We sat down this past week and took inventory of all the people who have given to our adoption. It stuns us. 8 months ago, when we looked at the 'price tag' for ransoming one little boy from an institute so far away we had sticker shock. At that point we were looking at 24,000.00 dollars. When we talked to our kids about the possibility of adopting Aaron, Ben asked why we didn't work on raising the money first, then commit to adopt. Our response forged for us our focus through this entire process. Waiting to get the money wasn't faith. Faith jumps first, trusting that since God laid this child on our hearts, then He would provide the means to bring him home. But Rob and I weren't without a plan. Being the 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' kind of people, we decided that we would basically sell everything we had to bring Aaron home. We meant it.
We haven't had to.
We did do our share - we sold stuff on e-bay, we cleaned out our savings account and piggy banks, we had yard sales and put out donation buckets and made craft books and buckets to sell. We have worked hard to raise what we could but while we have been working hard, the Holy Spirit has been quietly working right alongside us, advocating in hearts for Aaron.
And the money has been pouring in. From across the globe, hundreds and hundreds of people have stepped up to love one little disabled boy home. So many who gave 5.00 or 10.00 apologized for giving 'so little.' Dear friends - it adds up. Each 5.00 has been an unbelievable blessing and testimony to us of the power and working of the Holy Spirit in this adoption. When the price went up, so did the donations. When the price went up again, to an unbelievable 29,000.00 for one child, again hearts were touched. God has provided.
I want to take inventory - I want to pay tribute to all of you who have given to Aaron... I can't name you on this blog as it would be too long - your names will be forever on Aaron's puzzle - but I want to give honor where honor is due...These are the people who came alongside us to love Aaron home...
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Rob's parents, my dad, every single one of our brothers and sisters and their spouses, our nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles and great-uncles and aunts
Friends here in Fluvanna county
Friends from Pennsylvania (where we lived for a number of years)
Families from the FAST swim team
Families from the Black Box Players
Families from Elijah's Boy Scout troop
- One of the Fluvanna Girl Scout Troops
Families from the ACTS homeschool Co-op
Families from our church - Cunningham Methodist Church
Families from past sports teams and groups that the boys have participated in over the years
Families from past churches we have attended over the years - Bethel OPC, Faith Chapel, Belmont Baptist, Charlottesville Mennonite, Bart
Rob's best man at our wedding AND HIS ENTIRE CHURCH
Friends from college
Friends from high school
Friends from childhood
Former students of Julia's and their families
STRANGERS... (No more)
Molly - who advocated for Aaron before we knew him
Molly's circle of friends and her wonderful family
The wonderful families from REECE'S RAINBOW!! Many of these families are themselves adopting yet in their own need - they still gave to Aaron!
Individuals who have Arthrogryposis (like Aaron) and parents of children who have Arthrogryposis. (The outpouring of support and love from this group of people has blown us over)
Families who have adopted
Families who want to adopt
The vast assortment of people who have linked to our blog from other blogs or heard about Aaron through friends or family members
The anonymous strangers who gave but didn't want us to know their names
Aaron doesn't know. It will be a long time before he understands what has happened. He is just a little disabled boy, seemingly forgotten in a very big world. Yet God saw fit to move in so many hearts to help bring him into a family. He hasn't been forgotten. His story is one that illustrates in the deepest of ways what God did for us through Christ. Ransom, redemption. A disabled child, a sinful world, of little value yet of great worth to the Creator of the Universe. To God we give ALL the glory!