One of the pastors at our church ask me to head up a team for an Alaska missions trip in 2010. After a couple weeks I was told that the Alaska trip was canceled. I was so bummed. I felt slighted, like they didnt think I was good enough to do it anymore, which totally was not the case. During this time I had begun to read the book Fields of the Fatherless, I highly recommend this book by the way. Some time went by and I started to feel like I needed to go to Russia. I talked to Paul about this feeling. I thought maybe Alaska was canceled because I was meant to go to Russia. I waited for the go trips list at church to come out so I could see if Russia was on it. Then I received an email about an adoption.
Periodically I get emails about kids waiting to be adopted, but the email I got one morning was different. It said that S was 3 years old deaf and blind and spends her days screaming. She lives in a constant state of terror. There was no other information given. Well about 5 or 6 hours later I still didnt feel right about what I had read. Paul and I talked and I ask him if I could just see what country she was from. He said yeah. So I sent and email but figured it was a long shot because if you are not paper ready they said they wouldnt give any information. The next day I got an email that simply said, " S is from Russia." I began to cry.
What did all of this mean? I prayed, Paul prayed, we prayed. I knew God was doing something to Paul because he told me to sign the release paper and get S's pictures and medical reports. While we waited for the papers to arrive I prayed. I didnt understand what all of this meant. There was no way we were ready to adopt. We didnt have thousands of dollars. Even if we did Paul had lost his job about a month before all of this so the paperwork would look horrible. I jokingly prayed God if S has red hair then I will know she is my child. We got the papers and the pictures and she had dark but red hair.
They warned me the pictures were heartbreaking. She was screaming in every picture. Her hair was sweaty from all the screaming. We looked over the medical report and took it to a dr friend. He adopted from Russia so more than being a dr he could help us understand. We prayed, ask others to pray. While praying with a wonderful friend specifically about the money an email came in and it said 5 minutes ago an anonymous donor just gave 5000.00 towards S's adoption. I thought, Lord what are you doing to me?
Paul and I continued to pray. I had many signs pointing towards this being the right thing to do, but Paul wasnt convinced. For him he needed to have the non nonrefundable deposit paid for by someone. So we waited.....and waited...then I got another email.
I had probably gotten 20 emails of kids to adopt other than S and deleted them all but then we got one for F. F was 9 months old deaf and blind. I ask where she was from and you guessed it, Russia. I thought for a minute that maybe S was getting us open to F. That thought quickly left my head and then another more scary thought entered, we need to adopt both.
BOTH! Were we crazy? All that money times two? I prayed again and decided that I could not choose. Are you kidding me. S was dying in this place in Russia a tiny little 19lbs and no one teaching her or loving her and F would be S in a few years. So we signed a release form and got her medical and pictures. I think there is a faint bit of red in her hair too.
Health wise she is much better than S. F has come so far, what a fighter. She survived being born at 27 weeks weighing 900 grams or 1.98 pounds. She is meant to do great things. So we pray....
I talked to Paul and said look these girls need an answer, I need an answer!! Did you hear from God??? He said yes, he knew what he had to do. I said is the answer no? Every fiber in my being feels something when I talk about these girls, could that all be my doing? He said God ask him to take a step of faith and come up with the 250.00 application fee ourselves and the rest would be provided. I could have smacked him! God had been telling me the same thing, but I kept saying no it has to be Paul's way.
We contacted the adoption agency and said we will try to adopt both. So as of right then I had maybe 50.00 in the bank. It will be the most difficult process they told us. It already looks bad because neither of us have regular 9-5 jobs. Our businesses are both licensed but when I get paid I just have people write out the check to me or they pay cash. I would have no idea how to prove income. The adoption agency said it is a 6-9 month process and will be overwhelming. They said the Russians wont understand why we want one of the kids let alone 2! The Russians said S wasnt worth it. My God knows she is.
So here we are. This weekend is my big Santa weekend and I am hoping to bring in enough after tithe to send the deposit out on Monday morning and get the homestudy paid for, hopefully even the passports. Knowing that we needed to do this and it is ordained by God has not made the decision any easier. I had doubts all day today. I got scared. I thought no I cant do this, Im not good enough to adopt the paperwork wont work, we dont have the money. Klove helped, seemed to have the exact right songs on at the exact right time.
So this is what I am asking for on this day.
Pray for our marriage and family. This is a very difficult process and we dont need the enemy coming in messing stuff up. Also that our girls will be able to understand what and why we are doing this.
Pray that God would reveal Himself in a mighty way and that others would come to know Christ through our journey.
Pray that all the paperwork gets passed through and the money gets paid.
Pray for S, that God would touch her body and heal her from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. That she would find peace. That she wouldnt scream all day anymore. Pray that she isnt terrified. That someone there will take an interest in her and love on her. Pray that she finds her forever family, if that is us then so be it.
Pray for F. Pray that God would hold her close and comfort her. That in her darkness she sees light. Pray for healing specifically on her ears and eyes and apparently she frequently gets the flu so no more sickness Lord. That she would continue to be a pleasant baby and not be fearful or hurt.
Also if you could pray that we find a working vehicle that can now seat 8.
Thank you so much.
Paul and Ashlee