The past 5 month have been a fundraising blitz! When we began this adoption journey, we knew that we had about $20,000 to raise. This daunting number did not phase us, as I shared in a previous post, we knew God had called us to adoption and we knew He was going to provide. We just had to say YES and take a step of faith.
Taking a step of faith does not mean saying YES and then sitting back and “trusting” God to provide all of the money.
Taking a step of faith means saying YES and then getting up and walking that faith out, step by step, fundraiser by fundraiser, fb post by fb post, idea after idea after idea after idea.
As of today we’ve raised about $16,000.
What I’ve learned through this adoption journey is that people have TONS of questions. They want to know all the “hows” & “whys”. I understand that. Lately, everyone wants to know “How did you raise $16,000 in 5 months?”
I’ve prayed about how much detail I should go into over the financial aspects of adoption. I never wanted money to be the focus, so throughout all of our fundraising efforts, I never really discussed dollar amounts. But the truth is, adoption is expensive. The cost seems to be the #1 reason why many people feel they are not able to adopt. I know it was for me. I shared in a post (HERE) how I have always had a heart to adopt, but always felt (knew) that we could not afford it. It wasn’t until I met the face of an orphan while on a trip with a world changing family. That family spoke truth to me concerning the financial aspects of adoption. I’ll share again exactly what was said to me because I will never forget what I was told. The answer was simple and profound and instantly changed me: “God is the father to the fatherless. And He is not a dead beat dad. If He calls you to adopt one of His orphans, He will provide the resources”. (Thank-you Dwight & Linny Saunders of International Voice of the Orphan)
And so it began. Our journey to adoption. You can read every update (HERE). We launched our first fundraiser (the puzzle) on July 5, 2012. December 5th is in one week. That’s exactly 5 months of fundraising. How did we do it?
My simple answer and where I’d like to leave it: God.
It. Was. All. God.
And a thousand God-appointed details, ideas, visions, gifts, & talents in between.
I’m only going into detail in hopes that if you feel called to adopt, that this post will encourage you, inspire you, and and confirm to you that God WILL provide the funds needed to adopt one of His children!
And it’s the least I can do to THANK all of the many people involved in helping us!
Puzzle Piece Fundraiser: 1,000 pieces sold at $10 a piece. My friend Glori gave me this idea after we randomly sat by each other in the dark of a movie theatre. We whispered ideas back and forth. I find it ironic now that the title to the movie we were sitting in was Brave. Little did I know I was about to embark on a brave journey of fundraising. A few days ago we had 99 pieces left. Someone just purchased the final 99 pieces. The puzzle is finished. I never dreamed it possible. Woo-hoo! Rit & I spent many many bonding hours putting this puzzle together. Rit became a puzzle master To learn more about the puzzle piece fundraiser, click (HERE).
Love Never Fails T-shirt Fundraiser: My amazing friend Faith had a vision about a shirt. She contacted a talented artist to design the shirt. The design turned out exactly how she had envisioned it. We added LOVE NEVER FAILS to the bottom of the design (a vision of my dad’s). We had it printed on a high quality tee. We hoped to sell 100. We sold over 300 at $25/shirt. There were high costs involved (in purchasing the shirts), but overall it still raised a lot of money and was a great fundraiser!
Garage Sales: I had two sets of amazing friends offer to host 3 different garage sales. Our family friend Mrs. Barb, who I had the pleasure of going to Uganda with this summer, hosted two garage sales. My sweet friend Karen and her husband Frank hosted another garage sale. All were a lot of work and selfless undertakings. All three garage sales were a success!
Pumpkin Pies: My talented friend Vanessa is a baker extraordinaire. She bakes beautiful pastries and cakes. She offered to sell pies for us. She handmade 40 pumpkin pies over Thanksgiving at $20/pie. What a labor of love. Yum!
Sugar Cookies: Vanessa also made sugar cookies. Not just any sugar cookie. Beautiful, custom, handmade, designer sugar cookies. $20/dozen. Yum again! And a piece of artwork!
Photography Sessions: Rit’s childhood friend Missy, of Melissa Cannon Photography offered to take mini-photo sessions. She is a talented photographer and captures great photos. She dedicated two separate weekends taking pictures and gave us 100% of the proceeds. We are so blessed by her kindness.
Matilda Jane Clothing Fundraiser: One of my longest and bestest friends Aline, offered to give us a percentage of all sales on a clothing fundraiser. Hurricane Isaac hit the day of the event, so the sales were greatly affected. But it was a sweet offer and a good idea for a fundraiser. And the clothes are so stinkin’ adorable.
Saints Bracelets: My sweet friend Brandi handmade Saints bracelets. A beautiful piece of art for the Who-dat nation!
BeBe’s Kitchen: Her cooking is amazing. During our time in Uganda, she cooked in many of the villages. She cooked gumbo for a couple hundred slum kids on the streets of Kampala and came home and started BeBe’s Kitchen. It’s been amazing to watch her ministry grow and we are so grateful for Mrs. Barb. She cooked homemade meals and sold them locally. She blessed us with two weeks of profit from those many, many delicious meals that she cooked.
Bread For Life: My closest friend Robin. We went to Uganda together. My life getting turned upside down is because of her Her love for orphans brought me to Uganda and I was forever changed. Her ministry Bread For Life raised the initial amount of money we needed in the very beginning stages. We needed a large amount of money quick and her ministry raised it in one night. It was then that I knew God was in control
Donations: Rit & I have been awe as we watched our daily mail arrive in our mailbox and over paypal. We have received donations and letters and notes of encouragement from people all over the country. From dear friends and family members to total and complete strangers. Day after day we have been humbled at how the Lord has orchestrated each and every donation.
A Right Hand Man. Or two. Or more: I have had so many amazing friends who offered to help. It was as simple as saying: “How can I help?” I cannot think of anything more valuable than a team of people who love and support and encourage and help you. My friend Danielle has become my right hand man planning our upcoming event. She sends out emails and texts and phone calls and runs errands and checks off her check-list like it’s nobody’s business. My soon to be sister-in-law Jordan is the dream personal assistant that I wish I could pay to shadow me everyday. Organized. Precise. Fun. And my brain when I loose it. She will meet me at PJ’s on a Saturday morning and help me organize 100 t-shirts that I have no idea who they belong too. There was a certain day when I temporarily lost my mind in a sea of t-shirt sizes and colors and spreadsheets and orders and packages and deliveries. She saved me from drowning. And my sweet friend Renee, who I named my fundraising CEO. She never wanted the job. And she probably doesn’t feel like she did much, but she just made me feel better. And sometimes that’s all I needed.
SO HERE WE ARE…
This weekend we go into our final fundraising efforts with only $4,000 left to raise for our adoption. We are believing God for big things at our event this weekend. Not only to help us raise the final amounts of funds needed to bring Solomon home, but to greatly bless the home where Solomon lives. The same home were 29 other precious orphans live. So once again, we will walk in faith on Sunday December 2nd and believe that God will provide the resources needed to drastically change the lives of these 29 orphans who are in dire need. Food, water, clothing, education, & medical needs. All of the things our society takes for granted, we can meet these needs in a single day through a single fundraiser.
We have already been amazed as we have watched the donations come in for our silent auction and raffle. Friends and strangers have donated everything from iPads, overnight hotel stays in New Orleans, getaways in wine country in Santa Barbara, CA, artwork, jewelry, spa packages, products, clothing, clothing gift cards, restaurant gift certificates, and much more. You can learn more about the fundraiser (HERE)