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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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