Monday, November 17, 2008

Helpless does not have to be Hopeless


The last few months have been such a blur for us. Of course while we were in the moment, it seemed as if some days had 100 hours to them. God is so good. Maybe for the first time in my life, I believe this statement to be true, and much more than a catchy cliché coin phrase that we (I) toss around. What seemed to me impossible for our family seems to be happening right before our very eyes. I guess that it’s in moments like these, that I find God the most. You see, I am such a do-er and a fixer. I am wired to see a problem and attack it. I want to solve and do everything that I can to fix the problem or resolve the issue. I can only assume that God is laughing as I type this.

We are not out of the woods yet, but I refuse to lose hope at this point. I am realizing that I can feel helpless, but I never have to be hopeless. I know it’s a choice, and I pray that I never lose hope. A little over two weeks ago, we had to say goodbye to baby Thunder. As I have shared in previous Facebook and Blog posts ( http://neilpickford.blogspot.com ) , it was one of the most difficult things that we had to do as a family. It didn’t just impact me, or Brooke; it was a loss to us all. I will confess to you, that I have wrestled with the Lord over why he would put this calling on our life to adopt a Native American child if it was impossible for us to accomplish. What an idiot I have been. It has been so easy for me to think that we were in this alone. Not only did God put this on our hearts, I think He wanted to make sure that we knew that it wasn’t something that we could do on our own.. but He can. I know I know, it sounds churchy, but in truth, it is what it is. God knew that I would try and figure a way on my own. Likewise, He also knew that I would also fail on my own. He also knew that people like you would rally around us, and we are truly grateful.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support during this time. Your prayers have been strong pillars of faith for us to lean on during times of doubt and weakness. I have never felt so much support from the body, like I have through this journey. Your prayers have been working, and for us, the time has come for the rubber to meet the road. When we started the official process of adoption, Brooke and I “knew” that it was going to be a long and expensive road ahead. We believed that it would take us a year or two to complete the necessary paperwork and pay for the different costs involved. We thought that we would have the “perfect” amount of time to plan when would be the most “perfect” and convenient time for our new Son to come and live with us. Again, one word, Idiots!

While on the road while on vacation with my family, I received yet another call from the Robinson Family! “Chris, they (Thunder’s birth parents) are ready for you and Brooke to bring Thunder home.” My heart sank, and my stomach did some weird things (just ask Dad). Could all of this really be happening? God is so much bigger than my timetable, and definitely bigger than my inadequacies. We have had to switch into fast gear! We have contacted a Lawyer who will take care of the legal process. We had hoped to have time to do several key fundraising opportunities over the next 6-8 months to raise support for the costs involved in the adoption.

Please do not think that this is about asking for your money. We have struggled through this process of knowing that we would have to ask for help. It has been a struggle because I know that I am not a huge fan of support letters and I know that this time of the year is tough on our wallets and that the economy that we are in has been hard for us all. A good friend of mine asked me not to keep people out of our needs. “Let them decide”, he said. I do not want you to feel any pressure at all to give, however we are asking that you pray that the Lord would help us with the funds needed to make this happen. Through this process, we have come to really value prayer more than anything. Here are some of the financial needs that we have to cover:

• Homestudy (We have to get this done ASAP. We were under the impression that we didn’t have to get a homestudy since this is a private adoption and not through an agency.)
• Adoption Attorney fees
• Court Costs and filing fees.
• Some medical needs for baby Thunder
• Some practical items like clothing, diapers, wipes, a car seat, etc…

Our church, Fellowship Bible Church, has a special fund to help families who are trying to adopt. The I Choose You Adoption Fund has been established to encourage people to become generously involved in the adoption adventure of others. Monetary donations for adoptive families should be made payable to “Fellowship Bible Church” with “I Choose You” identified on the memo line. Donations should also be accompanied by a separate note, which gives our name (Chris and Brooke Byers) as the intended recipients.

