Tuesday, September 30, 2014

price tag - part one

In just a couple of weeks, we should be China bound.  As exhilarating as that sounds after more than seven years of waiting, it also terrifies me.  So many changes headed our way.  Changes I want.  But I’m one of those people that doesn’t really groove change.  So change scares me.  As much as I can’t wait to wrap my arms around this tiny baby girl, I can’t quite wrap my mind around being up close and personal with her heart disease.  If I love her anything like I love Caroline – which I know I will – it scares the daylights out of me to think about all that comes with loving such a sick little baby girl. 

We also STILL have about a bazillion projects that need to be finished before we travel.  Closets.  Deep cleaning.  Painting.  Shopping.  Organizing.  Packing.  Along the lines of giving a mouse a cookie.  Stupid mouse.  Stupid cookie.  And I just want to be D.O.N.E.  Then there’s marching band. We’re hot and heavy into competition season now.  And I am one of those proverbial band moms.  Don’t bother telling me how busy I am, how crazy I am or how I shouldn’t take on so much.  It would be a waste of your time, breath and energy, all precious resources.  I can’t not.  I’ve always tried to be involved in some way in my kids’ lives, to “be there” for their moments.  And marching band is a lifestyle ‘round these parts.  Can I get an amen, village? Those memories are priceless. 

Amidst all of the stuff of life, we’re still working through the process of this adoption.  Dude.  This post-Hague process makes Caroline’s adoption look like a game of Candyland.  Let me teach you a nine-letter word. P-A-P-E-R-W-O-R-K. Like killing forests kinds of paperwork.  And training.  Two rounds.  And fundraising.  For the last five years.  And, as so many like to point out, we’re old, people.  We. are. tired.

Is it worth it?  Is it worth the stress and the heartache and the waiting and the sacrifices and the time and the energy and the money? 

Have you ever had a conversation with Caroline?

Then you already know the answer to that question.

It’s not about any of those things.  It’s not about me. It’s not about Jon.  It’s not even really about our sweet baby, Mary-Kate.  And it’s definitely not about the price tag.

It’s about living this life for the next one.

It’s about being a light in a dark world.

It’s about stepping out on nothing but faith.

And, mostly, it’s about love.

Sure, yes, it's about loving the ones who need families.  Of course, it is. It's the need that requires our action.  But in the end, it becomes about the love we receive in return.  Because when we open our hearts to loving others in ways that require our sacrifice, we are blessed with a love that can only be compared to the love of our Father. 

There’s just nothing like it. 

Nothing on this earth.

No price tag.

And the secret? You don’t even have to adopt to experience it.  You just have to be open to loving others more than you love yourself. You have to be willing to listen to the deepest echoes of your heart and soul.  Because that’s where He speaks to us.

So, yes, we’re older than what the world deems acceptable ages for having a baby.  We already have grown children.  Most people our age are celebrating their emptying nests.  Going on trips.  Buying new furniture.  Adding that deck.

We ARE tired.

We ARE a little stiff in the knees.  And neck.  And back.

We KNOW how old we’ll be when she graduates.

We KNOW adoption is expensive.

And here’s where I’ll share with you that we don’t have this adoption fully paid for.  We have thousands of dollars yet to come up with.  

We’re still walking on faith.

Even with just a couple of weeks till travel.

We may very well go into debt paying for the rest of this adoption. And that’s not even taking into account what medical expenses are down the road.  We’re trusting that He has a plan to pay every penny of that debt. 

We’ve sold tutus and hair bows and children’s clothing and necklaces and t-shirts.  We’ve schlepped our wares to crafts shows in howling cold weather. We’ve had garage sale after garage sale.  We’ve applied for several grants and received a very generous one.  And we still have funds to raise. 

Why is it, after all these years, that we still haven’t fully funded this adoption?  Why is it that others have been able to fully fund their adoptions more quickly and with, seemingly, less effort?

We can’t do this.

Money was a major obstacle to this adoption. And money is just that.  It’s an obstacle we humans let stand in the way of things.  Sometimes, woefully, we let it stand in the way of doing the work of our God.  I’m guilty. I’ve been the one convicted to the depths of my soul to adopt another child, and yet I’ve had many, many moments when I wanted to quit.  To give up. To doubt that He is able.


ONLY God. 

And we cannot do it without Him.

This whole transparency thing, by the way, is not so easy, either.  It’s tough enough to be open about our feelings and emotions.  And then there’s money.  But there’s a purpose.  We are compelled to share our story, and we are grateful to give glory to the One who writes it. 

And we invite you to be part of it.  When you stop to hear or read about Mary-Kate, when you offer up a prayer on her behalf, when you buy something as silly as a tutu or a t-shirt, you become part of her story.  It stops being about the money, and it starts being about your heart.  Our hearts.  Her heart. It starts being about love and living it out for the One who gave us His best gift. 

Get ready.  He’s wrapping up this chapter of the story.  He’s going to move in a big way.  I know it. 

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 
to Him be the glory..."

Ephesians 3:20-21

*In the interest of being transparent, I do want to share what we’ve raised, what we’ve spent and what we have left.  But it doesn’t feel right to put a price tag, so to speak, on this post.