When we first moved to East Africa we knew that the Lord would have us adopt. Of course we had no idea, at the time, that we would live in a counrty that was literally flooding with unwanted/orphaned children or that the governement made it very simple for us, who live in the country, to adopt these children. God had it all planned out from the beginning of time--now that is something too wonderful for me to comprehend!
Back to our journey. After living in the country for one year, the Lord gave us the go-ahead to begin taking in precious souls. We lived off a "meager" salary and already had two small children. Now, on a side note. Many people have the assumption that being a missionary in Africa must be cheap. This is FAR from the truth. Without going into all the financial details, we have to pay $1000's of dollars to even live in the counrty as forgeiners. The price of fuel is almost $5/gallon, a block of cheese is $10 and the average cost of rent is between $800-$1000 *I will share our miracle housing story later in this post*.
"Some may trust in horses, some may trust in chariots, (some may trust in a salary), but we will trust in the name of our God!"
When we brought in our first baby we lived in a tiny 600 sq foot apartement. We often only ate beans and potatoes and local fresh produce. But this was the sacrafice we made for a soul. Then the Lord called us out of the city to be part of a church plant outside of town. However, the place He was calling us too was also the location of a UN base--meaning the housing prices were quite a bit more (the UN gives their employees $1000+ month for housing). Through a series of God ordained circumstances, we were blessed with a house that cost 1/3 of the price of all other houses in the area. The landlord was an amazing Christain woman who had relocated to the UK after the death of her husband. She liked what we were doing and agreed to keep the rent low. Even to date our landlord rarely asks for the rent money--we often do repairs in exchange.
Another side note. The process of adoption for those of us that live in the counrty is a three year process. We first become foster parents and then we hire a lawyer to help us obtain legal guardianship through the high courts. After having the children in our care for three years we then go back to the high courts to finalize the adoption. There are lawyer fees both times we go to the courts and many other expenses concured along the way--mind you I realize that we pay far, far less than those adopting via the I-600 route. But, it is all relative.
To date we have become legal guardians of four children, are in the process of getting guardianship of another child and are finalizing the foster papers for baby E wherein we will turn around and hire a lawyer to go back to the high courts for guardianship. Two of these children have a life threatening disease--the reason they were abandoned due to the "high" cost of medical treatment for the average Ugandan.
The last time we went to high court our lawyer was worried that the judge would question our financial ability to take in another child--and this the judge did. We replied honestly and told the judge that we were giving these children a future and a hope and that although they will never have "much" they will have love. He granted us favor!
I tell you all of this because, as Linny spoke of, finances should never be an issue in adoption. It is the heart of the Father to care for the orphan. We have chosen, even on the mission field, to live as meager as possible so that we can take in as many children as the Lord would see fit. Remembering that it was Jesus who set the example of sacrafice, "giving up everything." We have chosen not to travel back to the states as much--most missioanaries travel every one/two years. We still eat very simply, buy our kids clothes at the local market, homeschool using donated books...
Aren't these little souls worth more than luxury and plenty?