After listing pretty much every thing we own in ads and writing "for sale" on our cars so many people began to ask "are you moving?" "where to?" "why?". Here is the post to answer all questions.
Moving is our plan. It is difficult for me to even type "Plan Move" because the public-ness of making this announcement means it is real. No turning back. Our whole world turned upside down.
So after the Summit Orphan Conference (last blog post) we got our notice that our adoption homestudy is expiring and we get one free renewal. We began our update of paperwork, the home visit, more than a dozen references and just have to get our physicals to make it complete. I began dreaming about our next child. We began praying for two 7 year old boys waiting in Hong Kong (Lifeline link). We even began praying for a beautiful sibling group of five in FL waiting for adoption (AdoptUsKids link). Our kiddos REALLY want more siblings, like a lot more, five more scares me half to death, literally gave me an anxiety attack when we began to consider it. I am human. I get scared. I think "not me" but I know if that is where God calls us I will walk obediently and He will strengthen me and open my heart wide to love more regardless of the difficulty.
What does adoption have to do with moving? Nothing. That is the scariest part of this Plan Move. Adoption will be put on hold. Although many women struggle with infertility and although I am currently barren I know God is the giver and taker of life. I have actually taken comfort in knowing that I have two doors open to receiving the blessing of children. God can give me children through adoption or open my womb. Plan Move scares me. It closes the one door that God has used to bless us. It leaves only the barren door open. It tests my trust in God.
Okay okay, get on with it, what is Plan Move!?! I have to continue with a little back story so...you may want to go back to Pinterest if this is too wordy :)
Brian and I were your normal American dreamers. We were newly wed and both working full-time. We had our apartment and new car but seemed to just make ends meet. A year went by and our wealth grew, our pay raised and we bought a 2nd new car and moved into a nicer apartment. Another year and income is growing but our standard of living was growing faster. We bought a house. November 2006. We were finally there, after just two years. We sported the nice cars, beautiful, cozy, 3 bedroom house, perfect for our 2 planned children (one boy and one girl, of course!) in a very upscale neighborhood. We made it! But we didn't make it on our money. The payments began to pour in and we were sinking fast. The market crashed and we instantly lost any equity we ever hoped to have. Only a year into our perfect dream we were on the brink of foreclosure. Thankfully Brian heard Dave Ramsey on the radio and we became serious about staying afloat. We worked overtime, two, even three jobs to pay off the debt we had racked up so quickly. I dog sat, cleaned houses, Brian mowed lawns, we painted, built furniture, we did every odd job we could pick up. Finally in October 2008 we paid off $50,000, all that was left was the mortgage. The waters were lowering and we could swim again.
Then God captured our hearts. When our strength was spent and we were weary He adopted us into His family, His heritage, His inheritance. Our father quickly showed us in His word that we are to care for the least of these and we ran after that call by becoming foster parents (link to our fostercare/adoption timeline). We wanted to serve these children and their birth parents but God had other plans, He made us parents of five...QUICKLY! Now we are just a normal family but the door to serving through foster care has been shut...now what?
God has been convicting us to walk down a much more difficult path than adopting again. He is calling us to finish swimming in debt for good and walk again on dry ground. "Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another;" Romans 13:8 "The borrower is slave to the lender" Proverbs 22:7. God speaks a lot on debt in His word (google can tell you). We have racked up $20k in debt since kiddos joined us and still have our very high mortgage payment. So this is Plan Move:
Buy or rent small piece of land (or pay rent at RV park)
Move into RV
Save up every dime of Brian's income for 2-3 years
Pay CASH for whatever house we want
Pray for a new plan (kids say adopt 20 more kids...hope that isn't God inspired)
So that is it. Plan Move. Simple yet terrifying. Living in a 320sqft RV for 2 years with 5 kids and 1 bathroom will be a walk of humility, patience and contentment, all are SUPER hard, scary lessons. I pray that through this God teaches us, strengthens us, and helps us leave a legacy for our children. That they would not seek an American dream but a God's will dream! Not a fleeting dream but a dream that walks down the hard roads for the long-lasting inheritance in an eternal kingdom.
***For anyone currently in our shoes when we were newly married or even before marriage. STOP! Take the shoes off and do not borrow money! Work, save up, live low now and build up so that you are not dragging your kids into the low life later to rebuild.***
Imagine the money you could give if it wasn't tied up in your mortgage!
Imagine the ways you could serve if those credit cards were cut up!
Imagine the time you could take off to love on your little ones if you drove a paid off car!
That is where our imagination is. The journey may be tough but the reward will be GREAT!
Posted by Shannon
Soli Deo gloria - Glory to God alone