I don't know how it is possible for such an exhausting week to also be so uplifting and fulfilling, but God made that happen! From paperwork to cleaning to making copies (and more copies) of paperwork to my sweet hubby being gone a lot to the normal daily life of 3 kiddos under 5...it has been full, but man was I tired. Unfortunately Derek and I have yet to catch up on sleep and he has another RIDICULOUSLY busy week ahead, which means a full week for Mommy too. By this coming Friday, I will probably have lost more of my sanity, but amazingly I am growing more and more okay with that! Funny that as we grow closer and closer to the heart of God, so many other things slowly fade out in their level of importance. It feels really, really good!
Our home study went well and yes it was easier than I thought. Our social worker Kelly is fantastic. She is a believer and also in the process of adopting. How cool is that?!? I am so glad that God orchestrated us finding our agency for our home study the way He did. Our timeline feels a little more real now. Originally we were really hoping to bring Ivan home by August. It seems slightly possible that it could be sooner...oh please Lord...let it happen!!! Needless to say that we will have some serious fundraising to do. There are a couple of things in the works and will hopefully come to fruition soon. I have been blown away by God's hand already!
In the last couple of weeks, this is how God has used His people:
~a friend that is a veterinarian donated our 2 dogs' vaccinations/check-ups!
~a couple donated the first $50 to Ivan's fund on our blog! (and I know this family sacrificed...thank you!!!)
~multiple friends lovingly cared for our children so that I could get paperwork copied and run errands. One of my dear friends has watched my children on 3 different days since Jan. began and she has 2 of her own! Amazing!! (thank you girl!...you know I love you!)
~I received a thoughtful note in the mail unexpectedly and inside was a check for $100!!! Most of all, she so encouraged me with her words and the scripture on the front of the card. I needed THAT specific Word that day!
~A company that I love donated a couple of items to use as our first giveaway on our blog. They asked for nothing in return...AWESOME!!! (btw...this giveaway is coming soon:)...get ready for the cuteness!:)
~I have received almost daily emails and FB messages of encouragement and prayer from people that I don't even know...God has sent those words on my hardest days!
~One of my dearest friends is spending so much of her time trying to do all that she can to get fundraising started for Ivan! I have been so overwhelmed by the other aspects of the adoption that the money part was making my head swim. I didn't even ASK for help, she just dove right in and has almost DAILY worked on fundraising to get Ivan home quicker!! (I don't know what I would do without your support and encouragement and desire to love us this way!)
~Derek got an email last week from a friend that felt moved to help get Ivan home as soon as possible. He told us his ideas about using the marathons he is running in the next few months as a way to raise awareness for Ivan and funds. His sweet wife stepped in and wants to go even further with the idea and make shirts! As Derek shared the email that night, I cried so hard thinking about how God is using the life of this little boy in Eastern Europe to change hearts and drive us to things that matter to HIM!!!
~Another very dear friend of mine is already planning a yard sale with her friends for Ivan. They live in another state and she has 2 children under 2 years old!!! Yet she is doing what she can for Ivan!
~I walked into church this morning and was greeted with a big hug from a friend...after talking for a few minutes, he handed me a $100 bill for Ivan and said I have had this in my wallet for you!
~Back before Christmas, before I had even seen Ivan's sweet face, a lady stepped up to be Ivan's Christmas Warrior through Reece's Rainbow. She had a yard sale for him a couple of weeks ago (in JAN!!) and with the help of neighborhood kids that I will never meet, she raised $150!!! There is a picture here of these awesome kiddos holding Ivan's picture! I was overwhelmed!
~And just this morning, 2 friends, in conversation, came up with a really fun name for an idea to raise money before Valentine's day using FB! People that already love Ivan, thinking of him...
More than anything, throughout this process I want us all to see just how big God is and how He is going to work all of this for His glory! Truth be told, I have absolutely no clue how we will raise $27k or more. I have no idea how it will all work out with leaving our children for long periods of time. And the thought of how full our house will be in hopefully less than 6 months could make a sane person run screaming! Again I have no idea how it will all work.
must get the glory for it. I feel honored that He would choose us to play in the game!:) Ivan, as do all of my babies, feels like icing on the cake. God doesn't have to give us those gifts in this life, but He has and I am grateful to be on this journey. And I am thankful for the ways that He chooses to glorify Himself through His people! It shows us that He is real, that He is at work, and that He will speak when we listen! I am in awe today at the work of His hands...continually amazed that I serve this God, that He chose me and made beauty from ashes!