Friday, April 15, 2016

New Pathways

If this isn't a testament to how God provides, I don't know what is.

Two days ago, I was feeling the stress of our financial situation and the fundraising crunch. With travel dates confirmed, things were a bit tight, and I sensed the distress in my husband. 

I posted in a China Adoption Group on Facebook asking for any last-minute suggestions for fundraising or acquiring funds in general. I received some great advice, and three different people suggested that I contact an organization I'd never heard of called Pathways for Little Feet. Turns out they give interest-free adoption loans to families in need, and through them, $1.7 million in funding has been given out in over 200 adoption loans resulting in over 300 children who've come home to forever families. Wow.

When I completed my errands that morning, I took a look at the online application and realized that the application was huge. I've applied for eleven grants this time around, so I know what we're dealing with, and I knew that I'd best find out more information before investing much of our precious and dwindling time.

I picked up the phone and called the number. A man named Heath answered--the same Heath who was listed on the website, I presumed. I introduced myself  and from his voice alone, I felt a certain peace. Before I knew it, I was spilling out everything about our last-minute situation and was getting emotional to someone I'd never spoken to before.

This man was amazing, though. He wasn't rattled, and I could immediately detect that he wanted to help. He gently walked me through their criteria (financial requirements, credit scores, and application must be pre-travel), and thankfully we passed the initial test. He told me this, "If you can get me all of your paperwork, scanned and emailed, by tomorrow afternoon, I promise you that we'll put it at the top of the heap, and we'll review it by Thursday. Our time is short, and there are no guarantees, but we'll do our best."

That's all I needed to hear.

I put the pedal to the medal and worked on it diligently all day. And by the end of that night, in three separate emails, I'd finally sent every piece of backup documentation they needed. We'd beaten our deadline by almost a full day.

The next morning, I received an email from Heath confirming that they'd received my emails and asked if we could connect via Facetime that day. I talked to Jimmy and we set up a 1 p.m. Facetime call, which was actually such a blessing because we were forced to test our systems for next week.

When we connected, Heath took time to introduce the team at Pathways for Little Feet and made mention of our record-breaking application turnaround. They asked us about our family and about Lulu. Then he said, "Let's just cut to the chase. We're giving you an interest-free loan today." And I'll bet you can guess what happened next, can't you? We cried. Yes, we cried big old tears of relief that we do not have to worry about funds for the moment. And that is huge. We can pay this loan back on a reasonable payment schedule. It can be used for any adoption-related expenses (even for Lulu's medical needs which are yet to be determined) and they don't even want us to think about making our first payment until July.

Pinch me.

But the best part? The best part was when we all dried our tears, and Heath asked if we could pray together. He led us in prayer for safe travels, for continued financial provision, for Lulu's health and healing, for our children at home, for those who are caring for them in our absence, and for our whole family's transition when we return. It was simply awesome...

This morning, at some point, we will have a check in our hands which will allow us to make our final agency payment just in time. I'm not kidding...we needed to send these funds to our agency prior to travel, which happens to be bright and early Wednesday morning. God surely pulled off a last-minute miracle in the way of provision. And wouldn't you know it was almost exactly the amount we needed. His timing is always perfect, and we're so amazed by his pathways...

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