With our legal affairs taking shape, and the birth mother continuing to near her antipated due date, Ken and I needed to figure out how afford all the accoutrements of raising twins, while paying for the birth mother’s living expenses. And indeed, the expenses did start to rise. Shortly after the birth mother reached the third trimester, the people she had been living with for free decided to start charging her rent, which meant that they were charging us rent. She also was having trouble receiving food stamps and WIC, so she needed additional food. She also needed cell phone minutes and clothes and a laptop. In addition to attorney fees, we quickly began to see how the $20,000 estimate was a realistic one.
We realized that we could not afford to buy many baby items. I began to research what the bare minimum necessary was for bringing infants home: car seats, diapers, formula, a place for the babies to sleep, clothes. I began my search for the bare minimums. I stacked coupons with sales and other special offers and was able to get diapers for less than ten cents/diaper. I went to the Goodwill outlet, where I was able to get plenty of onesies and pants — and since it was priced by the pound, I was able to get a basic layette for the first year (approximately 40 onesies and 20 pants) for less than $10. I signed up for freebies, and baby club memberships. We scoured yard sales.
But there was a somewhat unexpected source for the other items for the babies: the generosity of others, especially our church.
Sure, I knew that people in our church generally liked us and wished us well. But we were never in a service with the majority of the congregation. Our Sundays consisted of middle school service, then college Sunday school, a small third worship service, lunch with the college students, then back in the evening for small groups. I wasn’t really sure if people knew us or wanted to be a part of our adoption journey.
Boy was I wrong.
The outpouring of love and generosity from our congregation exceeded all of my expectations. A crib, a double stroller, beautiful clothing, toys, chairs, bouncy seats, pack and plays, and on and on. Hundreds of people gave us gifts supplying us with nearly everything we could imagine ever needing! And if that wasn’t enough, a mother and daughter came to our home to hand paint a mural that matched our crib set, spending hours carefully planning and painting. It was as if love was oozing through the walls of the church every time we walked through the doors.
There were others outside of our church who demonstrated generosity as well: former students and classmates, coworkers, family members, and friends –each of whom believed in the process we were going through, and loved us.
As the due date neared and our pockets were emptied with adoption-related expenses, God reminded us that He is reponsible for providing for us when we are obedient to Him. He reminded us so beautifully that we were not in the process alone, but that the Family of God was adopting these children as well. What a wonderful environment to bring children into: a place oozing with love!