Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Holy Grail of Adoption Paperwork is in my hands!

Yippee! I'm looking at the prettiest piece of paper I've ever seen. We received our *I-171H ("Notice of Favorable Determination..." from USCIS) in today's mail!!! I was expecting a much longer wait. This is the thing that many families wait and wait and wait for; sometimes for MONTHS. What a quick turn-around; only 3 weeks and a few days after fingerprinting! Once we get this certified and sent to our agency, our dossier will be complete and ready to submit. We now have until October 11, 2008 to complete our adoption before our fingerprints expire and until Feb. 2, 2009 before the I171H expires. Let's hope and pray our adoption will be completed LONG before either one of those dates! We also rec'd our certified marriage record, which I wrote about in a previous post, so that little glitch was resolved quickly.
(*I've mentioned the I-171H in previous posts. If you don't know what this is, here's the short explanation: Think of it like a "permission slip" from the US Gov. to bring a child home for the purpose of adoption. Our paperwork cannot be processed in Vietnam without this.)

WARNING: (red lights flashing, loud buzzer going off) JESUS ALERT. If you don't want to read Christian content, this is the time to leave (but I hope you won't).

Now, on to other minor issues, like: How to come up with the fistful of dollars needed to complete this thing! Hopefully God's already making the way and we'll see His handiwork soon. He's always been so good to us and has never given me a reason to doubt. He's definitely blessed our progress in this adoption so far!

I think there is a common perception that adoptive families must be pretty wealthy. That is usualy not the case at all. I would say the vast majority of us are just normal families who struggle and juggle to come up with the necessary funds. Many families use adoption loans and/or grants, start home businesses, or take on second jobs to finance their adoptions. The costs can be so overwhelming (no, just plain SCARY) and stressful to most families and a definite deal breaker for some, which is unfortunate. Our belief is that if God is in something, He WILL make a way. The way may not be easy, and it may not be obvious until the last minute, but it will be there when we need it.

I'll be totally honest with you. We do not have the money in the bank to pay for this adoption and have no idea where it will come from yet. We're not supposed to speak of such things, are we? We're not supposed to admit we struggle with anything, especially finances. Our pride tells us to keep that to ourselves and keep up appearances. So, why am I telling you this (Don't worry- this is not a plea for donations!!)? Because if I don't, you won't know what God has done. I'm telling you because I don't want the credit for bringing our baby home to be given to a bank account. It's practically empty. Our adoption will happen because of God's provision and blessing. Money or not, we are going to do the same thing we did with Bri's adoption- trust God to provide for what He's led us to do. Does that mean I'm super confident and not afraid?? No. But, that's what faith is... Continuing on with the plan, even though it's scary. Believing God anyway. Keep walking through the fear. Do I have doubts that this adoption will happen? Nope. Not one. God's in it. It's gonna happen. Period. Something as trivial as a large dollar amount cannot limit such a powerful, wonderful, loving and good God.

To some, any decision based on faith is foolishness. I get that. Call me foolish. Question my intelligence. Whatever. God has given me all the proof I need to know that my faith and trust have not been misplaced. By this time next year, my baby will be sitting here with me. I know it.

Some of my favorite verses for situations like these...
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
Proverbs 3:9-10
"...Test me in this (tithing)," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it..." says the LORD Almighty.
Malachi 3:10-11


Rebecca said...

Congratulations on your I-171H!!!! What a fun time in your adoption! I totally understand also about the money part of adoption. With my daughter it was AMAZING how God provided all of the money plus some ; )

Miles' Mama said...

Congrats on getting your I171H!! That was very exciting day in our house, as well ;) I love, love, love your honesty about the money thing. We are not wealthy, and at this point are going on faith that God will provide what we need. Our faith, and emptying every savings account we have, will get us through. We are sure of it. And I sure the same will be true for you!!!

Miles' Mama said...

Hi-it's me again. I hope you don't mind, but I am going to reference this post in my blog today! It just expresses so completely how FAITH comes into play, and my feelings on the finances. Thank you!