Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Results of the sale

I am sure you all are wondering how the sale went and I am so sorry it took so long to update you. I have been busy catching up on all the things we let go while preparing for the sale. Sunday we unloaded and cleaned up the big mess we made prep’n for the sale. I did not even get to sleep till late Sunday night and I was actually a little less awake than a zombie.

The sale went wonderful!!!!

All week long amazing things happened and out of the blue surprises. I think it was a blessing from God, for sure. Let me tell you about a few...Lots of donations showed up from family, friends and coworkers. Several people from my company pitched in to design signs, handouts and borrow tables for us to use during the sale. My boss David, Lynn, Lisa, Tom and Monique were probably the most involved, but everyone seemed to be very supportive. My two friends, Debbie and Tanya came to my home to help price hundreds of items. Yes hundreds. Some of the stuff was junk and had to be sorted cleaned and grouped by category. It was grubby work. We priced or pitched, then boxed. It was great catching up with them. Time flew by! Things were progressing but slowly. So later in the week, my mom and Krista took turns helping play with the baby and price so we had a hope of finishing on time. Then all the boxes and clothes were loaded into 4 trucks and one 23 foot trailer. The boxes were stacked two high on the trailer and packed to the brim of the trucks. It looked like we were moving a small city. Little-love stayed with Grandma so to stay clear of the chaos.

We had sale day volunteers withdraw on us early in the week. I was in complete panic that I was not going to be able to pull it off working alone. Then, for no reason what so ever I have new volunteers (Jeannette, my dad, Sango and Joe) contacted us last minute and agree to help in whatever way they could. They were so full of positive spirit that they ended up being twice the enthusiasm of the people who could not come. Like we got an upgrade- hahaha.

We all woke up at 4am on Saturday morning, loaded up with coffee and then headed to the ball park. We unloaded in the dark. My Dad added to the convoy with his truck filled with donations too. Unloading was amazing with Sango and Joe (we realized later that Rich could have never done it alone). They were right there handing us boxes and product and made it possible for Ellen, Krista and I to put things on the table in a appealing fashion. Sango’s positive attitude was like the sunshine before the sun rose giving everyone a boost of energy and Joe was super helpful, kind and hardworking. I was still a little tense with anticipation before the sale. Maybe bossy would be another word to describe it! I was terrified that we would not be ready to sell when the clock hit 8am...but we made it. Then the sunshine came out. The people started flooding in the booth and the fun began.

Can you believe the weather on Saturday? It was absolutely perfect! Everyone working the booth was having a blast. Ellen had a sensitivity about her that just made people feel good about the purchase they made. She is the queen of yard sales and the one everyone turned to her for advice. Jeanette was the big money girl, landing all the big sales and donations in the shortest amount of time. I think people are drawn to her style and smile. Jen was like everyone’s personal shopper finding just the right items and matching them with shoppers so we did not have much left in the end. And then there was Krista; Krista was the work horse of the group and probably worked harder on the sale than anyone (including me)! She was the first to arrive and the last to leave. So flexible and open to serving wherever the sale needed her the most. Our friend Stephanie showed up to help sell latex balloons that were donated by creative events. We blew them up with helium. When Alpine rent-all found out what we were doing, they gave us 20% off (they are good guys there). It started to get hot as the day went on and our friend Monique surprised us with cold drinks! Everyone was really having fun and I know this because they did not want to leave when their time slot was over. All these things just happened perfectly and that is why I think that we were being looked after that day by someone from above!

During the sale I was absolutely “touched” by people’s kindness and attitude towards the cause of the orphan. People really cared! We could not believe some people would haggle 10 minutes to get an item for a quarter and then hand us a dollar and say “keep the change”. The bulk of the money raised was from selling the stuff at the booth, but the icing on the cake was the extra donations.

