today was the day

after 4 months of waiting, i opened the mailbox and saw the "Show Hope" grant foundation letterhead on the envelope. my hands started shaking. i could hardly open it fast enough.
we applied exactly 4 months ago for the biggest adoption grant available. it's huge. life changing huge.  because of it's life changing qualities, everyone else applies for it, too.

i knew right away from the first line of the letter that the outcome was not as we had hoped.
i really didn't have my hopes up...well, maybe a little. a bit of me thought maybe, just maybe. the grant would make things easier for us...a LOT easier. effortless, in fact, from here on out after all of this struggle.

my heart sank. it was a long walk back up the driveway. i wanted to be mad. i wanted to scream a little. maybe a lot. i wanted to rip up that stupid letter and forget it even came. can't anything go right? with all that's happened in the past 6 months i can't take anything else.
but as i walked, God spoke to my heart. He reminded me it's not up to me. no matter how hard i try, i'm not in control. i must choose to let go.

when i got home, i remembered what i had written the night before.
when i wrote it, i didn't feel like it was finished. now i know it is because the part unfinished was me. 
God so patiently allowed me to see what this is all about before breaking the news about the grant.
it's about me letting go and getting out of the way so nothing can be seen but God's amazingness.
it's about not always being comfortable. it's about not expecting things to go according to my selfish plan. i am quite sure i will spend the rest of my life trying to get myself out of the way.


 written 10/25/10:

i get a little jumpy when something tugs at my core. spazzy and motivated. inspired and determined.

like how i well up with protection when i see my child being bullied. made fun of. shoved aside on a bouncy castle (i gravely dislike those hoppity germ incubators)

it's the same welling up that occurs when i feel something true in my very core but just can't quite express it. 
i'll explain.

i've been getting a lot of emails...really sweet, amazing, kind, endearing emails from amazing moms...all across the country. i don't know them, but i know they have passion. they inspire me. they are on our side. i'm on their side. it's a cool community of people that are united by blogs. by being moms. by adoption.

i've also gotten a lot of  "we would love to adopt, but we just can't afford it." emails.

and i struggle with how to respond.
i'm not all i'm cracked up to be. i get irritated. i get quippy. i pester my husband with little things that don't need pestering. i hover over my kids for no good reason. i get frustrated when they take their shoes off in the car just as we are pulling into a store parking lot and i get impatient when it takes me an hour to get out the door.
and that's just scratching the surface.

but affording adoption? this is something i know. the best part is, i have learned all about how much i can't afford it and how we are doing it anyway.
how God taught me ever so painfully that i don't need money to adopt. i need God.

i will confess. i waited to turn in our application to adopt for 6 months because i just couldn't wrap my brain around how we would ever come up with the money. i would lay awake and calculate our bills. i went over and over it. i gave up. i couldn't think about it anymore. i put the application in a file. i closed the drawer.

reluctantly, i started reading adoption blogs. i cried over and over. i went back through my photos of our time in China. i cried over and over. my heart ached. it didn't matter anymore how much it cost. i told God he had better provide a way because my heart couldn't recover without her. i mailed our application. we could barely cover the application fee. that's it. that's all we had.

i knew something to be true even before i knew it. God's heart is for the orphan. He will do amazing things in your life and in your family to provide a way.

but, little did i know, a big part of this process...part of God providing a way...was in my own life. providing me a way to see myself in the light of who i really am.

i needed to know my own excess. i needed to see my overspending. i needed sacrifice.
i needed to know the pain of not having plenty of everything and still knowing we had more than so many. and seeing my heart, full of selfishness, wanting more. 

our past months have been a giant exercise in needing a lot of God, and lot less of stuff.

in may 2010, we sold our house in hopes of finding a bigger, better one.
we moved in temporarily with my husband's parents. 
3 months later we found the perfect house. it was bigger. better.
i called and scheduled a showing. i was already decorating in my mind.
the next day (sept 1st) my husband lost his job. 
humbled doesn't even begin to cover it. someday i'll tell that story. it's pretty amazing.

God needed to teach me...is still teaching me...what it means to sacrifice.

if i want to hang on to the excess.
the overspending.
the target runs for nothing except whatever catches my eye.
then no, i can't afford adoption. 
something's gotta give.
a willingness to let go is required.
letting go of the excess.

knowing upon knowing we can't afford adoption.
and doing it anyway.
we aren't supposed to just fork over the cash from all of our abundance...it is from the sacrifice that it can be provided in a supernatural way.

it's the coolest thing i've ever learned.
painful. irritating. stressful. beautiful. powerful.


  1. You continue to inspire me and I marvel at your faith. I love you so much!

  2. i somehow stumbled upon your blog and am so thankful i did. this post was exactly what i was to read, exactly what i needed to hear right now. we are in the middle of adopting a baby from ethiopia, waiting on immigration which seems to be taking WAY TOO LONG! and i too lay awake at night wondering how the next bill is going to be paid...but we are DESPERATE for this baby we have yet to meet, so we trust and like you say, sacrifice. this process is more than i could have ever imagined. thank you for your blog, i'll be back for sure!

  3. also, have a look into justlovecoffee...interesting fundraising option. just thought i'd mention.

  4. Sorry to hear the grant didn't work out. Ang, the Lord has His hand on you and you will be blessed for continuing to be faithful while He is at work.

  5. I am once again blessed by you! Thank you for your honesty and your simple reminders to be the mom we are called to be..which means fewer 'just because' Target runs...:)



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