To give a little background, Darin and I have felt very strongly that God has called us to adopt a little girl internationally since we first got married. We began the process to adopt in 2010 working through Russia. In 2012, Russia shut down all adoptions to the United States. We were heartbroken, but still we felt God's strong calling on us to adopt from the Eastern Europe area. Our church does Mission work in a small country called Moldova (which is located in between the Ukraine and Romania). Moldovan girls are targeted for the illegal sex trade and our church helps support and build transition homes that rescue these girls from such a terrible fate. http://harvestchurchmissions.com/moldova-missions/
When we first moved to North Texas a year ago and began attending our awesome church, we felt that God wanted us to support the mission work that the church was already doing in Moldova. We assumed that our calling was to support through financial means only. However, we later felt God calling us to not only help financially but to also adopt a little girl from that country. Our Emma currently lives in an orphanage in Moldova, and we have been praying daily for her protection and for the process to go quickly so we can bring her home to our hearts and family very soon.
We just recently finished all paperwork and completed our Dossier for Moldova this May. We were told that the wait time once our Dossier arrived in Moldova would be 3-9 months for a referral. Unfortunately, that wait time has now greatly increased. We received an email from our agency yesterday that said the Moldovan Ministry was being swamped with many dossiers and they do not have the staff needed to process them. The Ministry has advised that the number of dossiers that will be formerly registered (Your Dossier must be registerd in order to receive a referral) will be limited. Agencies can continue to send completed dossiers to Moldova and they will be translated. However, they will not be registerd until all registered families have been matched.
As you can imagine, I cried tears of frustration when I read this email. Our Dossier will be among those translated but put on hold until other referrals have been given to those couples who are already registered. They are anticipating that the wait time will be extended from the 3-9 mths to about 12 months from the time that your documents are registered and reviewed by the Ministry. So, for us that means 12+ months until we are matched with Emma.
I am sure that many families will back out and stop the process or switch countries even. But, we will wait for our Emma no matter how long it takes. We have been called to adopt her, and she is in Moldova. We will not stop fundraising and we will not stop praying her home until that joyful day when her homecoming becomes a reality.
This morning, I woke up to a devotion entitled "Waiting". God is always right on time to speak truth and to encourage my heart. The devotion said, "There is so much learning in the waiting. We learn patience and long-suffering and tolerance when we wait. We learn forgiveness and self-awareness and we learn how to slow down. When we wait it is one more example that life is a journey to be walked through not a destination to be won. That is the grace in life: that even in the long night before the morning, there is goodness even there." (www.incourage.me)
God continued to bring peace and blessing to my broken and frustrated heart throughout the day. Later this morning, my Spiritual Mentor, Prayer Partner, and Dear Friend shared this with me from Jennifer Kennedy Dean's "Living a Praying Life" Bible Study. If Jesus had come when Martha called him to heal Lazarus instead of waiting like he did, then Mary and Martha would have known him as healer but not as victor over death. "They would have been more certain that ever that Jesus is Lord over illness. But they would never have known that Jesus is Lord over death. The Father is always teaching us the lordship of Jesus in deeper, more experiential ways. 'Jesus is Lord' is the truth that anchors everything. When it appears from earth that God is delaying, He is really putting pieces together that you had not though of. He is engineering circumstances so that His power and glory will be on display. When God builds a waiting period into the course of your affairs, it means that what He is doing requires it. His apparent delays are loving, purposeful and deliberate."
I am so thankful that the God I serve is loving, purposeful, and deliberate in every detail of our lives-in the good, in the bad, and in the periods of waiting.
So, dear friends, we will press on. We will continue to raise the money we need to complete the adoption (we estimate our needed expenses right now at around $17-18,000). We will continue to pray fervently that our home in South Texas sells (freeing us from that added financial burden). We will update our documents when they expire during the wait time. And, most importantly, we will pray and trust. Trust that even now, God sees the Big Picture-the Final Masterpiece so to speak-The brilliance of our family when Emma is home. We fully believe that He is orchestrating every piece of paperwork and every government official to match us with the little girl whom He has chosen to be part of our family. Yes, we long for that day desperately, and we wish that it was now and not a year or more from now. But, we have no other choice but to trust God. He has never abandoned our family before: He elminated our debt; He walked with us and breathed peace into our hearts when we Savannah died; He provided a new job for Darin; He blessed my womb and gave us three beautiful children despite the doctor saying that I was incapable of becoming pregnant; and He continually gives us Beauty from Ashes and Joy in the Morning. My God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and His faithfulness in times past gives me the assurance of His goodness, His power, and His promise to never abandon us.
Not for a Moment will He forsake us!
Romans 8:28 (Message)
"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."
We ask for your support in praying for Emma. Please pray that she will be surrounded with loving caretakers and that she will remain healthy while in the orphanage. Also, please pray for our family that we will have perfect peace while we endure the long wait. Join us in praying for our South Texas home to sell and our expenses to be covered by the time we receive her referral.
If you are interested in helping us financially there are several fundraisers currently taking place that I will provide the links to below. Also, to help raise the funds needed, I am selling custom cupcakes through my "Taste and See" (Psalm 34:8) Bakery". You can message me for flavors and prices.
There are several opportunities below if you feel God leading you to contribute to our adoption. We thank each of you in advance from the bottom of our hearts.
Arbonne Fundraiser (Until July 15th)https://www.arbonne.com/shop_online/vpPresentationCode.asp and enter code 821883 Or call Kathy at 919-561-1125 Or email Kathy at email@example.com
Emma Charity’s Adoption Fund:
We have developed a list of tangible financial needs that we will incur during our upcoming trips to Moldova. If you feel led to give, you can choose a need to meet. 100% of the money that you donate will go to meet that need. You can contribute money by making checks out to Darin and Christina Burrell or by donating through Paypal. Please message me if you would like our mailing address or Paypal address.
Our greatest need is prayer-prayer of protection over Emma and prayers for God’s provision and timing on the entire adoption process.
· Buy a Plane ticket (we need 5): $1700 each
· Buy half of a plane ticket: $850 each
· Buy a meal in Moldova: $20 each
· Hotel Night in Moldova: (approximately 20 nights): $100 each night
One way that you can help support bringing Emma home to our family, is by purchasing coffee from our store at: http://www.justlovecoffee.com/TheBurrells
For every bag of coffee that you purchase, we will receive $5. Thank you so much for helping in this way. Please forward the link to everyone you know who likes coffee. The coffee is absolutely DELICIOUS! My Hubby is especially fond of the Rwandan.
We also have an online store where we are selling t-shirts (both adoption-themed and Christian-themed). For every t-shirt you purchase, we will receive around $8 to put towards our adoption costs.Please consider purchasing a shirt and forward the link to the store to your coworkers, friends, and family.
The link to our store is: http://www.adoptionbug.com/burrellmoldovanadoption/