If you would have told me five years ago that I would have been fundraising an entire adoption I would have told you you were crazy. But that is exactly the path the Lord had for us. This time last year, we had just adopted two children from China in less than 18 months and thought we were done. (Famous last words right?) Well, the Lord had better plans and we soon found this out when we discovered a little two year old boy who needed a family.
We knew we were that family.
The problem was that we had not one cent to start another adoption. This was much like a “surprise pregnancy” to say the least. We told the Lord that if he wanted this little boy in our family, we truly would trust him to get us there.
This is a story of how we approached fundraising, what the Lord taught us, and some practical advice on the “how to” of fundraising. I will share more in a second post; for today I’ll address the “spiritual” aspect of playing an active role in the journey to bring home our children through adoption.
Early on in our fundraising efforts my pastor gave me the book The Grave Robber by Mark Batterson. This book would become instrumental on how I looked at fundraising, and taught me the complete privilege it really is to bring home a child, and the ways God really does preform modern day miracles to do so.
And guess what? We get to play a part in those every day miracles.
For me, when I began to pray about how the Lord would use me in helping bring home our son. I asked the Lord to please use me, use my talents, time and efforts to get us there. As I read this book I realized that there is nothing “un-biblical” about taking an active role in coming along side the Journey of fundraising and putting in the hard work, and letting God show-off in those efforts.
“Do you want to get well? If you do, then you need to hear what you don’t want to hear and do what you don’t want to do. You can’t expect God to do the supernatural if you aren’t willing to the natural. You’ve got to do your part so God can do his part. Like the invalid, you have to be willing to carry your weight. Only God can perform miracles, but there is almost always a human element involved.
Remember, Naaman had to dip in the Jordan River seven times. The woman with the issue of blood had to fight through the crowds to get close enough to Jesus to touch the hem of His garments. And the disciples had to haul in their nets and cast them on the other side of the boat.
Some miracles take tough love.
Some miracles take time.
Some miracles take extra effort.
Some miracles take blood, sweat, and tears.”
– excerpt from the book The Grave Robber by Mark Batterson
The words from this book leaped forth and gave me the very confirmation that I needed to work my fingers to the bone to bring my child home. It put in me the fire I needed to withstand the months to come. The nights of staying up late to make necklaces, package soap, ship shirts, advertise, plan, and all the little things that go on behind the scenes of all the adoption fundraisers you see. When I see someone just starting their fundraising efforts I want to run to them and squeeze them tight and whisper to them that it’s going to be worth it all. There will be times when you have failed efforts, or little money is raised, pr you are pulled away from the world around you. It is a very humbling but rewarding experience.
Until I fundraised I had no idea how time consuming it can be. I also know the comments, the judgement, and the opinions that can come with stepping out in this way. All I have to say about that is that this is your journey. If God has called you to it – he not only brings you through it, comes along side you in blessing those efforts, but he also uses you as a vessel of hope. You never know who is following your journey, who needs that encouragement to step out as well. Let God be the light in your journey of fundraising.
If you are contemplating starting an adoption process and don’t know how you will come up with money, if you don’t know where to start and how you possibly come up with the large sum that stares you in the face… I urge you to dig deep into what the Lord says about stepping out in faith. In our world today it just seems crazy to start something without the finances to to do so. But I truly believe this is exactly where God would have us in some instances. In a place so vulnerable and humble, a position to truly rely on him to provide. You will see it gives you a platform to shout to the heavens how good your heavenly Father is!
Sometimes after saying yes the Lord could provide the funds right away. Right after we said yes to our little boy the Lord used precious friends to come along side of us and provide the money we would need to immediately start the home study process. It was the kick we needed, the confirmation we so desperately were seeking to know that God had this. He was coming along side us in our journey of adopting our third child from China. It gave us the encouragement to continue on and work hard in our fundraising efforts in the months to come.
“Have you ever been there? You know God wants you to take the job that pays less, but you won’t be able to pay off your school loans. You know God wants you go on the mission trip, but you can’t afford the days off. You know God wants you to adopt a child or go to grad school or give to a kingdom cause, but it doesn’t fit in your budget.
What do you do when the will of God doesn’t add up?
In my experience, the will of God rarely adds up. By definition, a God – ordained dream will always be beyond your resources and ability. In other words, you cannot afford it and you cannot accomplish it. Not in your lifetime! But God can do more in one day that you can accomplish in a hundred lifetimes. And He owns the cattle on a thousand hills!
Your job is not to crunch numbers and audit the will of God. After all, the will of God is not a zero sum game. When you add God to the equation, His output always exceeds your input. And your two fish can go a lot further than you can imagine if you put them into His hands.”
– excerpt from the book The Grave Robber by Mark Batterson
– image by Krissi Trusty