I have been using these words together or separately, at least once a day in recent weeks, as I focus on the fact that we have a child waiting almost halfway across the world... a child who has been let down and wounded and abandoned multiple times by the people who he trusted to love him and always be there for him...a child who has chosen to risk again and opened up his heart to believe and try again, to trust that someone cares, that he matters, that his life has meaning and purpose, that this time things will be different...a child who is funny and smart and caring and an amazing blessing to us and who we already love just as if he has been our son all along.
This sense of urgency lies with us because we are his parents. The legal documents don't say that we are, the courts don't recognize that we are, no birth certificate will list that we are, but it is with 100% certainty that we believe God says we are. So, we step out in faith, knowing from the beginning that the funding for this adoption would be a HUGE undertaking. Because we have adopted before, and are parents to a special needs sunshine, I am at home full time. Since bringing Anderson home, we have faced numerous challenges financially. God has brought us through them faithfully, but we knew from the beginning that the money for this adoption would not come from resources we currently have. It would come from resources God would provide through His people, through friends, through family, through hard work and diligence to fund raise, through sacrifice, through our church family, even through strangers.
We have been humbled by the people who have already given in one way or another, and we are deeply grateful. We also know that when we share our story, the eye rolling commences from many people who may not know our hearts, who think we are trying to gain attention by copying a "Brad and Angelina" model, or who disagree with the idea of international adoption in general because it is "a money scheme" and "the kids would be better off in their native country". I could spend several blog posts addressing those concerns, which do have some validity, but they do not apply to every child needing a family or every adoption agency. And they don't apply to our story at all. What is true about our story is simply this--we have to pay the fees and buy the plane tickets and have money for travel and set aside money for time lost from Jeff's job--we have to do this in order to bring home our son. If we do not do this, our son will most likely age out of his orphanage and face a life in his native land with no support, little opportunity, and no family. We are not adopting our son to "rescue" him. We are adopting him because we love him and he loves us. But we know that his future is grim if he remains in his current circumstances for much longer. And since we believe he is our son, that is not an option. Enter the first part of this post title, "Whatever it takes."
If you have read this far, you are probably asking, "Please, get to the point." The point is that we have raised approximately $2,300 of the minimum $25,000 we need to bring Dima home. Based on our paperwork timeline, we expect to receive an appointment date in Ukraine by late March or early April. That means that we have approximately 24 weeks to raise $22,000+. We need to raise an average of $1,000 per week, every week, until March 2014. This seems like a big goal, and it is. But nothing is too big for the God who began this journey.
I sent out an email a few days ago in which I shared some of what God has been showing me during this journey. I ended it with a statement similar to this one:
Many times, the individual children who live in the day to day reality of being orphans, get lost in the statistics we all hear about the 160 million plus orphans who exist in the world today. None of us can do something for each one of those millions of children. But each of us can do something for one of them. We are asking you to consider if our son may be the one for whom you are willing to do something. No amount is too small, no prayer is too short, no purchase or participation in a fundraiser is insignificant. Each action and kindness brings us a step closer to Ukraine and to Dima officially becoming our son. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. If you are interested in giving, please email me at loveandtots3 at gmail dot com, message me on Facebook, or leave a comment on this post. I will get back in touch with you as soon as possible!
Until he is home,
Casey (and Jeff) Tatum