Lately life has been so busy, I have just worn myself out. Between working a pretty emotionally and physically demanding job, to some side jobs to bring in extra adoption funds, to painting my Mandala Art (which has been surprisingly popular), to the never ending paper work and fee schedule…it’s all been a lot. I understand why most people wouldn’t dream of adopting without their significant other, it’s a challenge to do it all alone. And honestly, sometimes this journey has made me feel more desolate than I would like to admit.
Adoption is hard. Adoption is a sacrifice. Adoption is expensive. Adoption is work. Adoption is living without sometimes. But friends, we are all adopted sons and daughters. In one way or another, adoption is a calling the Lord has given to each and every one of us. No, not all of us are called to physically adopt. Some are called to pray for anyone in the process. Some are called to support financially. Some are called to do acts of service for those in need. But, we are all brothers and sisters through adoption. We are all called to LOVE. Love is lived out in separate ways for each person.
Lately, as we journey through Lent, I have been doing more reading and less social media. The time in the desert is so crucial because as it is written in Hosea 2:14,
“Therefore I will allure her to the desert, and there I shall speak tenderly to her heart.”
Anytime we allow ourselves the opportunity to step back from the craziness and chaos of our world, it allows a door, otherwise blocked, to be opened for the voice of the Spirit to enter in. If you haven’t done so, I encourage you to try it. You never know what you will hear.
So, I have been reading a book called, “The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible,” by Mark Batterson. I wanted to share some quotes and reflections that were placed upon my heart during my reading this evening. One section I have been reflecting upon a lot today is on “Coincidences.” I don’t believe in them, even when they seem to happen often for me…in the smallest of ways, but they do. Do they for you?
Batterson quotes from a Dr. Halverston,
“You go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you. Wherever you are, God has put you there; He has a purpose in your being there. Christ who indwells you has something He wants to do through you where you are. Believe this and go in His grace and love and power.”
He goes on further to write,
“You go nowhere by accident. You may not be right where you want to be, but God can use you right there. In fact, God may have you right where He wants you. Whether you’re taking a mission trip halfway around the world or a trip to the local grocery store, God is setting up divine appointments along the way. The challenge, of course, is that they are harder to recognize closer to home because we operate on autopilot. Don’t be in such a hurry to get where you’re going that you miss the miracles along the way—or the miracles that may be out of your way!”
When I read this it was as if the Father Himself was saying, “Hello! Can you hear me speaking to you? These words are meant for you alone, Jacqui!” When had become so doubtful? When had I lost hope that this journey I have been on is going EXACTLY AS HE PLANNED? When did I suddenly decide my plans were the better ones…even though I am fully aware of the falseness of that lie. It got me thinking though, of the many times this past year that God has arranged a divine appointment at just the right moment.
A few examples for you:
Around Christmas time, I was on break from work (Work at a school for children with severe behavioral and developmental needs) for Christmas. I had planned to go visit some Monastic friends of mine during break. As I sat and waited for my flight to board, I was thinking about how much I missed my kiddos. I love my job and I also know how much some of our students rely on that daily routine of school and ABA therapy. I was excited to slip away for some time with friends and some quiet time with the Lord, but I missed my own routine too. As I boarded the plane, I found an open isle seat. There was a mother and her teenage son sitting by the window. I took my seat and settled in for my quick one hour trip. As the plane took off, I realized that her son had autism. When you work with children on the spectrum daily, it is very easy and almost second nature to pick up on it when you are out in public.
Unlike some people, who may encounter a child or adult on the spectrum and become unsure how to respond/react, I was elated. God had arranged for me to randomly choose the last seat in that isle, next to a child who reminded me so much of my kiddos I missed from school. His mom and I got to talking and I was just so overcome with the providence of the Father. To protect their identity and their privacy, I won’t share further details. But just that one hour flight made a huge impact on my heart. If you are that lovely Mamma who sat and talked with me this past Christmas, thank you. I think of and pray for you and your son all the time. You were an instrument of the Father that day!
Another “coincidence” would be when I started to pray about adoption. It was terrifying to announce it publicly. I knew I would have MANY naysayers and MANY people who would act as if they have a right to an opinion, and that’s OK we all do it, but it doesn’t make it right or easier on the person you are judging. But as I announced it, some of my strongest supporters have been strangers. People that I have only met because I said yes to His will. I said yes with fear, but also with faith. In that yes, He provided me with friends who I may have never connected with (some of them local!) and other adoptive families who I can turn to in days of joy and days of trial. This is a journey. With every journey, there are hills and valleys. But because I said yes, He gave me the right people, in the exact moment I need them. And those who have been my biggest objectors, just give me the drive to push on and follow only His voice.
When I pray about the little girl I will be adopting, my heart flutters with anxious excitement. It’s hard to do all of this work and not have any idea what your child looks like, what their stories are, what their struggles and needs are, etc. You can’t really plan and prepare until you are further into the process and have “matched” with your child. To this point, I have been working hard (as well as many supporters) to get my home study completed. Once I have my home study approved, it will clarify the ages I have been accepted for and the sex, disabilities, etc. Another HUGE part is that once I have the report, I can begin applying for aide and opening a tax deductible account, which allows for those larger donations to come in. My home study from start to finish (including a $500 fee to my adoption agency for review of the home study) will be over $8,000! In total the entire adoption will end up costing about $40,000. It seems impossible, but every time fees are due, the Lord has had it there. Yes, it’s taken constant work and petition and prayer, but it’s been there.
In Batterson’s book I read,
“The last time I checked, the population clock ticked 7, 121, 929, 889. If you line everybody up in a single-file conga line, it would…circle the earth at the equator 59 times, which reminds me of something I’ve said to my daughter, Summer, … ‘If all the girls in the world were lined up, and I could only choose one, I’d choose you.’…I might have to circle the earth quite a few times to find her!”
When I read that I couldn’t help but think of my baby girl. I know she is out there. She is one of the billions of girls in that “conga line,” that I am looking through. Around and around I am going, each signature signed, each paper notarized is one step closer to seeing her face in that line of girls. All of them belong. All of them need loved. Are you doing your part? Am I doing mine?
The next part of the book was talking about how God’s miracles defy earthly limitations. The author discussed how it’s a twenty mile walk from Capernaum to Cana. Also being sure to point out the fact that Capernaum sits 700 ft. below sea level, making that climb to Cana all uphill. He asks, in reference to what we are willing to do to make way for God to do His work in us,
“Are you willing to knock on 435 doors? Fill six stone jars? Hike 20Mi uphill? Most of us follow Jesus to the point of inconvenience, but no further. We’re more than willing to follow Jesus as long as it doesn’t detour our plans. But it was the willingness to be inconvenienced that defined the Good Samaritan. And that’s how he becomes someone else’s miracle. Most miracles don’t happen on Main Street. They happen off the beaten path, about twenty miles out of town.”
So, again, I ask you, “Are you willing to walk to Cana?”
How can you help?
- PRAY! I am awaiting to finalized copy of my home study, then I will be applying for grants.
- I am going to be working on a HUGE project these next couple of months…keep your eyes peeled for news! 😉
- I am painting and selling Mandala Dot art. If you or someone you know is looking for a unique and meaningful gift, please reach out to me to commission one for yourself! 100% goes into my adoption funds!
The Lord is doing AMAZING things! Stay tuned!
May the Angels’ be your guardians and the Saints’ your friends +
Slide show of a few of the Mandala pieces I have painted recently.