Our girls are nestled snug in their beds, drifting off peacefully to a Christmas Eve sleep (thank you chamomile tea).
I pulled out the stockings (which I meant to get out sooner than this but ah well, it will be all the more exciting to have them waiting for the girls tomorrow morning) and began the time-honored task of getting the stockings stuffed and the gifts wrapped. It took about 3 minutes. Maybe 2.
Looking at our tree, a fake one generously given to us by my in-laws, and the single gift underneath, could be a little depressing at first glance. No real tree picked out and chopped down with glee. No mound of gifts ranging from the dreaded matching sibling sweaters to the awesome spirograph set and rock polisher. No sweet little gift from hubby to me. No handmade hat from me to hubby.
This time last year we had a lot more gifts under the tree, but it was about this time last year we made the decision to plan our lives so that we could change a child’s life forever. When we sat down last year and tried to figure out how in the world we could pay all the fees and expenses that are part of the adoption process, one of the choices we made was that we would live without big gifts and keep the little gifts simple and rare.
The stockings have clementines, pears and apples in the toes and then a handful of Aldi Christmas chocolates, one stocking stuffer gift from the $1 section in Target and one kitchen themed stocking stuffer gift to top it off. The bag under the tree is a family gift, a board game which received rave reviews on Amazon and from fellow board game families. The box on the side arrived in the mail yesterday from my grammee (thanks Grammee!) and is sure to hold fun things.
I looked at our tree and waited for a surge of mother guilt for not getting gifts for my kids on Christmas, I waited and waited and realized I didn’t feel remotely sad, I felt uplifted and pleased that we as a family are ready to celebrate Christmas tomorrow and it will be a wonderful day. We’ll go to church, sing hymns, make food, eat food, play the board game, and hopefully take naps. We’ll also tell our girls the news…
There are things much better than the gift under the tree and I want to share with you too, this is news that I’ve been wanting to shout about for a couple of days.
By the grace of God and thanks to countless generous donations from friends and strangers alike all over the world, we are fully funded for Angelina’s adoption!
I’ll let that sink in.
Remember the goal was $31,465
In fact through anonymous donations to our Family Sponsorship Grant, we are over funded.
By about $3,000
Which means this time next year we hope to be filling FOUR stockings as our FOUR children nestle snug in their beds waiting to experience Christmas together as a family with a new big sister and a new little brother.
Let me introduce Travis John*
He is in the same country as Angelina though we have been told by our facilitation team he is not in the same region. Remember we do not know the region where Angelina is, our facilitation team can only legally tell us if children are in the same region or if they are in different regions but they cannot tell us the names of the regions. Think of how HIPAA laws here in the US dictate what medical info can be given and how it can be given.
Adding a second child should not add much time in country if all goes well and adds about $10,000-$12,000 to the total adoption. From the math I’ve worked out for additional paperwork (which I’ll get into in a later post) and travel, bringing Travis John home will add $11,365 to our adoption.
We already have approximately $3,000 that can go towards his adoption so our goal is $8,365.
I will admit there is an insidious voice that slinks into the back of my thoughts and slides to the forefront every now and then. “What if we can’t raise that much money in the amount of time we have?”
What if our homestudy had not been delayed, if our apostiled paperwork had not gone over its expiration limit, if we hadn’t asked our social worker to include the option of two children instead of one just in case, if people hadn’t decided to donate $25 here and there to our grant, if people had not advocated for this little boy so that we would see him in the first place – well then we wouldn’t even be here asking this what if.
When we started out six months ago I had no idea how in the world we would afford one adoption, my only hope was God would work all things for his good and we put our trust in Him. I find myself humming (not this tune, closest I could find) Psalm 31 most days, it is the Psalm that carried me through my last pregnancy and it has sustained me through the adoption as well. In the night when I awake with thoughts racing of the what ifs, the how can we, the bone deep knowledge that we are a broken dishes in a big world, I pray this Psalm.
“But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand”
*Travis John is his Reece’s Rainbow name, like Angelina we will have to wait till we fly over to his country to know his real name