Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Part 1: how to afford an adoption, when it doesn't. make. sense.

I had been saving coins and change since I was in high school, for the way I knew The Lord was going to make me a mommy. Even all I/we had saved was not enough when God said, "It's time" back in January 2014. In fact, it was a full year before we had "planned" to start the adoption process.
Since, I have penned hundreds of words of thanks, names and addresses, stuck stamps on, and dropped envelopes in the mail since January. We knew we couldn't do this alone. But we knew we would have to drop our pride and trust in The Lord to provide to bring these babies home. 

For years I have followed blogs by other adoptive moms and read and invested in their journeys. Often times tears steaming, because of how divine the timing and massive ways God would provide the pennies needed for those families. Sometimes I was scared to death, "Lord? How will you do that for us? WILL you?  And an eventual let down of my fear and heart-softened, when I knew if it was His will, nothing would stand in the way. 

I wanted to put to words not only for me to physically remember the intricate details of what God has done for Beau and I in becoming a family of four....but also to encourage anyone out there like myself---who would read others' stories about adoption. Please know that this is humbly reflected on and we can ONLY boast in what He has given and provided. 

Let me give you a little background- 

Most of you know my husband and his occupation. He graduated from the college of business from ISU, with a degree in finance. His first job out of college was a financial planner. He went on to be a personal banker, then held a managerial position at the bank, and now is a mortgage loan officer. Numbers, are his "thing", that and wrestling. ;) My grandfather refers to Beau as Dave Ramsey Jr. ;) 

Now, if you know ME, I'm terrible with math, hate money, avoid numbers at all cost, and before Beau, wasn't the wisest with my money management. (There a whole load of divine appointment in this match made from heaven. I've learned a lot from Beau, and THEE Dave Ramsey.) I graduated with a degree in elementary education. I'm a private school teacher at a Christian school, a nanny during the summers. 

We've been married now, three years. But just after a year of marriage, an incredible opportunity presented itself (uh, The Lord?) and we were able to purchase a house. Soon after we also wanted to pay off a loan (snow ball effect anyone?).

I tell you this because, the wise-with-our-means Beau, would tell you it didn't make sense for us to start adopting when we did. But God clearly, I mean CLEARLY, showed us the time was right. He showed us events in the past year that directly steered us to starting. 

** Ten months prior to January 2014, we were living an a one bedroom apartment. For whatever reason God allowed us to purchase our first home. In the economy at that time, we should have NEVER gotten the house for the price we paid. I remember laying in our little apartment praying and asking The Lord that if He allowed us to live in this house, we just wanted to bless others though it. We have since had/are having four people and a family live in our house from any time of 4 weeks to 9+ months at a time. He answered that prayer of using it to bless others, in His name. The time of people living with us has FAR outweighed the amount of time we've lived alone. ;)

** Without this house, we would have never been able to have an approved home-study, as you have to have more than one bedroom. 

** One person refused to live in our house without compensating us- that allowed us to pay off that loan I mentioned. Which freed up a payment we were used to paying for one year.

** Literally the same time we made our LAST payment for that loan, the opportunity to start the adoption process came a-knockin'. 

** Beau was also in his first year of his new position at the bank, in mortgages. If you don't know, that line of business is commission. This is based on a "book of business", taking years and years to build your clientele and a whole lotta trust in God to bring people into his office, to support our family of 2, 4, or 10. It's completely, 100% dependent on His provision. This made Beau nervous. Real nervous. Even ludicrous to start such a expensive passage to becoming parents with so much uncertainty in his career. 

** After lots of praying and trusting God to provide a teaching job full time, in June 2013 I accepted one of two positions offered to me to teach. There was a $15,000 salary difference. Beau supported whichever one I wanted to choose, but with his calculator brain, told me "Kendra, I support you if you take this job, but we will not be able to start the adoption process for at least another year then."
 I had a peace that surpassed any kind of worldly understanding, in taking the job that paid $15,000 less. Yet I felt a little selfish almost, was it selfish to take a job I had more "peace" in, to sacrifice one more year without my kids, whoever they would be, whenever they were? Was this the right choice? Also, Lord give me patience to wait a year longer than we had anticipated. 
See? It didn't make sense that we would start in January 2014, a full YEAR before Beau or I thought, because of the job I took. (I have LOVED LOVED LOVED my job, and have still never regretted my decision and know that The Lord brought me there for a reason!)

** Four months after the announcement of us starting the process of becoming a family of four...the school I work for, put on a pancake breakfast and tshirt fundraiser for us!!!! At the school. K-12. We raised over $5,000 that way. Tell me if I'm wrong, that would (probably) NEVER happen at a public school had I taken that position. I'm surrounded by families, students, coworkers, and administration that follow The Lord and desire to live out the Gospel. Including, taking care of the orphans. I'll never be able to thank them enough.

** It's now December 2014, nearly a full year since saying, "Ok Lord, you've been faithful before and we know you won't stop now. Especially if this is Your will. We trust you in our careers, in the little details, help us trust you fully." It's been difficult.

At the very beginning, it was almost terrifying- to comprehend the massive looking number it costs to bring home two children. Terrifying to trust Him to put our hearts on the line, to loving two beautiful children across the world. Terrifying knowing we have little to NO control over the majority of this situation. 

In part 2, I'll document the ways God has provided penny by penny through this adoption. We could have never ever anticipated the ways, the people, He would use to make this possible. Hopefully it's an encouragement to you no matter the season you're in, it doesn't have to be adoption!

If you're just now joining us, below are the four parts I wrote about in the HOW we knew God was saying "NOW".
It's incredible.
Let me tell you, He speaks in very LOUD ways sometimes, and some tikes very much in the "quiet".





Not for our glory, but only for His. 

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