Saturday, May 12, 2012

The First Real Sense of Urgency

We knew when we began Isabelle's adoption that we could only move as quickly as God would provide the money. Each step in the process has fees associated with it, and so we committed to pursue her adoption fully aware that we were following Him by stepping out into the great-somewhat-unknown. I put it that way because it is only somewhat unknown. We don't know how He is planning to provide for Isabelle's adoption (indeed, any time in the past that we have tried to guess where His provision would come from, we have been dead wrong), but we know that He is going to supply the money. Why? Because He has called us to adopt her, and He has shown Himself over and over again throughout history to be the One who keeps His promises. In fact, the Lord has a pattern of asking His people to step out and take the first step, trusting in Him to bring the journey to a successful completion. An older, wiser Christian man whom I met only a few weeks ago made this very point, learning from the account of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River under Joshua's command. They were told that the waters would not part until the priests bearing the ark of the covenant should stand in the river. Then, and only then, would God stop the flow of water and allow His people to cross to the other side on dry land. (Joshua 3:7-13) Many situations in the Christian life mirror this; we are asked to take a step into what seems to be an unknown, crazy, irrational situation, and what He really wants from us is to trust Him to be the firm ground on which we'll walk. And even though we have done this before, it's hard to fight the doubts that assail us daily, begging us to question seriously whether God will follow through with what He has asked us to begin. We can only remind ourselves of His loving faithfulness and ask Him to give us the faith that we need to trust Him completely.

Along those lines, we are now feeling a strong sense of urgency to complete our pre-approval paperwork. Technically, we have another two-and-a-half months before these papers are due, but we don't want to wait that long. Isabelle has a heart condition that has deprived her of fully-oxygenated blood her entire life. Her blood is part-oxygenated, part-deoxygenated, and that means that her little heart has been working overtime since she was born. We don't know exactly how bad her condition is, but it certainly isn't helping her. Moreover, we long to have our daughter home with us. There's a hole in our house right now, an empty bed in her bedroom, an empty seat at our table, that needs to be filled by this little one. She needs to be home with us because this is where she belongs, to put it simply. We are nearly finished with this pre-approval application, and we expect to have it done by the end of the day tomorrow. (FYI, the application for pre-approval will be submitted to the Chinese authorities. If they approve us, then Isabelle will be officially matched with us and we will be allowed to continue her adoption. If they reject us, then we won't be allowed to adopt her. Please pray with us that they will grant our pre-approval request!) The problem with this is that we have only 1/5 of the money needed to submit this application. Rather than wait for the money before completing the paperwork, we feel that we need to complete the papers first, so that we can be ready to submit it as soon as God provides enough money. I don't say this to try to influence anyone to give towards her adoption. I mainly ask that you pray with us and for us, that we would look to God and God alone as the One who will bring our daughter home to us, and that He would work in such a way that not one step of this process will be delayed because of a lack of funds. Right now, that isn't the case because we are not ready to submit for pre-approval. But we hope to be by Monday, and something is going to have to happen between now and then if we are going to be able to send everything in that day.

Thank you for your prayers for us and for our daughter. It means a lot to us to have you all coming alongside us in this incredible journey.

- Greg

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