Justin and I often look back over the past 10+ years of our marriage and see God’s faithful hands in so many circumstances. It may be situations that didn’t turn out how we had planned but that was part of God’s greater plan, or circumstances that leave us in awe of God’s faithfulness despite our sinfulness. In every circumstance, whether He’s given or taken away, our hope has always been that we’re able to turn back and praise Him in all things. That we praise Him in the good and in the ugly. We always pray that if the Lord chooses to give or take away that we would choose to say, Lord BLESSED be your name.
Despite the incredible heartache of a miscarriage (that still grieves us and hits us at times), we wouldn’t have the incredible blessing of our princess Hazel. Without the painful heartache of losing our 3rd child, I know we would not value life as much as we do today or see our children as extreme blessings from the Lord. We wouldn’t have been able to see God’s providential hand throughout the entire adoption of Hazel, or experienced first hand the gift of our Savior adopting us, or seen the incredible mercy and grace of our Lord. Who knows how far the impact of adopting Hazel has been throughout the world, but for our family, the impact and the journey to adopt her was something that has had a profound impact on our family.
There are many instances since we first made the decision to adopt in November 2011 that we can look back and say, “Wow, Lord. Only YOU could make that happen.” It’s incredible. Too many to even name. And it continues to happen.
One instance that I’ve been wanting to share for 2 years is the funds that the Lord provided in order to adopt Hazel.
When we first started our adoption journey, the thought of $20,000 seemed impossible. We live very frugally, well below our means, have a written budget, and only have debt on our home; however, $20,000 was daunting. It would have been easy to use it as an excuse to not adopt, and we did at first, but the Lord told us to GO and we choose to be obedient.
So we started saving every penny we could. Every single spare dollar went towards the adoption fund. Once we switched from domestic to international special needs adoption, that amount increased to upwards of $30,000 plus additional medical costs. Again though, the Lord said GO and we knew He would provide. We knew she was more than worth it.
During our time of saving the money would literally just appear out of thin air month after month. We would look at each other in awe at the end of each month when there was this money that we never had before. Then, we had $1,000 in unexpected donations/gifts come in from anonymous donors. And two months before we left for Ukraine to meet Hazel, we had an unexpectedly large tax return that brought our total to exactly $30,000. Totally the Lord’s timing and hand in us raising the funds needed.
After our adoption funds, numerous doctor’s appointments, medicines, and a heart surgery, we were stunned when we looked at our finances. After paying for everything adoption-related and meeting our medical deductible, our total came to:
Can you believe how incredible that is?! The Lord had provided exactly what we needed and was even gracious enough to give us $11 to spare! To think that I doubted we’d ever be able to raise that amount and to come within $11 of what we needed is beyond fathomable.
I often shake my head in disbelief at how the Lord has provided for our needs or taken something away for our benefit, because we are so undeserving of any grace He has freely given us. The Lord is always at work in our lives, in ways we often don’t expect. I pray that our eyes continue to be open to His everyday faithfulness and grace and being able to turn back and say Blessed Be the Name of the Lord!