Though my jeans still fit…

  Can we all just pretend I have a hugely pregnant belly right now and thus be excused from focussing on anything except the planning, preparation and anticipation of meeting my son? Cuz this little guy is always on my mind, and I mean always. 

As I do a puzzle with Jeremy I wonder what Matthew plays with. As I make an after school snack I wonder what he likes to eat. As I tuck my babies in at night I wonder if he’s hearing a lullaby, if anyone prays over him as he drifts off to sleep half a world away. 

A mothers worry and wonder begin long before her child is in her arms – ask any “expectant” mom (pregnant or waiting). Surely I can’t be expected to remember to sign home reading folders, make sure theory homework is done, or remember when I last washed the kids sheets because I’m kind of parenting in two places right now. And it’s kind of a lot, to have your heart stretched so thin. 

So please excuse my scatter-brained, fully distracted and inward-focussed self these days. It might be more obvious if I was waddling, but remember that I am expecting too. And though I don’t have the usual physical symptoms – sore hips and heartburn, this time I have a whole lot more heartache. 

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God provides

Nearly two years ago we began this adoption journey with a clear call from God and a couple thousand dollars in the bank. We’d been saving for a 10th anniversary getaway when we decided instead that it was time for us to officially move forward with our plans to adopt.

Our savings covered about half of the first big bill that is payable upon registering with an adoption agency. With incredible family support we paid that first big bill, realizing then, at the very beginning, two very important things. 1. On this journey we would need to trust God more than we had ever before in our lives. 2. Our family and friends are very generous and supportive and also deeply value adoption.

Since then, we have seen God provide for the weighty financial cost of an international adoption through a wide myriad of places and people. He’s provided through fundraisers, through my cake decorating business, through extra teaching jobs for Steve, through our ability to tuck savings aside even in busy seasons of life, through Adoption Jewelry sales, through very generous support from our family and church family, even through anonymous envelopes of cash left in our mailbox. Every little bit has added up as we’ve worked hard and made many sacrifices. Sometimes we scratch our heads and wonder where it all came from.

It’s been such a roller coaster journey, both emotionally and financially, but we can clearly see the faithful hand of God through it all. Each time we’ve had a monster bill looming, we’ve always been able to pay it. Even when a week before it was due we were hundreds or even thousands short. God has always provided just what we need just when we need it.

Because we have the privilege of walking this journey with so many of you standing with us, supporting us, praying and cheering us on, I want to tell you these things. I want to tell you the stories of how God has been faithful. I want to write them down so Matthew can read them someday. Because how could I not?

At the beginning of December we knew we’d have a hefty final bill to pay for all in country costs (A large donation to cover Matthew’s care, court fees, document fees, admin fees, passport fees, government fees etc.) Unfortunately this bill was in US funds so we knew we’d have to budget for even more (thank you tanking loonie!).¬† A month ago we had about half of what we needed. I launched more Adoption Jewelry items and nearly sold out. We received some incredibly generous donations from families at church, and relatives in Ontario. And oddly enough, we were able to personally save much more than anticipated over the busy and often expensive Christmas season and tuck extra money aside as well.

When I did the math last weekend, I calculated that we were only about $480 short of what we would need to pay this bill. Amazing! So as I got ready for church I asked God to provide that $480, somehow. (Not I’m usually one for praying specific, bold prayers like that. My faith is weak and I’m such a doubter. But I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “God, we’re so close. Please help.”) And at about that same time someone at church handed Steve what looked like a Christmas card. When he later opened it, he found a cheque for $500 inside. God provided just what we needed just when we needed it!

So when Steve went to pay this final bill this week, with the exchange rate that day as well as some added bank transfer fees for wiring money that we weren’t counting on, the teller said he was about $50 short. He went to his car to head over to our regular bank (our no-fee adoption savings account is at a different bank than our regular banking) to go and get $50 from there when he noticed a $50 bill in his wallet. A few days prior he’d left our van with $40 cash inside for a friend to take it to his mechanic friend to fix the rock chip in our windshield. When he got it back the “change” was a $50. Interesting business model! The friend had laughed it off and said to just keep the change. Steve rushed back into the bank and used that $50 bill to pay the bill in full and wire the money to Africa. Our adoption savings bank account balance after that? $0.74! God provided just what we needed, just when we needed it! With $0.74 to spare!

So what’s left? Just travel expenses. That’s it! We’re paid in full to both our agency and the orphanage and it feels fantastic! And by his grace we are completely debt-free. We’ve some travel points saved up that we can redeem for part of the cost of our flights, and we’ve a few thousand dollars generously donated for these costs on our fundrazer site¬† For two round trip and one one-way tickets to West Africa and back, for accommodations and food and travel costs, we’re now only about $3,000 from being fully funded for Matthew’s entire adoption process.We are so close!

(Update, as I’m typing this blog post I got a notification that someone has just anonymously donated $150 to our fundrazer page…seriously, God has amazing timing! He is so faithful!)

Thank you so much to everyone who has so generously given to help bring Matthew home. Thank you for being obedient to God’s nudging. Thank you for being tangible proof that our God will provide for every step of this journey that he has called us to. Thank you for financially believing in the importance of adoption.To everyone who has ever supported us financially, we’ve written your name on this suitcase as a reminder to him someday of all the amazing people who already care about our son. We are so humbled and thankful for each one of you.

Sincerely,

Steve & Melissa, Noah, Eva, Jeremy & Matthew

 

 

Over the holidays we received a wonderful gift: two videos of our son. Here are the kids watching their little brother running and playing with a soccer ball. He’s pretty cute! While we can’t post pictures of him online yet, we’re always happy to show you pics in person – just ask!