How can I explain how much I already love you? Though you are not growing inside my body, you are growing in my heart and my attachment and love for you is the same. I am so thankful that I had the blessing of birthing 3 children because I can truly say that waiting for you is so much the same. And of course very different. Instead of praying for myself, I am praying for your mother. I pray constantly for the family who is going to bring you into this world. What agony they must be feeling having to make the choice to give up their baby girl. I wish I could hold them and say to them how much I love them. They have given you to me and I will be forever grateful. I know that God will take care of them. I am praying that they would know Jesus and find strength in Him. You are our precious little girl already. And i know you are theirs too. So I am praying that somehow God could miraculously give them a peace to know that there sweet baby is in good hands. You are precious gift. Grow strong and be patient - we are coming for you. I love you.
All of our paperwork was mailed to China on December 1. We should soon receive correspondence from China giving us a log-in date which is the date at which the wait officially begins. Currently, the wait time is 15 months, so that puts us around March 2008 when we will receive a ‘referral’ which consists of pictures and medical records of our baby girl whose name will be Lydia.
This year will be spent simply waiting. Once we receive information then we will travel within 6-8 weeks to go get her. It is a 2 week trip for Eric and me.
So where does that leave us now? We have lots of things to pray about in these 'silent' months, which is where you all come in. We know that God loves to hear lots of persevering prayer and so we would invite you to join us in this faith journey. Here are the biggies that we are bringing before the Lord right now:
1. Finances. The adoption cost is $25,000. Currently, we have $5000 of that covered and are praying for God to provide the remaining $20,000. One thing we know is that God promised us when we began this adventure that he would provide. We don't know how, but he is going to do it. On the practical side of things and so you can pray fully informed, there are several avenues that God could use for financial provision.
A) Grants from agencies specifically set up to help with up front adoption costs. We have applied and are applying to several of these agencies. In some ways we are great candidates due to our relatively minimal income but in other ways we are very poor candidates. Many people who are adopting have already encountered enormous expenses for infertility treatment, already paid for an adoption(s), and/or are adopting a special needs child who is coming into their family with known medical expenses. We obviously have not spent any money on those things. So we don't really know what our odds are for receiving any of this kind of money but we are game for praying for God’s favor with the deciding parties!
B) Personal donations. As we cross the paths of various people, those whom we know and those who are strangers, it is amazing to see the numbers of people who seem to have a heart for adoption although they know it is not something their family is going to pursue. But it may be that some of these people would be apt for financially supporting us in this endeavor. One specific thing that would be a HUGE blessing would be a donation of airline miles. Airfare to China and within the country (we have to travel to several different provinces) for the 2 of us is an enormous part of the cost. So maybe there is some businessman out there who has gazillions of miles who could help us in this area...
C) Home equity loan. We have this ready to draw on if we need to and we are certainly prepared to do that. We know that part of God's provision is a personal sacrifice on our part. We have trimmed our budget and are currently saving as much money as we can and if we need to draw on this equity line to pay off the costs then we will do that happily. Obviously, this would be our least favorite choice but not one we are adverse to!
So please pray with us that God would provide the needed $20,000.
2. Lydia. We are praying for our little girl during these months and her family. It is hard to explain to those who have not ventured on the adoption journey, but she is already very much a part of our hearts even though we know next to nothing about her. I think about her all the time and am praying for her mom and dad as they make the decision to continue an unwanted pregnancy and then to give up their baby. I am praying for her mother’s health as well as Lydia’s. I am praying for her time in the orphanage which will provide adequate care but not great care. I am praying that her family would know Jesus. I have a dream in my mind that Lydia is the daughter of a Christian family in China and that they would receive some sort of word from God that she will be taken care of by a Christian family in America. I will probably never know if this is the case, but it is what God has given me to pray. We would love for you to join with us in praying for her. I may not be pregnant, but someone is and she is carrying our little girl!
So please pray for Lydia and her family – physical health, emotional security and spiritual peace.
Those are the two biggies right now – finances and Lydia. We would value any amount of prayer you could speak on our behalf. We look forward to keeping you updated on our journey and finally introducing you to our precious little girl sometime in the spring of 2008!!