We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Spiritual Warfare

I am part of many adoption on-line groups.  I join them in the beginning to get a feel for what is going on in-ocuntry.  I stay to learn about agencies - which ones are reputable, and which ones are not.  That does not take very long.  The unethical ones have information posted about them constantly.  I linger to read people's stories.  Oh how I love to hear about each process from beginning to end.  One group I joined is called CAFEKids.  It is a Christian group for people adopting from Ethiopia.  I don't thnk you HAVE to be a Christian to join the group, but the point of the group is:  Talking about God is not only ALLOWED, but it is encouraged.  You don't have to put a disclaimer on your topic saying "mentions God", none of that.  You just get to freely express your journey - including God!

Recently one of the topics has been about the spiritual battle that rages once you commit to adoption.  After reading all of the stories, I would really like to share ours.  I truly believe that Satan takes offense with those who adopt, especially those who adopt in the name of God.  Or maybe just those who adopt who are Christians.  An orphan being brought into a Christian home to hear the truth of the gospel is a whole less likely to follow Satan than the orphan who does not get fed the truth.  It's also about obedience - God calls us to care for the orphan and the widow.  Those who adopt are carrying out God's desire.  Satan surely doesn't like that.

I truly believe the attack comes in many forms, and it is different for every family.  I am a saver.  I am very cautious with money.  Our monthly deposit into our savings account is viewed as a "bill" to me.  Our family is very financially responsible.  I wouldn't say I'm "cheap" or else we would not be on this adoption journey, but I am reasonable.  I'm not extravagant.  One of my biggest concerns is with money... not because we don't have enough, but because I want to make sure we spend wisely.  Satan knows this.  Satan also knows that we tithe every month... and if he can make life difficult enough for us, maybe we would skip our tithe in order to meet my need to save.

We made a commitment to adopt a LONG time ago.  We started the process nearly 2 1/2 years ago with an adoption from Vietnam.  We spent nearly $12,000 on that adoption (that never happened) and the country closed.  We did get some of our money back, but it was a pittance compared to what we spent.  Our agency was unethical and although our documents were filed in-country, there was NO WAY we could get a child because the agency was not licensed in the provence they sent our documents to.  We waited nearly a year in country before we discovered that.  Satan likely laughed.  God knew though.  After that, we decided to switch agencies and adopt from Kyrgyzstan.  We had to do an update to our home study, new immigration approval, and a TON of money on new dossier documents.  Right before were to submit to the country embassy, there was a slow down in country.  I was so afraid that the same thing would happen in Kyrgyzstan as did in Vietnam (with the country closing) that I waited.  Thank goodness we did, because our next step would have cost us around $8,000 and we would have lost ALL of that money and had no child..... Kyrgyzstan closed.

At that point in time, Tim and I decided to stop, take a step back and not decided what WE wanted to do, but decide what GOD wanted us to do.  God pointed us to Ethiopia.  We were also led to look at another agency.  One closer to our home state and who were a Christian agency.  Not one that said "sure, we are Christian", but one that even had CHRISTIAN in their name.  Not that a name says it all, but someone who is not a Christian, usually doesn't want to be called one, and it also limits the agencies audience - so we were comfortable with the agency and our case worker.

We started the process to adopt from Ethiopia in July.  Our dossier is now in country (whoo-hoo!!!).  It was completed in near record speed (God's hand).  Our immigration approval was completed in 2 business days (God's hand - this normally takes 6 - 8 weeks if not longer).  Our home study was able to be done in just weeks (God's hand).  I truly believe that if you go where God leads, you will feel the doors open, instead of trying to shove them open for yourself.

So, since we are where God wants us to be, Satan has no power - not in the adoption process.... but he knows my desire to live reasonably.  Since he can not attack the adoption process because God is working there - he has begun to attack us financially.  (I guess he forgot that part where God provides).  The first hit was with an issue under the house - CHING $6000.00 for a vapor barrier and dehumidification system (I swear you could like live under our house now it is so nice under there... but I digress :).  Next - six months after being told I have no issue with my right eye needing surgery, I start having vision problems.  I can always tell when I'm starting to have issues, because I get really bad headaches.  I called the doctor and made an appointment... sure enough, I need eye surgery - and due to some work commitments, I wasn't able to schedule it until after the first of the year (when I have to meet our deductable again) rather than this year (when it is already met) - CHING $$$ BIG BUCKS!!!  Finally, about a month ago, I was walking through the kitchen and the floor in front of the fridge felt strange.  I brought it up to Tim, but with the holidays and so much going on , we diidn't get around to calling someone about it.  We called about a week ago and yesterday a floor person came out.  They measured the moisture on one part of the floor 6% - very dry.  In front of the fridge - >60%.  The meter only went up to 60 and it hit that immediately.  The floor guy said we had a slow leak from the fridge and that it has damaged the floor.  So, we had to call a plumber.  The plumber came out and found the source of the problem.  The result.... we have to replace the kitchen floor.  CHING, CHING, CHING.  I guess the good news in all of it is that I never liked our kitchen floor and now we get a new one :)  Thankfully because of our wise spending / saving, we have been able to cover these expenses without the aid of credit!

In all of the talk recently about the spirtual battle that rages when you start an adoption, I really began to think.  It all started to make sense to me.  Maybe the devil doesn't realize though, that I trust in God to fund our adoption.  If we are reasonable with our money and tithe, He will provide.  He has and will continue to.  Rage on Mr. Satan - I've got God on my side!

In Christ (take that Satan),


Lori said...

I second "Take that, Satan!"

Heather said...

you go girly!

Charissa said...

Would you email me? I'd love to talk more. charissaurban@yahoo.com