First Friday Funding Figures- Update #11, August 2015

Hi y’all! I have your August FFFF post, but it’s going to be very short, because we are about to pack up and head to visit family. There’s just never enough time! So… in July we wrapped up our restaurant.com fundraiser, had another Moe’s event, had another yard sale, a Mary Kay party (or two), and sold more puzzle pieces. I didn’t have time to make the pretty cost/fundraising breakdowns that I normally use, but guys. GUYS. You have helped us get to 91% Funded. I could scream! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! We are almost there!

And speaking of “almost there”…. Did you notice that it’s already August? August. Where has the summer gone? If we travel in September, we could be leaving in a short 5 weeks! If we don’t make September (and yes, we’re still in danger of missing those dates), we’d be leaving in less than 9 weeks. We’ve got a lot to do in that short period of time! We’ve still got $3,660 to raise, and have a wine and canvas party, another Moe’s event, a bedsheet fundraiser, and finishing out our puzzle to help us get there. We have to finish decorating the boys’ room (which includes refinishing a dresser and nightstand), look for stuff (a high chair and car seat for grandma’s house, diapers, etc.), and get our adoption education completed, as well as preparing ourselves for travel.

We’re so excited, but I tell ya, not knowing when we are actually going is hard! If we go in October, our hotel and flights could be much more expensive due to a huge trade fair going on in China at the time. But, it would give us those extra 4 weeks to save, fundraise, and get ready. And the weather between the months is very different too, so we can’t even think about what to pack until we know when we’re going. Gah. I know we’ve been praying, and asking you to pray for September, and believe me, I want to get my boy home as quickly as possible. But now, I just ask you to pray for peace for our hearts no matter when we end up going. It’s so easy for me to get anxious and worried, and you know what? Ultimately, the end result is the same, whether we travel in September or October- Our family of three becomes a family of four!

Correction- 74% funded!

I realized that I was missing a line item for the grant we received a couple of months ago. Once I added that in, it bumped us from 72% to 74% of our goal!

image001 (2)So, even though we still have quite a bit left to raise, things are looking better than they did just yesterday! And, just a reminder, we are having our second fundraising dinner at Moe’s tonight! Please grab your friends, neighbors, co-workers, or whomever, and stop by for dinner! You can even get your food to go, give me a hug, and go on about your evening! We’d appreciate your support! Thanks!

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I completely overlooked posting a First Friday update last week, as we were heading down to Myrtle Beach for the weekend, and I had a ton on my mind. I was hoping for a phone call, an email, something to tell us that our Letter Seeking Confirmation (LSC) had been issued. I was also working for the majority of the day, and had to help Chris with some Tobu stuff before we could get on the road. I also braided my whole head to try and have some beachy waves for the weekend. Oh, and I had to drop something off at my parents’ house. So… I just completely forgot.IMG_20150703_114953491_HDR The beach was a great trip. We stayed Friday through Monday, and the long weekend was just what we all needed. It was full of family, friends, great weather, love music, fireworks, and food. What more could we ask for? Oh, and on Monday we finally got word that our LSC/ Letter Of Approval (LOA) is on it’s way! Yes! It only took 41 days. 41 very quick, but equally long days, if that’s possible.

Austin built his first sand castle, and loved holding sparklers. He brought his football and basketball everywhere we went, and asked to go to the beach every single day. I think he loved having lots of time with us, and he was not a happy camper come Tuesday when he had to go back to “school.”

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So, as for adoption updates. Lots of things happened last week. We were moved from “in review” to “to be matched”. And on Monday we found out se have soft LOA, which means our approval is heading to our agency right now! It should be on US soil this week! Next for us, is US immigration stuff. Visas, and getting our boy approved to be adopted here. From the timeframes we’re seeing of those going before us, it looks like we can expect to travel in 8-12 weeks! Yes, that’s white a range, but it just depends on if there are any hold ups, typos, holidays, etc. But, September is looking very likely, now, and we are so excited! And just to secure a September date, we went and bought ourselves some concert tickets for our anniversary. The concert is on 9/23, so, I’m willing to bet we will be given dates that overlap it! I think a little China trip is worth missing the concert, though! 😉 We can see the light at the end of this long tunnel. Please be praying that things move smoothly and quickly as we progress! To celebrate (and hopefully help our nannies prepare our son for travel), we had a toy airplane sent to the orphanage.

