I have started and restarted this a dozen times. I’m not sure why it has been so difficult to figure out what I want to say. Maybe because I find myself in a place that is a bit uncomfortable and I’m not real sure what the reaction is going to be. Actually, I am sure. Seventy-five percent of you will think that we are crazy, with about half of you letting us know and the other half keeping it to yourself. I’m not sure which is worse – having to try and explain your seeming unwise choices or knowing that crazy is the silent assumption and having no opportunity to argue otherwise. Either way, it is an uncomfortable situation, one for which I am not altogether ready to embrace.

But here we are.

God never promises to make sense and certainly does not always call us to do what is wise in the eyes of the world. I know that, but it is a scary place. a place I really rather watch other people be in.

After a year of thought and prayer, and countless conversations, we have begun the adoption process to bring home another sweet princess from China. Deep in our souls we are filled with unspeakable joy that we get to love another child. And the miracle of adoption is one that we can’t wait to experience again. However…we are humbly terrified.

While there are several terrifying aspects of adopting our 5th child, primary in our focus right now is the financial aspect of adoption. Because of course, that's what comes first - like in a month! From start to finish, the cost to bring home Leah will be close to $30,000. The first time around that seemed like a whole lot of money, but it was softened by the fact that we had a savings account to draw on for a significant portion of the cost. This time, that savings account is gone – having been spent on Lydia’s adoption - and we are staring at a huge expenditure and we have no idea where the money is going to come from. Some would call it unwise. And before God broke our hearts for the orphans and called us into the world of adoption, I would probably have been one of those people (actually, I’m sure I would have been).

I understand that to many, it seems completely ridiculous – for the financial aspect as well as many other reasons (with five little kids we are almost ready for our own TV show!) Which is why this is such an uncomfortable place for me. I don’t enjoy being the freak that is doing something “God told me to” – how many times have we heard that phrase attached to the insane? But…well…you see, that’s pretty much what we’re saying. God’s calling, and we’re obeying. We’re excited, we’re scared, we’re super thrilled, we’re super terrified.

We know that we will need the prayers of our friends as well as your encouragement - we can’t walk this road alone. We also know that we are going to witness a God-sized miracle all wrapped up in a little bitty China girl named Leah and we don’t want to keep that miracle to ourselves! There is no doubt in our minds that He is going to prove Himself faithful. And in case we need a reminder (which I will, tomorrow, and the next day and pretty much for the next 18 years), there is an adorable little Chinese sweetheart who sleeps in my house, calls me Mommy, and is every bit a miracle straight from heaven.


Kristen said...

Ashleigh we are praying hard for you guys as you begin this exciting journey again. It has been so thrilling to see how the Lord has provided for you in the past and I have no doubt he will do the same and even more with this adoption. We will be praying for miracle after miracle so that God's faithfulness and might will be displayed to all of those who know you and are watching this story unfold. May God be given all the glory!! Love you guys.

Jen said...

Well, we are definately not among those who would say you are crazy! I also long to return to China for our 5th child. Finances are calling the shots for us right now & it will take a while before we can go back. We took on debt to bring CG home & just can't start another adoption until that's paid off. But my heart is already there...and so is my sweet Sophia, I feel sure. Praying for you all - most especially your dear Leah.

em and pete said...

We will be praying for you guys...we definitely don't think you're crazy!!! Especially as we are about to go pick up our sweet daughter in Colombia in a few weeks so we already feel in our hearts the miracle that is adoption. I am soooo excited that you are beginning another journey! I'll look forward to reading updates.

Cara said...

Congratulations! We are excited for you all and will be praying for you. I think in a few years we will be heading back for #4 - maybe a little girl next time! We still have several issues we are working on with Silas and God is not calling us back yet, but my heart tells me we will be back there again in a few years. Looking forward to updates!

Jill Johnson said...

I join the others in agreeing there's nothing crazy about it when it's God. Ironically, my pastor just spoke Sunday on why so many people miss what God is saying to them: 1) we think it's irresponsible (I've got too many bills already, how could I XYZ?); 2) We're too busy; & 3) We're afraid. He said "God is looking for people more afraid of missing opportunities that they are of making mistakes." You know that not following His leading to another child would weigh on you far greater than possible debts that might stick with you for the next several years. It's safe to stay in your comfort zone, but my pastor also pointed out - "when did we decide God wants us to live safe lives?" I'm all for living dangerously in going where He leads! I'll be praying for you all and can't wait to follow this new journey!