Adoption

Dipping our Toes in the Jordan

We were so excited to finally announce last week that we are adopting! But as we begin this journey, we want to be honest about the hard part—the fear of the unknowns. How long will we have to wait? What will our relationship with the birth mother be like? Will we have a failed match? And one of the biggest questions looming our heads—how will we pay for this?

I’m not going to sugar coat it. This is an expensive process; less expensive than some adoption processes and more expensive than others. But as we prayed about whether this was God’s will for us to start the process, finances were our biggest obstacle. When we find out a mother has chosen us to love her child, will we have enough money to finalize the placement?

As my husband and I prayed through the tension between stewardship and faith, God brought us both to the banks of the Jordan River in Joshua 3. I have been studying the book of Joshua with my discipleship group, and, if I’m to be honest, sometimes I struggle with connecting Old Testament stories with my everyday life. But the story of the priests leading the people of Israel across the Jordan into the Promised Land brought tears to my eyes and faith to my heart.

Picture this with me. They are a generation who has only known the dry desert. They have only ever eaten manna from Heaven. The miraculous stories of Egypt are all second hand; and only two men’s eyes have ever glimpsed Canaan. I can feel the nervous energy as they look at the rushing river before them, just as their forefathers has stood before the still Red Sea waiting to escape Egyptian slavery. They know God parted the sea for the previous generation, but will He do it for them as well?

And this time, it’s slightly different. All Moses had to do was lift his hand, and God split the sea (Exodus 14:21). This time, God requires more faith-filled obedience. Instead of raising an arm over still water, they must dip their toes into an overflowing, rushing river. It’s one thing to watch God split the sea and walk on dry ground. It’s another to step into the water believing that God will do it again.

That’s where Joseph and I were. We were in front of a rushing river—an adoption process that would cost so much spiritually, emotionally, and financially. Would God provide this time, and if so, how? We could look back and see how He has provided for us over and over again, but often He provided before we had to act in obedience. This time, was He calling us to obey before He had sent His provision?

We could look back and see how He has provided for us over and over again, but often He provided before we had to act in obedience. This time, was He calling us to obey before He had sent His provision?

Yet, despite the fear, the priests obeyed. “And as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water … the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away” (Joshua 3:15-16). They believed the God who was faithful yesterday would be faithful today and tomorrow and the next day. They believed that just as God had provided manna every day of their wandering, He would provide for their next steps as well. And even more miraculously! When the Red Sea parted, the water was “on their right hand and on their left” (Exodus 14:22). Here, God pushed the water miles away!

Instead of walking as quickly as they could through the river, the priests stood in the middle, watching thousands of Israelites pass into the Promised Land. “Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan” (Joshua 3:17). Just as they had faith He would cut off the waters; they believed He would hold the waters there.

Here we are now, dipping our toes into the rushing river of the Jordan, trusting that God will make a way—financially, spiritually, and emotionally. It will not be easy and will take sacrifice, but we know that God is with us. We cling to the same promise that motivated Joshua and the people of Israel, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

We’re asking you to make that journey with us. A big part of the adoption journey is fundraising. We must raise around $32,000 before we can bring our baby home. This includes the significant amount of money Joseph and I are investing in our adoption from our income. This money goes towards agency fees (covering the care for the birth mother, cost of the home studies, etc.) and legal fees. As Joseph and I work hard to write grants and save money, we would love for you to partner with us. Here are a few ways you can do this:

  1. Buy a t-shirt! T-shirts cost $20 (XS-XL) and $22 (2X-3X) (they are soft shirts, so they run small). We will be placing the order later this month and will get the t-shirts in early August. We are glad to mail them; and you can pay us in cash/check or by Venmo. To place an order, email me at bethanygwebb@gmail.com.
  2. If you have a business that supports fundraisers (such as product parties), we would love to partner with you to host a fundraising party.
  3. If you would like to donate directly to our adoption fund, you can email me at bethanygwebb@gmail.com.

We will be hosting more fundraisers in the coming months, so check back for ways that you can be part of our journey through the river. We love each of you and are grateful for your support of our family.

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