Wednesday, April 18, 2012

{One Long Update}

Just a quick rambling up date {one long update post}

I wish I was blogging more through this journey for all of you; but I'm completely aware of the fact that when I start typing, I just start to spit up all kinds of emotions. Here are some things I'd like to remember during this week. But, first...

Our Fundraiser Give-a-Way is still running to May 12, honestly hoping for lots of $10 and $25 donations for this and excited to give-a-way an American Girl Doll, Arbonne Goodies and a Jesus Storybook Bible DVD/Curriculum!  Thanks for helping us spread the word on that!

{Let's start with Journey Together and Lifeline- April 17th Event.}

85 People showed up. 85 people who want to adopt or foster or care for families or care for unadopted. 
Stephen & Laura's vision for this group is being realized each month! We are so excited to be connecting and mobilizing The Church {as a whole} and in pockets of church groups as we seek to proclaim the name of Jesus while we do good, seek justice, help the oppressed, and defend the fatherless!

Hearing again the vision of Lifeline Children Services makes me  melt and engaged to mobilize.
But, knowing they are opening an office here in our area because God told them too and then told them to wait for an open door...and that door opened...and they said "yes" ...and they are here... unreal!

Travis and I are tackling the connect cards & trying to follow up with each of the families that came. FYI, if you are a family that reaches out to us and we ever drop the ball on getting something to you...Holla at us.
{I meant it. We are volunteers. And adopting parents. So, let us know if we miss you, please!}

Also, website coming very very soon!

{News from Lifeline...}

So, a few weeks ago, we found out that our agency was granted favor in Ch**a with the government. They were given 3 new orphanages to take care of. Just yesterday, they announced that number is growing. So, I'm gonna tell you right now, it's sort of making me crazy to wonder if they might be meeting our daughter. 
I talk to Miss Logan weekly about our process. And she is one of the people in Ch**a right now! I really want her to text me every hour and take video and tell me if our daughter is there by any chance.

I'm also going to tell you that if you have ever considered adoption, and maybe of an older child because you had kids when you were young and yours are in college or because you've always thought about adoption or because God just flat out calls you to it. There is going to be a huge push for these kiddos who are about to age out of the system over there. It's 14 years old, when you "age out" in 

That's when they "age out". Check out Angie's blog for details on this story! And Miss Kim can also be a wealth of knowledge, she has four little girls from Ch**a that she adopted as older children!

{Friends Talking about Adoption:}

An extra bonus to this journey is getting to share and talk about adoption with families. I love getting to chat with friends and strangers about their perspective on adoption. I love how my friends are embracing becoming a part of being a voice for the voiceless!

So, one of my best friends shared her experience of meeting a little girl who was celebrating her "Gotcha Day/Adoption Day/Family Day" in Barnes and Noble the other day while she was working. The little girl was from Ch**a, too. And Stacie got to talk to her and share in her special day. Then she wrote an amazing post on her blog about it.

Also, Miss Bonnie, wrote a beautifully honest post for us, too. I know Bonnie more through Facebook than I do in real life; but we share a lot of mutual friends and I've known her in-laws for years. {and hey, some of my real life best friends have become best friends through FB/twitter daily banter!} I love that her post starts with "I don't get adoption...." 

{P.S. Stacie sells Ah-May-Zing Sugar Scrub and Bonnie sells tons of incredible baby and decor items,too}

{Putting the Fun in Fundraising}
I haven't posted about this yet; but it seems every adopting family posts at some point about why they fund raise. Well, some lovely ladies have said ti so well, that I would end up plagiarizing them if I re-wrote a post. Jenni and Tobe are adopting through Lifeline, so our fees are almost identical. Check out their post here. Also, Tanya Hyatt reposted this article that I find very helpful from Meg Miller from My Crazy Adoption.

We were told by a few leaders in adoption world: "God will fund what he favors". We felt a twinge of that prosperity gospel? Are we working an angle? God knows I'm a naturally born sales person, and I try to rein my gushing woo-ing to a respectable level. {I said, I try!} But, is that about us? Funding us because we are so great?! Um, no, way! He calls us to care for his children. He is in the business of rescuing lives from separation from the Father. 

So, when these guys speak, that mountain of $28-30 K, God moves that mountain really fast and everyone who has walked this journey knows it. They are not blowing smoke. They are not manipulating God, they know it happens. They've seen that mountain moved over and over for families. And once you see the mountain move only by the hand of God for his children, you tell people. Even if it makes you sound a bit whacky....They know it's God. They know it's nothing they could do on their own.

{Updates on ALL our S-T-U-F-F}
My crazy bird's nests are selling like hot cakes! {Thank you!} I've got wonderful friends modeling them all over Charleston. I've got the facebook page set up now for orders.

{By the way, a Nest Rest is coming after Mother's Day.}

Our 147 Uganda Beads are also going like crazy. I do also have some really cute re-usable totes on their now, too. I just rain out of beads because a super wonderful lady bought everything I had left last night! You can see pictures of them on my FB page, too.

The Give-a-way. I'm sort of trying to let this be our last big push for awhile. It's been really crazy. I've asked friends to share and post about it and a few things that I'm realizing. The back and forth in my brain during fundraising and social media promotions is pretty exhausting. Every time I start to feel like maybe I'm being obnoxious {and to some, I'm sure we are...that's okay...} the craziest story will unfold. So, we will keep telling our story and ask you to be a part of it.

Here are some fun observations lately: 

1. $10 donations make me as giddy.

{Yes, I love the big $100 and $500 ones, too!} I especially love the notes right now, "So and so told me about this and we wanted to support you". I've been on the end of sending $10 to random adopting families for a few years now. And I always thought, Oh, well, I wish I could do more but I just want to be a part of bringing this child home...  I don't know if that's how y'all feel; but I hope you know: You are a part of this! Jesus said what you have done for the least of these children, you have done for me!

2. We are stunned by the seeming randomness of who God is speaking to and encouraging to support us.

I pull myself off the floor continually by getting to hear the whispers of God prompting a family to support us. The other night, I got a notification on my phone and called Travis to ask him if he knew the person. Yup, an old child hood friend!

{Update on Totals:}

I have written out in faith 6 checks: totaling around $3500 for our next few fees, etc. 

I wrote the checks. Put them in an envelope with the pile of papers to mail to Lifeline next. And then checked the bank account. Oops, not quite there yet. But, it's coming since I wrote them!
In the last few days, I did a big deposit from checks coming in from the last few weeks between birds nest, 147 stuff, coffee sales, and the give-a-way through paypal, etc. I have added $1475 to our account. Thank you, Jesus! 

So, I think we've raised $13,700 to date.

{Our next big fee :7000 and last agency fee approx 2000}:

I believe we are now fully able to work on the Orphanage fee, that will be about $7000. This covers the orphanage caring for my child and the children who will not be adopted. Less than 1% of the 147 Million Orphans will be adopted....So, truly, raising that fee might be the most emotional aspect of this.... Not that I don't appreciate paying the amazing team at Lifeline for doing what they do.

{Up Next:}

Travis and I going to Together for Adoption Boot Camp. We are going to walk in with huge eyes and open hearts to learn more about our adoption as children of God and why it's so important to be sure our foundation is always solid! And we just love all things Together for Adoption! So, we are also saving up for the Together for Adoption National Conference in ATL on September 14-15. Here is the schedule

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