Today, I don't even know where to begin...I'm so overwhelmed by the love of God and people in my life. Anybody who follows Avery's blog knows that his motorcycle broke down, which is a huge problem because we have one car and one motorcycle in our family. I use the car to take Kaitlyn to school. He takes his bike to work. We can share the car, but it involves a lot of back and forth driving and rearranging of schedules, which is both inconvenient and a huge waste of gas. Fixing it is the best solution, but also an expensive solution.
Now let me back up a little bit. This month marks one year since the referral of our Ethiopian kids that we are adopting. From reading up on Ethiopian adoption, realize that it is unusual for an adoption to take this long, but I guess our family is a little bit unusual too! Part of the deal for us in this adoption is that we have to pay $350 each month for fostercare for our kids while they're still in Ethiopia. At the beginning, we were told to expect 4-6 months, so I calculated fostercare for 7 months just to be on the safe side in figuring out how much this would cost. At the end of this month, our grand total so far for fostercare will be $4,500, a whole lot more change than we originally counted on. We still need a van too, as our little car isn't equipped for four kids. There's just no way to set aside money for a van with this kind of fostercare expense. This has been very overwhelming to me lately and has had me worried. And I'd be lying if I didn't say I've gone to God a few times asking Him why it's had to take so long; why it's had to be such a financial strain to do this thing.
A few nights ago I had a very rough night where everytime I woke up I was having another dream about our kids not being able to come to America. I woke up the next morning exhausted and sad, which opened the door for all of the "what if" questions to start creeping in. What if their paperwork never gets finished? What if they don't get a courtdate? What if they're never released to come to America. What if this thing goes on for yet another year? What if...
Then Avery's motorcycle breaks down right at the beginning of this 30 Days of Nothing. Yea, real convenient, huh?! Resist the urge to buy unnecesary things for the sake of breaking the grip of American consumerism while helping a family in Kenya that doesn't have transportation and Avery's transportation breaks down!!! Does anyone else see the irony?!?!?! Well, God is very faithful. A dear friend in Bikers for Christ gave Avery $100 for our adoption. Then, an anonymous person from my parent's church in Pennsylvania sent us $50. That makes $150. Then, there's this woman I've never even met from New York. We "met" via an Ethiopian Adoption user group on yahoo. We've coresponded for a while now and have become fast friends. Her support and encouragement throughout this adoption has been invaluable. She has prayed for our family through some of the darkest days of this adoption. I've also prayed for her family in their adoption of their baby boy, whom they are going to bring home from Ethiopia in just a few days!!! Lately, I've been praying for their finances, asking God to provide the final $1,800 they needed for their adoption. Well, I got a card in the mail from her and her husband yesterday explaining that out of the blue, they had received a check tucked inside a card for $2,000! Now, one of the things that Christians practice is something called "tithing." Tithing is where you commit to putting 10% of the money you make back into the things that God is working to accomplish here on earth. For some, this is very difficult. But Avery and I have always given back 10%, even in the most desperate of times, even throughout this past year. We believe that the things in the Bible are true, and one of the things the Bible says is that if you will trust God enough to give back 10%, then God will be faithful to provide for you. We're even told in the Bible to test God by doing this. Avery and I have always tithed, and we have ALWAYS been taken care of. There has never been a time when we didn't have what we needed when we needed it. We've seen times much leaner times financially than these, but even then, we always had what we needed. Well, 10% of $2000 is $200. That left my friend with the $1,800 I've been praying that she would receive. And her and her husband prayed and felt like God wanted them to give us the other $200. That brought our total to $350- the exact amount we have to pay for fostercare each month. Which also frees us up to use the money we would have had to use on fostercare to take care of Avery's motorcycle. Which also gave my heart so much encouragement to continue on with this journey; strength to stand.
Sure, the bike breaking down is money we'll have to spend, but hey, it's not like we're breaking this 30 day fast from consumerism to go drink milkshakes at McDonalds everyday! :) To me, the really cool part is how incredibly faithful God has been to us. He loves us so much more than we can understand. I've heard it said that you can't outgive God. Here we are, saving pennies to help a family in Africa, fasting from consumerism in order to invite God to speak to our hearts about some things. And even so, God has given us back so much more than we can give. He is so faithful. He is the faithful God who will bring my kids home to me. It's not an agency, not MOLSA, not my own persistance. It is God in his faithfulness and sovereignty that will bring my kids home.
Oh yea, one more cool little thing about this 30 Days of nothing thing. There was some meeting at Avery's work yesterday where they provided lunch for everybody. When Avery walked by the room later, he saw that there were leftovers that he brought home for our supper last night! So, we not only were able to save some of our rice and vegies and venison for another night, but we got really yummy deli-style sandwiches from Arby's and much to my kids' delight, curly fries!
So, one of the biggest things my heart is already understanding on an even deeper level than before this 30 Days of Nothing is that God is generous beyond my wildest dreams and He will take care of my needs and He even cares about our desires. I can only imagine the smile it brought to God's face yesterday to see my kids smiling and eating up their curly fries! :)