How could I have known that September, as I stood at my locker ogling over cute boys or crying because I didn't get that coveted solo, that somewhere on the other side of the ocean another woman was giving birth to my future son.
As I walked across the stage at graduation that year, he was lying in a crib, unnoticed. I bet he had peach fuzz hair and chubby cheeks. He was surely the most perfect baby boy around. But nobody ever told him so.
I headed off to college at age 18 with the world at my fingertips. My parents spent their hard-earned, diligently-saved money on my education, leaving me without a care in the world. Those college years were some of the most joy-filled, stretching, amazing years of my life. And all the while, unbeknownst to me, that son of mine waited, lying in a crib, still unnoticed.
My story continued with a move to California in 2004 and four more incredible years of opportunity. Every day in California was a full day. Worship leading, hiking some of the most beautiful places in the world, my first experiences with youth ministry, falling in love with sushi and San Franciso...I could go on and on. Tony had his 5th, 6th, and 7th birthdays during my California years. He spent them alone.
Life only got richer and sweeter for me as time went on. A move back home to Nebraska in 2008 was the beginning of five incredible years that brought me ever closer and closer to the heart of God. One year was spent living and working in a homeless shelter. Nearly four years living and serving with some of my best friends in a Christian community house. Three and a half years at a church job that has given me the freedom to simply follow the Spirit's leading. Eights months as mommy to a most beloved daughter. I'm sure I don't need to tell you what Tony's been doing these last five years. But I will anyway. He's been doing the same things he's always done, within the same four colorless walls.
In these last 13 years and 8 months I've traveled all over the world. I've moved more times than I'd care to count. I've been mentored and poured into by some of the most incredible, godly men and women. I've experienced the unfathomable love and faithfulness of God in miraculous ways. Truly, my life has been rich and full. One blessing after another after another.
I want Tony to know this blessed life. The one his new little sister now knows.
I want him to know what it feels like to have people around every corner who look at him with love. I want him to well up with pride when those loved ones cheer him on at every milestone. I want Tony to fall asleep knowing he is safe and to wake up excited to meet each new day.
Our home is not perfect. We are not perfect. But we have in our home and in us what I know Tony needs. We can't wait to share our life with him. We can't wait to share our Jesus with him.
This new adoption process is moving right along. We've already completed our home study appointments and our agency application. We've been officially matched with Tony through the powers that be in Bulgaria. I'll soon begin compiling documents for our dossier.
As I keep trucking along, working as hard and fast as I can to get to Tony, I wonder if there are any readers out there who might feel led to come alongside and support us. Adoption is hard work. Its expensive. (Estimated at $28,000 from start to finish...I had a grossly miscalculated estimate last time around!). It takes a toll emotionally.
If you would like to help bring Tony home, there are three specific things I would ask you to consider.
- We need prayers. Lots and lots of prayers. And I don't mean this as in "if you can't give money maybe you could pray". I mean for real. We NEED prayer for every aspect of this adoption and for our life as we are in process. If you will pray, I'd sure love the encouragement of knowing that you're lifting us up. (All THREE of us!)
- We could use some help with the work of fundraising. I've got some ideas in the works and some art projects in process, but I will not turn down help! In particular, I'd love help selling the pile of stuff I've been setting aside for adoption expenses. Or help to set up a yard sale and soliciting donations. Or making cute stuff for an auction. Or...you name it.
- If you're in a position to be able to help financially, we would be ever so grateful. Every little bit helps. There are 3 ways you can donate. 1.) You can use our Family Sponsorship Page through Reece's Rainbow. There's a donate button on the right side of the blog. Donations through this account are tax deductible and will be released to us at the time of travel. 2.) You can give via paypal, using the button that is also on the right side of this blog. These donations are not tax deductible, but I can access them right away. 3.) You can send a check in the mail. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for an address.
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement.
Now, let's get Tony home!!!
Lots of love to all of you.