well, well, well. it's been quite a while. but things are beginning to stir around this house and lest the newest addition feel left out, she deserves a well-documented journey too! it used to be that the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th kid didn't get as many pictures. i suppose in 2010 it's that they don't get as much blog time!

which brings me to the lovely re-announcement that we are beginning our quest for leah in january. i have the paperwork ready to be filled out (at least the 1st of 207 rounds) and i am anxiously awaiting getting the process started. we had thought we would start this past july but neither eric or i had a peace about that when it came time to sign papers so we committed to waiting and praying for some more guidance. i think in these last 6 months God has solidified his plan for our family and given us an even greater confidence that leah is waiting for us. so, i would have to agree with God on the whole waiting thing. amazing that he knows what he's talking about all the stinkin' time. gracious.

as we embark on this journey there is a much different sense in my heart. no doubt that we definitely felt the pangs of the financial aspect of lydia's adoption, but we entered it with a more than decent nest egg in our savings account, a bit of hopeful ignorance, and knowledge that even if we had to use a home equity line it wouldn't be for an unreasonable amount (due to said nest egg as well as a bit more play in our monthly budget). it was doable.

this time...another story. to be blatantly honest, as of november 28th we have finally paid off all of our 'lydia loan' which we are thrilled about, but because of our quest to be debt free we have nada, nunka, zilcho, zip-te-do-da in our savings account. that's right - one single number that looks like this...0. and that, my friends, is a frightening place to be. i tend not to think about it too much - it gets me way stressed out and the truth is there is nothing i can do about it. i know that God is calling us to leah but wow, this is a big faith jump for us.

i honestly have no idea how we are going to pay for this. $30,000. that ain't no chump change! but i do have a confidence in God and i feel like he has spoken as clearly to me about leah's expenses as he did about lydia's person (remember the vision of a chubby two year old with pony tails on top of her head?) that He will provide. and yet i strongly sense that it is going to be one bit at a time. not a huge chunk that would tempt us to minimize our dependence on Him, but a little piece here and there so that HE is proven faithful. so that leah's story becomes just as miraculous as lydia's.

i am committed to documenting every last way that God provides for this journey. the first came this past week. we received a gift of $1000 for leah's adoption. and guess how much we need to pay by january 10th for our homestudy? $675. and guess how much we need for paperwork and fingerprints and any number of random expenses that come with gathering the ridiculous amount of documents needed for said homestudy? oh, about $325. yeah, God's going to provide. and it's going to be so crazy cool to watch it happen. of course, i feel just about as stupid saying that as i did when i declared in february of 2008 that we would have a child by the end of the year, as we stood in a line that was 5 years long. but hey, we got proof that God can do MIRACLES!!!! (and she is really cute!)

so leah, we love you already and can't wait to meet you. God will show himself faithful and we will bring you home, debt free. may you be loved and cared for as you wait. we pray blessings on your china mommy and daddy, your caregivers, your doctors. hold tight and know in your sweet heart that your family is coming for you.