It would seem that everything in the world is trying to prevent me from getting this blog post out into the world of cyber space and into the hearts and minds of you, our friends. I began this post three times this morning, and all three times my post was deleted as an unexpected "refresh" occurred. After a few minutes chatting with the help desk of SquareSpace, I ended up downloading Google Chrome, abandoning Safari, and beginning again only to be called away a few minutes later by a barking dog. Because of this, you're welcome to use the words "morning" and "night" interchangeably in the next few paragraphs, as I am finally sitting down to write at 11:27pm, with clothes in the wash and a timer set to switch them over in half an hour. Oh, and my alarm clock is set for 5:00am. I will surely be jacked up on coffee this weekend!
Last year quiet mornings like this one were stolen little gifts that I could barely hold onto. Working 80+ overtime hours between Thanksgiving and Christmas gave me a run for my money...literally. But now, quiet mornings working from my laptop next to the twinkling tree and coffee vigorously brewing in the next room have become more of my norm if I take the time to stop and enjoy them.
Tomorrow we will wake up early, early and head to a farm. If you know me at all, you know that I have not spent much time on/at (?) farms in my life. But this farm is special, and this beautiful piece of land has come to play a special role in our adoption story.
Most of you know that this weekend we are raising adoption funds through the second annual Santa Charity, and so many of you have been gracious enough to participate. I am confident that God will work in some pretty extraordinary ways this weekend, but I also want to share the backstory of how He's been weaving together His story and providing for our family over the last few months.
When I arrived to work at Grace House on Friday, September 4th, exactly three months ago, it felt like a normal day. Around lunchtime, I received a call from a friend who works for our adoption agency, Lifeline. She asked if we were still fundraising and I said yes, a little hesitantly. Working in nonprofit development, I try to be really careful about what kind of adoption fundraisers we get into because I'm terrified of friends running from me when they see me coming because I'm forever asking for them to donate to my cause. Our friend at Lifeline said she knew of a fundraiser that was looking for another family to get involved and we should apply. I listened as she said it would be worth our while and she'd email the the details if we were interested. I wearily said that I'd like to at least see the details, and went about the rest of my day. I texted Jason about it a few minutes later, but I had no idea the significance it would have on our life in the next few hours.
Let me back up real quick: When Jason began working at the law firm in May of 2014, we were able to begin saving 50% of my salary for daycare, adoption funds, or if I decided to stay home for a season when we brought home our son. There were many uses for that money, and we weren't even sure there'd be enough to go around when the time came. But we trusted that God would multiply our efforts as we diligently said no to some luxury wish list items (like a new car for Jason ) (or an expanded driveway at our house) (or a backsplash in the kitchen) (or or or) and put away that money for our future family. Okay, back to September 4th...
When I got home from work on September 4th, I was excited to do a little research into this fundraiser. It was Labor Day weekend and I'd actually have some time! Jason and I were talking through our plans for the night when I got a text from my supervisor at Grace House. She asked if I was home, I said yes. She asked if we had dinner plans, I said yes - but maybe we could hang out on Saturday night. She said she was headed to my house. I called her.
When she answered the phone, she said she wanted to talk to me in person. I may be many things, but a patient woman is not one of them. I said, "Please, tell me what is wrong, I can hear in your voice something has happened." She said it would ruin my weekend. I said, "I don't care, tell me." The words that came out next hit me like a ton of bricks. She proceeded to tell me that my beloved job at Grace House had been cut. She was just informed by the executive director minutes before and headed straight to my house to tell me in person. I fought hard to keep my composure and asked what in the world was going on. She didn't know. She said that I would be offered a part-time position to stay on in another capacity that I'd been managing to do alongside my full time job for the past year, but it was not the direction in which I wanted my career to go. It wasn't development. It wasn't marketing. It wasn't creative. It wasn't the job that I'd prayed for since I was a 20-year-old intern when I felt God calling me to work in orphan care.
I was devastated. I starred at my husband sitting on the couch across from me and choked back tears. I mouthed "part-time" to him and his face remained the same. He mouthed back "What?" and I covered the phone to tell him what was happening. He mouthed back, "It'll be okay." And it was. I lost a lot that day - what I thought was my dream job, health insurance, paid time off, a lot of accrued sick days that I was saving for Ethiopia, and so much more. But all I could think about was the words forever penned on my wrist - God who provides. This news was a shock to me, but it was no surprise to Him.
That night we talked to the Dial family for the first time. We were in shock about my job, but we trusted in the Lord's provision and were hopeful as we talked to this sweet family about a possible fundraiser. The biggest worry for me was that I would no longer have a job that would allow us to save 50% of my salary, thus we'd have to stop saving for our adoption in that capacity. Then, we found out on Sunday, September 6th that we were chosen to be one of the two families who would be part of this year's Santa Charity at the Dial's farm - praise our God who provides!
Fast forward to November 18th - the day we found out that Dove would be closing their doors. I'd been working for another organization for a little over one month and loving it - hello amazing dream job! God provided a job for me that was perfect for bringing home Judah and we thought that He was surely preparing us to bring him home SOON. Then we get the news that it will be a longer wait. And oh yeah, we have a transfer fee to pay by the end of this year because of the closure. And oh yeah, we also have to pay another dossier fee because of the agency transfer. But God keeps on providing and it's no accident that we are literally just hours away from the biggest adoption fundraiser we've ever done.
I want you all to know our story because it's important. It's important to see God working and weaving in the details of every day. It's important for me to see every face that comes by tomorrow and look you in the eye and thank you for helping us. Jason and I aren't very good at asking for help, and God knew that we probably wouldn't.
But God provides abundantly more than we could ever imagine, and this time is no exception. He is providing 150+ families to walk through the doors of a beautiful barn to get pictures made and fund our adoption. He's provided through a photography team with the biggest hearts and a Santa Claus that will bring more joy and cheer than any other man in a red suit this season. He's led us to meet another amazing couple walking through a similar journey - we have laughed and cried together over the ups and downs that we've experienced in this short time we'e known them. He's brought us into a new community with an adoptive family who have been where we are, and they have given their time, their land, and their hearts to help ensure that there are two less orphans in the world.
So, if we'll see you this weekend at Santa Charity, please say hello and accept our sincerest appreciation for being part of God's perfect provision for the Moraleses. And for those of you who will not be there, we would appreciate your prayers for this weekend. A TON of work has gone into it and it's all been by the photography team, Santa Claus, the Dials, amazing sponsors, and a great team of volunteers. And last, if you would like to give to our adoption fund and cannot make it, please follow this link to give. We appreciate each and ever dollar - by receiving one dollar at a time we will be able to bring Judah home.
Thank you for your time, support, and prayers. We love you, friends.