Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Tapestry of God: Part Three

History tells us the earliest tapestries from the Middle Ages included a total of eight colors.  Ironically, the tapestry God is creating for us involves bringing eight people together in this wonderful, crazy, beautiful and fun Bennett family.

All of our paperwork was completed.  The kids' schedule of football, soccer, school and church activities were planned (12 pages...thank you).  The care givers to look after our kids were kidnapped, brought by force, surrendered scheduled for the anticipated six-weeks stay in Ukraine.  (Thank you grandparents and friends)  Frank and the worship team leadership worked extra hours to plan and prepare for dynamic worship services at Cartersville First Baptist.  All we needed was money.  Oh yea.  That's kind of important.

When we thought about the money, we just stopped and prayed.  God reminded us this was His adoption and our only job was to be obedient.  There's nothing like a $25,000 adoption staring at you to get your heart rate up.  When we looked at the situation from God's chair, it made our heart rate go back to normal.  Our phrase became, "If it's God will, it's God bill."

We are learning in this process that (1) God provides after we obey, and (2) God confirms after we obey.  We have seen a pattern in these two truths during this adoption.

We got the call from the Adoption Department in Kiev informing us of our interview set for October 10.  It was time to schedule airline tickets, a cost of $2500 per person (one-way).  This caught us by surprise, because the tickets prices had skyrocketed since we last checked.  Then Suzanne remembered a lady she met on the plane coming back from our Ukraine Mission trip in April.  She worked for a ministry that helped people obtain cheap airline tickets for adoption.  We called her and found tickets for $610 per person.  This was a HUGE answer to prayer.  That divine appointment on the plane was a part of the "God's will...God's bill" program.

Other doors begin to spring open.  We received donations from friends and family; free housing for a few days in Kiev; zero-interest loans; and a tax credit that we had no idea existed.  While you're reading  this, there are people from our church and beyond coming together to provide needs on many levels.  Everyday people are contributing to our adoption online (click HERE to donate).  The more we walk in obedience, the more God provides.

It was time to obey.  Time to walk in faith.  We packed our bags and made final preparations at home and at church for our departure.  Saying goodbye to our kids for a six-week adoption adventure was one of the hardest things we have ever done.  (Click HERE to read about it).

After several hours of travel, we landed in Kiev.  We stayed at Hospitality House for the first few days. On Sunday we attended worship at International Christian Assembly, followed by lunch at the pastor's house.  These new friends will be future partners in ministry.  We prayed that evening for clear direction from the Lord during our interview the next day.

The interview consisted of us answering questions from an Adoption Department representative.  We passed that first test and were shown pictures in a binder.  We were only able to see pictures of children of the ages in which we qualified.  We started looking for our "Marion" in a binder full of little orphan girls, all of which were severely handicapped.  Those precious children tugged on our hearts.  God calls many people to adopt those children, but God made it clear we were not called to adopt a handicapped child.

After looking at several pictures our choices were vanishing.  We began to wonder, "Did we do the right thing?"  There were few children that fit the criteria of our approved adoption status.  Then we realized what was happening.  God was making it clear by removing the options.  He was doing it before our very eyes.  It was like being on the set of a God reality TV show.  There was one final folder left on the table.  It contained pictures of three precious children, all within our criteria.  We accepted the folder and made plane reservations for the southern part of Ukraine near the Black Sea.

In the meantime, two brothers and a sister were playing in an orphanage outside a small village.  Their playground friends saw more smiling, skipping and singing that day.  For little did they know their life story was about to change.  

(Come back to our blog for "The Tapestry of God: The Story of Lawson, Marion and Lincoln")


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