Thoughts

Tonight my mom shared with me that every Sunday their Pastor prays for us and our adoption. They pray for the boys, for the Haitian government and for us. How amazing when others pray for you. There is a couple at our church that prays for us every day! There is no room for pride when one realizes you are so dependent on God and that often the very reason you are dependent is others are interceding on your behalf. Here is the kicker: Jesus is interceding for us! This blows me away. Jesus, the Messiah, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords…is praying for us? WOW!
Romans 8:34
“who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—-more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”
Prayer is at times a bit of a mystery to me. Days like yesterday and today where I feel this groaning and longing for something I don’t know? Is it longing for God Himself? Is it longing for my true home, heaven? Just longing for Jesus himself in a way, to read the gospels and just want to do what He says. I want to share with others this Joy in following Him. In not caring anymore what the “world” thinks. To be with Him, to listen to Him, and to obey Him.
Philip Yancey writes in his book, The Jesus I Never Knew, how in today’s times, it is very likely that Jesus would have been aborted. He writes and I quote,
“The virgin Mary, thought, whose parenthood was unplanned, had a different response. She heard the angel out, pondered the repercussions, and replied, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said. Often a work of God comes with two edges, great joy and great pain, and in that matter of fact response Mary embraced both. She was the first person toe accept Jesus on his own terms, regardless of the personal cost. “

Blessings,

Michelle

Praise!

 

We found out yesterday that we have received a matching grant from Hand in Hand Christian Adoption Agency.  They will match up to $5000 of money we raise.  Thank you for your prayers!  I know most of you have already given and thank  you so much!  We will be getting letters around for this grant and continuing to pray for some more to come through.  

We also found out another praise.  The orphanage where our sons are has an amazing director.  Her husband is visiting the IBESR every day to check on the status of their referrals.  This is great news and gives us hope that the Lord is working all things together for good!  Selfishly, we want them to be home sooner!  We will be getting monthly pictures and updates on the boys…which makes it even harder to wait! 

Blessings,

Ron and Michelle

Praises and Misc

Praises
 We received our I171 H in the mail today!  This is our last piece needed for our dossier, aside from our home study addendum which will be state certified and mailed directly to America World.  Praise the Lord and thank you for your prayers as our family coordinator said this was really fast. We also had someone in our church, Tony Aiken, (thanks Tony and Onsted’s French teacher!) who found a Rosetta stone in French we can borrow, so we can start to learn French!  

I am very behind in every aspect of updating.  I hope to recalculate our fundraising soon and report to you all. 

We had a successful trip getting fingerprinted.  I must share this simple praise.  Many of you know traveling in vehicles does not always go so great with my babies.(thankfully we fly to Haiti!)  They tend to want out of their car seat to nurse or whatever…so I had been dreading the fingerprint trip.  Normally Ella wakes up close to when I do, 6:45 ish…but that day she slept till 9.  This meant her first nap was when we left to go pick Luke up at UT at 11:45.  She slept the entire way to pick him up, and then the whole way to Detroit after that.  There was no waiting in line at USCIS and then she did great overall on the way home.  It was just a small way the Lord was showing me He will take care of all the details if I just trust Him.  For me the hardest part of our adoption is leaving our children for two weeks and how Ella will do as we will take her with us.  This too, I must trust Him for.  Being obedient to God is always what is best for our children. 

It has been a difficult road to be honest.  So much has had to be done in a short period of time.  In the adoption world putting together a dossier and doing all the “paper chasing” is called a paper pregnancy.  There are so many things that go into it.  One of these days I will compile an entire list…..a few examples:  recent, official, state notarized birth and marriage certificates, police clearance letters, doctor physicals and letters, employment and non-employment letters, the homestudy, a psychological evaluation, reference letters, a bank letter, bank statements, power of attorneys, just to mention a few.  And then most of these things have to be notarized and then state authenticated.  It is just crazy!  And everything we did from our Ethiopia dossier had to be redone for this Haiti one. 

