This past Sunday, Kim read a thank you from the Burlando family. We were excited to pass on some more cash to this beloved family so that we could all be a part of this adoption. Adoption is such a beautiful picture of our story in the Gospel.
Here is the thank you letter…
It honestly brings tears to my eyes when I think about it.
When we began this process ten months ago we stepped out in faith knowing that this was God’s work, this was his child, and He would supply what he clearly was calling us to.
It was a scary thing to do. Terrifying but we knew a way would be made somehow. We didn’t know how God would provide, we certainly didn’t expect the incredible outpouring of generosity we have received. We know that sometimes God uses our extreme sacrifice, hard work, and all kinds of things to teach us to trust him and to accomplish his purposes in our life. We have used those elements in our savings efforts but the majority of our funds came in entirely unexpected ways.
The truth is even with sacrifice, pinching our pennies, and trying to save we could NOT have come up with $25,000 plus all the extra “stuff” we’ll need to bring another child into our home.
We’re just a family of 6 living off of one modest salary, struggling to pay the bills and put gas in the car. We shop clearance racks and thrift stores for our kids clothes. We buy bulk dried beans and rice in bulk, and grow our garden to help feed our brood. Our house is simple but adequate.
I always had a dream of adopting internationally, but it seemed pretty much impossible. The money was our biggest excuse. Our heart was for it, but our faith couldn’t see past our little bank account.
As we began this journey we filled out the applications for a few different grants, and we expected to have to get a bank loan at some point. I assumed we’d need to come up with some pretty extravagant fund raisers. As it turns out God chose, this time, to show His glory through removing that entire financial mountain from our path and using His people.
To our amazement, as of Oct., only 8 months in, we were nearly fully funded. We only had $6000 left to reach our goal of $25,000 which we think will cover the bulk of the adoption costs.
We assumed that this was when we’d really have to start striving and figuring out the rest on our own. We had already received so much generosity. Once again we started talking fund raisers, grants and loans…fully expecting to have to fight our way to the last penny.
Then one morning I woke up to a message from a young family in our church telling us that they wanted to fund the rest of our adoption. They had received some unexpected money and prayerfully decided to use it bring Elijah home. We could hardly breathe we were so shocked. I was both elated and hesitant…how could we accept that kind of a gift? I can imagine, as they made that choice, that they thought of all the ways their family of two young children, a new mortgage and student loans could use that money. Some would probably consider it utter foolishness, but our God uses things that seem like foolishness to this world to shame those who consider themselves wise. (1 Cor. 20-31) A couple weeks later they, with absolutely no fan fare, publicity or strings attached, handed us a check for $6000.
I am crying just typing that.
We’ve never known such sacrificial love poured out in tangible ways and with such unassuming humility and joy. We’ve never known an entire body of believers to take such absolute pleasure in giving sacrificially. Have I mentioned lately how much I adore our church community? Jesus has worked through them all in such amazing ways as they have encouraged us with the gospel, walked with us, prayed for us and our son, and carried the financial burden for us. We have felt so loved by all of it …from the fundraisers they eagerly held, to the $20 bills slipped to us before worship services, to the listening ears and wise words when we were despairing, to the “baby shower” soon being thrown to celebrate our newly adopted children. We have been so well loved. We have been shown the gospel of God’s grace over and over again. It’s so overwhelming and humbling to be on the receiving end of so much generosity. They give, not out of pride or religious obligation, but because of what they have been freely given in Christ. They understand that all we have belongs to God, we are merely stewards of his good gifts.
“Through repentance and faith in Jesus, we are granted the right to be children of God (John 1:12-13) and brothers and sisters with each other. As God’s family we see it as a blessed obligation to personally care for the needs of one another – both physically and spiritually. We disciple, nurture, and hold each other accountable to Gospel life together. We do this by regularly gathering together for celebration, consistent involvement in Gospel community, and loving others in the path of our life like the Father loved us and received us as a part of His “forever family”. Pastor Murray Mclellan
It is encouraging to know that as we bring home our son and begin a new chapter in our lives, one that will certainly be challenging, demanding, and may stretch us in ways we can’t even imagine that we will not be alone.
Beyond our local fellowship has been the far reaching people of Jesus and others who have joined with us. Money has come from the least expected places from those who have little but whose hearts are enormous. We even received the savings account (a bag full of $1 and $2 coins) of a tiny 5 year old girl. It has taught me so much, convicted me of my own self sufficient pride, and taught me more about God’s sacrificial mercy given freely to illdeserving people.
I want to let you ALL know how deeply, from the depth of our souls, thankful we are for you and God’s work in you. Any of you who prayed, encouraged, or gave….you will always be a part of this story God is writing.