In 2001 as I was getting ready for work, I was listening to a Focus on the Family broadcast about adoption.  Steven Curtis Chapman was describing their first (and only at the time) adoption from China.  Have you ever tried to put on makeup and cry at the same time?  It doesn't really work, but as I listened to Steven Curtis Chapman share his heart for and experience with adoption, I was deeply moved.  I knew in that moment that we would adopt someday.  My husband was on board with it from the beginning, coming from a family with 5 siblings adopted out of the foster care system.

At that point we had been married for a year and weren't ready to start a family.  When we decided we were ready to grow our family, we tried and failed to get pregnant for years--8 of them to be exact. 
We knew we wanted to adopt someday, so while we were trying to get pregnant, we decided to also research adoption and try to find the best option for our family.  The research phase that we thought would take months, turned into years.  We were quickly discouraged by the financial cost of adoption. My husband is a worship minister and I had just graduated with my masters in counseling and had all the student loan debt to go along with it.  Needless to say, like most families, we didn't have an extra $30,000 laying around to finance our adoption.  I kept requesting information packets from an agency, seeing the cost and sending for the next packet from the next agency.  This process repeated over and over again.  But my faith was about to be stretched in a big way!

A friend of a friend introduced us to an orphanage where the missionaries love to work with ministry families.  It was the extra push we needed to start the process.  We began the amazing journey of adoption without knowing where the funds were going to come from.  BUT we knew God was leading us each step of the way and we just had to follow Him.  We began the process and completed our home study. 

During the home study process a precious family at our church handed us a check for $1,000 to help with our adoption expenses.  Shortly after this, two sweet friends at church approached me to ask how they could help us raise the funds for adoption.  We began planning a fundraising event.  The event included a silent auction and a cookie exchange to be held on December 6th.  My friends went to area businesses and called people in the church and community to make donations of items to be auctioned.  People were really creative and donated things like a day out on their boat, or a laser cut sign for a favorite sports team. God greatly blessed this event. On December 7th, someone anonymously gave an additional gift through our church.  I want to make sure you notice the dates here.  On December 6th and 7th we raised the exact amount that we would need for the remainder of our adoption expenses.  Our son, Nathanael was born on December 8th and we were matched with him 16 days later!

If we had not obeyed God and taken the leap of faith to adopt, we would never have been able to see how God would faithfully provide and we would not have known the amazing joy of becoming parents.

If you feel God nudging you to adopt but the cost scares you, you can trust Him, He will provide!  No number we can read on paper is greater than his ability to provide over and above what you need.  We even had people handing us cash for spending money the day we were to fly out.  We certainly didn't need that, yet God provided it.  Those gifts enabled us to buy a gift for our son from his birth country for each gotcha day until he turns 18.  What a blessing above and beyond what we could ask or think!

"But happy are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God.  He is the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them.  He is the one who keeps every promise forever,"

Psalm 146:5-6