We "officially" started this amazing adoption journey to Caroline Faith on May 3, 2010 when we mailed our application to All God's Children. Although, I really feel like the journey started six months before that. In late November of 2009, God very clearly revealed to me His plan for us to bring our daughter home from Ethiopia.
It took months and months of prayer before I even went to Jody about what God had showed me. When I told Jody on March 17, 2010, he had lots of questions and concerns. One of his biggest fears (and I assume this is true of a lot of adoptive dads) was about the money factor.
Adoption is expensive. There is just no other way to say it. As the leader and primary financial provider for our family, I know that he had a concern of...where will we ever get the money to complete an international adoption?
Well, we had a decision to make...would we choose to obey God and trust Him to provide for everything we need? Over $30,000??? Or would we let our fears hinder us from walking in obedience with our Heavenly Father?
Well, on April 19, 2010, we said "YES"!!! :)
And at that time, we had nothing set aside for this adoption. We had several large payments to make right up front, and we trusted God to protect and provide. Both of us felt that God wanted us to fundraise to pay for the adoption, and we just prayed that He would show us how.
So, we sent in our adoption application on May 3, 2010, and then on May 7, 2010...we announced our BIG NEWS on the blog! That VERY SAME DAY, we got our first donation from some very dear friends! Needless to say, I was in tears! We had just that day told people our news, and God was ALREADY providing!
We started our fundraising by typing out a support letter to send to friends and family, but God just never gave us a sense of peace about sending them out. We felt like He was telling us to hold off on the letter, and to just basically watch Him provide! And did He ever!!!
Over the next 15 months, we saw God provide in the most amazing and creative ways...
My sister-in-law making bracelets for us to sell as a fundraiser!
Partnering with Ordinary Hero to sell t-shirts and other OH merchandise!
Friends baking and selling CAKES for our adoption!
Friends making and selling picture frames for our adoption!
Middle school girls from our church making and selling bags to support our adoption!
A huge anonymous donation!!
Friends donating to us through their sons' birthday party!
So many friends that have mailed us checks to donate to our adoption fund!
Callie Grace's lemonade stand! (And other sweet children have done lemonade stands for us too!)
The fabulous Fish Fry Fundraiser!
The Poppie Lane Fundraiser!
Our preschool donated in Caroline Faith's honor!
We have sold things and taken clothes to the consignment store!
All of these things had added up to be very close to our fundraising goal! Well, just last Sunday, a precious friend and single mom at our church gave us a HUGE donation! Even though she is not able to adopt right now, she has such a heart for orphans and adoption. She told us how God had prompted her to give to help us bring Caroline Faith home!
Then, the very next Thursday, August 11, 2011, we received an adoption grant from Pinelake's (our church) Outlive Your Life fund!
And with that grant money, we were DONE. We had exceeded our fundraising goal! We don't know exactly what this adoption will end up costing, but we are 100% confident that God has provided all that we need...He has FULLY FUNDED our adoption of Caroline Faith!!!
I am still just in awe of His provision! We always knew He would provide. We had faith that He would give us all that we need. But to see it all play out over the last 15 months has been absolutely AMAZING!!! God has put together so many wonderful people, so many fundraisers, so many donations, so many talents, and so many ideas to all add up to His full provision for our daughter!
We are blessed. grateful. joyful. humbled. appreciative. peaceful. awestruck. hopeful.
We are THANKFUL!!!
We are so thankful to everyone who bought a bracelet, cake, bag, picture frame, t-shirt, cup of lemonade, headband, fried fish plate to help us bring Caroline Faith home! We are so thankful for every single donation that was given to us for our fourth child. We are so thankful for every sweet baby gift that Caroline Faith has already received. We are so thankful for everyone who has supported us with love, encouragement and prayers on this adoption journey.
And we are so THANKFUL to our Heavenly Father who loves our daughter even more than we do, and who takes great delight in abundantly providing for His children!
"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, TO HIM BE THE GLORY!" Ephesians 3:20