We all know the saying "It takes a village to raise a child". Well I would like to propose a new one, "It takes a community of faith to bring home an orphan". In our case it is taking THREE communities of faith to bring home the twin girls that we are adopting. Three communities but one faith, faith in Christ, faith that we are living a life pleasing to the one who gave us life eternal. More about these communities in a minute, but first an explanation as to why we need the help in the first place.
Raising children is expensive for sure. The exact amount can vary quite a bit based on calculations that may or may not differentiate between what kids need and what kids want (I will discuss this topic in a future blog post). So yes, raising children costs some money but adopting a child costs A LOT of money and pretty much all at once. With what we have spent on the first three adoptions, we could have paid off our house, or bought three nice cars (with cash). The range varies quite a bit but I would say that the average adoption runs around $25,000. It will take a little bit less than that to bring each of our girls home because they are twins and because the country from which we are adopting is not one of the more expensive ones from which we could have adopted. With the first three adoptions we were able to spend money that we had saved, however, our savings account is pretty much empty, so in order to complete this adoption we have had to become resourceful.
We are having garage sales, and auctions. We are selling T-shirts, jewelry and blankets on line. Basically we are doing anything (legal) that we can imagine to raise the money for the adoption. Quite frankly, if you have an idea for raising money, please let us know, we are open to all (again legal) ideas. With all of this we still would be struggling to complete this adoption without these three communities of faith:
The L-Group (bible study group) - Carrie and I have had the God given privilege of knowing the Ls for over 10 years. The Ls and the rest of the members of this group have been so supportive to us the past three years. They have provided a place for us to have a garage sale to raise money for the two Little's that came home in April and now they have volunteered to do it again. Other members in this small group have provided items to sell as well. One member of this small group even created a part time position working for him in order to help us with our finances. I would like to think that I earned the money that he paid me but that would be highly unlikely. These families have been such an unbelievable blessing to us. They may not have been called to adopt, but they sure have answered the call to support those who were. This is the way the citizens of the Kingdom of God work together to bring the Kingdom a little closer.
Trinity Vinyard Church- We only joined this church a year ago. We love this community, and in part because adoption plays such an important role in their lives. When this community found out that we were adopting, all sorts of people asked us how they could help. They have rallied around us and have shown us such love. I have never before seen such a church who truly love Christ and want to bring his Kingdom to the here and now.
Our Family in Africa- visit OFA's website at http://www.ourfamilyinafrica.org/. We came into contact with this group when Carrie was looking for adoption agencies for our second adoption, which ended up being Haven. It turns out that OFA is not an adoption agency at all, but rather a group of awesome volunteers who work together to improve the lives of hundreds of orphaned children and along the way help a few to find their forever families. The one thing that all of these families have in common is that they have all adopted children from Africa. These wonderful folks volunteer by helping raise money, provide information and write newsletters, travel to Africa to deliver aid and of course help other families adopt children from Africa. We travelled with several of these families and we became such great friends as we congregated in the "Room of the Scabies Rug" and loved and laughed as we waited for two governments to allow us to bring our children home. What I love about this group above all else is the way they have all rallied around each other when a family is in need. So many people have offered to help us raise money for this adoption that I can't possibly attempt to list them for fear that I would forget someone.
Two years ago, I heard a sermon in which the pastor suggested that we ask God to reveal his glory to us. I prayed that prayer. I asked God to please reveal His glory to me, and you know what, He did it. I have seen His Kingdom in these people. I have seen a sample of how His Kingdom is infiltrating this world and I can't wait until the day that His Kingdom finally and forever bursts forth into the present.
Amen and Amen