Hi everyone! I just received an update from GGAM regarding how many donations have come in lately, and we have now raised $1,250.00 towards our $2,500.00 goal. Once we raise $2,500.00, GGAM will match us for that amount.
A while ago i was talking with our Preacher and was very concerned about the cost of the adoption, worried that we were not going to be able to raise enough money, worried that we'd have to take out a huge loan to get our daughter home and be saddled with burdensome debt hanging over our heads when we needed to be focused on mending a heart. One thing Preacher shared with me is that in his experience, sometimes God wants to see what we're willing to do for what we want. Are we really committed? Sometimes, even when God calls us to step out in faith (and jump off a cliff into a freefall position, or at least that's how it feels sometimes) we still may have to take out that loan, but then He will help us pay it back.
Not long after that conversation Randy and i received the $13,530.00 grant from the JSC Foundation, and things really started looking up for us. The heavy weight on my chest was lifted, and I felt I could breathe again. Then we soon learned that the additional costs of China, Hand in Hand and travel fees put us in a position to need an additonal $5,000.00 to complete the adoption of Cassie Mei.
Thankfully God provided us an adoption loan for $5,000.00 at 0% for three years, and we took it. Fortunately once we took out this loan, we received word that God's Grace Adoption Ministry would award us a $5,000.00 matching grant (once again, God proving Himself faithful) as long as GGAM receives enough in monetary donations by December 9th to total $2,500.00. So... if we receive the matching grant for $5,000.00 we are in a position to pay off our $5,000.00 adoption loan.
Like i shared before, GGAM has received thus far $1,250.00 on Cassie's behalf, but... We still need $1,250.00 in donations to receive the full grant.
Many years ago when we adopted Sonya we received no help financially from anyone for her adoption, and we never asked for it. We never expected it. Instead we worked, I putting in many 12 hour days in my cleaning business for months on out. And we really didn't know much in the way of adoption grants back then either, much less how to apply for one. We did most of it on our own and at the last still needed to take out a loan for $8,000.00, even with me traveling to China alone to save on money, just so we could get our seven month old baby home where she belonged.
I say we did it alone because even though we believed in God, we believed in a God who expected us to do it on our own and alone, and we were surrounded by people who held the very same mindset. You see, we did not believe in the God of the Holy Bible who shows mercy and grace to His children, and blesses them in their obedience to His Word. We believed in the God of the Universe who only shows you favor once you've paid your debt, karma in other words. Back then, I had so much "karma" I couldn't possibly go to Him for help or expect anyone else to help me either. What a lie i lived.
"Thank you, Father, for blessing us with the only gift we knew how to receive from you back then and that was the gift of our little Sonya, who melted our hearts and caused us to question the lies we were fed." It was our love for Sonya that eventually lead us into the Throne Room of Grace to experience our heavenly Father's love firsthand, and to believe and know that He really does care about everything we care about, no matter how small the matter.
Approximately two years ago, I received an email announcement that a group of adoptive families was planning a huge garage sale fundrasier to raise money to get their little kiddos home from foreign lands, and they were asking for donations of items that would be garage sale friendly. I kept that email, and I thought about those families often and what they were endeavoring to accomplish. I even collected many items in my home to donate, but in the end, i never made it over to hand in what I had collected which would have helped them to bring their little children home. And do you want to know the reason why? My real reason, the reason only I have known and will share with you now?
Simply put, since we had never received any help from anyone to bring our child home, and because of it I felt forced to go back to work and give my baby girl to other people to raise just so i could pay off the debt, I felt like they should do it on their own as well. So a couple of weeks following the sale, when I ended up taking a box of donations into the Goodwill instead, I felt very uneasy in my spirit. Why did I have to be so callous in my thinking, so hard-hearted? Where was my love? Where was my compassion? And then I felt ashamed. I was guilty, and I knew it.
When we started this journey to Mei Mei and we were faced with raising an incredible amount of money, i thought back to those families whom i could have helped and didn't, and finally understood why they were reaching out to others in their time of need. Because really, in most cases, those babies in those orphanages are going to rot where they sit unless and until we come up with the stinkin' money to get them out!
I didn't know when God called us to the field of international adoption twice now that He calls all Christians to care for the orphans, and man oh man, have a multitude of Christians and other people too who have an innate love for the orphans (personally, I think God is at work in their hearts) stepped up and walked this with us, in prayer, labor and through monetary means. And for all of you everywhere who have purchased even one of Sonya's art prints - THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!
So much is happening this time of year. The holidays and gift-giving are upon us as our heating bills go up. Money is tighter, and needs are greater. Even so, I am asking you now, if you feel an urging in your spirit to help us with this adoption, please do so. Please consider sending in a tax-deductible donation to God's Grace Adoption Ministry before December 9th so that we can receive the full matching grant.
Adoption is expensive. For anyone who knows me and talked with me at any length, i make it no secret that I believe that because satan is the prince of this world, our governments bow to him. Government policies involving the care of the orphan and the exorbitant fees incurred and the hoops set up to jump through to get to these little ones are a reflection of their true allegiance. That is why our Father makes provision in His Word for the least of these. I know Cassie is only one, yet every time you help one, you help them all. So please, if you can, help Cassie now.
Today we received an update on our little girl from a mom visiting Z orphanage. We cannot get our little girl home too soon!
Our visit was today! Cassie was in the playroom with lots of other children. She appears to be the oldest and possibly because of her SN isn't able to go to school with the other children her age. She is ready to come home. She wasn't playing with the others, the toys are too young for her, she stood and was watching TV. I told her you would be there soon and I gave her a hug. She did look good, her color was good and her lips didn't appear blue. Counting the days with you! Jody