Then He said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23
Yep, DAILY. I really have to take up my cross daily and follow Him. I have to constantly remind myself of what is important in my life. The big picture.
This adoption journey has been a crazy one, for sure. It's also been difficult, at times. We have learned so much about ourselves and others during this process.
We have truly learned the value of a dollar. We know that it takes almost 27,000 of them to save the life of a little boy. Our little boy's life is valued at $27,000.
When it comes to money, this is what we have experienced.
1. Spending every dime we had on THINGS (before children).
2. Spending every dime on saving for the future.
3. Spending every dime on saving a little boy.
When I got out of college, I bought whatever I wanted! When Chris and I got married, we traveled, bought new vehicles, etc. We did save, but we didn't save as much money as we could have saved. When we bought our first home, thankfully we had saved enough for a good down payment...but our desires started changing and we definitely hit the saving mode. When I think back to this time last year, we were pinching pennies with no thoughts of adoption in our near future. What was so important that we were saving for? Retirement. Yes, I do want a comfortable retirement with my hubby but that is SO far away, yet so close... I would LOVE to see the world with him and have experiences that we can't have with children in tow. But what it all boils down to me right now is that if I can't be surrounded by my children, my grandchildren, and my great grandchildren when we retire, I doubt very seriously that I will enjoy retirement, no matter how "rich" we are. We will invest our money God's way, and teach our children that God provides for our needs... not necessarily our wants. It just so happens that God wants us to invest our money in a little boy who may not live to see his 6th birthday if he is not adopted before he is transfered to a mental institution. Getting him home is as good as gold to me.
Where are we now? Chris and I have taken up our crosses. We have decided to hand over everything that we thought we needed for a happy retirement and trust Him with this investment. Every single penny. Literally. I'm not going to lie, it makes me nervous...but I have faith that God has called us to this for a purpose and He will not let us down.
I have learned that money does not truly make me happy. This time last year, we were comfortable, yet we wanted more. The money we had back then just wasn't enough. I think it's that way with everyone; we all want the American dream. We have had a comfortable life and it's nice to know that we can have our bills paid and still take fun family vacations. It's nice to be able to see Europe while we are over here but this season in our lives has come to an end. And that's okay.
So what makes you happy? What are your treasures? I know that I find true happiness every time I get a hug from my sweet girls, when my oldest tells me that I smell like "cookies and perfume", when my youngest says her favorite word, "ungee" (hungry), and plays her favorite game of "uh oh" so that I have to pick up her sippy cup a million times, when I watch the girls play together (they are currently crawling around on the floor together as I write this), when my hubby tells me that he loves me and I can know for a fact that he means it and will mean it forever, when big G talks about God and I find her in bed reading her children's bible to herself, when we join friends for dinner... I find happiness in just having our basic needs met...And I will find so much happiness when we bust Finn out of that orphanage. I can HARDLY wait!
We have experienced giving at its best! Thank you so much for those of you who have given whatever you can give to us...Through words of encouragement, prayers, actions, donations, everything. You are truly a blessing to us! I don't think I could ever thank you enough.
**So here's an update on our process: We didn't make the winter cut-off for getting our Dossier completed and submitted to Finn's country. Very sad about this but we expected it. We got around 75 documents notarized only to have to start over on several of them the very next day due to changes that very night. But now we have until Feb. 1 to get it completed. We will continue saving our money and fundraising. Once Feb. 1 arrives, we will submit everything and wait for our travel dates! Hopefully we will meet him towards the end of Feb. or during March. Chris went to Frankfurt, Germany this morning and filled out an Application for Immigration to get pre-approval for Finn's US citizenship. One step closer!