Yet, it is all so amazing because the Lord has provided strength and help at every turn.  He has been so faithful.  He has guided and directed.  And tonight as I was re-reading David Platt’s book, Radical, I realized why.  Here is a quote from his book:

“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.  They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.  It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But, once you do, everything changes.”

We have yet to do the latter, but we do know their names, and we have seen their faces…and they are worth every minute of work and every dime we own, and all the dimes we don’t own.  They are worth it, just like each of our biological children are worth it. 

I was thinking today of how last year at this time I would tell Ally about kids who don’t have beds….and she would say, “let’s get them some beds.”  I would say, well, it’s not that simple.  While we do sponsor a compassion child, I did not really know a practical way to actually give a child in need….a bed.  Well, we will be giving four precious boys beds and hopefully impart to them the knowledge of their loving savior!

We had a rough week last week of the lovely stomach flu. I talked with the kids tonight how many children suffer from vomiting and diarrhea often because they don’t have clean drinking water.  Josh and Anna said how that would be so terrible.  I asked them if when they were sick, did they think about the next “thing” they wanted to buy?  They were like, no, we just wanted to feel better!  So, I said, be thankful tonight that you feel better.  So, as a family we are going to participate in the “Kenya Digit” race held on July 5, 2014 to raise money for a well in Kenya.  If you are interested here is the link: http://living-water-mission.org/KENYA_DIG_IT_RACE.html

I surely would recommend to you to read either or both of the following books:  Radical by David Platt, or the Hole in the Gospel by Richard Stearns.  Either one really puts the perspective of the American Dream in perspective with Jesus words.  Somehow we have missed Jesus words.  The red letter words in most of our Bibles….look at the story of the Rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31.

Please know how much we thank you for and covet your prayers on this journey.  And please know that I would love to pray for you re; anything, just shoot me an email!

Specific Prayer Requests:

  1.  We would  get to take the 2 week trip this summer
  2. The boys would be home by Christmas
  3. Grants would come through
  4. Salvation of 4 boys
  5. Provision in all the details

 

Many Blessings to Each of You,

May God be glorified,

Love, The Schaffner Family

  

       

 

Updates

Praises:
We have made it through the first financial hurdle:
$975. To USCIS
$5750. To America World
$28,150. For first ½ of International fees
We have about $31,850 in fees plus travel expenses left to pay. We have raised $13,300. and refinanced to free up $20,000. We have about 8,000 towards that plus the Abba Fund will give us a 0% interest loan for the last trip travel fees. Our last big chunk will be due right after we travel for our first trip. We were hoping to be traveling in June, but now are at least hoping and asking the Lord for the first trip to be in the summer as it is 2 weeks long.
We have our fingerprint appointments for 2/27/2014 at 2 pm. We will have to pick up Luke from UT as he has to get fingerprinted as well. Then we wait for our I171-H to arrive which is our last piece of our dossier! Our family coordinator is sending our dossier without it for now, it should be done being translated soon. I know all of this information is probably boring to you all! Where are the pictures and names you say? We cannot share that information until we get our dossier sent and receive the official referral. We have now what is called a “soft referral.”
In the meantime I am applying for grants like crazy. Please pray that some of the grants would come through.
Specific things to pray:
1. First trip would be in the summer
2. Some grants would come through
3. Full provision of rest of costs
4. Salvation of the boys
5. We would be able to find time and brain power to learn French and/or Creole
6. In all things, Jesus name would be praised, lost would be found
7. We would entrust the timing of everything into the Lord’s hands

Thank you for being with us on this journey. It has been so encouraging as our church as been studying about the parts of the body…and how they all are important. I think of how I cannot sing or wouldn’t be able to pull off putting a bulletin together, but how the Lord has given Ron and I hearts for adoption. No one person is better for what they do in the body….it is their heart and motive that matters. As Luke recently posted on his Instagram is an excellent quote re; this by AW Tozer:

“It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular but why he does it.”