Yard Sale #3, and OOT!

So next stop on our acronym parade- OOT! OOT stands for out of translation, which means our dossier is done being translated by the CCCWA (Chinese adoption officials), and is now being reviewed! After review, which seems to be taking just a few days, then our file is matched with our son’s file, and we get LSC/LOA which means Letter Seeking Confirmation/Letter Of Approval. So we’re really close to being done with this part of the process! We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, folks! And if there are no hold-ups, (prayers please!) we should be on track to go get our kiddo in September!! SEPTEMBER! Please, please continue to pray that September is the month we leave to get our boy!

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So… if we were to leave the very last week of September, that gives us just over 13 weeks before our life changes forever!

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*Google Font’s “Give You Glory”

Depending on how you look at it, that can seem like a very short or pretty long time. I’m thankful to know that summertime usually flies by, and that September will be here in a blink of an eye! We have a lot to do during that time. A last batch of education, preparing the boys’ new room, and fundraising. A lot of fundraising. We still have about $10k to raise, and only 13ish weeks, so we know that we’ve got a lot of work cut out for us. How can we raise almost a thousand dollars a week??

Well, the good folks at Moe’s have offered to host a monthly fundraiser dinner for us until we leave for China. How awesome are they? They are even going to put a poster in the window a week ahead of the planned events to help us draw more folks! We had such a wonderful time last time, and were taken such good care of. How could we turn them down? If we have turnouts like the last time, we’ll probably make $1000 between all 4 of the events combined. That would help us a lot! So if you are in the Ballantyne area, please plan to be with us the second Thursday of every month for the next few months! We’d appreciate it!

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In addition to that, we’ve been so blessed by family, neighbors, friends, and coworkers who have donated to our yard sales. We had the big one in may, another one about 2 weeks ago, and had one this morning, despite impending thunderstorms. The rain held out today, and we made $815!! Last time we made $805, and at the big one we made almost $2,000.  We have so much stuff to sell, that we will continue to have yard sales every two to three weeks until we can clear most of it out. I can’t imagine we’ll make these large amounts every time, but man, we are so thankful that we have thus far! Yard sales are a lot of work, but these numbers make it so worth it! And God kept the rain at bay until 5 minutes after we got everything back in the garage!

There are a few items I’m selling online, that are bringing in some cash, too, so we might make our $1000/week goal for this week. We’ll see if we can keep up the momentum! We’re still selling restaurant.com gift certificates, so please buy one for yourself, one for a friend, and share the link with anyone else that might be interested! And of course, we’re still “selling” puzzle pieces for $15 each, and we will write your name on the back of your pieces! Our puzzle is almost 3/4 of the way complete. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to it thus far! We can’t wait to complete it, frame it, and hang it on our wall!

So that’s our update! Our dossier’s moving along, and we are plugging away at the fundraising. We know that the Lord will provide the funds we need, and in His timing, so we are not really to anxious about the money. Not yet, anyway…! We appreciate your prayers and support more than you know!

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First Friday Funding Figures- Update #8, May 2015

Are you shocked? It’s not only the first Friday of the month, but also the first day of the month, and I actually have an on-time update for you. Honestly, it wasn’t terribly hard because not much happened in terms of fundraising/spending on the adoption front in the month of April. But, just the fact that I found time to sit down and post it on the day it was promised is nothing to scoff at! In terms of dollars (spent, earned, saved, and donated) next month’s update should look a lot different!

Tomorrow we are having a massive yard sale. We are blessed with lots of generous people in our lives, who are not only donating stuff to sell, but also their time, to setup, load, unload, bargain, reload, unload again, and just be with us during this event. We even got 5 dozen donuts donated to us, which should help feed those volunteering and make us a little extra cash! I’ll try to update the blog this weekend with the results of this effort. Yard sales are a lot of work! I’d forgotten that minor detail… lol.

We expect our last item to be authenticated this week, and then we can send our dossier to China and a big check to our agency. I. Can’t. Wait.  Not that I’m excited about sending off a big check, but that once we’re Dossier To China (DTC) it will really feel like we’re moving towards bringing our son home. Gah! Every milestone from that point will feel momentous, I’m sure.

So, as you can see from the figures below, if we are looking at a total cost right in the middle of our estimated range, we’re about 58% funded. Hopefully tomorrow’s yard sale will make a dent in what’s still remaining. We’re working on some other ideas, too. I’ll let you know as more details are finalized.

We have been super busy, so hopefully I can update y’all on some other things happening around here.

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In the Adoption Fund Status section, you’ll see a new line added- Blue Star Auto Detailing. Our wonderful neighbor details cars, and is currently donating $10 from every job towards our adoption. How awesome is that? How are we so lucky to have such kind and giving friends? The first job was earlier this week. Woot, woot!

I have added one new section. These are funds that we should be eligible to receive after our adoption is finalized. Praying that we are able to receive these funds so that we can take more time off to bond as a new family, and also take our newest son to see specialists as needed for his medical needs.image009

And of course, in the Google Font “Give you Glory” is our estimated/hopeful countdown.

