FUNDRAISING: So we had our photo shoot back in October with Kurt Gordon and it was a blast. We prayed and prayed for the rains to hold off so all our families could have their family photos taken in the park without getting drenched. Praise God! The rain held off till the very end… or at least only sprinkled a tiny bit for our last family. Such a blessing!
Then, Kurt also threw a sushi making party, hosted by my Sister, Katie and her husband, Matt. It was so much fun! And really, it turns out I make a pretty mean sushi roll! We made five different types and ended by splitting the party into three groups and having an “Iron Chef” secret ingredient challenge. Secret Sushi Ingredients: Orange, Milk Chocolate and Whipped Cream. It was so cool to see the party transform from a fun, informational gathering to a full on competitive culinary challenge! In the end, seaweed and chocolate should never be paired together for any reason! Between Kurt’s two events we made about another $2,000. And we did hardly anything! Kurt, you are such a blessing to me and my family. I can’t wait to introduce you to our new children. And HUGE thank-you’s to all of our attendees at these events. Your generosity and love mean so much to us!
DISCOURAGING NEWS: Back in October while checking in over the phone with one of our YWAM directors about our fundraising progress I was pretty discouraged to learn from her that there had been quite a slow down of children coming to their orphanages and being placed within families. This made no sense to me, in light of the fact that the hardships of Ethiopia were still alive and just as oppressive. She explained that a certain governing authority in matters of international adoption was putting a lot of pressure to not allow international adoptions from Ethiopia. So, we began to pray about what this meant for us. And not just us! What about all the families in Ethiopia who were struggling so badly? What about the children? We would pray for Ethiopia every day, that God would send relief. We would also pray for wisdom and leading. Many times driving to my customer’s homes or up on their roof I cried out to God, that He would not let this door shut. Truly, He enlarged our hearts for Ethiopia and their hurting children and we longed to adopt. On nights when I felt that I just couldn’t pray about our adoption, my son would. “God, please bless our kids in Ethiopia and help us be ready to adopt. Please keep them safe and help them trust you if they are sad.” These moments were very encouraging for me- my own son holding me up with the strength of God’s hope. What a blessing!
Also, during these unsure months we continued to receive financial support, even though we were not doing any fundraising efforts. I received donations from my customers, some friends of ours gave $1,000!, another check in the mail from an adoptive family we talked with at a 4th of July party. All these plus random opportunities to talk about God’s love and adoption of us into His family would encourage me and keep me hopeful.
EXCITING NEWS: Last Thursday, as I was getting the kids ready for bed, about 8:30, I was shocked to see the number of one of our directors come across my phone. I answered, trying to not sound too freaked out. She told me they had recently received word from a sister orphanage in Ethiopia that they had two children, a young boy and his baby sister, who they were hoping to match with a family as soon as possible, given the unsteady adoption climate. Now we were being asked if we were ready. Funds were obviously a big deal. We were still quite a ways off. They asked us to pray over the weekend and said they would call on Monday. We quickly put the word out with friends, family and church family to pray and ask God for His wisdom in moving forward. That Sunday we “just happened” to have a church Family Meeting and many of our brothers and sisters prayed stood and prayed with us- so encouraging.
On Monday we told the directors that we would like to move forward. They told us that they had one other family they were considering and asked us to continue to pray for God to illuminate His will for these precious children.
While at my customer’s house today, I got a call… We have been picked to officially start the adoption process for these two beautiful children!
When things progress further we will be able to post a photo and their names. For now, we have a ton of paperwork to complete. Please pray for diligence as we climb this mountain one step at a time. Also, we still need to come up with the remainder of our funds. We have $12k now, but need approximately a total of $36k. That’s $24,000! Would you please consider helping us? I have a loan with our bank waiting in underwriting for approval, but… the more we are able to raise, the less we will need to borrow and pay back. Another way to give is by donating airline miles. Because we have to travel to Ethiopia twice, we will need 4 round trip tickets and 2 one way tickets. This is obviously a huge part of the adoption cost and would lower our total significantly. Please contact us if you are able to donate in this way.
*Note: Normally we wouldn’t move this fast and would continue with saving and fundraising efforts. But, because things are so uncertain right now, we need to move as fast as possible to get these kids home before the doors do close indefinitely.