First, for some good news.
I was selected at Teacher of the Year at my elementary school for this past school year.
And now for some REALLY good news.
We are adding another member to the family!
God has his funny ways. After eight years of trying to conceive, God gave us peace and the go-ahead to pursue international adoption. He flung doors open and shut in a process that I have often equated to the ripping and roaring of the Mississippi River. Wide and calm at some points, then so deep and turbulent at others that to attempt to float or cross it means almost certain death.
We had just gotten to a wide spot in the river. Things had calmed down. We had made peace with our house, learning to live with a little bit of mess. We were almost out of the diaper and sippy cup stage, moving on to big-girl-panties and open top containers. Life was good.
Now, make no mistake, we had been praying for some time about a trip back to Mother Russia for another child. And I had been following a list of available special needs children in China, praying about that route also. But everything was down the road. We didn't want to make a big jump in that direction until we were one year out from the girls starting kindergarten. We needed to focus on Anna's mobility, big changes on our home-church scene with the pastor moving to another sheep-fold...you know, just some stuff we had to take care of first.
Sound familiar? Sound like - "I'll follow you, Jesus....First let me go home and bury my father..." ?
So here we are, ten + years into marriage, me about to round the corner from 35 to 36, making some major headway on a weight loss plan and lifestyle change - I mean, I ran my first 5K on Mother's Day weekend - mini life goal achieved! And what should we find?
My first ever positive pregnancy test.
This is NOT what we were expecting....to be expecting.
We're excited, nervous, confused as to why the Lord would allow this to happen at a time that does not seem to us like ideal circumstances. We're praying about selling our house, selling our car, selling anything not bolted down on Craigslist...."Elvis" has only been in the building for 8 weeks, and he/she has already overturned every apple cart we've got.
Because, here is the issue. We still have 22,000 in debt from the last adoption. We haven't complained the first time that we've had to make those payments back, because it was SOOOO worth it. But things are going to get tight around here with another to put in daycare. We're looking at making some MAAAAjor changes so I can quit my job after one more year of teaching.
So I'm asking for some help. Don't worry. I'm not asking for money. People don't have a whole lot of that to give out these days. I'm wanting to do some trading.
Did anyone follow the "Red Paperclip" story of a gentleman in Canada who bartered his way from a red paperclip to a free house? It took him less than a year to work his way through some deals, but he got exactly what he set out to do.
So here you go.
Okay, your turn. Post your bartering chip in the comments section, and I'll take my favorite of the lot, which will be turned around and bartered again until we can pay off as much of our adoption debt as possible. We'll continue this game for the next 7 months - with a close out on Feb. 14, a few days from our due date. Let's see what we get. It could be an item or a gift certificate for a service you provide, but it has to be something tangible that could be traded.
Ready, set, go....