Our adoption agency requires 4 interviews with a Home Study writer, which is apparently more than the norm. However, we can be a little flexible with the interviews since there are so many required...two of them can be meetings with just me, as long as she gets at least one interview with just Mark and one with us together.
That being the case, I had my first interview with our writer, Judy, on Monday when I went to get my fingerprints done. Before I had talked with her on the phone, in the previous week, I had been a bit nervous about our meetings. But she seemed quite easy to work with, and my nerves lessened.
Well, we covered only two topics in our meeting, which lasted just over an hour. The first was establishing some sense of cultural identity for our daughter, considering the demographics of our community. She seemed pleased with how we had thought through the issues and approved of our ideas on how to overcome the challenges. Moving on.
Then came discussing our finances, and my nerves resumed their previous position. She is concerned with how we are going to finance the rest of the adoption process, considering our income vs. our monthly expenses and debt. She claims that she doesn't intend to discourage us, and that she just wants to help us be realistic, but that she would like in writing our plan for financing the rest of the adoption. According to her thoughts, that includes contacting grant agencies to inquire about amounts that they are potentially awarding, and finding donors who will give lump sums or monthly amounts. She says that she won't "feel comfortable signing off" on our home study if we don't have a feasible plan in place.
Quite honestly, I don't know if, since we meet our agency's requirements, she even has the right to hold up our home study based on her perspective of our finances. That's something I'm looking into.
I cried nearly the whole drive home, crying out to God in my discouragement for His provision and help. And the very next lyric on the CD I was listening to played, "Blessed are the poor..." Yes, God...apparently that's us.
I've really prayed over what to post about all this, and this post may hang out in my drafts for a while, until we have some answers. In the meantime, we're taking some action. Mark is cleaning out his car, as I write, to put it up for sale (we have our van, his car, and his old pick-up. If we plan outings, errands, and appointments carefully, we can get by with just one "good gas mileage" vehicle, with Mark using the van to commute to work regularly, and on days I need the van, he can just drive the truck). Selling his car will pay off half of our credit card debt (we don't owe that much), which will help, since Judy's looking at it as "how will you add to your debt $20,000 more debt to finance the rest of the adoption and still make it?" I'm also making calls and comparisons, that I've been meaning to get to anyway, on our vehicle insurance and my health insurance, to find better rates to lower our monthly expenses.
In trying to encourage us, someone said of Judy that "it's her problem if she doesn't have the faith you have for God to provide." In actuality, it is our problem that she doesn't have faith. So we're just asking God, and asking repeatedly, for Him to provide for us. We know that He didn't lead us into this adoption journey and that He didn't provide so much already to just leave us hanging here to figure the rest out on our own. He's faithful, and He is continuing to be faithful in His way and His time.
Update: Okay, this didn't sit in my drafts folder very long. I just got an email from Judy, our Home Study writer, which said that she contacted our family coordinator at America World, and they "support my request for a more detailed plan of how to anticipate financing the adoption."
So, yes, she does have the right to hold things up till we submit a satisfactory plan to her.
If you would, please pray with us for the following: A quick, good sale of Mark's car; favor in finding better insurance rates; creativity and wisdom in planning fundraisers; direction and favor in pursuing grant assistance; and any other way you feel led to pray for us! We know that in everything, it's not by might, not by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord our God!