Sunday, January 31, 2016

Unfolding {Part 2}

     It's shortly after 7 this morning...and I'm sitting in the sobering darkness of a quiet house. Life has been anything but quiet lately. And so, when I (unexpectedly) woke up as Eric left for sound practice at church this morning, I walked downstairs for my decaf and my computer. To write. To share. To simply the quiet of a house...a house that typically isn't at rest.

     As I reread my {Part 1} post, I had to chuckle because I was 17 weeks along...and now, my computer scarcely fits on my lap due to a nearly 31 week belly. Ha! While I have just 8 weeks left before we meet our sweet baby GIRL, I wanted to sit down and take advantage of this quiet space to  share things that have been on my heart. It's been a little while...but so much has happened. So let's try to wrap up some of my loose ends from Part 1. I'll begin this post with the group: Fund the Nations. Check out their website here!

     I first came across FTN via Instagram which is probably not shocking to those who know me. I love connecting with shops and other adoption accounts on IG. It truly is a great community in that aspect. Fund the Nations helps create t-shirts for fundraising purposes and their designs are some of the most unique I've seen. If you've read any of my previous posts, fundraising is still a hard topic for us to swallow. We've wrestled with the idea a lot. In fact, we've been fairly quiet on that front since a couple of fundraisers (hosted by our dear friends) last Spring. The concept of a t-shirt was no different. I struggled with even contacting FTN to gather information. But after much deliberation and prayer, I decided to email FTN with nothing to lose. After all, t-shirts seem to be a popular fundraiser and I've been known to buy a t-shirt or 2 as a way to help other adoptive families. Maybe we could also give it a try...

     On July 31, 2015...I heard from Ricky, a Fund the Nations coordinator. The process was super simple and he assured me there was no pressure to go ahead with the design until we were ready. The minimum order was just 13 shirts. This felt like a good option. Then came the designing part. What would people want to wear? Would people even wear our t-shirt? I had zero idea. Thankfully, it wasn't dependent on my wealth (or lack) of creativity. Ricky asked me a set of questions about scripture that had stuck out to us on our journey, colors, type of t-shirt, the country we were adopting from, etc. I had mentioned a few verses, but kept coming back to our Blog Name and Steven Curtis Chapman's song. Glorious Unfolding. And then there was the country. Since we were still filling out MOUNTAINS of paperwork for South Korea, I hesitated. I deleted this particular detail at least 10 times. A part of me was afraid to put South Korea. Not because we would back out, but because it felt like such a tall mountain to climb yet. And all I could think about was the verse from Matthew 17:20. He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." 

     Doubting this was doubting our Creator who could accomplish anything. And so I submitted our answers and shared our heart to adopt from South Korea. I wasn't even sure how he would use our country in his design and IF he would at all. After receiving our responses and feedback, Ricky sent me our design on August 4, 2015. August 4, 2015. That date should sound familiar from Part 1. And truthfully, it was breathtaking. That may seem like a silly phrase for a t-shirt...but I assure you...when you have ZERO idea of what you want a t-shirt to look like and someone (who you do NOT know) creates a perfect design of your use the word breathtaking.

     And so in the background was South Korea. The birth country of our son or daughter. I received this email at 6PM on August 4, 2015. This was about 8 hours after I had taken a pregnancy test and found out that we were now expecting. Expecting a baby was the only thing that would stall our process with South Korea. The only thing that would potentially remove us from the South Korea program. We signed and notarized papers weeks prior that stated our knowledge and acceptance of this fact. So here we were...overjoyed at the HUGE ANSWER to prayer that God had given life...growing inside my tummy. A tummy that we thought was unable to do just that...grow new life. And yet, part of my heart was breaking...because I knew what this meant for our relationship with our agency and our country program. It was over. Wrestling with such opposite emotions is difficult. I felt ungrateful and grateful at the same time.

     I emailed Ricky and explained our circumstance and he was more than understanding. He told me we could sit on our design as long as we needed to even! There was a part of me that felt foolish for going down this path...after I had hesitated so much to even begin the inquiry process. But, truly, there's nothing foolish about God's plan. If anything, this t-shirt and our blog name has an even deeper meaning now in our our journey. God had just continued to unfold our story at this point. A story that we had started more than 4 years ago...with unexpected twists and turns. There's been lots to unfold and unpack along the way. And again, I am eternally grateful that HE is the author and the illustrator of such a story.


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