in it. I can do nothing good outside of Him, friends - guiding, shielding and encouraging and even sometimes withholding from me what I think I want when i want it because He knows His ways and His time are best. The Bible reminds me that His ways and His thoughts are not like ours, and i am soooo glad about that because to be perfectly transparent, my thoughts can get pretty dark and desperate at times. :(
So...last Thursday, following my fervent prayer, I received this email from the JSC Foundation:
Dear Randy and Cheryl,
Congratulations! You have received a grant in the amount of $13,530 for your upcoming adoption. The check has been sent to Hand in Hand and should arrive shortly. If there are fees that you have paid so that your balance with your agency is less than $13,530, you can use the excess to use for travel by having your agency reimburse you for travel fees. It has been a pleasure to learn about your heart for adoption. We would love to have a picture of your family after you bring your daughter home. God Bless!
I could not get to the phone quick enough to call Randy, and you do know what I said to him, right? I said, "Are you sitting down?" It used to be that Randy's four favorite words out of my mouth were, "You are right, honey." Now it's been replaced with the former. I can't say that I blame him since every time I say those four special words to him the news is excellent, and I do so like saying his new favorite words so much more than the previous ones if you get my drift. Like Sonya always likes to say, Ahem...
Once I hung up and before calling other friends to share the good news, starting with our church because they really have been so supportive of our adoption, Sonya and I did the Happy Dance together and praised the Lord from Whom All Blessings Flow!
Thank you, Lord Jesus! I am not ashamed to tell the world that You are my Lord and Savior, and that my family belongs to You! Jesus, before You, I would never have had the courage or fortitude to walk this path of becoming the hands and feet to a real life orphan who has known only institutional living, enduring through this long and arduous process such depths of heart ache and at times PURE JOY! Thank you for picking me!
Miraculously, had we traveled in September as we initially anticipated, again our plans and not God's (and let me just say this momma knows God will show her His reasons for the delay before eternity), it would have covered all expenses related to paying for her ransom including the two weeks in-country mandatory travel. But, God has a plan to bring about the rest of the money for as we near the end of 2011, air line and hotel prices will increase and by December even double.
With a concerned look, Sonya said to me tonight as I was tucking her into bed, "But mom, what if the prices for Mei Mei just keep going up and up and up? What will we do then?" I said to her with all certainty, "God has it covered, Sonya. He will provide all that we need, so not to worry. And the people that are supposed to be at your FUNdraiser this Saturday will be there, and the amount of money He wants you to make you will make. He has a Plan, Sonya." And with that, her sweet little face grew soft again. Thank you, Jesus, that Sonya "gets it". What a blessed child she is!
So here we are preparing, with the help of a few friends, to help Sonya raise money to cover her sister's airline ticket. At one time, Cassie's ticket would have cost roughly $1,000.00-$1,200.00. Now I am anticipating paying $1,800.00 for a one way ticket from China to America. It is at times like this, when everything about adoption boils down to money, I need to remind myself why we are doing all of this in the first place. It is for this little girl, whom God has placed on our hearts to LOVE, that we are doing ALL OF THIS. We have a daughter in a foreign country, in other words, who we need to get to, and we have learned to humbly and gratefully ask, "Will you help us to free her? Please walk along beside us. More specifically, walk along beside Sonya so she can get to her little sister."
As you all know, we have been waiting a long time to receive LOA, longer than many but not as long as some, and i have been assured this letter is en route to our adoption agency in Albion. As you may recall, we were asked to wait for LOA before we posted our baby girl's pictures on any public forum due to CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) rules, and we have readily complied, and I am feeling that it's okay now to post Sonya's FUNdraiser Extravaganza flier which also includes a picture of Cassandra Mei. Actually, I can't get the flier to fit, so i am typing out for you the content of the flier with the essentials- date, times and location. And then i will include the two pictures I used but scaled down for the flier. I sure hope to see all of you there! Even you folks out in Ohio and Michigan! :) So without further ado:
Please Come Out and Support Sonya
In bringing her little sister home from China!
At Sonya's FUNdraiser Extravaganza
On Saturday, September 17, 2011
From 2-5 pm
At Calvary Chapel: 4900 Old Maysville Road
(corner of Caribe Blvd. and Old Maysville Rd.)
Adult and Kids' Carnival Games
w/Guaranteed Prizes for Kids;
Lemonade Stand; Chinese Auction
and Art Work by Sonya!
(Get an autographed copy while supplies last!)
My two beautiful girls who don't belong to me but who are on loan to Randy and me from the Lord! Thank you, everyone, for caring so much! It means so much to us. And be sure to check back in a few days when i will share about the events leading up to Cassie being made available for adoption and what God was doing in this momma's and big sister's hearts to prepare the way for her to join our family forever! I believe this Almighty Powerful God-story could make even an atheist believe, and Glory Halleluiah for that!