We recently filled out our I-800A and it is ready to be sent to the USCIS (US Citizens and Immigration Services) office as soon as our home study is approved....which should be done this week!! The I-800A is this really long application that we send in, with our home study, to the US government to seek approval to adopt a child from overseas. We received pre-approval so we can proceed with the adoption, then final approval once we have been matched with a child. Our home study has to accompany this form, but our social worker had us go ahead and fill it out so as soon as she gets our home study in her hands...she will drop all of that in the mail to USCIS. Once she does that, and we wait on fingerprinting dates and approval from them, we'll start working on our dossier - which is our stack of paperwork that will go to Colombia, where it will be reviewed by Colombian officials, and we will receive approval from them to adopt from their country. Simple, right? Yes!! Sometimes I wonder, though, how all of this "needing approval" business is affecting my self-esteem!
Another piece of paperwork we had to complete was our child desired form. That's something that requires an entire post of its own...too many emotions on my heart to give it a quick paragraph here, so stay tuned.
On the other hand, I've also had a few more freak out moments here and there. They happen. They come. I breathe. I pray. They go away. It repeats. Worrying is a fault of mine - stress something that can easily take me over when I feel things are out of my control. And adoption is so very far out of my control. Good thing, though, because God IS in control!
We have our next big fundraiser coming up and I've been nervous about it. We're having a yard sale at my grandparents house this weekend. We've been pulling stuff from our house and sending it up with my parents as they've visited us in Louisiana the past several months, pulled everything we have stored at their house and my husband's grandparents house, and we've graciously been given donations by our Tennessee church family - some of which I'm about to go pick up!
Yesterday, though - I was worried. Praise God - a friend who is using the same agency as we are had a yard sale this past weekend. Guess how much they raised? $5,000 dollars!! Yes, 5 thousand. 5K. a 5 with three 0's! How amazing is that! When I read her news, I was immediately overcome with joy for their sweet family - knowing they are so much closer to their little girl. I thanked Jesus for providing so abundantly for them. And then the "thoughts" came...
What if our yard sale is a bust?
We'll never raise that kind of money!
I can't do this!
This will be hard!
How are we going to make a decent amount of money with this fundraiser...and it's supposed to be a big one for us?!
How are we EVER going to reach our total goal for this adoption?!
What will happen to our son?!
And on and on and on the thoughts and questions rolled.
And then that still, small, Voice of peace reminded me...
"Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanmks and broke them. then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people." Luke 9:16 (for the entire miracle, see Luke 9:1-17)
He fed 5,000 people with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. And the people who sought after Him were fulfilled. They were satisfied. They had leftovers. They not only had full bellies, they had full hearts, too. He simply multiplied what was brought forth and given completely over to Him. And as He whispered to my heart the miracle that I sat and listened to time and time again as a child, I knew. I remembered...it's not about me. It's not about my family. It's not about what we or I can do. It's not about us. It's about Him. It's about seeking Him and making Him known and striving to see Him exalted and glorified in all that we do.
I have no idea how much this fundraiser will bring in. I know that He has provided so much more than I could have imagined to this point. But more than that, I know that I want Him to be made known in every step of this adoption - the paperwork, the fundraisers, the blog updates. All of it. So whether we bring in $50 or $5,000 - I will praise Him because He is the One who gave it all.