Last spring, our church's preschool department did a "Make Change for Orphans" campaign. Our preschoolers decorated old coffee cans and set them all over our church for 8 weeks and asked our church family to bring all of their spare change from the week and drop it in. One Sunday, we gathered up a couple of our older preschoolers and we went to each Sunday School class and passed the cans around - explaining that there over 150 million orphans around the world, over 100,000 children in America waiting to be adopted, and that all of the spare change they were dropping into the decorated cans were going to a ministry called Show Hope and they would help families adopt these children. It was so precious taking them around to collect spare change - and dollar bills - from our church family.
One of my most favorite parts of this campaign was counting the money. I've always loved to count money. I have a system and I'm usually right on target after counting it several times. I don't mind the way my hands are all grimy feeling after I'm done and I don't worry about where every single finger has been that has touched every single piece of money that I'm counting...although I do a thorough hand-washing when I'm done. But this isn't why this was my favorite part of this campaign. Maybe my favorite part was a little selfish...but here goes.
The first part of counting money for me (and probably most people) is to sort out each coin into piles. I always, always, ALWAYS look for simple things my kids can do so they can be a part of whatever I'm doing. Taking a meal to someone - they can stir in an ingredient; cooking for a sick friend - help me decide on the menu and deliver it; collecting items for someone in need - they pick some out, too, and help deliver them. For this project of counting this huge pile of money - AB got to help sort out the coins with me.
During the weeks leading up to counting all of the change, I had been in a hard place with our adoption. It was still several months before we would start the process, but we had settled on Colombia earlier that year. During these weeks, I was doubting it whether or not Colombia was where our son was. I prayed and prayed and waited for God to confirm that our hearts were set on the right country and that they were aligned with His plans for our family.
I've mentioned before that one of my favorite things about being a mommy is when God uses our children to speak to me....through simple acts or words they say, songs they sing, questions they ask...any of the ways that He uses them. While AB was sorting out a small pile of coins that I gave her, she held up one coin and said, "This one's different mommy. What is it?"
My heart nearly burst with joy and tears flooded my eyes as I looked and saw this...
A Colombian coin. Right there at my kitchen table - in my daughter's curious little fingers, sitting among over $600 worth of change given to this campaign by First Baptist Church of Slidell, was God's clear answer to my prayer. Even as AB and I sat there sorting and counting money, talking about who knows what - my heart and mind were on Colombia and asking God if we were on the right path. I took this as a clear "YES!!" from Him. And it was so gloriously sweet.
In my last post I told you we might have to switch countries due to some recent changes in Colombia's adoption program. We still don't know if we will, at some point, have to change countries. But as Jacob and I were talking about it this weekend - he reminded me of this coin. He reminded me that God spoke and affirmed just what we'd asked Him. Jacob feels so strongly that Colombia is where God has led us. I don't disagree with him by any means...my problem is the fear - what if we turn everything in and they tell us "no" and then we have to switch countries; what if they tell us "yes" but the wait is going to be so much longer than we anticipated; what if they tell us "yes" and God tells us to open our hearts to an adoption that we never dreamed we'd be open to?
But what if we say no, when God has confirmed in so many ways that we are on His path?
What if we ignore Him and miss out on pivotal moments in our lives that would only strengthen our faith and dependence on Him?
What if we ran away and tried to take control and just made a big 'ole mess of things?
Those are not chances we are willing - or want - to take.
We want to stay with Him.
We will stay in Colombia unless they kick us out and say "We don't want you!". And if that happens, we will trust. We will know. We will remember who He is and what He loves and what He does.
I recorded this in my journal today:
""Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you, therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. for the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him." Isaiah 30:18
God wants to bring justice and compassion to the orphan - to my son. He has called us to Him and He is directing us to our son. We will wait for Him in the uncertainty, remembering that He is the great I AM."
So with 100 Pesos in our hands, our son in our hearts, and our eyes on Him...we will continue with Colombia in our journey to bring our son home.