9 days…

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Can you believe in 9 short days, we will board a plane bound for China to bring our son home? I can’t even think about it without the tears coming.

Unless you have done it, it is so hard to wrap your brain around loving someone that you don’t really KNOW!! I can’t wait to get to KNOW our son! This is just the beginning of our journey together.

Since January, we have pursued him. We have loved each picture we have received of him and jumped with joy at each little tidbit of information. We have loved him from across the ocean…we have talked about him…dreamed about him…made plans for him…

But truth be told, we are strangers to him. He has no idea who we are. And we are about to come and remove him from the only life he has ever known.

Will you pray for John Preston? Pray that we are able to build trust with him and that he senses that he is safe with us. Pray that he has a supernatural understanding of what is happening to him that only God can give.

Adoption often seems like sunshine and rainbows to others not walking through it. I have tried really hard to share the good and the bad. To be honest with all of you, so that you truly know what it looks like to walk this road of adoption. There are great small victories along the way. And there are “curl-up in a ball and cry your eyes out” moments. The later seems to be more common. It is HARD. Don’t be fooled for one minute.

Satan hates adoption. From the moment you speak it out loud and into existence, he comes after you with all he’s got. He calls up all of his angels of darkness and they wage war. They mean business. And it is hard to fight. Some days you want to give up. Seriously.

Then you see that one little photograph staring back at you from the refrigerator. You see that smile and remind yourself that it is all for him.  All of the hard things you have to do…he is so worth it.

And you press forward.

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You remind yourself everyday that God….the same God who rose Jesus from the DEAD, is on your side. If He can do THAT, then why do I worry?

But worry, I do…

It is so hard to wake up each day and live in victory and not doubt. So hard.  No matter how many times I tell myself that God has called us to this and He is going to make a way, I still have this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. To fully give yourself over to the Lord is hard. To fully trust that, just as He provides for the sparrow, He is going to provide for us.

We started this journey to John Preston, needing $30,000 to bring him home.

$30,000 give or take….

We had zero. Literally.

We just knew that he was our son and we were going to move heaven and earth to bring him home. I didn’t know how it was going to happen. My guess was numerous fundraisers, adoption grants, friends and family that wanted to to help us.

And it has come…in small ways and big ways…God has provided.

From the children of friends who gave us their piggy bank change in a ziplock bag…

To an elderly gentleman that gave us a ten dollar bill at our yard sale even though he found nothing that he wanted to purchase….

To strangers and friends who have bought from our NUMEROUS fundraisers, even when it was a strain on their budget…

To friends that have pulled out their checkbooks and written us unbelievably generous checks…

To Reece’s Rainbow warriors who have shared our story over and over to help make this happen….

Each piece of this puzzle has brought us closer to John Preston…to being able to claim him as a SON!


 

So here we are at the end. Nine days away from stepping onto that plane and crossing the planet to bring our boy home.

I had prayed that at this point in the journey it would be smooth sailing…that we would be fully funded and have no worries as we stepped into our forever.

But we still have one hurdle. A huge one.

As part of our adoption process, we are required to make a donation to John Preston’s orphanage. A donation of almost $6000. This may seem huge to many of you.

But if you consider that they have cared for him for almost eight years of his life…this donation is small in comparison. I wish that we could pay them what it was worth to us. To know that he has had a roof over his head and food in his stomach…even if not the BEST of circumstances it is better than the fate of many abandoned babies all over the world. At least he is ALIVE.

John Preston has waited for a long time without a family stepping forward to bring him home. Most likely this meant that he would have waited forever with no hope of a family. Very few families want to race to China for an older boy…much less a boy with Down syndrome. They are truly the “least of these” in the eyes of many.

If not us, then who? Who was going to come for John Preston? Mostly likely no one.

On that assumption, we have asked his orphanage to waive this donation requirement. The cost for them to continue to care for him for the rest of his life far outweighs the cost of the waiver.

We prayed that we would hear their “YES” early in the process but we have heard nothing. Nothing. They have made us re-do our request letter six times now, I think. I have lost count.

We have a friend that asked for this same waiver and was told NO.

We have a friend who asked for this same waiver and was told YES the night before her flight left the USA.

Can I tell you that this waiver is all I think about?

I find myself not wanting to celebrate Christmas and all the fun things that come with it.

I purchased small gifts for our children to unwrap because we had to…not because I was in the giving spirit.

I have put up a tree and hung stockings because my children at home expect it.

I have not wanted to do a huge push via fundraisers for this donation fee because I have remained hopeful that it would be granted. I did not want to ask others to make a sacrifice and give, only to turn around and have the waiver come through.

I got this email from my guide in China about two hours ago.

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I honestly don’t know what to do. I am trying to hard to have faith.

Do we reach out and ask if there are friends that will loan us the money?

Do we attempt to sell as many things as we can at a time when others are just trying to make ends meet and put Christmas under the tree?

Do we try to see if we can find someone who would buy Bryan’s Jeep which would help with some of the fee but not all of it and then leave us short transportation?

I just don’t feel like I have clear instructions from the Lord. Sometimes I feel like it is hard to hear His voice.

Years ago, in a Bible study, I learned that if I am not hearing an answer from the Lord, then I should just do the last thing He told me.

The last thing He told me was that He was going to make a way to bring John Preston home. And so far He has. EVERY.SINGLE.PENNY.

His Reece’s Rainbow account needs to read $15,752.91 to have the $5800 needed for his orphanage donation.

If you feel led, we would be so grateful for any donation you can make to John Preston’s account. No amount is too small. The majority of the gifts that God has blessed us with, have been families just like ours that have sacrificed to bless us and help bring John Preston home.

If you feel led to give and we are granted the waiver in the 11th hour, we would be honored to pay it forward to another Reece’s Rainbow family traveling after us to bless them as well.

I know that God intended this journey for our family….but I know He did not intend for us to walk it alone. We are so grateful for those of you who have walked alongside us…with prayers and with your support.

There is no way we could have done it without the Lord working through you.

See this sweet face? He is about to become a son, a brother, a nephew, a grandson. He is so close to his forever family. Our family. We are almost there sweet boy. Momma is coming.

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