Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Village


They say it takes a village to raise a child. It is most definitely true! We could most definitely do parenthood no justice without our village. Eliana desperately needs the influence of others in her life, and we desperately need the support of others as we figure out this walk called "Parenthood."

When we adopted Eliana, we did it in large part on our own. We were the lone rangers and front runners in our church and community of friends. We had no idea what we were doing. We had no idea how much it would actually cost, and we entered into it all pretty naively but with a simple trust that "he will provide." And that he did.

We finished Eliana's independent adoption all on our own. We hired all the lawyers needed, hired the adoption service provider to serve papers and get them signed, contacted the state to have them do our home study.... and so much more. We did all of the leg work, and at the end of the day our adoption cost about $25,000. Adoption is not cheap. Lawyers are not cheap, home studies are not cheap...there is a lot that goes into finalizing an adoption.

Here's the miraculous part... When all was said and done, we finalized Eliana's adoption with zero debt. NONE. This may not sound like much of a miracle to you, but let me give you just a glimpse in to the miraculous nature of this provision!
1) We didn't ask for help. A few of our family members gave us some money instead of presents that year for Christmas, which gave us the boost we needed to get started (about $1500 total). Bit by bit as bills came along, we always had the money to pay them.
2) We are not rich! ha! With Eliana's adoption, we were just 5 years into marriage and at the beginning of our careers. I was a private Christian School teacher, which if you don't know...they make basically nothing, and Brian was making the starting salary for an engineer in our small town. We live in a small town with a high desire for jobs and small amount of jobs, so the starting pay tends to be lower than the average. We began saving, budgeting, and putting away money bit by bit.
3) We had some serious financial opposition right before we found out about Eliana. The little nest egg that we had built literally dwindled before our eyes in one week's time.  In February 2011, in one week all of this went down.
  • Brian had appendicitis and had to have an emergency appendectomy. 
  • The transmission went out on our car.
  • I was told I was losing my job because the school I was working at was closing. 
Yet, God provided, and we finalized with zero debt. Brian and I have a very high value for living within our means. We find great pleasure in honoring God with the money he has entrusted us with. In our eyes, none of it really belongs to all is on loan from Him. We have found great financial peace and freedom from living debt free... Now, before I get to debt free is not easy!!! We don't have the newest cars, I shop at thrift stores (btw...I get complimented on Eliana's clothing more than any other mama I've met haahaha), we live on a cash budget, and we don't spend more than we have. Why? We find the peace far out weighs the stuff. There is so much financial peace in having cars paid off, minimal bills, and a more simple way of living. All that goes to say that we are NOT normal!!! This is most definitely not the American way to live, and that is quite alright:) Our favorite part about living debt free is having the opportunity to give!! Giving is such a blessing, and it is such a beautiful act of thankfulness towards God. God has given us the gift of giving freely when the Holy Spirit has laid something on our heart. 

Fast forward to Adoption of Dean Baby #2: As we approached this adoption, we openly talked about what our goals were this time around.... Since this was not our first time at this rodeo, we had clearer picture of what was to come, and we started to dream accordingly. 

Goal #1: TO LIVE OUT LOUD: This time around we are both passionate about seeing God glorified. We have opened ourselves us to sharing our story on a much larger platform than before. I have very intentionally placed myself in the adoption community, and I have very purposefully and openly shared our story. The miracles, the mundane, and the rubber meets the road. Why? So God might receive the glory! He's the one at work behind the scenes in all of this. He deserves all of the Glory, Honor, and Praise that is due to him. We as a family have a huge value for authenticity and transparency. If we don't share our lives, how will God ever receive the glory? 

