Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Game Plan

I could not sleep the other night and whenever I can't sleep that's a bad sign. It usually means God is trying to get my attention.

Okay, Okay, God, I'm finally listening, what's up?

It was our adoption. Adoption #2, Child #4. We had felt as though we were supposed to go ahead and dive in even though we didn't have the money saved. We figured God would provide if that is what He wanted us to do.

Then he started waking me up in the middle of the night. He started showing me ways we have made financial mistakes in the past. (Ouch.) Times when we have been impatient and tried to do things ahead of His timing. (Ouch.) I felt like a little kid, shuffling my toe through the dust of the playground as I was questioned by a teacher. Normally God and I are on really terrific terms, which just makes the times like this week particularly ouchie.

To make a long story short, we decided we need to be good stewards of our finances this time around. We still have some debt hanging on from years ago. Rather than ignoring it and pretending it doesn't exist like we have been doing, it's time to aggressively get rid of it.

We need to continue being faithful in our giving to God. It's really tempting when we're saving money for something we want so badly to use "God's money" toward our adoption. But that is not what it's for.

As Linny on A Place Called Simplicity advises:

So the game plan?? Get out of debt! Give to the orphan, the widow and the poor. Stop needless spending. Give to the orphan, the widow and the poor. Downsize your home to have less mortgage (or no mortgage). Give to the orphan, the widow and the poor. Cut up your credit cards and pay them off. Give to the orphan, the widow and the poor.

And THEN watch and see our Miracle-Working, Mountain-Moving, Awe-Inspiring, Gasp-Giving God provide supernaturally for you to bring your next one home!! It's gonna' be so stinkin' amazing!!

It's true. We want to watch God move in our family in amazing ways. We want to bring home the orphans He will place in our family. So we need to start doing things with God's wisdom rather than the wisdom of man.

The long and short of it is we're pushing back our adoption timeline until our finances are in order. Right now we owe $23,568.99. I hate to even admit that. but we do.

Then after we pay that off, we need to save or raise about $25,000 to bring home Little Sister. As in reverse the amount we owe and we'll have the amount we need. The numbers makes me cringe. We are notoriously BAD at saving money and we've never been debt-free our entire marriage. We try, we really do. We saved enough for Baby Bear's adoption. But it was nowhere near that amount.

This is what we're called to do. By God's grace we'll do it. I have no idea how many years it will take. But for now Ethiopia is on hold, barring some kind of financial miracle.

I am sad. But I didn't wake up in the middle of the night last night.


  1. I understand how hard that must be to accept. I'd love to have a fourth child, but the reality is that it probably won't happen unless we had more income and a bigger house. It's a hard thing to accept, but I will be praying that it works out for you guys in the future. You are a wonderful family with lots of love to give, and some child will be blessed to join your family when it is the right time.

  2. Wow! That's uber responsible of you! Most people go ahead and deal with their debt later. Money is the hardest test of self-discipline.

  3. I'm so glad you guys are doing this now, rather than waiting until you owe over 100,000 like we are. It is unbelievably hard, let me tell you. I'm sure you will do well. You seem like a very disciplined person.

  4. Erin, I'm praying about this for you!'s 12:16 am...and while I could blame this post on a bit of pregnancy insomnia (God likes to use this time of my life to get a hold of me a la progesterone) it's better to be honest that I'm awake due to another late night "personal meeting with God" of a different nature.

    Nevertheless, I know the struggle you are enduring. Jeff counsels people each day working, praying and being disciplined to get out of debt. I am so thankful you have made that choice to have money as a tool, rather than money and debt controlling you!

    It's a way of life in our country, and it (spending and debt) has longer lasting ramifications than nearly any other's one that's usually a result of small blips that are hardly noticeable until they are large.

    Know I respect you fro your tough choices, and that you have a friend praying for continued provision and patience to meet your goals.

    God Bless!