Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ask Him

 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"
Matthew 7

What a beautiful promise from our God- everyone who asks receives...

In reference to these verses my study bible says "Disciples are to persist in prayer, confident that their Father will provide whatever is best for them, according to his sovereign, gracious will."

We knew when God called our family to grow through adoption that HE would have to provide us the necessary components: an agency to teach and prepare us, a birthmother to choose us, endurance for the journey, attorneys to make things official and the funds to offset all the costs.

Every step of the journey we have asked our Father for what we need and he has provided.  Some of his provision has been supernatural and direct to our hearts- like the healing and peace he has given us after our failed adoption of "baby J".  Some of his provision has come by way of gifts of talent which we have used to fundraise- like Niles's insane musical skills or my ability to capture fun and beauty on camera.  Still other provision has come in the form of circumstances and events that only he could orchestrate- like the way we were connected with and chosen by our birthmother. 

But my favorite way God has provided for us in this journey has been the way he has moved in the hearts of both old and new friends to contribute to our needs- every, single time we asked (and even sometimes out of the blue!)

I'll be honest- asking people for donations is hard.  It is difficult to say "I have a need that I cannot fulfill on my own."  It is humbling and vulnerable whether you are asking for prayer, or donations for items to sell at a yardsale, or for people to buy and wear your bracelets or asking for them to give you $30 in exchange for a puzzle piece- but OH HOW ENCOURAGING when God's people respond!  And for that, again we want to thank each of you.  You have responded- cheerfully and without question and you have encouraged our hearts.
 
I pray this is an encouragement to you- last Friday we received a call from our attorney  with the amount we owed that day for our initial retainer fee...
 
$3,000.
 
Yep, $3,000 on the dot.
 
The exact amount you all gave us just days before it was due... no more, no less.  EXACTLY what we needed.  There is NO WAY we could have know what the exact amount would be- and we certainly had NO idea when we started the fundraiser that we would need those funds so quickly (just days after the puzzle was complete!).  And there is NO WAY we would have had the funds neededwithout you.


You have brought us one step closer to our Ruthie. 
 
 
I pray you are encouraged knowing that a VERY big God is at work in your life and ours.  Ask Him persistently, confidently and faithfully for what you need.
 

Friday, January 11, 2013

8 Days of Cheerful Giving




8 days!


Within minutes of my post unveiling our fundraiser (to raise funds for our legal fees) the first piece was donated- seriously, it was about 10 minutes!  

From that moment,  to early this afternoon when we received funds for last piece, we have been blown away by the response we have experienced. 

blown. away.

You, God's beautiful children, have seen a need and you have opened your hearts to us (1 John 3:16-18).  You have loved us with your prayers and your gifts and for that we are eternally grateful.  Truly words cannot express the encouragement we felt with each piece donated.

We pray that you are blessed and that your hearts are encouraged knowing that the Lord loves a cheerful giver.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.  



PS- if you were excited about donating a piece but were unable to do so before they were all gone- thank you!  We welcome and appreciate any donations for our remaining expenses (more on this in another post).  We will even find some room on the back of the puzzle to add your name if you'd like! :)



PSS- Any funds we receive above and beyond what we need for Ruthie's adoption we plan to give to our dear friends that are raising funds to adopt 2 children from Ethiopia.  To God be the glory!









Monday, January 7, 2013

Almost 1/2 way there!

 
 
We are OVERJOYED to announce that our puzzle is (almost) half-way complete!  In less than 4 days we have received over $1,400 for 47 puzzle pieces! We are humbled and ever so grateful for each and every $ given.

It has been such a blessing to us to watch as you have shared our story with your family and friends- and they have responded!  Many of you that have purchased puzzle pieces are folks we've never met!  We have received donations from as far west as TX, as far north as NY!  And we have also received countless messages from many of you promising to pray for us- and for that we too are ever so grateful.
 
If you read our post over the weekend you know that we need to raise our funds even faster than we originally anticipated (to pay up front legal fees). 
 
SO let's get this puzzle built!


 
In case this is your first time to our blog, here is some brief information about our adoption fundraiser:

We are in the process of adopting a domestic baby girl that we plan to name Ruthie.  She will be born by the end of February.  Prior to placement we need to raise a minimum of $3,000 to pay up front legal fees. We are asking you to join with us and help us bring Ruthie home!! We are piecing together a puzzle as folks contribute towards our legal and documentation fees.


Each piece will be $30, and we will write the name of each person who buys a piece (or pieces) on the back of the piece, and eventually frame the puzzle in a double glass frame. It will be a constant reminder, to hang on our wall, of those who came together to help bring Ruthie home.
Below is the image of the puzzle we are putting together:

100 pieces @ $30 a piece= $3,000 raised (if fully completed)

There are only 53 pieces remaining!!


