Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I know that one of the things that I search other adoption blogs for is a great fundraiser idea.  I thought I would blog about some of the ones that we have had.  We started the process about a year and a half ago, so we have been doing intermittent fundraisers for a while now. 

Garage Sales-We have probably had between 4-6 garages sales already.  We email all of our friends ahead of time and ask them to start saving up all of their junk.  We try to let people know a couple of months ahead of time, then a month or so and then we start picking items up, and then we send out a last minute reminder about a week before.  Our first garage sale was MASSIVE!!  The funny thing is that we do not have a garage.  LOL  We had some wonderful friends volunteer their double garage to store everything and then hold the sale at their house.  That first garage sale made us $1000!!  We had so much stuff that we had another one the Wednesday after with the leftovers.  Since then we have tended to take whatever is left right to donation spots, because we do not have storage in our house for much, so it takes over the whole basement.  At that particular garage sale, we even had someone stop by and ask if he could pick up any of our items that we had leftover to take to Joplin, since it was soon after the tornado had hit there.  We have also had people mention that they were having a garage sale in the next couple of weeks and we have offered some of our leftover items for them to sell.  We  have tried to resell items on craigslist or at Once Upon A Child, but that hasn't really worked out for us, so we just choose to donate and bless others now with the leftovers.

Bows-Last year I decided I wanted to learn how to make bows, like the girls hair bows.  My mom's best friend is awesome at it and she taught me how to make them.  So, I made up lots and lots of bows and we sold them at craft fairs last year.  It did take a lot of time, but I just  made them slowly at night and gathered up lots of types.  The holiday ones went really well and I've heard that school colors and sports teams go well too.  We were able to sell them at a homeschool craft fair that was only $20 per table as well as at a church who, when they heard that it was a fundraiser, gave us our table for free! 

Fundraising sites-We have joined some fundraising sites, like Ordinary Hero and 147 Million Orphans, but we haven't had too much from these.  We haven't really promoted them too much either, though.

Yogurtland-A local business, Yogurtland, let us do a fundraiser where we were able to keep 10% of the profits from a 2 or 3 hour period.  We did check with a couple of bigger restaurant chains (Chic-Fila and Applebees, etc.) and they said that they really only do that for bigger organizations.  It might be worth it to look into more local places, though.  This is one we would like to try again.

Water Bottles-Sounds funny, right?  Well each time we did a craft fair we printed up labels and put them on water bottles and gave them away or sold them for $.25.  Last year we promoted Ordinary Hero and this year we promoted Chris's quarter rings and attached a link to our blog.  People are definitely happy to take a free water bottle!!

IPad drawing-When the IPads first came out, Chris bought one and we did a drawing.  We sold tickets for $20 I think, and then we did the drawing with a video of our daughters drawing the winning name and posting it.  We also guaranteed we wouldn't sell more than 100 tickets so each ticket would be a guaranteed 1 in 100 chance of winning.  We didn't even sell a full 100, so the odds were even better.

Quarter Rings-Right now we are focusing on the quarter rings, because they are really so cool and people were really interested in them at the craft fair.  Chris also has a real talent for jewelry, unlike my many hours learning how to make bows including hot glueing my fingers to the point of major blisters!  We promise we will get a link up here for the rings soon.

The other thing I would recommend to anyone is just to be open to what God can put in your path.  We have had opportunities where we could just say that we would do something for someone "for an adoption donation" and we have just needed to be open to opportunities we hear about.  We have also had friends just hand us checks out of the blue! We also have a separate account just for the adoption, so all of our money goes right into that.  Obviously, anythings we don't have money for in that account comes out of our regular account, but it is a good way to keep it separate. 

"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."  2 Corinthians 9:8

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Saying Goodbye

I didn't think it would be so hard to leave my job.  I know I only work part time, and on the flip side I know that it's been a part of my life for 10 years.  It's the relationships I've built that are hard to say good bye to.  I told all of my students this week and many of them were upset or sad or even angry at me.  One of my students tonight came in and I knew she was upset, so I asked her if she was mad at me.  She said that she wasn't as long as I would be coming back at least by next year.  I said I probably wasn't, so she said that yes she was mad at me then.  :)

My problem is that I get really attached to kids.  God made me a caretaker by nature which makes me good at some things, but not so good at letting go.  I hope this will make me a good adoptive mom.  I think it would make me a bad foster mom, but some of my wonderful friends who do foster probably have just as hard of a time letting each precious child go, especially if it is to a less than great situation.  

Someone told me today not to doubt in the dark what you are sure of in the light.  So I won't.  I know that it's the season to let this job go, so I will.  It will be hard to say goodbye, but isn't it always?  I have to focus on what I am saying hello to instead of focusing on what (and who) I am saying good bye to.  

I heard the song, "All Things Possible" by Mark Shultz tonight as I was driving home.  

Even when it feels like my heart is breaking
Hold on, there is strength
Knowing I belong to the One who’s making
All things possible

I know mountains can move
I’ve seen what You can do
In my weakness
So my heart will believe
If I wait I will see
My God doing, what only He can do

My God is strong and mighty
My God is faithful
My hope is in the Lord
For He is able

Look it up.  It's a great song.  It's uplifting and reminds you of the strength and power of God.  Our future children are going to have to say good bye to their country, their comfort that they have known, their caregivers, etc in addition to whatever else they have had to say good bye to in their lives.  I have faith that God can use me to remind them that all things are possible.  

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”   Matthew 19:26

Saturday, November 3, 2012

New Fundraiser

Chris has started a new fundraiser for the adoption!  He studied different kinds of art in college, including jewelry and metal work.  So, when he saw a video about how to make rings out of quarters, he wanted to try it.  They're really great, and you can read the imprint of the quarter on the inside and outside of the ring.  I will post some pictures on here as soon as I figure out how!

We are going to have a link on this blog where you can order them, but right now he's working on making enough for the Homeschool Craft Fair next weekend.  So, if you're in the St. Louis area on Saturday, November 10, come to West County Assembly of God Church, 13431 North Outer 40, Chesterfield, MO, 63017.

We also hope to be able to make some out of coins from different countries (Ethiopia, China, India, etc.) and Chris has played around with some coins he got in Guatemala last year.

Yet again, God has been faithful in bringing us our next fundraising opportunity!!

On a personal note, it looks like someone will be taking over my tutoring position in a few weeks, so that will be a big and exciting change for us.  We also received our adoption numbers this month, and our siblings numbers went up by 3 spots again (i.e. we are further away from adopting a sibling group), but it makes me happy that it means that more families are making the decision to be open to siblings, so that more siblings can stay together.

Feel free to email me or Chris if you are just so excited to see the rings, and we can send you pictures.

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; Do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8