Two weeks ago I was thinking about what I could do to get our names out there to more people that might have connections to women and/or couples that were looking to place their baby for adoption. I was thinking about writing local pastors, as many of them do counseling, as well as just brainstorming in general. Today however, we are planning on finishing up our application and sending it in to the agency that baby J is through. At this point, God has not provided any additional money, but I still feel in my heart that switching to international is the way He wants us to go and that He will provide the money some way, some how. It seems crazy considering at this point we can't even afford to contract with this agency, which basically means we can submit our application, but then we will be at a standstill. We do however have some fundraisers in the works for this spring/summer that will hopefully help us achieve this goal. Also, if any of you know of someone that we can contact in the Lowville area that would have chicken BBQ pits, that would be awesome!
On a side note, since I don't have too much to write on adoption, I wanted to share with you this thing that I'm doing. During the Lenten season, I am participating in the "40 days of water" challenge through Blood Water Mission. This is an amazing organization that was started by the band "Jars of Clay". The idea behind this challenge is that throughout lent you only drink water (except on Sundays when you are allowed to enjoy whatever you want) and then donate the money that you would have spent on that beverage to the Blood Water Mission. The money then helps them build wells for communities in Africa that would otherwise have to have residents walk up to 20 miles a day for water that wasn't even necessarily clean. They also work with HIV/AIDS in Africa, which is a passion of mine, and one reason why we are so drawn to baby J.
When I started this challenge I didn't think it would really be much of a challenge at all. I drink mostly water anyway so I figured that giving up my morning coffee and evening tea wouldn't be that big of a deal. For the most part, I was right. It wasn't until I was about two weeks in that I was so tired and just wanted a cup of coffee. I hadn't been sleeping well with trying to figure out how we could make international adoption work and I was just exhausted. I hate to admit that I even considered cheating, but I knew that this was the day that for me it really counted. I needed to do this especially when it was tough, otherwise what was the point of choosing this challenge over just donating money? I had to remind myself that even in my struggle, that I could walk to my tap, turn it on and have clean water. I didn't have to worry about getting sick, which I experienced first hand in Bolivia. I didn't have to walk 20 miles. I didn't even have to carry a bucket of water, which after being in Gambia, I learned is not easy, even for a short distance. So I made it through the day and told myself that I could have coffee on Sunday. The next day was tough too, but I persevered.
This challenge has not only reminded me of how much we take clean water for granted, but it has also reminded me of why I am passionate about international adoption. Please don't get me wrong, I don't view the United States as the "promised land" and I think that there are amazing things that we miss out on here that developing countries embrace. That being said, they have a set of struggles that are unlike anything that we have to experience here. I wish that there were no orphans to need to be adopted, but that is not a reality. We now have the opportunity to provide one of the "least of these" with a family to call his own. We can provide him with proper medical care, clean water and way more food than he would even need. Most of all, we can provide him with love which is invaluable.