Well, it's been almost a month since our last blog entry. We went home to Indiana a week ago to see my dad and surprise my mom. It was a great time, despite the circumstances, and such a blessing! While we were gone, we finally received our last document needed to complete our dossier!!
(This isn't the actual document - it's the letter that was with it. :) )
Despite getting all our paperwork, it seems as if Satan is trying hard to keep us from getting everything done, adoption-wise. We've felt like we've been under spiritual attack the past few weeks with all sorts of unexpected expenses. Expenses have been coming up right as we need to come up with the $4100 dossier fee, plus $180 to have them state authenticated, along with all the postage to send them everywhere(which adds up - overnighting paperwork is NOT cheap!).
First it was our car, which died on the way to Michael going work. After having it towed, found out it needed a new battery and whatnot. $180 later (yes, the same amount needed for our authentication), it was fixed. Then, while in Indiana, we found out our van needed a new battery as well (goodbye $100). Thankfully we found that out on our own and Michael did the labor himself, which saved us some money. Yesterday, on Michael's way to work, the car was acting up again. After another tow to the car repair place (thank goodness for roadside assistance), found out the NEW battery died and the alternator has an issue. It was going to cost almost $400! While we could afford that, that was the extra money from our own personal account that was going towards our dossier fees (we set up a separate account for the adoption). I began to panic and have an emotional breakdown. This, on top of everything that's been going on in our life/family was icing on the let's-male-Amanda-break-down-cake... I knew we could get a new alternator for MUCH cheaper, and that my smart, handyman hubby could do it himself, but the issue was getting it back home. We'd already used our roadside assistance and couldn't use it again and Michael would be stuck at work (an hour away) unless I came and got him. My sister and brother-in-law came to the rescue and despite their busy lives, Jeff went and picked up Michael from work at the end of the day, took him to the auto body place and used THEIR AAA card to have our car towed home so we wouldn't have to pay for a towing fee. What a huge blessing that was! Thank you, guys!!
On top of rescuing Michael, Jeff also rescued me out of my self pity. He said that instead of crying, I needed to be "rejoicing to God that we are considered worthy of this attack!" It really opened my eyes and made m realize that's exactly what is happening. Satan's attacking and trying hard to throw unexpected expenses at us so we CAN'T afford the adoption. He's trying hard to attack our family through sickness, long work days, and such. *And as the song that is playing on Pandora right this very moment says "I don't care what the world throws at me now, it's gonna be alright! 'Cause I know my God saved the day, and I know His word never fails, and I know my God made a way for me! Salvation is here!" (by Hillsong United)* Satan KNOWS God has a huge plan for our family (God already told me that in my dream almost 1 year ago: "Great things are going to happen to you.") and he KNOWS that God is using this adoption for His glory, and Satan doesn't want that! So he's gonna try to stop it. But, what Satan doesn't realize, regardless of what he does, our family is strong. Our family is ready. Our family is prepared. In Ilana's words "We have Jesus in our hearts so we're like super heros!" And in the words of my big brother, Andrew "Bring it on, Satan. We're ready to knock your socks off!"
In James 1: 2-3, it says " Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." Ironically, this is the same book and chapter that says "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."! God's call for His people is to care for orphans and widows! And while we're trying to answer His call by adopting, Satan's trying to cause trouble to keep us from it!
Regardless of what Satan throws our way, God IS going to provide! Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." He has provided for this adoption EVERY single step of the way! This is His plan for our family!!! He's confirmed it in more ways than I can imagine, and if you want to see where, just go through and read our blog. Way too many "coincidences"!
Anyway, off my soapbox now... :) Back to having all our paperwork done. We got everything notarized last night, thanks to a great lady from our church, Mary Howard! What a blessing she was to meet us at my sisters' and notarize all our many documents and she didn't charge us a penny. Thank you, Mary, if you read this! Everything should be on our way to the Department of State in Tallahassee today to be state authenticated. Hopefully we'll get that back soon, and then we will be overnighting our completed dossier to our agency to be bundled and sent to Washington D.C. via courier, to be authenticated. And from there, Ethiopia bound!!!!!! I will continue to update you all along the way!