Monday, July 21, 2008

Agency Meeting 1 & Yard Sale 2

On Thursday we had our first meeting with Miriam's Promise to go over the application packet and ask questions. It was exciting to think that we had finally taken a step closer to actually being in the process...which is also a step closer to bringing Keely and Maggie home. It was a little stressful to know that some big payments are looming very closely on the horizon. I would really like to have saved above and beyond those first two big payments before we get going, but I know God will provide as we need it.

On Friday we began weekend #2 of our yard sale. Friday was quite slow compared to both days last weekend. We ended the day a little discouraged and very much in prayer. See, back when we were planning just a one-day sale, I had prayed that if we were on the right track (adopting at all, adopting 2 girls, choice of agency, etc.), we would raise $1000 through the yard sale. It was beginning to look like maybe something was wrong. Then Saturday came. We were so busy! Items that had been sitting there since day one were selling. Of course, items that I thought were hot were not selling. As we closed for the day, and I began counting the money, I remembered an envelope of yard sale related money that came in prior to actually starting the first day of selling. With this envelope plus 4 days of yard sales, our grand total raised was $1015.70! I believe we are on track.

We still have a long way to go. We are at about $3900 today. Enough to start the home study, but remember the adoption is supposed to run about $45,000. That doesn't include things like our physicals, requesting vital records, and maybe even our travel to Bulgaria (twice). It also doesn't include buying beds and furniture, bedding, clothes for two, etc. We still need to raise lots of money, and we still need your help to do it. Here are some ideas of ways you can help. Feel free to change them to suit you.

>Bracelets and pizza cards are (as usual) still for sale. Buy a pizza card and show it to your friends. They are only $10, and you save more than that the first time you use it.

>The Party Fundraiser is a fun idea. Have a party, and ask each guest to donate $10.

>Get a group (like your Sunday School class or any group you are in) to do a fundraiser for us. Have a doughnut sale, a car wash, a yard sale of your own, sell candy bars, anything.

>Be cleaning out the house. We are 90% sure we will be having another yard sale in the fall. Since we are donating most of the things that were leftover this time, we will need a fresh new round of donations next time.

>I would love to hear from you if you have other ideas for fundraisers that we can do ourselves or that we can suggest to others.

I know that everyone doesn't feel led to adopt a child and bring him or her into their family. Some people simply can't because of various circumstances. But the Bible does teach us that we are all supposed to do our part to help widows and orphans. By supporting our adoption, you are helping two orphans to be united with a family who will not only take care of them but will love them and share Christ with them as well. With an estimated 143 million orphans in the world, I can't possibly adopt them all (the house does have its limits), but I sure do want to do everything I can to rescue 2 of them.


A big huge "thank you" goes out to all of you who donated to our yard sale. We felt blessed just that you cared enough to donate. Then your stuff sold and helped our adoption fund. Thanks to Cindy for sitting in the heat with us for 2 of the 4 days. Also, thanks to Brent, Ty, Albert, Jean, Jennifer, Timothy, and Charles for also spending time keeping us company. Thank you, Annette, for bringing your 4 kids to the sale and leaving with 5. I know Colton had more fun at your house than he was having here. Thank you, Memaw, Grandpa, and Granny, for keeping the boys for 3 days and 2 nights during this second weekend of selling. Thanks to our church members who stopped by to shop or just to see how it was going. Finally, thanks to everyone who came: those who shopped, those who donated, and those who encouraged us with their own adoption stories.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yard Sale Weekend #1

Whew! I am still so tired. It was hot, it was muggy, and we were busy. The response we got was even greater than we expected. Sales were good, but there were many more blessings that came from the sale. We met several new neighbors; we had several people tell us that their children were adopted or their spouse or they themselves; we had people pay more than we were asking; we had people make donations without buying anything; and we even had one lady come back the second day with a few nice donations to add to the sale. Over the course of the two days, we raised $500! It almost makes me excited that we are doing this again next weekend. Just kidding, I really am looking forward to it. If any of you live in our area and have items you could donate, please let us know. We will be glad to pick them up.

On the job front, I am searching even more for new bookkeeping clients. My baby-sitting days are now behind me (sniff, smile). As for Tim, please continue to pray for him. He feels like he has a new direction he would like to go, but he isn't exactly sure what it is.

On a cuter note, yesterday we brought two of the kids' friends home with us for a while--a brother and sister. We weren't sure if we would know what to do with girl but figured we needed the practice. On the way to our house amidst the noise of chatter behind us, we hear the word "princess" float to the front of our van. We looked at each other funny...not a word we normally hear.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Here We Are

This is our official family photo for our adoption application. Not bad for grabbing someone after church and saying, "Will you take our picture?"

We just got back from our "mini-vacation". We went to Crossville for a week. Tim's folks have a trailor at Fairfield Glade, and his sister lives in Crossville. So we spent the week sleeping at FG and spending almost every waking moment with Beth and her family. One surprising moment was when we took the kids to the pool, and I met a lady there with her husband and 3 daughters. As she put it, one daughter was "home grown", one was from China, and one was from the Philippines. The youngest (from the Philippines) had just turned 2 the day before and had been home for 1 year. They were so precious.

The yard sale begins this weekend! We are planning to be open Friday and Saturday this weekend as well as Friday and Saturday of next weekend. We have a lot of stuff, but if you have any items you would like to donate, that would be great. Let us know so we can plan to pick it up or be here for you to drop it off. In addition to actual yard sale items, we are going to have our pizza cards (more later), and I still want to have snacks like maybe candy bars and bottled water. Anyone have a suggestion on that?

If you like pizza (especially Papa John's), you've got to get one of our pizza cards. We decided to claim one as our own and use it while we were in Crossville. Yes, they honored it. We can officially say these are accepted outside of the Murfreesboro area. We saved $11.38 (for a large 1-topping). The card already paid for itself. Let's see...if you got the same free large 1-topping each time for the full 20 uses of the card, you would save $227.60. After subtracting the $10 you spent for the card, you would come out ahead $217.60. Not bad! If you don't live nearby, we would be more than happy to mail them to you. See if you can sell a few at work or in your neighborhood.

I'm still seeking bookkeeping clients. My babysitting career will be ending soon, so I need to replace the income. Tim is still seeking laminate jobs. We are going to meet with someone tonight to look at his house and talk about doing his floors. Hopefully, this time things will go well, and we will actually be able to lay this floor.

  • Pray for Tim as the new school year begins. He isn't sure if he needs to stay in teaching or find something else. We are praying through this now but could always use a few more warriors on our side. On one hand, public schools need Christian men in them (and the kids love him) and being unemployed all summer allows him extra time with his family, especially for taking trips. On the other hand the stress is taking a toll on his health, he has almost no time for family from August through May, and the expectations handed down to him are humanly impossible to meet 100%. Tim has such integrity and such a strong work ethic that he gets all the extra assignments that the "slackers" don't do. It seems easy to say, "Well, quit. Go do something else." But when his income is by far our main source of income, it would be difficult for him to walk into a total different field and start out at the same level of income (even if it is just a teacher's salary to begin with). He wants to be where God wants him, but he would also like to love his work and not stress about it.