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So in the next 8-12 weeks, we have to finish some education, figure out our travel stuff, finish (we’ve barely started) the boys’ new room, and do our best to prepare our little family for the big change that’s coming. That, and raise about $10,000. That’s, like $1000 a week, y’all. Holy guacamole. Where do we even start? Well, tomorrow we are having another Moe’s dinner, so hopefully that helps a bit. I have this weird feeling that we won’t have nearly the turnout that we got last time, but I am hopeful that I’m wrong. If you’re in the Charlotte area and would like to come eat with us, please stop by! You don’t even have to bring the flyer this time. And we’ll do another Moe’s dinner next month, and one in September if we’re still here.  We are not doing a yard sale this weekend, but the next few weekends we definitely will be. We’re still selling puzzle pieces, hoping and praying for a grant, and you will soon see us asking if anyone has hotel and airline miles they can donate to us. We’ve also been selling random things here and there, and I am working a wedding in August. But we’re running out of ideas… and time, for that matter. Not that we’re complaining. The sooner we can bring our little guy home, the better!

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Here are our First Friday Funding Figures, on this second Tuesday of July. We’re 72% there, folks. It’s hard not to stress about that remaining 28%, but honestly I know we will be fine. The Lord will provide a way for our little family to be together, I have no doubt!

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image009 (1)image008On a completely different note, Chris’ disc golf store is open for business! Please check it out! We’ve got two birthday parties this Saturday, and some of our favorite folks are in town, so we’ll visit with them on Sunday. I feel like there’s something I’m forgetting to mention…. Guess it will have to wait until the next post!

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Google Font’s “Give You Glory”

First Friday Funding Figures- Update #9, June 2015

You know what day it is! I can’t believe this is update number nine! What a long time it’s been already… But it’s getting closer to the finish! Things have been crazy busy for me, but I was determined to get this post published. I mean, it’s just a few images, really! I will not give you an excuse today!

So last month was a good one as far as fundraising goes. We had our huge yard sale, which made us almost $2000, and we were awarded a $1000 grant! We got a tax refund that went straight into our account, and managed to save a bit, too! I really need to do a good audit of our accounts and our fees, but as the numbers stand today, it looks like we are 63% funded! With (hopefully) 4 months to go, and $13,846 (ish) left to raise, we are going to kick it into high gear! Please pray that we hear from the other grants we applied to, and that we would have successful fundraising over the summer. Next week we have our Moe’s fundraising dinner, which should be a lot of fun! I hope we get a huge turnout and make a lot that night. I’m looking forward to it, just because it’s like a big party with a bunch of friends where I don’t have to do the cooking. Ha!

In addition to the Post Adoption Credits chart I added last month, I also included a Post Placement Expenses chart. Looks like those credits are going to end up going back out in one way or another. I didn’t even include the possible medical trips we could be taking, because I just don’t know how many, and how long the trips will be… so it’s hard to estimate. Here’s how the numbers are looking:

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image008 We still have a ton of stuff from the yard sale, so I think next weekend, or really any weekend this month, we will be having another one. We’re looking into different rewards credit cards, trying to see how we can rack up airline and hotel miles to save us some of those costs. If you have any you’d like to donate to us, let us know! I have one more fundraiser in mind, that we might do in July, but other than that… I’m just praying we find the funds! We are scrimping and saving, and doing everything we can think of, but if you have any ideas, please share them!

