Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finish Line

I hope I don't get any details wrong in this post...because in this case, the truth is stranger than fiction.  Not strange...but remarkable, amazing, divine, out-of-this-world crazy.  And this is kind of lengthy and detailed, but I believe your heart will be blessed by what you read here!

We, admittedly, were beginning to stress about the last bit of our finances that we needed to go to our embassy appointment and bring Karis Lemlem home.  We KNEW God had provided everything we needed up to this point, just like He always has through everything.  But, when it comes down to the rubber meeting the road, it gets a bit hot!  A week out from presumably needing almost $6000, and we had not an inkling where it would come from.

The run down:
Flights for both of us:  $4000 (estimated)
Flight for Karis Lemlem: $300 (estimated)
Visa for Karis: $400
In-country costs: $1200-$1400.

As we started looking at flights, it was getting nasty...and with little flexibility due to Mark's work schedule, available flights were soon over $3000 PER PERSON.  Ugh.

That is when we made the decision for me (Wendy) to travel alone.  Save on flights. Save on in-country.  It'll be tough, but I can rally-at least that's what I told myself then!

And then God's handiwork became evident once again. 
$1000 given by a friend.
$500 given by another friend
$75 given by another friend from college.
$370 remaining in our adoption fund

Total:  $1945
My ticket AND Karis Lemlem's combined final ticket cost: $1922!!!

So, this left Karis' visa and our in-country costs.
I really felt strongly that we should do the t-shirt fundraiser...if for no other reason than I wanted them!  My sister Rebecca went to work designing, Daniel and Sarah at http://www.bluebirdscreenprinting.com/ were ready to roll on short notice, Eric digitized the design for us, and away we went!

Many friends, family members, and fellow adoption peeps rallied on the t-shirt fundraiser.  Donations and help spreading the word from friends from high school.  (I'm getting old, folks...that was 15 years ago, and I'm once again blown away by the generosity and goodness surrounding us from past to present).

In the meantime, I rec'd the new estimate on in-country costs for just me traveling:  $800-$1200.
T-shirt fundraiser results (includes many generous gifts):  $1100!!!

So, we're down to just Karis' visa ($400), and then we also got the bill for our homestudy update that we had to do last month ($324).  And it was disappointing that we now could not take any donations to the orphanages/street kids, because I could only take 2 bags...which is one for me and one for my baby girl.  Extra baggage is $200/bag.  *disappointed sigh*  We had a whole suitcase of medical supplies given by a nurse here in Anchorage, and we also had hooded sweatshirts donated by friends from church for the street kids Bisrat works with, as well as a whole tote of cloth diapers I have had in storage and tons of new plastic pants and ear thermometers bought by another friend from church for the orphanages. 

Well, last week our church treasurer called me to see if I was home b/c she was going to drop off a cash donation that had just come in.  We just missed each other from her coming by and me getting home...and there was $400 sitting in an envelope on my table.  Karis Lemlem's visa taken care of.  Just. like. that.

A week later, a family member of a friend was here and wanted to buy a t-shirt.  She left a check on the counter for it.  $300. Homestudy update bill taken care of.  Just. like. that.

At church on Sunday, I was reminded that from another friend sending a check, there was $200 in the adoption fund.  And someone else gave me $100 specifically for the orphanage donations.  And someone else gave the treasurer $100 for the same thing.  Extra baggage fees taken care of.  Just. like. that.

Of course there is the issue of having traveling money for , meals, tips for bag attendants at the airport in Addis, and emergencies....and someone else at church handed me $400 to have for travel.  Taken care of.  Just. like. that.

The only thing left in this whole process is our post-placement visits (follow up with the social worker who did our homestudy) and readoption fees.  Could run anywhere from $600-$1500, depending on what our homestudy agency charges.

Between today and yesterday, we received another $650 total from friends and family. 
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure our post placement costs will run us about $650. 

I hope you have read in amazement what God has done for us.  We are in awe of how mighty our God is.  We are completely humbled by how he has chosen to bless us.  I can hardly wait to see what the Lord is going to do in the life of our baby girl, who is really HIS baby girl...it's surely going to be something great with all that he has done in her life in six short months!  "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." Jeremiah 1:5

"Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done.  The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. Ps. 40:5

"Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me." Ps. 54:4

"I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will meditate on all your words and consider all your mighty deeds."  Ps. 77:11-12

"Declare His glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples." Ps. 96:3


Anonymous said...

Amazing, Wendy! What a journey of faith you have been on this last 18 months! And the fun has just begun! Praying for you and Karis as you travel and for your whole family as you unite!!!!!

Busy1 said...

Yes, I am constantly humbled by the greatness of our God. It is beyond our comprehension, isn't it? But then, if I could comprehend it, it wouldn't make my God very big and we wouldn't want that either. Thanks for sharing. God was so good and so amazing to us during the building of our home and how he provided "surprise" gifts on occasion at just the right time. I don't know why it continues to amaze me.

Brad and Tara said...

What a fabulous way to reach the finish line in your fundraising!! God sure does use a lot of people to bless us on this journey!! Karis is lucky to have so many that love and support her already!!!

Tiffany said...

Wendy, God is so good!! Thank you for sharing. God has worked much the same way in our adoption finances. And yet I stand here still amazed!

Mozer said...

HOw awesome Wendy!!

Jennifer M said...

That is so wonderful Wendy! I am so thrilled for you guys that you are DONE with this financial burden! Yay!

sgowin said...

Wendy, thanks for sharing these details so that God can be glorified through you and your story!! God is in the business of bringing the lonely into families!! AMEN!!

T said...

I have goosebumps!!

Debb said...

YAY, GOD!!! THANKS for sharing such remarkable ways that our God PROVIDES for His will to be done! Karis is SOOOO meant to be YOURS!!!! Very exciting!

Christine said...

That was so encouraging! God is amazing and you have been so faithful!

The Davidsons said...

I just love a story like that!! Have an awesome trip. I'll be looking forward to reading all about it.

velvet said...

i'm in tears. God never ceases to do amazing things for those with amazing hearts :)