It has been an action-packed 2 weeks! Almost every day something has happened in our adoption journey, and each time I think, "I need to blog this." But the days all fell into each other and became weeks, and here I sit on a quiet Sunday afternoon to finally catch up on blogging. So, HI! Pull up a comfy chair and a cup of tea (or coffee)...and buckle your seatbelts for a tour...this is going to be a lengthy one! :)
As I said in my last post, all of the Grace Bears were bought by a precious family who have asked for me to keep them anonymous. They bought the bears and then sent them to special needs children. Imagine how FULL my heart is in knowing that these bears were donated to us from a sweet friend in our home school community...the next day a sweet home school mom bought 25 bears to bless nursing home residents...and the next day, the rest of the bears were all bought by another sweet family to bless special needs children! And to top it all off, the whole thing brought in $847 towards our adoption! I still stand in awe that we never asked for this blessing...we never expected it...but God moved in people's generous hearts and willing hands...and the blessing was MULTIPLIED to affect many people. Words cannot express the depth of what my heart has felt in all of this. Thank you to everyone who played a role in this miracle. You are PRECIOUS to our hearts, and we will never forget your "love in action."
Then sometime in the midst of the Grace Bear miracle, we also received an email from Reece's Rainbow, telling us that someone named Lauren wanted to help raise funds for our adoption and that she wanted us to contact her (that reminds me...there's no "contact me" button on this blog...I may get around to working on that someday!). So, I emailed Lauren, and WOW what God blessed us with! Lauren does not know me...we have never met...and yet we share the same heart for orphan ministry. Somehow she learned about us and decided to go out of her way to help us raise funds for our adoption. This touched us deeply. It's precious when family supports our adoption...it's amazing and beautiful when friends support our adoption...but we were blown away that a person we had never met would go to quite a bit of trouble to help us in such a tangible way! Really...what do you say when someone does something that will affect your life so greatly?! We are so blessed! Please visit Lauren's website (it's an incredible thing she's doing!) and spread the word! http://www.yourmobilegym.com/services.html And, Lauren, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts (and I FINALLY got to blog it...YAY!).
If you think all of this is just wonderful, keep reading...I'm not finished yet! :)
Also in the same time frame, we traveled to a nearby town to buy some yard sale items from a precious new friend named Elisabeth. We recently met, and actually, though I didn't know her at the time, she is the person who sent out the original email about a "Hoe-Down for Downs" last fall...it's a ministry her family does every year to raise money for Reece's Rainbow's children with Down Syndrome. That was the first time I had ever heard of Reece's Rainbow, and I fell in love with that ministry...and that's where we found our little Grace. So, Elisabeth is special to my heart because God used her to bring us to Grace. A couple of weeks ago we met her and her family for the first time. They had a yard sale to help them raise money for their own adoption (so of course, I HAD to buy when it helps someone else adopt!). :) She gave us great deals on some developmental toys as well as the cutest toddler slide that will be perfect for Grace. And blessing of blessings...she sold us an EXACT MATCH little end table/dresser that matches a dresser my grandma bought me when I was a little girl (imagine finding the mate to it 30+ years later!!!). We wanted a little dresser for Grace that matched her big sister's dresser, and there at a yard sale we found it! Now, if you don't believe that God cares about the little details of your life, read that again! Anyway, Elisabeth and I share a heart for orphans, and our minds and hearts run in similar tracks. It was wonderful to meet her! And she blessed us with some cute clothes for Grace, including the pajama set I posted a picture of...it is PRECIOUS...I can already imagine Grace in it! And Elisabeth also gave us several bibs and burp cloths and other things to take to the orphanage when we go. Not only did Grace get gifts, but now other orphans will have beautiful handmade gifts all the way from Georgia. I cannot wait to give these to them! THANK YOU, Elisabeth. And if y'all want to "meet" Elisabeth, please see her blog... http://www.nogreatergift.blogspot.com/
There are actually so many incredible things that have happened that it is entirely too much to blog! But a quick run-down off the top of my head... We had a check given to us from a lady in Wal-Mart who was in front of us in line and heard us talking about our adoption...we have had sweet people on limited incomes give us generous gifts to "bless Grace" (my heart just cannot tell you how humbling these gifts are to us)...a mom in our homeschool group recently emailed to tell me that her mom's Bible study group had collected $80 AND her son's Tae Kwon Do master is giving some money raised in a tournament to our adoption. There are more stories, but I'm running out of time to type! Chris said the other night, "OUR CUP IS OVERFLOWING!" And I'm not kidding when I say that AS he was saying this, the phone rang and someone had called to tell us that they were giving us more donations. God is SO good and cares so very very deeply for these children who are fatherless...He is truly the one who places them in families. One thing this adoption journey has taught me in concrete terms is that it is GOD who places children in families...it has not been US doing this...we simply follow Him, and HE does the rest.
As I type this, I am brought to tears AGAIN. It's just so overwhelming to watch God put this whole thing together...it's like watching Him orchestrate this huge complex symphony...bringing this person to do this and that person to do that...all entering the symphony at the exact precise time they are needed...and all the little parts playing together seemlessly and beautifully...all unfolding to the finale when Grace is brought into our arms. Really...God Himself, creator of the universe cares so deeply for this child that He is moving mountains to bring her home. And He is full of mercy to go to great "impossible" lengths to place this treasure into our hands. His Grace overwhelms me!!!
I've written a novel here, and I didn't even get to the part about our extra paperwork, our second trip to the county courthouse and the Secretary of State's office...and our latest update on Grace. But that will have to wait for the next blog. Right now I have to sign off and go work on a blanket I'm making. Another unexpected blessing...someone who is adopting from the same orphanage asked us if we'd like to send a little care package for them to give to Grace when they travel, so I'm making her blanket earlier than expected. Did I mention how GOOD God truly is?! :)