Saturday, October 17, 2009

The "How" Of Our Adoption

It started nearly two years ago. Now we want to tell you how God did it.

Before this all began, in the fall of 2000, I heard Steven Curtis Chapman share his adoption story for the first time on Focus on the Family. One of the things he said was, "Don't let the cost of adoption keep you from it. If God asks you to adopt, He will provide."

Only a coupe of weeks before the idea of the Haiti adoption came up for us, we were interviewed by the local news station as part of the November "Adoption Awareness Specials". The reporter asked what we would say to someone considering adoption, and I quoted Steven Curtis Chapman about the financial part of adoption. When I discovered that the Haiti adoption, was going to be about $30,000, I immediately thought, "Oh, never mind; we could never do that." In that same instant I heard myself telling the reporter, "Don't let the cost of adoption keep you from it. If God asks you to adopt, He will provide." With a deep breath and a big sigh I nodded my head and prayed, "God, that's us. We can't do it, but you can."

With in the first weeks someone paid our initial agency fees, and another fee was waived. We were given an application for a grant and were awarded $1000. Another family with a huge heart for adoption paid our in-country fees for one of the children, and someone else sent a check for the entire amount of their inheritance - with interest! We received checks in the mail and donations on our blog through PayPal from long lost friends, family members and also from people we did not know. Each time there was an amount due, the money was there. We were so excited because in only two months the Lord had provided $18,000 of the $20,000! Because of God's amazing provision, we were not even concerned about the rest.

We shared our story in church to thank and encourage everyone. God was doing what we could never imagine. Then, someone whose heart was touched by our story, wrote a check for the remaining $2000. So amazing! At the end of our wait to bring the children home, a friend decided to have a mail box shower for us. We did not need toys and normal shower things, and people are very busy in the spring; so she sent out letters asking people to write us a note of encouragement, and if they wanted, to send a gift. Every day we were showered with blessings from friends and family. Our five-year-old waited outside on the porch each day for the mail lady to see what kind of nice words people would send to her.

We applied for a grant for $4000 to help with travel expenses to go get the kids, but were denied. Joel just said, "God's going to do something great, and we will just wait." Yes! The checks that came the week before we left and the week after we got home were the exact amount needed. Then, two more checks arrived in the mail, and our post-placement bill was paid.

Oh, there have been so many other blessings; things the Lord did not have to do, but He did. Like giving us the opportunity to meet and hold the little boys that were "Not for Us".

This journey has not been easy. At times it has not been fun, and at times the sacrifice has seemed greater than I wanted to make. But, oh the joy of obedience! I hope you get to meet our kids. They are awesome. Their smiles and laughs will touch your heart. Their stories, yet untold, will in some way change the world and the Kingdom for eternity.

If you are waiting, may God bless you! If you are thinking about adopting, may God lead you. If you know someone who is adopting, may God use you to bless them.

Friday, October 9, 2009

What Remains

The Love Chapter for Parents

If I spend my days building skyscrapers with blocks, assembling cool stuff out of LEGOs and creating relationships with other moms at Starbucks, but have not love, I am only the siren of the kids' ride-on fire truck, annoyingly stuck on hold.

If I have the gift of knowing which child attempted to flush the Hot Wheels down the toilet and which one pushed her sister, and if I have faith that somehow we'll survive life's emergencies, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I save all my box tops and give outgrown clothing to the local shelter, and if I surrender my body to stretch marks and under-eye circles (without the benefit of BOTOX, tanning salons or diet bars),but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient when someone isn't ready to use the big girl potty. It is kind when my husband has a hard day. It doesn't envy my neighbor who drives the new sport utility vehicle I can't afford.

It is not rude, snapping at my spouse or children when things don't go my way. It is not easily angered at perceived or real injustices.

It always protects the smallest, sweetest family confidences; always trusts God to provide my children's needs; always hopes in the freshness of tomorrow and the bright future of family; always perseveres amid hardship and doubt.

Where there are sleepless nights, they shall end. Where there are diapers, Little League and dioramas built from shoe boxes, they will cease. Where there is knowledge of baby care trends, discipline strategies and boy-girl problems, it will pass away.

Now these three remain: faith, lived out in my daily circumstances and instilled in my children; hope, of one day rejoicing with my family in heaven; and love, which covers over a multitude of less-than-perfect moments.

But the greatest of these is love. It is what remains... long after I am gone.

By Cindy Sigler Dagnan
Published by Focus on the Family
August 2007
Used without permission