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Adoption Grant Approved!

I love being a part of Forest Hill Church for so many reasons. Chris & I had lunch with a pastor from our church today and really just talked about ideas and goings on and life.  It was really great to just sit and chat with him. Over the last 20 months or so, we’ve really started to feel connected to the people at Forest Hill. And it just keeps getting better.

The church, through the grace of God, is able to provide for us on so many levels. And today, I was able to pick up a check that will go straight to our adoption agency to help us further our adoption process. Isn’t it amazing and wonderful? The $2,000 is exactly what we needed to get our home study process going. And we were planning on getting that our early next week. The Lord’s timing is so perfect. I can’t wait to see how else He shows up for our family during this time in our lives. 🙂

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Holy Wow, You Guys!

This morning, I was enrolling Chris and I in some education courses we’re required to take for our adoption. And of course, it was something we had to pay for. It wasn’t a crazy amount, but we had just done our monthly budget yesterday evening, and this wasn’t accounted for. We had just paid $300 on Monday towards this process, to boot. Chris said we might have to hold off until next month… and I promised we could come up with the money before August. Today is only the first of the month, so I told him I’d eat crackers for the next 31 days, and forgo that new swimsuit I was about to get. I pretty much begged him not to stretch just this little bit out even further. Chris agreed that we could pay for the course and that we’d account for it somehow.

I had no doubt that this process would be costly, but I didn’t anticipate that you’d have to pay for this and pay for that so early in the process. I feel now, that this will be an ongoing thing. But we’ll manage. I know the Lord will provide. None the less, I decided to post our GoFundMe Fundraising page on our Facebook timelines, just to see if we could garner any early support. And boy, did we!

I posted that link about 5 hours ago, in the middle of most people’s workday. I figured a few people would see it, and if we were lucky, we’d get a donation or two in the next couple of days. Within minutes of me posting it, a friend shared the post on her own timeline and encouraged her friends to contribute. She followed that up with a donation. Twice more that happened. And each time someone shared it, there were comments from other people who may not have ever seen it on my own timeline, but because it was shared, we have the support of others. All kinds of support. Monetary, of course, but also many words of encouragement (from strangers, even!) and offered up prayer. It’s been so wonderful.

I have seen comments from people saying we are inspiring, and selfless. Which really caught me off guard… Inspiring? Selfless? ….Us…..? If anything, I have a selfish desire to hurry up the process and grow my family! LOL. I don’t ever really think about how we’re being selfless. It’s what we’ve always wanted, so I guess it’s tattooed on our hearts, now. It’s not that it’s the right thing to do- it’s the right thing for us to do. But thank you for your kind words. I am humbled to think we are inspiring anybody… and hopeful that maybe we are inspiring somebody to action.

The first person to make a donation today was someone from a past life. I see her and keep up with her on Facebook, but we haven’t seen each other in 10 years. And she didn’t hesitate to open her heart (and her pocketbook) to help our family. And that has been the case with most of the donations we’ve received. They have come from people whose voices I haven’t heard in years, yet they want to be a part of our story. It’s beautiful. I didn’t imagine that the Lord would be bringing all of these people together for us. And with each donation, words of encouragement, and spurred conversations. We’ve been getting notes and comments and prayer from every direction. I’ve loved reading them, and have shed more than a couple of tears out of pure gratitude and awe. You guys are AWESOME.

One person that reached out to me is someone I went to high school with. I love how Facebook allows me to stay connected, even if we don’t stay in touch. Neither one of us live anywhere near where we went to school, but we have been able to watch each others’ lives and encourage each other here and there along the way. She recently started her own Jamberry business, and I’ve been happy to see her doing well with that. She reached out to me and said that she thinks it’s wonderful that we’re adopting, and that adoption has been on her heart, too. She also wanted to help support us, and offered to host an online Jamberry Party, of which 20% of the profits will go towards our adoption fund! How awesome is that?! She gets a little business, we all get to have fun, and a portion goes towards bringing our waiting child home. Talk about a Win-Win! I had been holding out on getting girly and trying Jamberry, but now I have no excuse! I’m excited to try some nail wraps, but also looking forward to the online party with friends! If you’d like to join, the live event will be Thursday, July 10, at 8PM eastern, but the party will be open for shopping 5 days before. Come get girly with us! Or if you aren’t into fancy DIY nails, but know someone who is (or might be), send them our way so they can get in on the fun and help out our cause, too. You can RSVP to the event and check out what Jamberry is all about here.

So, yeah. Today’s been really uplifting. And a whirlwind of emotions for me. I am happily anticipating continuing this journey with all of these wonderful people who support us. It’s crazy to know that this is just the beginning, too. It’s hard to imagine it getting any better than this. But as I see time and again, the Lord’s plan is waaay better than anything I could hope for.