Saturday, September 29, 2012

Heartache, adoption hiccups, and hope in God

We have been in an adoption whirlwind of sorts. You see, two weeks ago we received word from our agency that the little girl that we got a referral on in February actually had family in Congo who objected to our adoption judgement. Our agency wasn't sure about the validity of it, but yesterday we got a phone call from our agency saying that the little girl that we've been calling Lydia was no longer an orphan, she was with her family in Africa.

So there you have it. Adoption is hard, but at the same time it is glorious. You see adoption is the gospel. Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!". We have been reminded so many times in this journey about the depth of Jesus' love for us. And while we are heartbroken that the little sweet face we've been looking at for 8 months is not our Lydia, we have peace and hope in God's perfect plan for our family. We know that He will help us to love the next little girl that he gives us a picture of and prayerfully brings home to us. And just as we cling to His words in John 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." about the day we will see Him face to face, we also cling to those words for our Lydia. We will come to you sweet girl.

So what's next for us? We will keep perusing our Lydia just as Jesus pursued us. Will it be hard? Yes. Will there be more heartache? Maybe. Waiting? Definitely. We will speak to our agency coordinator on Monday about another little girl that is waiting in Africa. We will continue to work on getting our Lifesong grant matched to finish funding our adoption. Most of all we will pray. We will pray for Lydia. We will pray for hearts to be stirred to care for orphans. We will pray for our story to bring glory to His great name. The one who gave it all so we could be "children of God." We will enjoy this sweet little one He has already entrusted us with:

And wait with excitement to see His plan for our little Lydia.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Huge Praise: Matching Grant and how you can help!

Lifesong and our church's orphan care ministry is partnering with us by offering us a $3000 matching grant. Here is the text for the letter with details on how you can help us get every dollar matched which would mean $6000 toward costs associated with our adoption and getting our sweet baby girl home. That would put this adoption very close to being fully funded. Our God is big people!! (PS. I'm going to try to not be a so terrible blogger in the near future)

Dear Family and Friends,

Most of you are aware that about a year and a half ago we began a journey to answer God’s call to care for the fatherless through adoption. We began the process to adopt a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo in February of 2011. You may also be aware that a little over five months ago we finally got to see the face of the child we have been perusing all this time. Our agency has advised us not to put our sweet Lydia’s picture in print, but trust us when we say she is beyond precious!! In the pictures we’ve seen she even has the same serious face that her big sister Lylah is so well known for! Right now we are waiting for documents to clear so that we can begin the process of applying for her visa and scheduling embassy appointments. We are getting so close and are prayerful that God would move in mighty ways to bring Lydia home even by Christmas.

Some of you might be wondering what prompted us to adopt. Well, primarily, we see that God calls us to care for orphans. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction” James 1:27. We recognized that for our family one way we could care for orphans was to adopt one into our family. We know that God loves Lydia and all other orphans around the world. His desire is for them to be cared for. We have a loving home ready to adopt, love, and care for Lydia and prayerfully one day she will see her need to be adopted into an eternal family through Jesus Christ.

The biggest challenge for adopting families, ourselves included, is finding the finances to make an adoption happen. The estimated total cost of our adoption is over $25,000. This cost covers adoption fees, document preparation, home study, airfare, travel expenses, attorney fees, and funds to care for Lydia while she is still living away from us. We certainly don’t have $25,000 lying around, but God is faithful and has proven it over and over. By His grace and the generosity of friends and family we’ve been able to pay the initial $15,000! We appreciate you and the way you have been involved in our journey thus far. We would like to ask you to pray and consider continuing on with us as we seek to bring our little lady home. There are two specific ways you can help:

1. Prayer-Please pray that God would protect and provide for Lydia in the DRC until we are able to bring her home. Pray that the remaining steps of our process would be smooth and without problem. Begin to pray for Lydia’s transition to us and for our transition to a family of four. Ultimately pray that God will give us wisdom to raise the children He is entrusting us with and that Lydia (and Lylah) would come to know Jesus as their Savior.

2. Financial Support- Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us pay the remaining $10,000 in adoption expenses to bring Lydia home. Lifesong partnering with our church Living Hope has graciously given us a Matching Grant of $3,000 to help bring Lydia home!

If you would like to be a part of God’s work in giving Lydia a family and in turn exposing her to the gospel as a part of her daily life, you can send your tax-deductible gift between now and October 31st to the address below. Lifesong is a trusted organization administering the funds on Lydia’s behalf, and will pay adoption expenses out of the funds received.

1. Please make checks payable to: Lifesong. You may preference how the donation might be used by writing “Mattingly #2986 adoption” in the memo section of your check. (Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong which retains full discretion and control over its use).

2. Mail checks to : Lifesong for Orphans Attn: Mattingly#2986 PO Box 40/ 202 N. Ford St. Gridley, IL 61744

Thank you so much for investing in the Kingdom through prayers and finances-we pray that this journey will bring much glory to God! We will continue to update about our process and by all means stop us and ask to see Lydia’s picture! We love to show her sweetness to those who love her already just as we do!

In Christ Alone, Nathan, Lara, and Lylah