Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's not about the money, right?

Well, it's not supposed to be about the money. Bringing home some kids isn't initially about money: it's about providing a home to someone who doesn't have one, it's about being obedient to God's call, it's about showing the sacrificial love of Christ to someone who needs it.

But right now, it feels like it is all about the money.

Here's an update: Our dossier is complete and has been accepted by our adoption agency. (A dossier is a compilation of papers attesting to our worthiness to adopt: financials, references, home study, criminal background checks, etc.) That dossier is on it's way to the State Department to be authenticated (meaning: the government is making sure everything checks out) and from there it travels to Lesotho. On this end, it is simply a waiting and praying game. We can do nothing to enhance the speed of this process. (And that's okay with us!)

Our kids are waiting for us and we're coming to get them.

But along with that comes our first big invoice. And we are short of the amount that we need to pay at this time.

Keep in mind that we are also concurrently finishing a bathroom and living life as simply as possible. And we have already leapt over some major financial hurdles. (And I stayed within my grocery budget today--hooray for small victories).

So we are brainstorming how to do this, how to bridge the gap. Here's what we know: we are not going to sell "adoption" wares (Trust me: there's a lot out there and it's pretty great stuff, but we're not into that). Proceeds from Eric's pen sales will benefit the fund and I am soon setting up an etsy shop to sell produce bags (not very exciting, but every bit helps). We are going to apply for some grants and get in with a 501(c)3 that will provide tax benefits to those who donate to our cause. And we're going to plan some events for later this year and into next year. But these ideas don't get the gap bridged.

Tonight, Josh, on his own initiative went to some friend's houses with the wagon to collect cans & bottles that we can return for cash. He did pretty good on his first day. He says he's going back out tomorrow. Our wonderful neighbor also gave him a bag of pennies to count. Quite literally, every penny counts.

I  can see God's hand of provision at work in the recent past, getting us as far as we have. And I know he will provide exactly what we need when we need it. But I don't know how we're going to get there.

Let me tell you, He's using a unique group of people as his tools right now. Eric is part of an online pen-turners community. And so far a few of these guys (who we have never physically met) have stepped up with some incredible gifts. I am humbled by the kindness of strangers. If any of you IAP guys read this, my heart-felt thanks. Thank you. I can barely say more without tears. Because of you, we are closer to our payment than we were yesterday.

See, it's not about the money. But it is. Because in this moment, it is how God is showing us his care, his provision, and his grace. It's reminds me that these are not my kids, but His. And truly, I do love Him for it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Remembering Today

I've decided that I need to remember how I feel this week.

The pencils are new and freshly sharpened. The textbooks are crisp and clean. Papers and notebooks are all nestled snugly in their shelves.

Curriculum has been ordered and planned and thought over and prayed over.

I am ready for this upcoming school year.

The kids are excited too--they can't wait for the stories, the projects, a Medieval festival, math (yep, they love math!)

I am excited to help them learn more about spelling and God's creation and who He is and the history and geography of this world that we live in.

I can't wait to serve alongside my kids as we practice some of God's commands.

And I need to remember this feeling in January after days of air so cold your breath freezes at the thought of going outside but you're losing your mind from being caged in all day.

And when I hear about the super sweet projects their friends are doing in their own school classrooms.

And when I see the yellow bus drive by my house. . .and my kids are sitting at the table not doing their work.

I need to remember this enthusiasm and energy and desire to teach, and learn, and be together on the days when I just want to be left alone.

Because the new feeling inevitably wears off, the books get scuffed, the pencils break and the pencil sharpener is no where to be found. Because there are days that I forget that I feel called to this path, not forced on it.

So tonight, I will focus on remembering the wonderful parts of homeschooling. Because that is what makes this life so sweet.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Foolishness to the World

I can admit I live in a sheltered world. I just don't face much faith-related opposition. Don't worry, I'm not complaining, but am just pointing out a truth.

This week I realized that Eric does not live in the same world that I do. Often we talk about how people he works with react to the different things our family does. With my good intentions, I tell him to shake it off.

Earlier this week, Eric and I were golfing with his co-workers. It was the work golf outing. This year we were paired with a couple I really like but don't know all that well. Really, we see each other for work functions, weddings, and funerals.

Throughout the course of 18 holes of golf with a sit-down dinner, we find out things about each other, which means, for the first time we shared with them about our desire to adopt siblings and where we live in the city.

And they just didn't understand. "Why don't you just have more kids?" " You don't really live in the inner city do you?"

I realized that we could explain it 'til we were blue in the face, but they just can't understand. The tugging of the Holy Spirit on our lives and choices looks like foolishness to the world. We can't really even explain it in terms that will make sense to them.

So now, I think they are baffled by us. Eric has reported to me that others are baffled by us as well. And now I understand better what it is to look like a fool, but also to know that at the end of the day, the life we lead is a response to God's call.

Maybe others will see God in the lives we lead. At least that is my prayer.