Yesterday we got an update on our boy. It had pictures of him in the Hornets hat that we sent him, which made me so happy! I know it made my parents happy, too, as the hat was their contribution! He’s got a little piece of our home with him, now! The update said that he knows he is being adopted, and that the nannies read the picture book we sent and tell him who everyone is. I wonder what he thinks when they read it to him… is he anxious? Confused? Happy? I wonder how much he really understands about what a family even is…

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When I showed Austin these pictures, he asked about their hats, and then he picked out his own “bed” in the picture of the cribs. He’s starting to get it. Somehow, he’s starting to get it.

Folks, we appreciate you keeping up with us. We appreciate your support and prayer. Please keep praying for things to move along without issue, and that we would be traveling to China in September. Thank you!

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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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(Past Due) First Friday Funding Figures- Update #7, April 2015

I know, it’s Tuesday. I’m really not so good with this First Friday thing, am I? The kicker is that I totally pulled all of these totals on Friday and had this ready to go… just didn’t happen. Oh well. One of these updates will actually get posted on the first Friday of a month. Just wait and see.

So, March. Our Auction happened in March and gave us a $1244.30 boost!Thanks again for all of the folks who participated. It was a lot of fun, and helped us out in a big way! In April, I don’t really expect to see a ton happening on the fundraising front, unless we get some donations from folks. We are filling up the space in our garage for the massive yard sale we plan to have the first weekend of May. It is going to be a lot of work. Right now we are collecting donations for the yard sale, and soon we will be reaching out to see if anyone can help us prepare for the sale (organizing stuff, gathering clothing racks/tables, and loading up trunks the night before) and also looking for folks to hang out with us during the yard sale (to set up, watch our stuff, and peddle wares, then load stuff up to take back home afterwards). From the looks of our garage, we might have to have more than one of these things. I’m also working one wedding in April and a few in May, so by June’s update, the numbers should start looking much different. Plus, by then, we’ll have written some more big checks, so things will look a lot different on both sides of the balance sheet!

So, here are how things are looking:

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I’ve been checking the mail like a crazy lady the last few days, looking for our I800a approval to come, so we can get that last item authenticated and our dossier off. But it’s still not here… Hopefully soon!

In other news, Easter happened.

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And Austin thinks our new minivan is the coolest thing since… himself.

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I hope to have updates for y’all very soon. Good ones! Thanks for sticking with us. If you’d like to donate towards our adoption, in any amount, you can do so here. For every $15 donated, we’ll write your name on a puzzle piece to commemorate your contribution. If you’d like to help out with the yard sale on 5/2, please let me know! Thank you!

(Belated) First Friday Funding Figures – Update #6, March 2015

Things have been hectic around here. We’re both busy at work, we traveled to Raleigh last weekend, we’re ramping up to start our auction in  couple of days, and we’ve had house issues, as well as family health issues… This funding update is tardy. My bad.

It’s also getting late, and I need to get my hiney in bed. So, real quick. This month’s numbers aren’t a huge change from last month’s. We haven’t didn’t have any fundraising opportunities in February, and had toned down asking for donations for a couple of reasons. 1- we applied for a couple of grants, so are hoping that we are provided for in that way, and 2- we are planning our Auction for March and GINORMOUS yard sale for April. It looks like we’ll have the whole summer to fundraise and save, so we are taking a littlebreather. We’re sure your facebook feed appreciates it, too.

With the weather warming up, we really just want to make sure to have some good, quality time with our friends and family. We went to Raleigh last weekend to visit Chris’ sister, her husband, and their new babies (twins!), and will probably be headed down to Myrtle Beach (or possibly Charleston) to spend some time with his parents.

I’m not going to say much more about these figures. We’re slowly getting there, but still have a ways to go.

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So, we are still about $16,800 short of what we think we’ll need. But we know the Lord will provide! We are still saving, and I’m not even sure I updated that number anywhere here… forgive me for not double checking. I barely had time to grab these charts, and it’s way past my bedtime. Next month’s numbers should be more accurate, and much different if our auction goes well! So, stay tuned!

As always, thanks for following our journey, and thanks for your support!