Just now, I walked toward my computer, knowing fully that it is time. Time for what? Time to update you all on our adoption process? Time to throw some letters, punctuation, words, some semblance of a post up on the blog?
No. It’s time to do some of that, but, it’s time to share what God has been burning in my heart over the past couple of weeks.
I am completely aware that it has been WELL over a month since I’ve posted. Completely. But, to be honest, I’ve been avoiding sharing. You know in the beginning, when I stated confidently that I would bring you along on this journey with us, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly? Well, I’ve been withholding from you. (gasp!) No, we’re not breaking up ;-)
Let me start with this- our latest news is that our home study is complete! (cheers going up everywhere) We are now in the “paper chase” phase of completing our dossier. This means that there is ANOTHER list of items, documents and such that have to be collected, notarized and, some, have to also be certified and authenticated. Once this is all done and we have a complete and approved dossier, we will then submit that to the government of Haiti.
Now, after reading that, you may wonder what I’ve been withholding. At least just a little curious? Well, here we go. I am one of “those” moms that doesn’t do whining. I just dislike it. Seriously. Detest it. When my kids were very little and started going through that whining “stage” (they just do), I would simply tell them, “I can’t understand you, you’ll have to speak clearly”. And, eventually, after they realized I wasn’t going there, they stopped. For the most part. (we still have an occasional whiny moment)
The past month and a half, practically every update, e-mail or correspondence we have gotten from our adoption agency or coordinator has contained some type of setback, bad news or disappointment. Such as: the Haiti government has now decided to put a limit on the number of children per year that they are allowing to be adopted, the Haiti government is now telling all adoptive parents to expect the process to start taking much longer, there is yet another fee you will have to pay for your dossier that wasn’t expected, etc, etc, etc.
Going into this, we knew there would be these types of messages and, lots of them. But, in these recent moments, I’ve found myself inwardly being pretty whiny. Oh, the horror!! Thus, the silence on my blog. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
However, it was also in these moments that God began to speak to my heart and remind me how adoption truly does mirror redemption. You see, God’s redemption of our very souls and lives was not simply an immediate exchange. So often we see the redemption process as a simple statement- Jesus was born, lived and died so that we might be saved. It was truly SO much more!! There was a battle going on, that Jesus LIVED. The battle to live a sinless life, the battle to be true to His heavenly father, all the while being human. And, most importantly, the battle on the cross. Jesus FOUGHT for you. He CLAWED, SCRATCHED and GRAPPLED his way through the pain, spiritual darkness and loneliness to redeem US! It was a fight to the finish, but He never gave up, never stopped and didn’t allow His spiritual, physical or emotional fatigue to keep Him from that redemption “finish line”, if you will.
This is the reminder I needed. We are committed to this adoption. Regardless of setbacks, delays and disappointments, God has called us to fight for this sweet Haiti baby. Our child. His child. Redemption is hard. Redemption is exhausting. Redemption costs something. We have answered the call of God to redeem this precious life from Haiti. Now, we dig in our heels, holding on to the hand of Jesus, as we prepare for the fight.
This quote from a book I’m reading sums it up- “We won’t come alive, in the truest and fullest sense, until we die to self. And we won’t find ourselves until we lose ourselves in the cause of Christ. It’s time to ante up. It’s time to go all in. If Jesus is not Lord of all, then Jesus is not Lord at all. It’s all or nothing. It’s now or never.”
We need YOU!
So, here we are, preparing our dossier, praying and believing for God to move “mountains” in the form of procedure, government and time and we need you. Yes, we need YOU! Please, won’t you pray with us? For us? And, for our baby? In order to submit our dossier, which is the next step, we need to have raised approximately $8,000 for translation fees, government fees, agency fees, etc. We recently sent out a fundraising letter to some friends and family and, I’m simply going to share that letter at the end of this post. If you would like to receive a letter and did not, just comment and I’ll get one in the mail to you……today! If God moves on your heart to financially be a part of our journey, again, simply comment and, it will remain private, but I can then communicate to you how to do that!
Dear Friends and Family,
For most of our marriage, Stephanie and I have wrestled with determining what exactly God was doing within our hearts regarding our passion for missions. We’ve always had an incredible burden to be a part of missions work, whether it be through giving, missions trips, or financially and prayerfully supporting the missionaries we personally know.
God also began to place an intense desire in the heart of our family for more children. This has continued to grow and develop even deeper in the hearts of our children, Parker and Chloe in the last couple of years.
About three months ago, our passion and desire came together as God clearly spoke to our hearts, separately and collectively that He is calling us to adoption. However, every day that we “walk” this adoption “road”, we are realizing that this decision truly is not at all about making us parents again, or even giving Parker and Chloe a younger sibling, but rather about stepping away from the ordinary and comfortable and opening our hearts, hands and abundance to a child who needs to know the love of a family, as well as the love of our Savior.
As we researched and prayed, we felt God leading us to international adoption; to rescue an orphan and make them our own, just as God so generously did for us when He grafted us into His very family. We are currently in the process of adopting a baby(gender unspecified), under the age of 24 months, from Haiti through America World Adoption Agency. The adoption process will take approximately 18 months and every step of the way is literally a step of faith.
Our greatest need is financial, as our adoption will cost in excess of $30,000-$35,000. Our adoption expenses include everything from document preparation and translation, agency fees, travel expenses, government fees, to medical and orphanage fees.
So far, we have done fundraising in the form of a pancake feed, delivering phone books door-to-door, selling hand-made bracelets and homemade tamales. We are also greatly depending on God to move on the hearts of those with a burden for orphans to make this adoption a reality. Therefore, we would like to extend an invitation to you and your family to joyfully partner with us financially to help bring home our baby from Haiti. While not everyone is called to adopt a child, we believe (and hope!) many will join us on this journey to rescue an orphan and make an eternal impact on this child’s life.
Thank you from, truly, the depth of our hearts!
Steve, Stephanie, Parker and Chloe Todd