Saturday, October 29, 2016
Here is something that I don't think people realize (and I was one of those people until very recently)... Adoption, especially international just because the paperwork is so intensive, is really like a part-time job. I got up this morning and started working at 9:15. I have updated my auction donations sheet, responded to various messages, sent donation requests via email to companies, planned my next few days of featured items, created a fb group for the adoption, gone live with an ongoing fundraiser for superhero capes and princess dresses, decided to create a fundraising fb PAGE where I can link everything, shared our auction event on various pages, updated our donation records, strategized for my next fundraiser, finalized the shirt options for our shirt fundraiser, checked more grant deadlines (which we STILL aren't eligible for due to an as-yet incomplete home study) and revised my mapped out long-range fundraising plans. For the past three hours, I have sat in one place and completed all of these tasks. (My people are gone on a middle school hike today, which Kraig chaperoned.)
None of this counts the hours upon hours upon hours spent on the paperwork to get us to this point, our current point being the phase that I call "waiting and raising". The rest of my plans for today include working on thank you cards for donors and continuing to work away on this monstrous task of rearranging this house to make it seven-people-appropriate. :)
I don't say any of this to get pity or to sound like I begrudge it. I say it to say that none of my work today would even be possible if it weren't for the amazing people who have walked this road beside us, giving money and time and prayers and support. I say it to say that every minute I spend working on the details, I am also praying for the kids and the transition for all seven of us. I say it to say that I am SO STINKING EXCITED that I get to plan all of these events and carry furniture and organize bedrooms because all of that means that my heart's dream, my God-dream, since the time I was 12 years old, is coming true. I am going to get to add adopted children-- childREN!!! not just a CHILD, which had before been my most desperate hope!-- to this family. My girls are going to have brothers and another sister, we are going to have sons and another daughter. Our house is going to bustle. I can't wait. And I also say it to give even more glory to my Father, without Whom my life would be purposeless.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Today was a loooooong day. And so I wound it up by going through the ChickfilA drive-thru and then sitting in the parking lot, eating a long overdue dinner. I was perusing fb while I ate and saw the absolute sweetest story, which I am posting below.
Monday, October 17, 2016
People, I am SO STINKING EXCITED about our adoption quarter auction! I have been getting the most amazing donations and I am so pumped about the format of the event! I hope that all of you will not only come, but will bring 10-12 friends each. :) Several people have asked me how the auction process works. I am linking a video (here ) as well, but here is the format in words.
When you arrive, you will have the opportunity to donate $10 for a numbered paddle. That paddle is how you will bid for items. Additional paddles are only $5 if you want to increase your chances of buying an item. (We are seriously considering taking paddle donations in advance for a smaller donation... more on that to come.) You will need to bring your own quarters, although we will have a money exchange table if you need some. You will sit at a table and there will be a bucket in the middle of your table. An item will be announced, described, and the donator thanked and advertised. The item will be assigned a value of either one quarter, two quarters, three quarters, or four quarters. If you choose to bid on it, you drop your quarters in the bucket and hold your paddle in the air. A number will be drawn from a bucket in the front. If that number drawn is not currently bidding, the owner will simply call out "no bid" and another number will be drawn. The winning number, then, gets the item for between 25 cents and $1. And let me tell you, we have some AMAZING stuff to auction off for 25 cents to $1!!!
(We also have some stuff that is just insanely valuable ($500-$600 value) and we will run a silent auction for those items.)
There will also be a meal option at the event. Kraig's famous hot dog chili, a hot dog, chips, and a drink will be $5. You can purchase a drink cup for $1 and popcorn for $1. We expect to have a complimentary coffee and sweets table later in the evening.
We are still settling on a location, but our tentative date is 11/18. Doors will open at 5, bidding will start at 6.
Please spread the word and prepare to come to our awesome event and help us bring our kids home from the Philippines!
***While I have asked many people and companies for donations, maybe there is something you want to offer that I haven't thought of. If you can offer some sort of service or an item for our auction, please let me know! Thank you!
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Tonight I'm missing some kids I haven't ever met. And I'm thinking about a God so big that He hung that moon and painted that sunset and knit every single one of us together in our mother's womb. And I'm so grateful that He orchestrates every detail of our daily lives and that He knew that people on opposite sides of the globe would be on converging paths in this very moment. And He prepared our hearts and penned our individual stories, then brought the narratives together into one.
Last week, I joined an adoptive Filipino parent Facebook group. I posted a question about the transition from the Filipino educational system to American public schools. I gave very scant details about our situation, just that a sibling group of three was on hold for us and that the oldest was close to aging out so we were moving really quickly on the paperwork. The next day, someone commented on that post and told me to check my "other messages" folder in Facebook (which I always forget exists). This is the message I had:
"Hello and welcome to the adoption group! Are you adopting the 3 from (orphanage name)? I run an orphanage here in the Philippines and if those are your kids, you're going to be blessed like crazy! I met them when they were new to (orphanage name) after the (event that led to their placement there). (Oldest boy) openly shared their family story with me in English. They stole my heart. I wanted to let you know that I have prayed for you even though I didn't know it was you. I will continue to do so and I look forward to following the rest of your journey to your children!"
I guess I've always known how big God is but I don't know that I have ever seen it played out so personally like this before. To think that all of these people, from other Filipino adoptive parents to orphanage workers to local Sunday School classes and beyond, were praying for them to find a family and God was, in the meantime, teaching me how to wait well and simultaneously moving in Kraig's heart, then to bring it all together at the exact same time..... WOW.
I have trusted and known and walked with Jesus as long as I can remember. I came to a faith in Him when I was just 8 years old and I don't even remember a time when I wasn't aware of His presence in my life. But I am waking every day to a flooding of new glory. Every day another God-touched moment happens, whether through a donation on our adoption site from a high school classmate I haven't talked to in 20 years or a realization that people we know personally have been praying specifically for these kids to find a home. Our pastor describes it as walking under an open heaven, often in the context of financial blessing. While we are certainly experiencing financial blessing (and hope to continue!), I am learning that walking under an open heaven is so much more broad than I had imagined. It's walking in as close communion with God as possible as an earthly being. It's the fallen world, human version of the Garden of Eden. And it's something I will absolutely never forget.