Goal #2: TO SHOW THAT ADOPTION CAN BE DONE DEBT FREE: I have found so often that many of us feel called by God to do something... What that something looks like is different for each one of us, but ultimately, that something always glorifies the Lord and grows the kingdom of God. BUT, what I have also have found is a general fear associated with this calling. If God has called me to start this small business, how do I do it... If God has called me to love the elderly, how do I get started....If God has called us to share the gospel with our coworker, do I have the right words? Few of us have the raw faith to believe that what God calls us to, He will equip us for... So if God calls you to start an infertility group in your community, Why not do it? God will equip you for your calling! If God has called you to love on struggling single moms in your community, why not go... God will equip you! He will give you a vision and provide you with a way! SO the challenge turned upside down on us... If God has called us to show that adoption can be done debt free, why not call of the village, the body of Christ. Eeeek! Ahhhhh! Screeech! HOLD UP?!?! So I'm preaching to myself....yup. 

Goal #3: TO SEE OTHER FAMILIES WALKING IN THEIR CALLING TO ADOPT: this is where my goals go all crazy! We have a crazy dream!!!! We are dreaming that our story might actually give others the courage to walk out their own calling to adopt!!! We must be all kinds of crazy! 

Goal #4:  INVITE THE VILLAGE:  ok. SO. We could totally do this adoption 100% on our own... We are confident that God will provide, with the village or without the village. We could save up a few more years and be fully funded all by ourselves, BUT every time we've prayed about it, we've felt God nudging us to include the village. Allow the body of Christ to do what it does best! Soooo... "YOOHOOO!!! Village... Let's Do this!" Let's see what God does!!! Honestly, it's a risk putting ourselves out there and asking for help from our village, but you know what?! why not?! Why not see God's glory radiating from every aspect of our story!!!

Goal #5: OK... Here's where I get a little crazy in my eyes! Maybe a lot CRAZY?! I have a crazy dream! I have have a crazy dream that God will not only fund our adoption, but he will use the body of Christ to fund another adoption! Eeeeep! I know crazy right?! We have some friends that we love and adore who are knee deep in the adoption process. They are a dynamo couple that has decided to step out in faith and plant a church in St. George, UT. This month they were matched with a birth family, and they potentially have a baby boy due April 28!!!! They have beautiful hearts. After hearing our story, God confirmed in them that adoption was their Plan A for growing their family...they endured some painful losses and decided to forgo infertility treatments in order to pursue adoption. Read their story here:

OK. Who wants to do Crazy with us?! Who wants to jump on this band wagon and see God do something big! Ready or not here's the plan!

Our next adoption costs: $24,000. We are adopting through Nightlight Christian Adoptions. So far Brian and I have saved $14,000!!! That is a miracle in and of itself!!! That leaves us with $10,000 to raise! This $10,000 will directly pay the fees associated with the placement of a child in our home.

Our Dream is to raise twice as much, $20,000!!! Why not see two little ones placed in homes that love Jesus and love birth families and are committed to walking out God's heart here on earth? Why NOT?!

To me it's simple... 2,000 people who give $10; or 200 people who give $100; or 500 people who give $40; 40 people who give $500; or one person who feels God tugging on their heart to give it all. God can use whomever he so desires to see this lived out, and he can place any amount on the hearts of whomever he desires! Our Goal...GOD might be glorified as the GOD WHO PROVIDES!

We do ask that you only give if you feel led to give! Please do not feel any guilt or obligation towards giving; not everyone who reads this post or my blog will feel prompted to give! God loves cheerful givers, and we believe that in the end God will provide!

Practically here are our two platforms for giving at this time:

1) T shirt Fundraiser: We are doing a t-shirt fundraiser. We love the word God has spoken to us, and we pray that anyone who gets to wear it will be given an extra measure of courage to live out love... to be faithful in loving the people God places in front of you because LOVE ALWAYS WINS!

We will receive $15 from each t shirt purchased!

*Please send me a picture of you wearing your shirt once you receive it! I plan on making a wall collage for baby dean #2 to have on his/her wall.

2) Adopttogether: This time around we found an incredible adoption crowd funding platform. Basically, what they have done is to create a platform for people to give towards adoptions. The donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!! Isn't that incredible! Adopttogether has agreed to shift whatever funds raised above our $10,000 directly into the Nadalsky's adopttogether fund! To Give this way click on link below: 

Ready or not?! Let's see what God does!!! 

The Deans

1 comment:

  1. Yay! I just bought my shirt! I can't wait to see what God does through you guys!