You can participate in this fundraiser in a few ways:

  • Use the secure PayPal link above to donate any amount online (scroll up and click on the DONATE button above our family picture :) ).
  • You can send us a check for any amount to our home address OR to our Post Office Box
    • Ferguson FamilyPO BOX 1771
      Fort Mill, SC 2971
  • Or if you are local to the Fort Mill area I am happy to collect the funds from you anywhere that is convenient!        
For every $30 donated, we will write your name on the back of a puzzle piece, and Ruthie will forever know the loved ones who helped bring her home.

We have  just a few weeks friends. We would be grateful if you would help spread the word by posting on your blogs or on facebook or twitter. (If you post, please leave a comment & let us know so that we can thank you!)

If you would like you can cut and paste this message on Facebook:

 "Help piece together the funds to bring Ruthie home! The Ferguson’s have less than a month to raise $3000- it's as simple as $30 for a puzzle piece! Be a part of bringing her home to her forever family!
Go to http://CincoMariposas.blogspot.com and donate today!"
 
 
Thank you again for your support!

With much love and great hope,
The Ferguson's

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Grasshoppers


Our meeting with our attorney yesterday was discouraging.

First, we learned one of the main differences between an agency adoption and a private adoption= financial risk.  In an agency adoption typically the agency covers all up-front costs associated with a birthmother- then adoptive families reimburse the agency once the child is placed.  The agency does most if not all the leg work and lawyers are not involved until the end.  In a private adoption lawyers are involved much sooner  and they do a great deal of work PRIOR to placement.  Work prior to placement= funds due prior to placement.  A LOT of funds. 

Then we were told that IF this adoption fails, IF our sweet birthmother changes her mind or IF the birthfather contests (which is unlikely), that all the funds paid will be “lost.” 

Lost.

Let’s just say this wasn’t the conversation we were expecting or hoping for- but it was necessary.  It was necessary for us to be made aware of the financial risk in addition to the emotional risk we have already once experienced.  It was necessary- and difficult.

We left the meeting pretty beaten up.  We went out to eat with some sweet friends, talked about how we felt, ran some errands, talked some more.  Throughout the course of the night we knew a few things for sure:

Nothing had really changed.  Our birthmom was still committed to the plan (she and I texted a bit last night and everything seems as it has been).   Our God is still God.  And money is just money.  So with that we went to bed.

Then this morning I had SUCH an encouraging time with the Lord!  I went to the Word with hopes of renewed peace- and as always- the Lord met me and provided.

I spent some time reading Psalm 95 which begins with praises to God and ends with this warning:

Today, if you hear his voice,
 do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your fathers put me to the test
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.

From that Psalm the Lord led me to the passages in Numbers 13 that tells the story of the generation that tested and distrusted the Lord- even though they had seen Him work all the miracles that it took for their exodus from Egypt…

The passage takes place the first time the Israelites are standing outside the promised Land.  God gives Moses this command: “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a chief among them.”

So Moses did as God commanded, gathered 12 spies and sent them with these instructions:

 “Go up into the Negeb and go up into the hill country, 18 and see what the land is, and whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many, 19 and whether the land that they dwell in is good or bad, and whether the cities that they dwell in are camps or strongholds, 20 and whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are trees in it or not. Be of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.

So they obeyed and spied the land for 40 days.

When the spies returned they brought this report to Moses:

“We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there.  The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan.”

In other words: The Land God has for us is good and flows with every blessing we could ever want.  BUT taking the land seems RISKY.

Only one spy, Caleb, seemed able to trust the LORD saying  
“Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”

Unfortunately Caleb was in the minority so when the spies reported back to all the people they said:

“The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. 33 And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

Once the Israelites heard the report they all freaked out.  They cried all night and they spoke out against Moses- saying ridiculous things like “maybe it would have been better if we had died in Egypt”…

The Israelites were scared.  The obstacles in their path made them feel tiny.  The risk to go into the Land seemed too high- even if God was the one who promised it to them… the probability that they would fail looked clear…

And then 2 of the spies spoke up again- Joshua and Caleb went before the people and said

“The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.”

Unfortunately, the Israelites didn’t listen.

The Lord told Moses to send spies into the land.  I don’t pretend to know why God does what he does- but it seems that he wanted them to know all the risk and obstacles they were facing.  It seems he wanted them to feel like little bugs in the face of giants…SO THAT they would know the Lord is with them. When the Lord heard the response of the Israelites to Caleb and Joshua he said:

 “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

The Israelites did not heed Caleb and Joshua’s words… but by God’s grace we want to. 

We feel the Lord is calling us to continue this journey toward Ruthie.  We believe that with the Lord we are able to overcome any obstacles on the horizon.    We know that the Lord calls us not to fear and we want to obey.

And we believe the Lord delights in us- all 5 of us.

 We are grateful for all the “Joshua’s” and “Caleb’s” God has provided us to hold us along the way.  You have pointed us toward continued obedience in this journey and have held us up when our faith has been weak.  And we are so grateful for all of you that have participated in our fundraisers- your gifts are such an encouragement to our hearts.

So onward we go! 
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth we continue, in faith, doing everything we need to do to bring Ruthie home!


