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Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Time is NOW

It's time to make the leap! It's time to move on what you feel the Lord is leading you to do, despite the fears and reservations you may be harboring.
It's time to APPLY for Share Your Summer 2012 if you suspect the Lord may be calling you to open your front door and receive a blessing in the form of a child from The Philippines!!!!!!!!!!!! (This hosting program is for families who are in NC, upper SC, lower VA or who are able to spend a month in the Charlotte area this summer).
I have talked, both online and in person, with many families who shared with me their desire to host this summer and to be open to pursuing adoption and the common concern in all these conversations is (say it with me . . . ) THE MONEY!

The financial side of hosting and adopting is real. It's there. It's a necessary part of transporting a human 8,000 miles via airplane with all the required documents and mandatory pre-screening. But it doesn't need to be the sole obstacle that keeps your family from experiencing the life-changing, Christ-honoring, radical step of obedience that adoption can be.

Those of you who have stuck by this blog for any length of time know that we have FOUR sons from The Philippines. FOUR SEPARATE ADOPTIONS - adoption totals over $20,000 apiece. Those of you who know us in real life know that we are a single-income family of modest means. We don't have a large home. We don't drive brand-new cars. We are just "average Joes". HOWEVER, the Lord provided for all four of our adoptions with absolutely NO DEBT! We did not have to use a home equity line, we did not have to take out a loan. We do not even own credit cards . . . please be encouraged that God ALWAYS pays for what He orders! Always! If you are led to adopt an older child, there are many grants available for that. Some organizations specialize in helping older children find their families before it's too late. If your intended child has special needs, more grants are out there.

Let me share a few great fund raising ideas that helped us grow this little, "normal" family into a big, "abnormal" family (ha ha):

1. Write a Christmas letter to people you would normally send a card to. Let them know of your family's desire to host/adopt and ask them to consider a donation in lieu of a gift this year. This is the perfect time of year as people are often pausing to consider how blessed they have been and sometimes those people start to look for a way to share their blessings with others.

2.Get Selling! From Craigslist to ebay, get rid of items you aren't using and let that money begin to fund your hosting/adoption efforts.

3. Turn to your church family. The body of Christ was MADE to be His hands and feet to the lost, hurting, fatherless and needy. Ask permission to host a "parents night out" where your family and some volunteers can watch children for three hours while moms and dads have a night out. Leave a donation jar at the door of the child care area for grateful families to contribute to your hosting/adoption fund.

4. Host a spaghetti dinner. Buy those divided foam boxes from a restaurant supply store and then let everyone in your life know that pre-ordered spaghetti dinners can be picked up (or delivered for a small fee) on a particular night. If your own kitchen can not accommodate cooking for many or if your home is out "in the boonies", see if you can use your church's facilities for cooking and pick ups. Include salad, a piece of Italian bread and dessert. How many of your lady friends would love to support a good cause AND skip cooking for the night? I'm always game for that!!!!

5. Hold a talent show at your church. Ask the kids, youth and talented adults to sign up to perform. After half the acts are complete, spend a few minutes sharing your heart with the audience and ask the audience to consider helping your family host/adopt through a financial gift (of course, you MUST tell the folks ahead of time that the talent show is also a fund raiser - NO SURPRISES when fund raising. Always be forthright about your purposes and intentions). Let admission be free. Sell concessions for a reasonable price and pass the offering plate mid-show. You don't even have to speak if you're not inclined to do so. Have a friend stand up for you.

I know some of you may feel tired just reading that short list. It seems a lot of work to fund raise. It causes you to put yourself "out there" and risk rejection. There WILL be people who don't understand your calling. There WILL be people who tell you that you should only be helping children in your own country and not looking abroad but there will also be people who see your heart, understand the need and jump in to toil alongside you.

A sweet, precious woman from our church heard about our plans to adopt Ezekiel and she called me and asked if she could start a fund raising group called "Friends of Ezekiel"!!!!! It blew my mind to know that God was moving OTHERS to go to these great lengths for our family. All the work was not "on me". It was shared among our own family and other believers. Friends of Ezekiel raised thousands of dollars for our adoption! THOUSANDS! I am still in awe when I think back on that time. I know that my friend Cindy, her daughter and the others who worked with Friends of Ezekiel did not do it because they wanted anything in return. They did it out of obedience to the Lord and He blessed it over and over.

Please consider contacting Christian Adoption Services (www.christianadopt.org) and getting started on that application if you have been leaning that way. God is faithful, even when you're fearful! Want to know a little secret? I've been scared EVERY SINGLE TIME (shhhh). . .

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