I always know it is time for an update when I start getting lots of questions about what’s going on! Here is the latest news…

For those who like simplicity…nothing. That pretty much sums it up! We are simply waiting. The wait time is getting progressively longer – our hope now is that Lydia will be home with us by Christmas 2008. It is funny to think that when we began this process in May 2006 we were anticipating her arrival sometime late this summer!

So what has God been teaching me? Lots!

First, God’s timing is perfect.
Had I been welcoming a new child into our family this summer I might also have been committing myself to the psyche ward! Micah, who turned 2 in May, is a challenge to say the least. I haven’t quite figured out whether his age, his personality, or his birth order is to blame (or a combination of the three) but regardless, he wears me out! He pushes me to the edge and on some days, all the way over! There is no way I would have had the emotional or physical energy to care for a new baby this summer. I am so thankful God knew that and has allowed time for Micah to grow up a little bit before Lydia comes.

Second, God will provide.
While on paper we should be saving a tremendous amount of money each month and adding to our adoption fund, it is simply not happening. We have had the most random expenses and our savings is being spent almost as fast as we can put it away. Take the last couple of months - we had squirrels in our attic that had to be removed, we joined the neighborhood pool (my summer sanity!), the bill finally came for Eric’s broken nose, the handle on our van’s back door broke off, we paid taxes for the first time ever, squirrels visited our attic again, our toilet had to be fixed, our church kicked off their building campaign, and we traveled to three out of state weddings. All very reasonable life things but one big ticket item after another that I did not plan for in our budget!! And yet in the midst of my frustration I felt God quietly saying to me, “Ashleigh, I am the one who is going to bring you Lydia. You cannot do this on your own. It will by my provision and my provision alone that delivers her to your family. There will be NO WAY that you can claim this as a feat of your own financial responsibility.”

And He is providing – little by little. We received a completely unexpected $1000 from a family member. We have had people not charge us for services and tell us to put the money towards adoption. An old family friend mailed us a check. And most recently, a friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in months told me her family was collecting change in a jar for Lydia and last week her 6 year old emptied his whole piggy bank in order to help pay for Josiah’s baby sister. Oh my!

God is humbling me and reminding me that this is HIS story, HIS journey, and HIS plan for our family. It has very little to do with me! And so we wait…knowing that God will continue to lead us with His peace and His provision. I long for the day when Lydia will be with us, but I am welcoming this journey that has God’s fingerprints all over it.

Please continue to pray with us. We have 4 big areas we are praying for.

1. Lydia. She may or may not be born yet. But in all likelihood, she will be abandoned shortly after birth at an orphanage. Pray for good care and good bonding with her caretakers.

2. Lydia’s family. Somewhere a mother and father will grieve the loss of their daughter. They will never be able to know what happens to her – an incredibly painful reality that almost makes me sick to think about. I am praying that they will know the peace of Jesus in a miraculous way.

3. Our family. It is no little thing to add a new baby to the family. Pray for wisdom in how we prepare our children and ourselves for a huge life change. While it is a ways away, we are talking about it now. Adoption is not over when the papers are signed. It is a lifetime journey for the child and the family – arguably made more complicated with a transracial adoption. We are excited but we are not blind to the challenges.
4. Finances. We need about $10,000 – the vast majority being for travel.
Thank you so much for being a part of our adoption journey! It will be SO FUN to introduce you to our precious little girl!