 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Piecing Together Our Needed Funds

Our baby girl's room is READY
(pictures coming soon!).

We have a car seat, a carrier, diapers, a few outfits and I'm working on getting some bottles...


So what's left?


Now begins the work of piecing together the remaining fund we need to bring her home!

THE WORK AHEAD

Since our adoption is a private adoption the majority of our remaining costs will be legal fees.  Our adoption will begin in North Carolina and will be finalized in South Carolina- so we will have to utilize lawyers in both states.  We anticipate these fees will be approximately $9,000 due when we bring Ruthie home in March.  We have made arrangements with the ABBA Fund for a loan to cover part of our fees and are also in the process of applying for a local adoption grant.  With the loan, the grant and our previous fundraising efforts we anticipate needing to raise an additional $3,000 in the next 2 months! 


So we are asking you to join with us and help us bring Ruthie home!! We are going to use a great idea a friend has been using for her fundraising, and piece together a puzzle as folks contribute towards our legal and documentation fees.

Each piece will be $30, and we will write the name of each person who buys a piece (or pieces) on the back of the piece, and eventually frame the puzzle in a double glass frame. It will be a constant reminder, to hang on our wall, of those who came together to help bring Ruthie home.

Below is the image of the puzzle we are putting together:



100 pieces @ $30 a piece= $3,000 raised (if fully completed) 

You can participate in this fundraiser in a few ways:

  • Use the secure PayPal link above to donate any amount online (scroll up and click on the DONATE button above our family picture :)
  • You can send us a check for any amount to our home address OR to our Post Office Box
    • Ferguson Family
      PO BOX 1771
      Fort Mill, SC 29716
       
  • Or if you are local to the Fort Mill area I am happy to collect the funds from you anywhere that is convenient (including at church on Sundays!)        



For every $30 donated, we will write your name on the back of a puzzle piece, and Ruthie will forever know the loved ones who helped bring her home.
We have  less than 2 months, friends. We would be grateful if you would help spread the word by posting on your blogs or on facebook or twitter. (If you post, please leave a comment & let us know so that we can thank you!)


If you would like you can cut and paste this message on Facebook: 
 

"Help piece together the funds to bring Ruthie home! The Ferguson’s have less than 2 months to raise $3000- it's as simple as $30 for a puzzle piece! Be a part of bringing her home to her forever family!
Go to http://CincoMariposas.blogspot.com and donate today!"


This is a huge task ahead. It is a lot to raise in a short period of time. But we believe that nothing is impossible with God, and it is His hurdle to jump, His sea to part, His mountain to move. We believe He has asked us to adopt this little girl who needs a family, and we will trust Him to provide.

Thank you for all of your love and support and prayers! We are truly grateful! Let's watch and see what God can do!!


With the deepest gratitude,
The Ferguson's

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The day I met your birth mother


I never want to forget the details of today.  One day my Ruthie will ask me about the first time I met her birth mother and I want to be able to paint her a picture...

It was a cold and rainy Tuesday.  We were the first to arrive.  We were nervous- big time.  We ordered our drinks, switched seats several times and finally settled on the spot that would be best to have as private a conversation as possible.

After a few minutes we saw her arrive with her father and instantly knew we were seeing "K" for the first time.  They came in, apologized for being a few minutes later than expected and we all said our first time hellos.  I said hello, came around the table and hugged her.   My thoughts were all over the place in that moment- something like this:  "She is so beautiful.... She is so tiny...  Her hair is wet... Her eyes are so beautiful...  She is so young... She smells like sweet shampoo...I think she's nervous... she looks like family..." and that was just the first 5 seconds...

Then all 4 of us, nervous as can be, sat down.  None of us knew for sure where to begin, or how to normalize this most abnormal meeting.  Niles began by telling K and her father that we were willing to share with them anything they would like to know about us...and the conversation slowly began rolling from there.

The specifics of the conversation I won't be able to share here... but I can say that in their words I felt a deep love for K's baby.  Her father tearily and honestly shared the difficulty and grief their family has been experiencing as they have walked this journey- and it broke my heart.  I wished I could say "just the right thing" that would make everything better.  I wished that I could take away the hurt and somehow make this easy for them- but of course I can't.  In adoption there is always pain- and we know that only the Lord can bring healing and restoration.

Niles and I left the coffee shop both excited and heavy-hearted.  We felt that K and her family were confident in their decision to place her baby with our family (K even asked me if I'd like to go to one of her doctor's appointments with her!).  We were  also burdened with the knowledge that their decision, when carried out, will hurt them deeply.

We ask that you would please pray with us for K and her family.  Pray that they will feel the wings of the Lord wrap around them even now.  That He will give them comfort and confirmation in their decision that they need.  Pray that they will experience and believe the truth found in Psalm 34:
 
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
 
 


We are grateful for another opportunity to see the Lord move and work. 
Even in the heaviness of the day we are thrilled to be another day closer to bringing our baby girl home!