I wanted to post last night and gush about how amazingly fun our BBQ plate fundraiser was, but honestly I was (and still am) having a hard time putting my emotions into words. Despite the fact that we have been obnoxiously publicizing this thing for the last month or so, I still had this sinking feeling all day long yesterday that no one was really going to come. And, then I would have to explain to our friend Donny Gothard (who woke up at 4 AM to start cooking this divine meat below) what the plan was for getting rid of roughly 5 million pounds of brisket, chicken and potato salad.
Because despite the fact that we have never met our daughter or even know her name, nor have any of the 200 people that attended the BBQ last night, she is already so loved. Even if it is by a group of loud, BBQ, Jesus loving people. As I reflect on last night, I am blown away by the incomprehensible grace of God. That on the other side of the world there is a little Chinese orphan - that could be perceived as unloved and unwanted - and yet that could not be more far from the truth. She is so loved and wanted. Not just by us, but even more so by her Heavenly Father. Who has been writing her story all along. A story that includes a family in Richmond, Texas saying "yes" to making her a daughter and sister. A story that include hundreds of families saying "yes" to helping financially support her getting to that family. It is already a beautiful story of grace and redemption and it is just getting started.
So today at 1:00 PM, I walked into our bank and deposited $12, 738.04 into our adoption fund! I am astounded by God's grace to us throughout this entire process. And I am humbled by each person that has come along side us in so many different ways. I know there are so many negative perceptions spread about the local church, but all I can say is that I love my people dearly and could not imagine our little girl ever being a reality without them.
So, where does this leave us? What's next? Well, we still have roughly $10,000 - $15,000 more dollars to go, until the adoption will be completely funded (but when you get lump sums of almost $13,000 at time it sure does help!). But as far as where we are in the process - all of our paperwork has been submitted to the Chinese government. We are waiting for an official login date and then we will be matched with a child (that can take anywhere from 1 - 4 months). Once, we are matched we will wait another 4 - 5 months until we receive our court date (which will also be the time that we travel), the date in which she will officially become a Jones. We will be having a few other fundraisers to help with the last chunk of change we still need, and we will keep you all posted!
Lastly, there are a few people I need to give a huge shout out to, without them this BBQ would not have happened! Special thank you the the Gothard, Rowan, Michalsky, Hinson, Motley and Christopher Families! I love you all beyond words! And of course to all the families that came out and purchased some tasty BBQ!