The day after we told the adoption agency that we would like to send a letter of intent for these siblings, our phone rang. Peter had just walked in the door from work, and I found myself on the line with a women from the agency who was saying, "I'm so excited... I have to tell you!" As it turns out, an unmarried friend of hers who has a heart for adoption had recently asked if there was anyone in particular who needed some help. The woman told her about us, and our (very recent) decision to take these five siblings, and her friend was moved to help... to the tune of $1,260. If we had any remaining doubts that God was writing this story, and would provide for our needs, they were pretty much squished in that moment.
Since then, He has continued to use people as a source of encouragement for us - co-workers, former clients, online-only connections, Facebook "friends" who we barely knew in real life, and yes, even total strangers.
Last week my cousin's wife shared our 11B blog post through her Facebook account, and one of her friends read it, shared it, and then purchased 6 items from our Amazon registry. I've never met her (though we're now connected on Facebook), and we've exchanged all of two Facebook comments since her gift arrived.
A few months ago, we received two separate donations from an individual whose name I did not recognize. Last week, an Amazon box arrived on our doorstep - from the same individual in Alabama - with a $22 bottle of Rosemary Repel lice prevention conditioner from our registry. I have no idea who the person is, or how they found us, but I know that God has used them to encourage us. And if you are that person and you are reading this, I'd love to know how we're connected and thank you a little more personally.
And then there's the faithful sharing of our blog posts, adoption updates, and virtual shower gift photos by one of Peter's aunts. I see her social shares, and in my doubt I think, "That's so sweet of her, but no one is going to care about what we are doing." See? Not uber spiritual at all, but pure cynic. A cynic who was proven wrong, once again, when a card arrived in our mailbox yesterday, containing a sizable gift card from her small church body (Solid Rock Baptist) in Michigan, and a note which explained how they had been following this story through those social shares and had seen God through our journey. To God be the Glory for using a cynic like me.
One week from today - Lord willing - we'll be waking up in San Jose, Costa Rica, discovering our new home-away-from-home, and taking some time to savor and reflect on our final days as a party of 2. On Monday, October 3rd, we are scheduled to meet the kids, and depending on how well the meetings go, they could be living with us by the end of the week. The magnitude of that isn't lost on us, and as we're rushing through to do lists and last minute errands, from time to time we find ourselves pausing. Slightly overwhelmed by the idea of everything being a "last time before," and even mourning the change to some extent.
You see, our life together has been really amazing. Sure, we have our moments when we argue, and I'm notorious for a lifetime of side-seat driving, but overall, God has given us an incredibly unique and blessed relationship. We've had 16 years of marriage to discover what we can do better together than we can apart, 16 years to eat popcorn for dinner if we feel like it, or jump in the car for an impromptu road trip. We know what morning traffic in Boston is like and how stinky it is to sit on a park bench and smell the tide going out, yet not wanting to leave. We've snorkeled with jellyfish in Indonesia, discovered how delicious snails can be in Paris, learned how badly a Land Rover Defender can leak while driving in a Mozambique deluge, and attempted almost every home improvement project known to man. I will miss those moments of companionable silence in the car. I will miss our time alone together. I will miss my time alone - period.
But as Peter pointed out last night, dying to self naturally brings some pain with it... but it also brings tremendous opportunity for growth, and a deeper joy than we have previously known. Yes, our life has been good - it's been great, in fact - but we know that there will come a day when we gaze around our table, and then look at one another and say, "This is awesome." #RightSideUp