These lovely, hand-crafted necklaces were designed just for our family. When working with the designer, I thought about what I wanted to convey. How do I explain that adopting a Special Needs child hasn't been about her special need? That our daughter is so much more than the sum of her parts, or lack thereof. How do I express that she is surprisingly capable? That her resilience and tenacity have surprised us? That we're so glad we took the leap of faith and decided to make her part of our family?
At the same time, how do I say that we're stepping out in faith, knowing that God can provide the means to bring home our next daughter? What one word fits both of those ideas?
Hannah is able to do almost anything that other children can do. This is not uncommon, according to other parents of limb-difference children. Of course they're all individuals, but as a whole, they tend to be able to figure out a way to do just about anything they want to accomplish.
Likewise, God is able to shower us with funding however He chooses. When we first looked into adopting from China, I read blog after blog with stories of huge fundraiser garage sales, or churches holding spectacular spaghetti feeds, stories of grants coming through in just the perfect amount to pay for travel, story after story. I got caught up in the romance of it. "We're doing something that makes God happy! He's going to bless us!" But the reality is, we were turned down for the grant we applied for from "the" well known adoption grant people. That took the wind out of my sails. I didn't understand.
Oh, God provided, all right. But his provision didn't come the way I expected. It came from Paul working countless hours of overtime. It came from us saying, "No" to so many of the things that we wanted to do or have. It came from us choosing adoption, not once, but over and over during our paperchase. Choosing to pay fees instead of going to Starbucks, or on vacation, or indulging in retail therapy.
At first, I wasn't able to see God's provision. But then I realized how amazing it was that we somehow managed to pay for Hannah's adoption, debt-free, on a single income. It doesn't work on paper, believe me.
The constant mantra of, "Not this year!" took it's toll on the other children, though. Looking to balance economizing for the adoption with not burning them out and making them resentful, I'm planning to be much more proactive about raising funds this time around. I've started sewing and crafting, in the hopes of selling things to help earn some money. We're doing the necklace fundraiser mentioned above. In the spring, when our neighborhood does it's annual garage sale, I'm going to turn my house inside out and sell anything that someone will buy... just in time for travel, if all goes well! I have another idea of a way to earn a little extra, but I'm not sure there will be interest yet.
My point is, I really want to actively help pay for this adoption, despite not having a job. And my hope is that you'll understand, over the next several months, why we're doing yet another fundraiser. Yes, it's for Katie. But it's for the sake of the other kids, too. To be able to say yes to them, as well.
Thank you in advance for supporting us in prayer, and by forwarding our links, and by purchasing or donating. If you are a consultant for Tupperware, Thirty One, Avon, whatever, and would like to do a fundraiser with us, I would love to hear from you! While I've never really agreed that it takes a village to raise a child, it certainly is easier to adopt one with the support of many.