Both Widows knew that without intervention, they were lost. Their children would be taken from them, in one way or another.
4 Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” 2 And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. 4 Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” 5 So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. 6 When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.” 2 Kings 4:1-7
This passage hits home to me because she needed a RANSOM for her sons. She was distraught, desperate, but her faith was still strong that the Prophet of God would speak Truth to her. The truth of redemption. But she had to be willing to be involved in the process. I love the question "What do you have in your house." She could have said "nothing worth mentioning." But she listed it all. Just a jar of oil. She took the resources she had, and God multiplied to not only ransom her sons, but to give them a living.
Even the meager, the insufficient is worth something to God.
8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” 15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah. 1 Kings 17:8-16
During this intense famine God never let her food supplies diminish. Every time she looked at it, she could only be guaranteed that day's worth of food. And yet every day, there was enough to eat, to keep them sustained.
Both of these women had the burden of grief on them, the weight of caring for their children, and dwindling resources. They had used almost all of their earthly ability to change their situation. And it was when they had reached a point of knowing their resources and ability was completely insufficient that they reached out to God. When we are the weakest is when God's glory shines the brightest. (2 Cor. 12:9)
Today I will send our first payment to our in-country agency representing us in the adoption. I won't beat around the bush, it is a large sum: $3,600. But this group is very generous, and does not charge extra for driver or ask that we pay for our attendant's meals or room.
I was looking ahead to Gabriel's next fee, to Besty's fees, to the travel, the visa fees and medicals ... it all seems like no matter how far we had come, the future need was so great. I decided to take stock of what we have in all of our accounts: checking, savings, paypal, Reece's Rainbow FSP and "The Jar" that sits on my bookshelf where we stick money given to us personally.
I was pretty stunned at what I found: Just over $8,000!
I was blown away by God's grace to us. When we felt called to this adoption of these two, precious lives, we answered "YES!" But we asked God one thing "Please provide a way for us to do this debt-free." I firmly believe that He is responding "YES!" back to us. I am blessed to feel His hand on my life in such an intimate, real and tangible way.
What I see as finite resources, He sees as a starting place to do the amazing, the wondrous, the miraculous. He is not limited by our fears.
So, you may ask "what will this $8,000+ be used for?" Excellent question!
That is pretty much enough to cover most of the remaining agency fees for both children!
So, here we are, nearly 7 MONTHS into this adoption, getting closer to traveling and we have the money we will need for their fees for the next few months. *MIND BLOWN*
What we have left are the travel fees for both the "Meetcha'" trip and the "Gotcha'" Trip. That is to the tune of $7,000 +/-. Since we don't know when we will be traveling, and we will be traveling in 2 different seasons AND we don't know if we will be able to use our travel incentive from work after all, this number could fluctuate by a few thousand dollars either direction.
Then there will be other, non-agency fees to pay: Betsy's $720 USCIS fee, $230/each for visas, $220/each for medicals and TB test before they can get said visas and then $500-$800 each for a ticket home.
That means we need $9,300-$10,300 to be FULLY FUNDED.
I know what you are thinking. I'll even give you a minute to wipe off the the latte you just spewed all over your monitor. You have some on your chin. No, down a little ... right, money.
HOW BIG IS MY GOD? He has already lead us to the tune of $22,000, much of it coming from our monthly budget or through side jobs my husband has taken. The last $5,000 of that has come from my husband selling some equipment he took as payment for a side job. We were completely surprised by the generosity of friends, family and our church who have helped us raise over $3,600. I know over the next 7-8 months God will lead us to new ways to fund-raise, be creative in our budget and prayerfully extra work for my husband.
You may have noticed that I have been quiet about our USCIS approval letter. That's because I was mad. Our officer made a promise she could not keep, and I had my letter a full week after she had said I would. This meant that for a full week I could not make any plans, had to keep my family on stand-by to watch the boys and was over-all a ball of stress. I have released my anger. I know others who started this journey over a year ago, only to be in step with us in the timeline.
Last Monday I took the letter to my state capital to be apostilled. I did not enjoy the trip. Major construction, detours that went nowhere I wanted to go and my lack of a GPS device made a 3 hour trip take 5 hours. But it is done. My Case Worker has all of my documents, and they will soon be in The Country Across The Pond. We are not sure how quickly our dossier will be ready for presenting to the governing body, nor how quickly we will get our travel dates. Right now we are prepared for it to be late December to some time in January.
There is nothing for us to do now other than fund-raise, start thinking about luggage, how to dress for Winter travel and preparing the kid's rooms. We hope to have them home May-June of next year! Very, very exciting stuff!
(If you enjoyed my photos, check out picmonkey! It is a free online editor that has some very awesome filters and editing features.)