Fellowship Bible Church: 1210 Franklin Road, Brentwood, TN 37027

What we do know is that this private adoption will cost significantly less than going through an agency. As a guess, we imagine that the cost of this adoption, and the medical and practical needs should not exceed $10,000. There will be financial accountability with the church. As needs arise, we have to turn in receipts and/or invoices to the church in order to request the funds. This keeps us honest and from taking your money to buy me a new iPhone and a matching scooter for Brooke. ☺

It is also important for you to know, that if more funds come in than are needed for this adoption, the remaining balance will be placed into a general adoption fund for other families wanting to adopt. In addition, you need to know that according to IRS regulations, the church is under no obligation to disburse your gifts to us as directed; otherwise your gifts would not be tax deductible. If you prefer, you may send donations directly to us, but then they obviously would not be tax deductible. If you prefer, you can send a check or gift card (for some of the practical needs). Please email me at chris@offstageministries.com for info on how to do so.

Please continue to pray for the biological parents of baby Thunder. This decision has been a tough one for them, and has not been an easy process. The birth mom has met with our Lawyer and is ready to move forward in this process. She is amazing and we have grown to lover her so much. Thunder’s Dad is having a really tough time with this. Please pray that God would give him a peace about this if it is indeed His will. We also pray for Wisdom for our attorney as we proceed and for favor with the TN Judicial system and Lakota Sioux tribal Government. Thank you for partnering with us and loving us so well by your prayers and support. If this is the first time you have heard about this, and have a ton of time to read my ramblings, feel free to catch up on our story at: http://neilpickford.blogspot.com/2008/11/isnt-it-funny-how-your-perspective.html or http://neilpickford.blogspot.com/2008/11/week-later-and-i-miss-thunder.html and http://neilpickford.blogspot.com/2008/11/what-do-you-say.html

1 comment:

amy stanfield said...

Chris,

I saw your facebook line and it led me to your latest blog post...
Thank you for sharing your heart...its amazing to see what God has been doing. God has given me comfort from your words.
I'm awake early in the morning (4:30-blah) at our house for two reasons- one, because I've been sick, and two, because I've had such similar things on my heart lately, in regards to our adoption.
Matt and I decided last Saturday that it was time to move forward in this adoption journey...and since then, it has been a pretty emotional road for me. I knew things would get hard, but I didn't expect so much opposition and emotion at such an early stage! I really resonated with what you mentioned about feeling like you had the "perfect" plan laid out, but that God had another way. That is becoming more clear to me each day.
Yesterday, we heard news that would make the calling God has put on our hearts to adopt from China seem impossible. (you can ask Matt about details if you like) It felt like a pretty tough blow after a long week of craziness and then getting sick- it felt like Satan was kicking me while I was already down.
The truth is though, strangely, it gives me confidence that things have been hard...after all, if we are following the footsteps of Jesus, and stepping out to trust Him (in ways we never have before) then you can bet it will not be an easy road. I have felt the enemy fighting every step of the way, and yet it strengthens my resolve to walk hand in hand with my Lord, look up into His eyes and say, "nothing is impossible with you." He will make a way- He WILL.
Its beautiful to see prayers unfold into reality, isn't it? It does give us fresh hope, and our faith comes alive in areas that have been previously untouched...corners of our hearts that were asleep are now coming awake- and we begin to glimpse anew the heart of our Savior, friend, Provider. Our Lord beckons us to trust in a new way, and remind us that our sufficiency comes from Him- not from ourselves. Matt said last night that the "impossible" could be looked at in two ways. You could let the thought of it overwhelm and discourage you, or you could choose to be excited, knowing that God has great things in store for those who wait upon Him. I've wrestled with both, but I will not succumb to the enemy's wishes that I lose hope in what my Lord can do!
So, our prayers are with you guys as you forge on- I have no doubts that He who is faithful will take care of every detail, especially the ones we don't have the ability to see.
Yes, we are helpless, we are weak- yet we are full of hope. In our weakness is where our Savior shines, and when we give people the opportunity to bless and serve like never before. We boast gladly in our weakness because its in this moment when Christ's power rests on me.
It is all for Him, and His glory.

Jesus, you know our desires, you know our hearts...you know the details of our story. May you reach into our hearts, and lift our eyes so that our focus is solely in You. May you grant us the strength to overcome in your power the attacks and plans of the enemy. May our weakness be a beacon to those who need to see your Glory and power in new ways...and may it allow us to never be the same. You are our Jehovah-jireh, our Provider, and El-Shaddai, the One who is sufficient for the needs of His people. Bless us, Lord, teach us, and may our hearts and minds be more open to you each waking moment. In Jesus name,
Amen.