Sunday, January 29, 2012

Alittle shut eye would do the memory good... ;)

Yikes, I realized that I left out some details that are extremely important.
As I said in several other blogs, Rob and I are not the sort of family that has an issue trying to find a place for all those 'extra' coins. In fact, the mere mention of the price tag that comes with adoption, whether its domestic or international, was enough to make you faint straight away. To the point where Rob and I questioned often if we were really supposed to adopt because it wasn't exactly 'in the budget!'

When we decided we were supposed to do our garage sale last summer and asked for donations, I remember standing in Michelle and Cory Dalpra's garage PACKED full and asking her, "Hey, think we can get $3500 out of this?" She laughed and said, "Well...I think you'll get $1000...!?" Awesome...not exactly what I was hoping for, but I can tell you that I distinctly 'heard' the Lord tell me, "I'll provide the FULL amount." Okay, that's it Lord?...could you give me another hint...? Like, what full amount...the amount I need by next week (when we had to fulfill our $2500 for our birth mom fees, remaining fees for our post placement fees for CO, and our application fee for CFS ~ we needed $3750)....or do you mean like the F.U.L.L AMOUNT...and I'm laughing because I think that the Lord tells us what we can HANDLE. This revelation with the Lord saying the 'full amount' meant that yes, for that weekend, he was going to provide the FULL amount ...we made $1870 from our garage sale and a friend donated $2500. So that right there people was EXACTLY what we needed...RIGHT THEN. And then Lord didn't tell me anymore until He chose to! lol

Obviously we wanted to do all that we could to raise money because adoption IS expensive. This is another reason we chose Christian Family Services, Gainesville, FL. They were SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive than 90% of the agencies we looked into. Our case worker, Monique will tell you that I asked point blank, okay, whats wrong with you guys...why are you so much more affordable?

  (Let me just rabbit trail here for a second. I LOATHE that when I say "affordable" or "expensive" or anything dealing with money it makes me feel as though I'm somehow putting a price on  life of a child. This is NOT the case...its just the facts of what an adoption looks like and it almost felt like these other agencies charging $17,000+ for a PLACEMENT FEE were selling babies. I'm just felt WRONG. If there are truly 147 MILLION children needing a home, WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE!?!?!?!?)
She was fast to answer. "We do not believe in selling babies. This isn't just a job, its a ministry and a life that God has brought into the world and its our belief that its our responsibility to help that child find the home God designed for them. We don't have the normal fees that the other agencies do because we don't have the expenses. Obviously we have to pay for our social workers and our building and the expenses that go with having a business, but we aren't in this to get rich or make money...we do this because we are called to take care of the orphans." Uhm...yes, this is what solidified where we felt God leading us. CFS it is! I will tell you that they don't charge a flat fee of $17,000...or any other ridiculous fee that makes NO sense whatsoever. They charge 13% of your annual GROSS income, NOT to exceed $15,000. SO guess what, even if you make millions of dollars a year there is a cap of $15,000. This is amazing. They are not secretive about where your money goes. I had people try to tell me that we were 'being taken for a ride' and 'someone's gettin' rich!' Bottom line, we knew our agency was honest and the whole integrity part made it very easy to work with them. ;) Plus I cannot tell you how many times I'd call and talk to Monique (for waaay too long~ sorry Monique! LOL) for reassurance, information, or just needing to talk to someone who knew. I can't begin to express how much it meant...I can say that our agency KNEW US WELL...or knew ME well! 

Now, there are a lot of grants and loans and options for adoption fees. A few options we were not comfortable with because we did not feel that going INTO debt was something God was asking us to do just to adopt. Raising support was incredibly humbling...we sent out a 'support letter' and held a spaghetti dinner. We looked into many grants, but found that we didn't qualify for some, we missed some of the deadline dates, or it was only for international adoptions. However, we found JSC Foundation and met all the requirements! We applied in June when we were finally 'home study ready' (which, FYI, if you are not done with your home study you cannot apply) and found out we had received a grant from JSC in September! SO not only were our fees paid for to date (our home study, post placement, 2 applications, birth mom fees, and all the little odds and ends that cost alittle), but now our placement fee was completely paid for!!!! The largest sum was done...GOD!? YOU JUST ROCKED MY SOCKS OFF!!!! Okay so all that was left was a finalization fee of $995...but in my mind I just thought, okay...taxes are no need to worry about that. Then, as we are driving across Kansas, our Colorado case worker, Tammie, texted me and alerted me to an interesting tidbit. "Hey, I'm sending your FL agency a check for $1000 from a donation that came in." OOOOHHHHH MY GOSH WWWHHHHAAAAATTTT??????????
 "Rob, someone just donated a serious amount....OUR ADOPTION IS COMPLETELY PAID FOR." We both stared out the windshield for awhile...and instantly I heard the Lord tell me again, "I will provide the full amount." 

So when we were signing paperwork at CFS before going to meet Josh, Jerry laughed as he handed us paperwork and told us, "This is a first for us...we've never actually handed over a check AND a baby!" Wrap your mind around this with me. Our adoption is paid for. God used people who were ready and willing to bless us with an unimaginable gifts, both large and small. Every bit of it counted...every prayer, every dollar, every donation ~ for a garage sale or individual amounts, every hug, every tear, every single bit of this has counted.

(Side note: A HUGE THANK YOU to our donors. Without your constant support, both prayerfully and financially, we would not be where we are. God heard EVERY one of your prayers for us and we cannot express our gratitude. To those of you who I have leaned on heavily for emotional THANK YOU ENOUGH? Each of you holds a very dear place in our hearts and are so thankful that we can share our family's life journey with YOU!)

 And the biggest humbling fact? I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!!!! I didn't help the money come in...I sure did pray and I definitely worried about it until the very end when the Lord proved that He's OBVIOUSLY more than capable...why did I ever doubt? 

I want to encourage those of you who are beginning the adoption paperwork, are in the midst of waiting for a referral or match with a birth mom, or those who are just beginning to CONSIDER adoption and you see the dollar signs bombarding your computer screen. DO.NOT.LET.THIS.DETOUR.YOU.FROM.GOD'S.CALLING.
 Its not going to be easy. Its going to require your emotions and be heart-wrenching when you can't see the end or understand what the Lord is doing. However, I firmly believe that when the Lord calls us to further His Kingdom and take care or the orphan, 

Our story is proof that God is faithful and his promises never come back empty. The Lord WANTS to delight and dazzle us! What loving parent doesn't enjoy SURPRISING His children?
 Well get set...God's gonna ROCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!!!!!


  1. God is SO Amazing...really what else can be said!!
    Love it!!! Katie

  2. Loved reading your story Robyn! God is so faithful...
    I am finally sharing our story on my blog this week.

    I know you will cherish these words you have written to forever remember what you were doing, feeling, and experiencing when it all happened!