Our little nosy-nellie, Ryleigh, has gotten in the middle of several of our conversations about funding Ethan's adoption. She and Becca sat down and made a list of fundraisers that they thought we could do. One of them was actually a perfect idea! So, on Friday, June 15th at 7:00 at Lifepoint Church, we are having a benefit concert titled "Fiddling for the Fatherless". Our sweet little friend Brett, who is Ryleigh's age, happens to be a superstar on the fiddle. No kidding, he is really, really, really good! Ryleigh got it all set up with very little help from us and we are all very excited! Our Praise Team will open the night and then Brett and his guitar player will play for about 45 minutes. We will be taking donations and hopefully everyone will be inspired to give generously. It's going to be a great night! Brett's new cd comes out tomorrow, so it will be on sale, too.
In the middle of getting the concert and our garage sale organized, we had more financial bad news today. One of Tim's college classes was cancelled because only two students signed up for it. Apparently, a lot of students aren't taking summer classes because they can't get their Pell grants. This is a huge setback for us, as we have counted on that money for Ethan's adoption. This has never happened before, so we never even considered not counting on it. STUPID. Lots of tears today and tonight. I feel so desperate and frustrated. We try so hard and it feels like we keep getting slapped in the face. As it was with Bright Beginnings a couple of years ago, deep down I know that Satan only attacks when he has a reason. If you are doing good for God, then the enemy will notice and try to get a foothold. I am praying that we can remain faithful and keep our eyes on the Lord, who has a plan for each of us (a plan that doesn't harm us!). Maybe this is an opportunity for someone we know to listen to God and use their James 1:27 gift to help bring Ethan home.
I have been thinking a lot about the fees we are required to pay and how a lot of people use that as an excuse to never adopt. Yes, there are instances of corruption (which happens EVERYWHERE!) and yes, there are some fees that do not seem fair (like having to redo fingerprints when they expire), however, I choose to believe that for the most part, the fees are logical and are meant to benefit the children. For example, we are required to give a $5,500 donation to Ethan's orphanage. This will not be used for him, but for those children left behind. When you look into the faces of the orphans you leave behind, you know that even if every penny doesn't go directly to the kids, your money is used to help them survive until they find their forever families. By giving to our family, you are giving to those precious children who are waiting to know the love of a family.
I would like to address my feelings about some of the comments people have made to us or other adopting families over the years...
"If you can't afford it, you shouldn't adopt" Really... so rich people are the only ones who can make good parents? Hmm. that's interesting. Or maybe people who get paid to do illegal activities, like sell drugs, should adopt because they can afford it. I said it before and I'll say it again, God expects everyone to take care of orphans. If you have not experienced an orphanage, you have no right to judge people who have it on their hearts to adopt and don't have an extra $30,000 sitting around. Read the blogs of people who have answered God's call, look at the pictures of how children come alive when they are adopted, listen to the thousands of testimonies. Don't just sit back and do nothing and have a negative opinion about fundraisers.
"The foreign governments just want your money" Wow, that's genius. But, who cares? Does that mean that every child doesn't deserve a home? I wish more energy was spent trying to change the way the general population feels about orphans and less energy complaining about the government, whether it's here, there, or anywhere. Face it, government officials will probably always cheat us to improve themselves. It really has nothing to do with God choosing a child for a family. Leave the government out of your decision to support someone or not. It's not the child's fault and adoptive families need love, moral support, and financial help, not a lecture about governments!!!!!
I think I better stop at those two, before I really get carried away! Our Club 56 memory verse for this week is Ephesians 4:29 "Don't let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth..." I need to remember that for sure!
Please pray that our LOA/LSC comes tomorrow (actually I guess it already is tomorrow). We are so ready to be done with this wait. Day 111 is over. Maybe day 112 will be the one.
One last thought... we have had MANY generous family members and friends who have helped us fund our adoptions in the past. I don't ever want to forget that there are those amazing people who have left us speechless with their generosity! And there are people in our lives that have always supported us in our choices to build our family through adoption. We are so thankful for you guys!