Friday, March 14, 2014

2013: A Journey of Faith

This past year has been one filled with searching, stepping out in faith, listening and waiting for God’s direction, receiving amazing provision from the LORD and rejoicing in the birth of our daughter, Faith. To say the least, 2013 was a year of Faith for our family. At the end of 2012 Lorene and I had been talking about our family and adoption. We both committed to praying about what God wanted for us. In January the whole family watched “Rescued: The Heart of Adoption and Caring for Orphans”. After praying more, we decided to step out in faith and start the domestic adoption process.
Our Fundraising Journey of Faith
We knew that this type of adoption would cost a lot, and we knew that we did not have all the money we would need, so we committed to the LORD to trust Him to provide and we talked about ways in which we could fundraise and sacrifice. One of the biggest blessings this year was watching the ways in which our children wanted to help bring a child into our home. We had ideas that ranged from movie nights at the church, to lemonade stands, and the like. Ultimately, the children worked with mom to get neck warmers/ice packs hand made. Lorene worked with her Aunt Mina to create a beautiful Poster of Family Ways, and we put any extra money from Frogmama sales toward adoption expenses. We even sold our tent trailer in the middle of the summer to put toward the adoption.
God’s Great Provision
Within all of these things, God provided the people to purchase items and we sold our trailer for more than we paid for it. Even though we had put together about $10,000 for the adoption, we estimated we would be left with the need to raise about $17,000 more. Each step of the way, Lorene and I prayed for God’s leading. As we looked at child after child between May and September and we not chosen time after time, we were a bit discouraged, but believed God had a specific plan for us. So we prayed for God to narrow our search and give us wisdom in applications and budgeting. We both felt that God did not want us to go deeply in debt through this process and we believed that God really wanted us to trust him. So as we applied to situations that had some scary possibilities, all those No’s were really just him confirming that he would bring Faith to us in a special way, and He did.
We had prayed with each situation that it would be clear this child was for us and in September we were working with a consultant and deciding if we would continue with her or not before we paid another large sum of money for her services. She suggested that we take two weeks to see if a situation comes up or not. We agreed, and within that time had a situation to present on in Florida. This tested our patience as the following scenario happened:
On 9-15 we found out about another birthmother in FL through this same connection and requested more information and on 9-17 we found out that there was a history of mental health issues with the family of the birthmother and the birthfather was unknown. The baby was said to be due the beginning of October. We prayed, researched issues, and requested to be presented.
On 9-20 we found out they hadn’t presented yet, but hoped it would be that day, but the next day there was
still no updates and we heard of a couple other situations but couldn’t present as we were waiting to hear back
We heard noting the next day, but on 9-23 we heard that we had not been chosen and we were asked if we wanted to present on another situation they had, but we did not.
On 9-24 we received an email from this same attorney that the birthmother in Florida was a carrier of Fragile X and the family she was matched with had backed out, were we still interested? This began a frantic search of what in the world is fragile x and is it something we should consider. After Lots of prayers and discussion on 9-25, we stepped out in faith and sent this email “Ok Lets do it! Excited and nervous- please let me know when we will be shown again and the results...Thanks”
Then nothing but prayers for the next six days when we received a call from the advisor saying the birth mom was really scared at this point, because she was really worried that no one wanted her baby and that if the baby was born with any issues that they would abandon her. The attorney requested we write a letter right away to her with our intentions. We quickly did expressing to her that we were committed regardless of the outcome. Prayers continued.
On 10-4- sent an email to the attorney reaffirming our commitment to this Birth-mom and her baby. It was challenging as we were pretty regularly receiving other situations we could be applying for, normally a situation was decided in a couple days so this was definitely unusual.
10-8 received the test results on the birth-mom’s Fragile X test and it came back that she didn’t have it; not even a carrier! Praise God!
10-18: We were able to Skype with the birth-mom, her foster mom and her attorney. We had been told up to this point baby was due any day, but now was looking like it was going to be the end of the month. We started planning for a trip to FL. Waiting daily for a call saying she was in labor and we would get the next flight out. We had initially decided to have our entire family travel as we would be staying in FL for about 2 weeks, but after much thought and prayers we decided to just have the two of us travel and have Grandma and Papa watch the kids for a week. Thank you so much Papa and Grandma! We truly couldn’t have done this without you.
On Friday, November 1st, we received an email from the attorney saying that the birth-mom was scheduled to be induced Tuesday- just a few days away! We booked our tickets through a generous friend who had offered a great discount to leave that Sunday night. So we flew all night- not sleeping at all- and arrived in Florida Monday morning. We were able to contact the birthmom and meet her and her foster mom in person for dinner that night before the induction the next morning.
11-5-13 was a long day of getting to know each other, making decisions, a C-Section, and the birth of Faith Serenity Foster around 7 o’clock. So precious and sweet like her birth mom who we had already begun to attach too.
We spent Wednesday and Thursday in the hospital sharing time with Faith with the birth mom and her foster mother. As challenges with the hospital arose between the foster mom, Faith and her birth mom were discharged at 1am on Friday morning instead of 10 am when we had planned to do the signing of papers. We prayed a lot and tried to be peacekeepers and we got to have Faith in the hotel room with us overnight. Around 11 am Friday morning we had a beautiful and tearful ceremony where we assured the birth mom of our commitment to love and raise Faith. We prayed, gave hugs and said goodbye, and then signed papers with the attorney.
God provided a place to stay in nearby town with our previous pastor from Maine, where Lorene stayed with Faith for another week and a half until she could bring her home to California. Lorene really got to bond with Faith and enjoyed sweet fellowship with several old friends. Thank you Dave and Jana for your love, words of wisdom and hospitality! You are such a blessing. While in Florida a friend of Lorene’s asked about what costs we still had left to pay for, and she let us know that a friend of hers wanted to pay for all our outstanding costs! Praise God! He is truly Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider!
So to sum things up we have seen this year that we must trust the LORD with all we have and follow his call. He calls us to be faithful and obedient. We want to say thank you to all of you who have prayed for us, given us encouragement, shared wisdom, opened your homes to us and our kids, and who have sacrificed financially to help us bring Faith home. We will never be able to say thank you enough, but we thank you for listening to the LORD and answering his call to partner with us through this adoption. We look forward to finalizing the adoption in March and in the mean time we are all loving on Faith and thank the LORD for this and the coming years where our faith will be tested and His provision proven faithful.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40

Thank you all for being part of this journey and helping us take care of “one of the least of these”.

We are hoping to finalize our adoption sometime later this month or early April. We still appreciate your prayers for this process.
Hopefully our next post will be a big announcement of finalization!