Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm thankful

I am so blessed.  I want to record all of the specific ways God has worked throughout this adoption journey here in one place.  I never want to forget how his hand has guided me in this process.  Throughout the last 5 years I've felt his "wink" of approval (if you will) and over the last 3 months it has been so strong I couldn't deny God was in control.

Fall 2005...God places me in a wonderful school, with a great team, and a Christian principal.  I know with the support I have there I can pursue being a single mom. Achieve National Board Certification which gives me a nice yearly bonus that will go towards funding my adoption.
February 2006...Completed my 2005 tax returns and received a refund with exactly the amount (within a few dollars) to pay off my car and pay for the $250 application to my adoption agency
Placed on singles waiting list
September 2006...Begin paperwork/paper chase/paper pregnancy
January 2007...Met another adoptive mom (a stranger) in a store and discovered many similarities.We are both teachers, single, and will name our daughters very similar names.
February 25, 2007 Log in Date
mid 2007...China closes doors to single parent applicants, but I'm in through the old rules!!!!  Had I waited any longer to begin the process I would not have been able to adopt from China.
June 2007...Received a $3,000 grant!
Read blogs, start researching and studying adoption, meet many wonderful adoptive families...start to consider special needs
Spring 2009...start to look for a house
find a great foreclosure that puts me in an older and nicer neighborhood I would not have thought of originally.
Close on my house, it's located on the exact street I used to babysit for several families many years ago.  I know my neighbors!!

November 2009...complete special needs application, feeling confident that this is where my daughter is
View 5 different files of children before I see my daughter.  Not accepting those children was heart wrenching, but necessary in order to find Molly.
February 2010...finally see Molly's face
fellow adoptive mom puts me into contact with other adoptive parents who have children with similar needs.
Things go smoothly, paperwork completed and filed, showers are planned, home is prepared
*  God shows me one of the girls I had looked at before I saw Molly... she has a family!  I'm truly at peace knowing he's working every detail out!*

Eddie is able to go with me to China...a blessing!

My greatest fear is financial...The end of the journey is the most expensive!
April 11, 2010...have large friend/family shower and have a "money tree".  over $1,200 is given!!!!!!!!!
Flight tickets are reserved, agency calls to tell me my rountrip ticket is $1,233.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
April 20, 2010...go to the mailbox and open a check for $836.33 (I was not expecting this, but it is a refund from my Escrow acct. from last year)  Molly's plane ticket is $833.00!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally, I needed about $7,500 to take to China...the week I got my referral in February I had a minor flood in my home.  It was a nightmare, but maybe a blessing in disguise at the time.  The work was not done properly and the company refunded me $632.50 plus my Insurance readjusted the damage and added $1,475 to the original estimate.  My tax return gave me $1,140 dollars back and my NB mentoring job paid me $750 for the work from last year.  That totals half of what I need.  The remainder I had already saved. 

I'm only documenting this because the money was my biggest fear at this point in the journey.  People said "it will come" and I thought, no...that never happens to me!  How often do you just "find" money you were not expecting?  But it truly did come to me that way.  I know it was God working it out for me. 

It's not to say I still haven't had to charge many agency fees over the last few months and I still have carpet that looks like *?!*, but I can live with it for while longer until we are back from China and have recovered a bit financially. 

There were SO MANY "God winks" on this journey.  Too many to list, but hopefully I've recorded them throughout the journey and will remember when I needed an encouragement from HIM, he was here in HIS perfect timing. 

The road to and through international adoption is overwhelming at times!  Add to that, as a single person, I felt like it was/is all on my shoulders.  It is only me who can be responsible for filing the paperwork, keeping things in order, packing the right things, taking the right amount of money, sending things in correctly.  Looking back, now I can just say....wheeewwww!  I did it!  I'm so glad I'm here looking back at what has been accomplished.  I'm not saying this to be boastful, but I'm only saying this to remember it was hard, overwhelming, but doable. 

As I closed school yesterday and left everything in the hands of my Interim Teacher, I felt such a relief.  A relief of leaving the stresses of school and work to look forward with expectation at what is about to happen in a matter of days for me.  I'm so ready.  I'm at peace.  My principal took me and my Assistant Principal in his office and prayed for me, my trip, and for Molly.  What a true gift! 

Finally, I'll close with a fun fact!  Madison was born on March 3rd, Little Eddie was born on August 3rd, and God seeing fit to include Molly with her cousins has chosen May 3rd to be the first day I meet her!  Molly Day is May 3rd!!  In his sovereignty he has also "arranged" for me to actually have my daughter the week before Mother's Day!  What a true gift!


Dan and Karen said...

I have tears flowing down my face as I read this Amy! It's absolutely amazing what God does when we "let go" and "let God". He works everything out to the smallest detail and occasionally we are even allowed to be smart enough to recognize His hand in everything!

YOU are one of our greatest blessings. We were not ready to commit to a child before February when we saw our Sienna on the shared list. We are totally confident that He saved her for us through the blessing of you prayerfully considering her and knowing she was not your Molly. Because of your heart for God you have given us one of the greatest gifts possible, our precious Sienna.

The moment I saw her I heard God saying, "THIS is the girl I have prepared for you and she is waiting to call you Mama." Her needs are far greater than we ever planned on taking on, we are scared about what the future holds but we know who holds the future and He will walk with us the entire way.

You have no idea how I wish I could be there to send you on your journey and welcome you home. I do know I would love to meet you in person some day.

I understand your fear of being a single parent but you will have the greatest helper of all, God! He has blessed you with a wonderful support system - friends and family who will be there every step of the way. You are smart and capable and I have no doubt that you will be an awesome Mama.

Even more I totally understand your financial fears. We had NO idea we would be in China again less than two years after our first adoption trip. It is a leap of faith greater that we are taking on, you have inspired me to continue to trust for finances to work out.

One little piece of advice. If you see something you love and want in China, buy it, you may not see it elsewhere.

Have an AWESOME time, I can't wait to see Molly in your arms.

With blessings and love,

Karen, Dan, Danika and soon Sienna!

Shauna and MacLean said...

wow that truly is a gift from God! as i sit here on a rainy Sunday waiting to get ready for church I just count my blessings and feel like it is such a wonder when God works in these ways.

Have a wonderful journey we will be watching for every post from a most beautiful country where our families are born.


Laurie said...

As it's Sunday morning now I just thought I'm come on and say, "You're going to China THIS week!" You know, just in case you forgot. :)

KatieB. said...

Ok, I'm backtracking on your blog and just read this post at work. I am now sobbing at God's work in your life! What an amazing, amazing story you have lived through this process. God is so evident in your life and I know he will bless your new chapter as a mom.

Adoption from China has always been on my heart (ever since my middle school youth pastor adopted) and I was thrilled to find your blog weeks ago. I can't wait to also "meet" Molly next week! Continuing to life up prayers for you.

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