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Our BIG announcement

I am really bad at keeping secrets. And holding onto this one for nearly a month has been really, REALLY hard.

We are going to have a 4th child.

But no, I’m not pregnant.

So. Here we go, the big announcement:

WE ARE ADOPTING A 5 YEAR OLD GIRL FROM EASTERN EUROPE

And.. ummm….

Let’s just sit here in awkward silence for a minute while I gather my wits again and we will let this sink in (it’s still sinking in for us, too)…..

………

Ok….

Yup, we are adopting.

A fourth Girl.
She’s 5.
I don’t know if she will be older or younger than Tallis.
She’s an Orphan, in Eastern Europe. Which is like 5000 miles away.
She’s dubbed as ‘Special Needs’, which sounds scary because we hear that label and think of the stigmata of severe mental, cognitive and physical developmental issues. But in reality that label covers a whole range of things that can be big or very minor and easily taken care of with proper medical care. So yes, she has some special medical needs, which are easily managed here in the States and don’t carry the same social shunning & prejudice it does in Eastern Europe.
Here she will be able to grow up and live a completely normal, long life with the help of medication.
She has lived her whole life thus far in institutionalized care, with no mother or father.
She does have a biological sister, who she doesn’t know and has never met. The sister is being Adopted by another family who are dear friends of ours, so the girls will be able to grow up knowing one another and developing a relationship, while each getting a family to love, care for, and protect them.

On the 29th of September, we found out the Orphan Court has released her to be adopted as an individual, therefore we can move forward pursuing her for adoption and our friend’s can move forward finalizing their adoption of the younger sister. This morning (about 6am our time), we found out our application with the Adoption Agency has been accepted, so we will be signing a contract with them to pursue this girl. So now we can say (officially!) we are growing our family through the beauty of adoption. I have thought and thought about how exactly you announce something like this (and darn it, Google was no help). There’s really no easy way to ease into this announcement, other than just dropping the bomb dot com, as this has really come just out of the blue. And we have been trying really hard to keep it on the down low since this opportunity was presented to us and God wrecked our hearts and asked us to make a life-changing decision almost exactly a month ago.

It’s not even a close comparison of being pregnant again. At least that way we’d have like 4x the amount of time to prepare. Because that is what the multitude of International Adoption websites tell you the process timeline is like. Like a Pregnancy. 6-9 months. 9-12 months. Something like that. I know most families really expect to wait FAR longer. In our case, everyone has told us it could go far faster.

FASTER? Yes, faster.

That seems impossible to accomplish (apart from the hand of God, who is obviously orchestrating this whole thing). God is writing an amazing, beautiful story in this girl’s life. A story we are so blessed and humbled to be a part of. The story already has so many details that can only be the work of the Holy Spirit setting the stage for the circumstances, times, places and people of this epic storyline. I can’t wait to expand more on how this life-altering decision came about. It’s a beautiful story that needs to be told. Ultimately, it all points to His Glory and His work of calling people through the Gospel’s Adoption of all of us as Son’s & Daughters forever. And this little piece of the story, the little bit we get to be a part of through the huge wave of grace that is sweeping up our lives, will only be a further confession of His Gospel through the abundance of joy we are finding in Him through this process.

She could be in our home by late January/early February.

Or she could come in December, if they allow her to be a part of a Hosting program over Christmas (this option is becoming less likely, but hey, anything is possible).

Or later than that. We just don’t know how this process will unfold. It’s pretty much as soon as we can get our Paperwork & Homestudy done and tied with a nice, legal bow and get our Dossier to the Country she’s in. But for international adoption, THIS IS GOING TO BE DANG FAST.

And honestly, I am kinda scared. But we are moving forward, stepping out in this ridiculously beautiful and tender limb of faith, in trust, to where we feel the Holy Spirit is prompting us to follow.

Ok.

So now this is the part where I should be asking for your help.

I hate asking for help. Really. The part where you have to go around asking people to open their wallets and give you money is like, the wooorst. I have sweaty palms just typing this. But you know what? It’s not about me. I truly feel that if God is calling us to adopt this particular girl, then it will be He who makes our path straight and ultimately it’s He who provides everything we will need. So even though raising funds for this adoption seems incredibly daunting, I trust that He will provide to make the seemingly impossible possible. And He just might use you to do so.

But. I really, truly, honestly believe that God has been grooming and equipping and preparing our family to  love this little girl. And I believe that this is the most worthwhile, life-changing, living-breathing experience of the Gospel I have experienced, and the most worthwhile mission God has ever laid upon my heart. Not inviting others into this process would be selfish of me. Because the CONFESSION of the Gospel WILL result in JOY through giving of ourselves. As we spent a weekend fasting & praying & making this decision, we camped out in 2 Corinthians chapter 9.

“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:11-15 ESV)

That this is the loveliness of the Body of Christ- to care for one another in our need, to lift each other up, to give from our abundance, and to share in the journey. I invite you to be a part of this journey. I invite you to be open to the work of the Holy Spirit in redeeming this little girl’s life and demonstrating in a very tangible way that the Gospel IS Adoption. It just might change your life (I know it is changing ours).

And I am asking you if you’ll consider helping us along the way. Cause we are freaking out (you know, just a little), and we need your prayers, support & encouragement. And I know this is not something we are supposed to be doing alone. Of course, there is the financial side of this- we will need to put out about $22,000 to complete our adoption (most of which we don’t have conveniently stashed away under a mattress or anything, but are making big changes, sacrifices and efforts because she is worth it). We will put out more specifics soon on how exactly you can help, from work parties to prepare our home, to shopping at Amazon, to tax-deductible donations. Please prayerfully consider if God would burden you to help us out. It can be simple, or small. Every little bit counts. You can help plan a fundraiser, or host a Noonday trunk show, or have family photos taken, or come help expand a room in our house to fit 4 little girls. What would God ask of you? For now there are many opportunities listed on the ‘How to help’ section of this website, www.matalie.net

So… I will leave you with an excerpt that makes my heart well up and overflow, taken from a letter that John Piper wrote to his wife as they said ‘yes’ to adopting their daughter:

“What matters is not that we do all we might have done or all we dreamed of doing, but that, while we live, we live by faith in future grace and walk in the path of love. The times are in God’s hands, not ours. With this common conviction, we will, God willing, embrace our new daughter and give ourselves, with all the might that God inspires in us, to love her into the Kingdom. May the Lord establish the plans of our hearts, and bring (her) into deep and lasting fellowship with Christ.”

 

Thanks for journeying with us! You are loved!

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