This has been a rather difficult week for us. As we have mentioned before, one of our central prayers over the past four-and-a-half months has been that God would provide funds as we need them, and that nothing about the adoption would be delayed even by a single day because of a lack of money. As we have also said before, He has never failed to answer this prayer. The closest we have ever come to being unable to complete a step because we couldn't pay the required sum was back in February when we were preparing to submit our application to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) for permission to travel outside the country for the purpose of completing an adoption. (For all of you adoption veterans, this was the all-important submission of the I-600A.) In that particular instance, He sent us the money the day before we needed it, giving us just a little bit of breathing room. Part of us longs for that kind of comfort right now.
We received notice of our first appointment in Mikaela's home country two weeks ago today, and we have been praying earnestly since then for the rest of the funds that we will need to complete her adoption. For days, nothing happened, but we didn't panic because God had shown Himself so faithful throughout this whole process, and because we knew that we didn't have to act immediately. We were extremely grateful when several donations arrived late last week, even though we were still considerably short of what we would eventually need. But we knew that we still had time before the money would actually be needed, and so we again did our best to remain patient and wait on the Lord's timing. On Monday morning, we both felt very peaceful and upbeat about everything, until we saw that there were still no more funds for Mikaela. Then, the urgency of our need descended upon us, and it became very difficult not to despair. We set aside some time that morning to pray together, and by that evening we were both doing better, although our desperation had become acute. God encouraged us again through some friends of ours who have been an incredible support over the past few months, and we awoke on Tuesday morning feeling very encouraged. That was the case all the way through yesterday afternoon, but when yesterday evening arrived and God still had not sent anything major, despair began to set in again. We began this morning in a hopeful mood, but that dissipated quickly when He again was silent. That silence temporarily paralyzed us, as we didn't know where to go. We have been diligently and earnestly—though by no means perfectly—seeking His will, especially over the past two weeks. Repeatedly we have sensed Him telling us simply to wait for His timing, and His history of provision served to encourage us in waiting. And we are not talking only about His past dealings with us during Mikaela's adoption, but His faithfulness in continuing to provide for the work of The Shepherd's Crook and His great faithfulness to His people as recorded in Scripture. And now, it seemed that our attempts to follow His leading had led us to a dead end, with no visible way out. We still cannot imagine how we are supposed to finish this adoption and bring Mikaela home, but we know that she is our daughter, and thus she belongs here with us and not in the orphanage. So, we are moving forward, even though we don't know what God has in store for us. His silence from earlier today is starting to lift, and so we are taking the next steps. We are going to book our flights tonight, and we are praying earnestly that He will continue to supply what we need from this point forward. It's more than a little scary to take such a step into the unknown, but as this is where God is leading us, there is nowhere else for us to go. We would not turn our back on our daughter, and we would not refuse to follow the Lord. It's not for us to know how He is going to work in the coming days; our only duty at the moment is to trust and obey.
Please pray with us that our Heavenly Father will graciously supply what we need to bring Mikaela home. It's not easy to trust Him in the midst of such an intense trial, but that is what we are to do. If the Psalmists and the author of Lamentations can praise God out of the depths of their despair, then certainly we ought to do likewise. So, please pray also that we will not harden our hearts, that we will honor Him in how we conduct ourselves, and that our trust in Him would not give way to hopelessness. We are asking Him to open the flood gates and pour down on us what He knows we need. We are praying for a miracle.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
— Psalm 62:5-8
Greg & Kristie
Tax-deductible donations may be made towards Mikaela's adoption by sending a check made payable to The Shepherd's Crook Ministries to P.O. Box 773, West Chester, OH 45071, or by using PayPal on-line at www.theshepherdscrook.org/donate/now/. Just be sure to designate the funds for Mikaela Colleen Godwin.