I felt it was a win, win, win, win. Not only were we able to raise lots of aid money (wow-za!) for 5 orphanages in Ethiopia, but we had the chance to really share and create awareness of the situation the orphan children are in. Plus the donated items got sold at a significant discount to many people who were so appreciative to get the bargain. Many single moms and older folks commented on how thankful they were to get the item they were buying and commented that they were able to get it because of the great price at the sale. Then on top of it all, the leftovers were donated to a mission in downtown GR. It could not have gone any better in my book. Everyone benefited!

When we first decided to do the sale, I was really worried we would not raise enough to cover the entry fee of $80.00 plus supplies. When all the money was counted and I emptied all my pockets, I had to recount the money in disbelief. The grand totals of the sale were a thousand dollars almost to the dime. That is half the money we agreed to raise for the orphans! That large sum will support 50 children for a whole year!! I added to the money we have been collecting and it pushed us nearly three quarters of the way to our goal. Only $560.00 to go!

We can’t thank everyone enough for their help. I am truly grateful and in awe of the amazing sale.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Finally an update

A lot of time has passed and stuff has happened, so I thought it was time to finally update the blog. The good news is that Rich & I are still on track to adopt an orphaned girl from Africa.

The process has been a little delayed for two reasons.

First, due to an inquiry in Ethiopia regarding the plethora this spring of abandon children. From what I understand, they just found so many children abandoned in the streets that the government was compelled to look into the situation in an official way. In the end, the Ethiopian law enforcement found no evidence of misconduct but rather substantiation of the great impoverishment and destitution of the children in Ethiopia. This hurdle did not defeat Rich and I in any way, it actually made us more passionate to make a difference.

Even now, after the police have been cleared of any wrongdoing they are reluctant to bring abandon children to the orphanages. Instead they are being routed to a government facility. Rumor has it, that the facility may not be equipped to handle children.

In July MOWA (Ministry of women and children’s affairs) decided to move offices. this really made it difficult for any adoptions to take place during the move.

Now we embark upon the rainy season when the courts shut down. We will certainly see a adjournment on all adoptions during this time. We think they will open back up sometime in Oct.

Many anxious parents are struggling with all the continuous setbacks, impediments and instability of international adoption. Rich and I find this as “ordinary” for any international adoption and continue to be focused on the end goal.

The second reason the process is so long for us is that the rules say we need to adopt a child 9 months younger than our youngest child and we need the child to the same gender to share a room. Right now, the child found could at the most be 0-8 months old. This means lots of people who have adopted older children or boys, already have their children home. There are currently 7 families ahead of us in the same situation. We could get a call in the next few weeks or it could be many months. We really have no idea. We are content with the timing that is meant to be and feel unhurried. We believe this is our time to exclusively live life through our biological daughter's (Little V-Love) eyes and treasure the special moments we experience together in her first years.

During the wait we are just preparing for the call and journey. We have gone through a series of shots, done piles of paperwork, worked on creative ways to save money for the adoption, investigated travel arrangements and educated ourselves on how to care for the special needs that this child may have. I am even trying to learn how to manage out of control Ethiopian curls.

In addition to our adoption journey, Rich and I are trying to raise 2,000.00 of international aid for Ethiopian orphans. The added International Aid money will go to helping the many children who probably will never be adopted for a variety of reasons. This aid is separate from our adoption and travel costs that we personally will be funding.

To help facilitate this, we have cleaned out our basement and garage and are going to participate in the fifth-third ballpark. All of the money raised will go to aid the orphans left behind. If you want to help out, here are a few ways you can

1.Donate your Clutter- If you have any items you have wanted to be rid of, we are taking good condition items valued over a dollar. Call me to arrange for an exchange before next Thursday 9-17-09.

2. Help at the sale- If you don’t have plans on Saturday, you could help work the sale and spend some time shopping too. I need a few good volunteers to take money and bag up sold items.

3. Put us in your thoughts and prayers- Praise God for all our supportive family and friends, ask for great weather and traffic for the sale, and his protection on those children needing our help.

Rich and I continue to be appreciative to be surrounded by such great people. Thanks to everyone for your continued support and excitement about our Adoption journey.