If I'm honest with myself and with you, the finances to pay for Hannah's* adoption have not been on my worry list.
Even the times I've tried to make myself worry about it - thinking, You should, you really ought to, worry about this - I simply haven't been able to muster up enough fear, enough anxiety, to worry about it.
I think I can't worry about the finances because the finances are an area in which I need to believe.
I need to believe that if God is truly the author of this story - if this is his story - than he will provide for every dime and every nickel. I need to believe he knows about every dime and every nickel and he knows about all the dimes and nickels I do not have.
I need to believe he is far more than the price tag.
As I've prayed about the finances - with something less like worry and more like earnestness - I've prayed for favor. I've prayed for God to provide the finances out right. No going into debt. No bake sales. No begging and pleading for pennies.
(Yes, those of you who have hung around here long know there has been a bit of asking. But no mailings or coffees or dinners or any of the things a good, experienced fundraiser ought to do.)
I asked God to provide the necessary funds without those efforts because this is his story. I asked God to write a story I could never write. I asked God to provide what needs to be provided and through it show the world this is his story.
In another week or so, one of those mighty fees - about $12,000 - is due.
Although I had no idea - until yesterday - where the money would come from, I knew we would make a plan. My parents said they would loan me a bit. I'd pull some out of my investments and savings. If need be, I'd go to the bank for a loan.
But we'd make a plan one way or another.
Then yesterday I got a phone call from one of the grant foundations I had applied to.
Hi, Amanda. How are you?
I'm doing well. And yourself?
Also doing well. I was calling to let you know our grant committee met last week. (Pregnant, reality-TV-show-esque pause.) We are awarding you the full amount you requested, $15,000.
Shut-up. (Shocked, I-can't-believe-you-just-said-what-you-said-pause.) Are you serious? I mean, I can't believe...oh my goodness. Thank you! Thank you so much!
Without a doubt, one of the best phone calls of my life - even if I did, unfortunately, tell my favorite person of, well, ever to shut-up. I blame shock for my lack of decorum.
HelpUsAdopt.org is awarding $15,000 towards Hannah's adoption fees, leaving around $3,500 in fees yet to be raised and another approximately $10,000 in travel expenses. (I'm hoping to travel for far less, but keeping the amount high to make sure we have all of our bases covered.)
In this grand cycle, the foundation chose eight recipients out of more than 400 applications. $15,000 is the largest grant they give.
After hanging up the phone, calling all my family members, texting a huge number of friends and posting my good news to Facebook - all I could think, all I can still think, is God you are faithful. You've shown yourself faithful. I asked and you've given, not because of any goodness or worthiness in me, but because this is your story. This is a story about you and who you are and who you teach us to be. This is a story about faith and hope and love. This is a story about the who you are and the who you are creating me to be and the who you are creating Hannah to be. This is a story about family.
Right now, there are words I can't put together, feelings I can't quite feel, emotions I can't quite express - all because of a good God who can be more and do more than all we can ask or imagine.
Right now, I'm thinking of $15,000. I'm thinking of the great cost to be paid. I'm thinking of the great cost which has been paid. I'm thinking of the expense of a Jesus wrapped in swaddling. A boy Jesus growing into a man. A Jesus loving, healing, teaching, giving. A Jesus dying. A Jesus rising.
All at such extraordinary cost. All so we might be adopted into the family of God.
And it's all so much more than worth it.
*Hannah is a pseudonym. In order to protect her identity until she is fully and legally mine, I use "Hannah" in all online activity regarding my someday daughter and her adoption.
Please consider helping us raise the last bit of Hannah's adoption fees:
1. Buy a t-shirt from AdoptionBug.com.
2. Buy coffee from JustLoveCoffee.com.
3. Send a check to Oasis Haven US: (Your gift through Oasis Haven US is tax deductible.)
PO Box 28362
San Diego, CA
*Please write "adoption support" on the memo line.