we're ripe...for a miracle

oh boy. i never thought we'd do this. that's what i've said after a whole bunch of things in life. you would think i could learn something through the years.

Dear friends and family,

The honest to goodness truth is that we do not want to write this letter. It goes against every grain of human nature in our bodies, and yet in this adoption journey we have learned that God often has far different plans than we do. With that said, the simple point of this letter is to ask you to consider participating with us in our adoption journey in a very tangible way.

The price to bring SarahJoy home is $30,000. That’s a lot for any family, a whole lot for this one. We do not know why God has led us to have $60,000 worth of children in our family. But we can tell you that Lydia’s life is priceless as is SarahJoy’s. Adoption expenses were once described to us as simply the ransom money to bring our daughter home. We’ve never forgotten that – we wouldn’t think a second about paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring our biological children back from harm, and so it is with our adopted children. They need to be rescued and brought home, and there is a big price tag.

We currently have paid $13,500 towards the adoption, all of which has been miraculously provided by God. And as much as we rejoice over that provision, we still have $16,500 left to pay. We want so badly to be able to write a check and not ask for help. It has been humbling to have to say aloud that we simply do not have the money; a test of how much we believe this to be God’s plan for our lives and how much we trust that he will provide.

We fully realize that some may disagree with asking for help in bringing our child home, or may question the wisdom of our decision to add to our family. We embrace those feelings and invite anyone to ask us more about our journey. Our story is one of blind obedience to what our hearts feel is the leading of God. Scary, exhilarating, not without pain or without joy. It is a story that we never tire of sharing.

We also realize that there may be those out there whose heart is generous towards the needs of the orphan and would like to help in a very practical way to give SarahJoy a family. To that end, we have been offered the opportunity to establish a fundraising account, through Lifesong for Orphans, which will allow all gifts to be tax-deductible. Donations may be made in our name, and 100% of the funds will be forwarded to our adoption agency to pay for our remaining expenses. The goal date to receive funds is August 12, 2010.

We don’t know how God is going to provide for SarahJoy’s journey home. We do know it will be a miracle and that He will be faithful. Maybe, he will use some of our friends and family to be a part of that miracle, he certainly has done so already. We would treasure an opportunity for you to join our hearts in falling in love with our little girl across the ocean, and our efforts in paying the ‘ransom’ to bring her home.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. May God’s presence be as real and tangible to you as it has been to us these past few months. If you are interested in following our adoption journey more closely, you can find our story at www.lettersforlydia.blogspot.com

Eric and Ashleigh

Donations can be mailed to:
Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40 / 202 N. Ford Street
Gridley, IL 61744

Checks made payable to: Lifesong for Orphans (Sanzone #1284 on the memo)

Donations online (via paypal):

In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.



i am in a funk tonight. which i hate because i know in my head that i shouldn't be. that i have no reason to be discouraged, no reason to be doubting goodness and truth. and yet my heart is struggling to hold on to that faith that has been our lifeline in this journey. i hate that my belief is so tenuous, that it can so easily be rocked. which makes me dislike where i'm at even more, that i'm not good enough, not steady enough for God. that somehow he is going to abandon me here because i didn't make the cut.

our papers have been mailed to china. and we should be ready in the next couple of weeks to officially begin the search for sarahjoy. that part is exciting. the not so exciting part is that we received a call this week from an adoption foundation informing us that we were not chosen to be given a matching grant. not the first place which had turned us down, but this foundation happened to be one i was really counting on. i thought for sure we would qualify and it had the potential to bring in a lot of money. they supply matching funds so that if we were able to raise $4000 from our friends and family, they would have matched that and we would be recipients of quite a bit of financial assistance.

but that is not the case.

and it has sort of rocked my world. i think the hard, cold truth is that i had put a lot of faith into that specific foundation, and had taken it away from God himself. moved my confidence from the Giver to the giver. and so when it fell through......it gave me a good punch to the gut.

so i am fighting hard to hold on to what we believe to be God's promise to us - that he will provide 100% for this adoption. it seems so far away. so impossible. and yet - here we sit with almost $19,000 that has been given to us. so why do i doubt he could come up with another $15,000? .........because i feel like he's done his part. that it's my job now. that somehow i have to come up with the rest. God's finished with his end of the deal. he drove me as far as he could - now it's my turn to hitchhike the rest of the way home.

so how does God want to provide? does he want to use those around us? i feel guilty asking people for money. there are so many people who need money. so many worthy causes. why do i think i should be the recipient? it seems so selfish. and i feel foolish. that there are those who look at us and think, "well, why the heck are they adopting another one when they can't even afford to get her here?" i'm self-conscious. i am worried about what other people think of me, of our family (big surprise there, i've been worried about what people think of me since the day i entered this world) i worry that if i walk into church with my kids dressed in babygap that someone is going to raise their eyebrows at our apparent need for financial help and call me a fraud. and no, i didn't pay full price, and yes, i do shop clearance, and someone gave me those shoes, and the rest i used a giftcard, and those are actually the only nice shorts the boys have and....

as a friend described, we are on a plateau and we need God to pull us up to the mountain top. he's gotten us halfway up the trail, a lot of hard work is under our belt. but now we find ourselves waiting for some more help. and that waiting is hard. that's the only way to put it. it just is hard.

so for those of you who pray, i would covet your prayers in the next few days. we are going to be making some fundraising decisions and i truly want them to be what God wants. i don't want to be trying to manipulate the situation through my human endeavors, on the other hand, if God is asking us to do something, i don't want to sit around and ignore that leading. so we need wisdom. and we need faith.

from the beginning, the word God gave me for this adoption was 'faithfulness'. my heart knew that God would prove himself faithful through sarahjoy's story. my head still knows that, but my heart is waffling.

God, draw near to this discouraged heart.

and when the time is right, bring us our little girl. provide the ransom for her life. she belongs to you first, and you have paid for her soul with your son. now help us to pay for her to be ours. to love and cherish. to bring to the knowledge of your saving grace. you know her. you have created her. keep her safe and warm. comfort her heart and bring us to her soon.