As explained at A Place Called Simplicity, Memorial Box Monday is a way for us to remember the times God has so clearly shown up in our life. In a way that sounds weird because God is always there, always loving, always helping, ready to guide us. We just don't always pay attention. Perhaps that's why He is gracious enough to show up in a BIG WAY sometimes. We remember what we already knew, that He is always here, always loving, always helping, ready to guide us.
I don't yet have a memorial box. Some people have some darling boxes that are more like curio cabinets on the wall. I don't know what I might use, assuming I don't win one from A Place Called Simplicity--surely my winning streak has run its course! The idea, however, is to find an object, picture, toy, etc. to represent the time that God showed up.
The only real difficulty I have at this point is knowing where to begin. I am the type to look for God. I expect Him to show up. I expect it won't be in my timing, but His.
In October of 1997, Luke was two years old and an only child. We were starting to feel parenthood pangs anew, having now moved into what is called secondary infertility, or the inability to conceive following a successful pregnancy. We prayerfully decided to look into international adoption.
Our first goal was to find an agency. At the time, every agency known to man did NOT have a website, but we requested information from some who did. We ended up deciding to use Gladney, which is in Fort Worth and had/has a 100+ year stellar reputation.
That goal met, we then started looking at their various adoption programs. (It's hard to believe that at this time I didn't know there were such things as photolistings!) We were talking about Russia and some other Eastern European countries when I said, "It's too bad we don't want to adopt from China. It's much less expensive and we'd be assured of getting a daughter."
John gave me a quizzical look and asked, "Why don't we want to adopt from China?"
Well, that was all the answer I needed! I had, for whatever reason, assumed John was stretched enough with an international adoption and a transracial adoption was too far a stretch. I was happily wrong about that assumption!
We contacted Gladney about their China program and found that we could expect our adoption costs would be around $16-17,000 dollars. We were a bit overwhelmed with the idea of coming up with that much money. Nonetheless, we prayed and felt convinced that this is what God would have us do and where God would have us go. We had some money put away and John felt like we could save enough during the year and a half it might take for the adoption. Honestly, though, it seemed like a daunting task.
About two weeks after calling Gladney, John brought a copy of a check home from work. The check was made out to his law firm so the $64,000 written on it wasn't of huge interest to me. He then asked, "Guess what my part of this check is? 25%!"
$64,000 X 25% = $16,000 We rejoiced! We saw it for what it was; a sweet gift from our Heavenly Father who knew we weren't expecting it.
We stepped out in faith. God showed up. In this instance, He showed up fast! I must admit, it was probably because our faith was still so new and so small. We weren't used to God showing up yet. As our lives and our faith has progressed, however, I can see that this was one of God's methods of growing our faith so we would know we could take a bigger step of faith in the future.
It worked. Next Monday (yes, I know today is Thursday) I'll happily share just how quickly we were asked to step back out again.
I'm not quite sure what to put in my box as a reminder. I don't have that copy of the check and I'm not expecting to see one like that again! Perhaps I can get my hands on a copy of a Gladney brochure. I would happily take any and all suggestions.
The funny thing is that in some of our subsequent adoptions God didn't show up like that, yet each time our faith grew as we knew to look for Him in other ways. He's a very creative God as He works His plans for our life for our good and His Glory!
Thank You, sweet Heavenly Father!