Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Growing Pains

I've started writing this post many times and the words don't seem to come. It's been on my mind for at least a month and I'm still not sure how to say what I am feeling.  I've hesitated in writing because I am afraid that I will come across as an ungrateful whiner.  That is not my intent.  Rather, my intent is to glorify God in His never ending mercy and love.  To show how He is working in me/us.  How he is faithful.  How He is there in these times of growing pains.

 I ask that those that come here to visit do that...visit with me.  Please leave a comment...at least if it's a positive one.    Based on the number of people stopping by...well, lets just say I'm beginning to feel like there are a lot of people "eavesdropping".  I'd much prefer if you joined the conversation...or find another conversation to join.   Please do not read this with the intent to critique, give advice, or read into things I say. I understand that not every person can leave a comment every time.  And I'm fine with that.

Yes, I am feeling a tad bit vulnerable because this is a topic most of us don't like to talk about...especially me.  It's an awkward topic.  We all have different opinions on it and it is a sensitive topic.

As you know this is our third adoption.  The third time we are trying to figure out how to get the necessary funds.  It has been a challenge each time.  Obviously, this time is even more of a challenge.  I do not want to go into specific detail as to where we are at with our every day finances.  It is personal, and people, not even family or close friends, need to know all the specifics.  What I will say is that in the past 6 months I've thought my blog title is certainly incorrect when it comes to finances.  "Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel"  might be more appropriate.  Haha!  Ok, so not funny, but that's my warped sense of humor at this time.  Our cup is certainly not overflowing in regards to finances.

We have prayed.  We have saved.  We have cut back.  We have worked extra hard.  We have prayed some more asking God to show us how to use His money...after all, everything we have belongs to Him.  We have prayed, seeking guidance as we pursue various fundraising options.  We continue to tithe.  We continue to reach out to those in need.  We have done everything that some say we should do to be blessed financially and yet we do not have enough funds.  Please understand that we do what we do in obedience to God...not to gain anything in any manner.

We try to trust God.  We try to have faith, to not worry.  Some days we fail miserably.  Some days we succeed in giving it all over to God. 

I wish I could say that trusting has been the greatest difficulty.  Unfortunately, it's not.

Before you read more, I ask that you understand the following....

Please do not get me wrong. We are incredibly grateful for all the support we have been given...financial and other. It warms our hearts every time someone supports us in some way. We will forever remember these kind and generous gifts and deeds.  These acts of kindness literally give us the strength to press on.  However, things have been difficult.

The most difficult aspect has been humbly asking for help and being critiqued.  Being vulnerable.  We were not prepared for what we have encountered.  Not once did we realize how incredibly vulnerable we would be.   We knew others would look at our home, our vehicles, our life style and come to some sort of conclusion.  What we did not realize is that people tend to not trust our judgement when we say we have a need.   Nor did we realize  how difficult it would be to actually gather funds.  I suppose we naively made the assumption that most people would gladly help in giving an orphan a forever family (and many have been extremely generous!)  We naively came to the conclusion that it would only take 200 to 250 people to give $100 each...or 400 -500 to give $50 each and we would have the funds needed.  We naively assumed that because we live in a predominately Christian community, most would see and understand the need and it would not be all that difficult. 

I suppose we had thought that in our community, a community filled with godly, well to do people, folks like us would not have to reach out to organizations like ABBA Canada asking for an adoption grant  (which, by the way, is the only organization that offers adoption grants at this time.  There is one other organization based in BC, but at the moment their funds are very low) .  We have procrastinated, waiting, hoping that somehow, something would happen so we would not be another application for ABBA Canada to process, placing more weight on their already tight budget.   We understand that even if...and the "if"  is a big one...get a grant, it will likely be a few thousand dollars at the most.  Of coarse we would be thrilled and grateful!  But the truth is that even a $10,000 grant still leaves us with almost $15,000 short of what we need.

We have seriously looked into selling our home.  So far all the doors keep getting shut...and we're not sure why.  We've done all we can think to do.  There have been times where we have seriously considered aborting this adoption.  But we do not have peace about that.  It is what we feel called to do and to say "no" now would feel like a forced abortion.

The above is a glimpse of what we've experienced, what's been going through our minds. It has been a difficult time.  However, we are choosing to not dwell on the above, but rather to focus on God and His faithfulness, His tender mercies, His gifts.  Daily we make the choice to praise God...to thank Him for all He has given us.  We chose daily to trust Him.  In doing so we have experienced the most incredible freedom and peace.  I am finally sleeping much better.  I no longer lie awake for hours at a time.  And that alone makes me smile!   

We have concluded that asking for financial support is not "our cup of tea" and therefore, we will not ask for more help.  We will send our grant application to ABBA Canada.   We will still be promoting /raising funds through Once Was Lost and our adoption necklace and dog tag will still be available at Jubilee's Jewels, but that's about it.  We are trusting that God will provide...and if the funds don't come in...well...I choose not to let my mind go there.

We have decided to come along side others that are in the same position we are in.  To offer support to them.  To do what we can to help another child find his or her forever family.

Most importantly we are choosing to count our blessings.  Today I am so very thankful for:
 -the laughter of 4 kids safe and happy in my home
-a husband that loves God and walks beside me everyday
-all the excitement of Christmas...love all the secret preparations!
-the mountains of snow we have this year
-God's gift of allowing for me to have some time to rejuvenate with my sister
-Peppermint Hot Chocolate
-funny movies
-a good nights sleep
-God's promise in Psalm 105:7-8..."He's God, our God, in charge of the whole earth.  And he remembers, remembers his Covenant-for a thousand generations he's been as good as his word."
-my bloggy friends who understand and pray...you're the best!

Would you join me in in praising God and being thankful?  I'd love to hear what you are thankful for today.  :)

Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence.
Psalm 105:5


Paige said...

Thank you for sharing... this journey is always so hard and yet it should be one full of joy.

I am thankful that you are stepping out in faith and continuing with bringing home another orphan and giving them a family. God will bless you in your obedience.

Kathy said...

hugs...we're right there beside you praying that God will perform a miracle somehow/someway and you'll find all your needed funds in a matter of weeks.
hang in there...you are NOT ALONE!!
love ya

Denise said...

What a tough place to be in. Thank you for sharing.

It made me think of an Oswald Chambers devotional line that I have gone over often lately...
"Any problem that comes while I obey God (and there will be many), increases my overjoyed delight, because I know that my Father knows and cares, and I can watch and anticipate how He will unravel my problems." Dec 14, My Utmost...
Praying that He increases your "overjoyed delight" in knowing that your Father knows and cares... and knowing that your blog title is EXACTLY right.

Chantel Klassen said...

I appreciate your honesty Marie, I know this couldn't have been an easy post to write. We are praying for you and hope it all works out!