Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Believe

In Mark chapter 9, a man brings his son to the Savior, pleading with Him to cast out an evil spirit. ". .But if thou canst do anything," said the man, "have compassion on us, and help us (Mark 9:22)."

In response, the Savior said," "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."

"And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief (Mark 9:24)"

When we began this adoption journey in February, we knew that we would need to complete this adoption without incurring additional debt. (For those unfamiliar with the costs associated with international adoption, or for those interested in pursuing an international adoption, to adopt three children with special needs from Bulgaria, our overall expenses will be approximately $30,000). In the beginning, the task seemed daunting, but we knew that, with the Lord's help, we could accomplish our goal, and so we got down on our knees and asked our Heavenly Father for assistance.

We worked hard to set aside every penny that was not being used for necessities. We held garage sales, bake sales, sold handmade goods and anything that wasn't nailed down, we hosted our ipod giveaway and our silent auction. We were continually humbled by the generosity of friends, family and even strangers. Whenever the money was needed (agency fees, facilitation fees, USCIS fees, paperwork, medicals, fingerprinting, etc.), the money was there.

Several weeks ago (shortly after mailing our dossier), I sat down to calculate the amount still needed to complete our adoption. Although I was amazed at the amount of money we had been able to come up with thus far, I was overwhelmed by the amount still left to be raised, and I wondered if we would truly be able to complete this adoption without incurring additional debt. I once again found myself on my knees, asking my Heavenly Father for the faith to know that the money would be there and that we would meet our goal.

The following day I loaded the kids into the van and made the 10 hour drive to Philadelphia for Evan's doctor's appointment. When we arrived at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House that evening, the social worker immediately asked me if I could step into her office. I followed her, puzzled by her request. Once inside her office she handed me a black leather bag. She explained to me that, inside the bag was a Christmas Jar, given to our family by an annonymous donor. Because our family also keeps a Christmas Jar, I knew immediately what I would find in the bag. (For those unfamiliar with this Christmas tradition, a Christmas Jar is a jar where you place your spare change at the end of each day and at Christmastime, donate the contents of the jar, annonymously, to someone in need.)

Fighting back tears, I thanked her and took the bag and my children up to our room. Once inside, I opened the bag and pulled out the jar. Inside that jar was more than just someone's spare change. I couldn't hold back the tears any longer. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of this annonymous donor. What's more, I was reminded, once again, that our Heavenly Father is in all of the details of our lives and will provide all that we need, exactly when we need it.

I felt like the father who came to the Savior seeking healing for his son. "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." And, just as He has reminded me time and again throughout this process, He answered and said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."

We may never know the identity of the person who blessed us with their Christmas Jar, but we are deeply grateful for that gift and most importantly, for the reminder that our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers and will bless us with all that we need, if we believe.

I believe.

Signed, sealed, delivered!

Well, I figured I had kept everyone in suspense long enough and it was time for an update :-)

Our dossier is complete and on November 24th, we packaged up our "baby" (signed, notarized, certified and apostilled) and sent it across the pond! It arrived in Bulgaria on November 30th and is now in the process of being translated and authenticated! We are hoping that it will be submitted and registered with the Ministry of Justice by the beginning of the year and that we will receive a travel date shortly thereafter! As was expected, time, that seemed to speed by like lightening prior to completing our dossier, has slowed to a crawl and each day feels like an eternity as we await news of when I might make the first trip. I am grateful to have the holidays to keep me busy (and they certainly have, which is why you have heard nothing but crickets chirping on my blogs), but no matter how busy we are, my babies in Bulgaria are never far from my thoughts. I am so anxious to finally meet them!