It truly was amazing to watch this event unfold. It started with 2 girls who work at a local smoothie and juice bar called "Nectar". One of the girls (Desi) just graduated from high school and has been a big part of the student ministry. The other girl (Christine) graduated high school a couple of years and was in my small group. When they found out we were adopting again, they immediately put their heads together and decided they wanted to do something.
Since they both worked at Nectar, they asked Desi's mom (Joyce, who is the owner of Nectar) if they can open the store on a day it would normally be closed, a Sunday, and hold a fundraiser. Once things started shaping up, they took it a step further by going around to local businesses and asking for donations to raffle off as prizes for the event.
I just couldn't believe they were doing this. I wrote Joyce just to say thanks in advance and her response blew me away. She told me that during our first adoption she prayed for us as she followed our journey through the blog. She said that every time she wanted to give financially towards our adoption, it was as if God was speaking in to her heart, "not now...next time." She almost wrote us a check after Dima came home with a note that said, "for next time", but just didn't feel settled about it then. So this fundraising event was "for next time". This was part of her message to me:
I'm not telling you this for kudos of any kind but to simply give you an encouragement. I know you have already had some hiccups in this journey, but I believe whole-heartedly that the Lord was stirring in the hearts of people way back when for this time now. He had a second little one already picked out when you were still in the thick of your journey with Dima.
I was ecstatic when Desi told me you guys announced on Facebook that you were starting the journey of a second adoption and knew it was time to get involved. Desi and I immediately started weighing options on what we could do to help. I don't know how financially successful this will be, but I can assure you that it will trigger many people to pray for you, your growing family, and your new little girl that is waiting just as you are. You may not know them all this side of heaven, but they are interceding for you guys now.
I love the line she wrote, "the Lord was stirring in the hearts of people way back when for this time now. He had a second little one already picked out when you were still in the thick of our journey with Dima." Wow.
So, here we were on Thursday. 3 days before the fundraiser. Steve was not going to be able to be there because he already had an event scheduled in West Virginia with the gradated seniors. I was praying about how I could be "present" at the fundraiser while also being a good mom to Dima. I knew it would be difficult to ask my son to stay with me all day at this event, because I really wanted to be there.
At 11:30pm, Steve and I were watching the Olympics and we heard a loud noise from upstairs. We ran up to find MY PARENTS (all the way from North Carolina) walking in the front door. My dad said, "we came up because we wanted a smoothie." Parents have a way of knowing what their kids need, even when they aren't asked, and I am so thankful that I have parents who make such sacrifices to meet those needs.
The following Saturday I was telling Dima about the fundraiser coming up the next day. I said, "Dima, tomorrow we are going to a big party and everyone who is there is helping bring your little sister home." His eyes got big and bright and a huge smile crossed his face. He replied, "My little sister is coming home tomorrow?!?!" Oh, my heart. I have to be careful about how I word things around this little one.
Sunday was an amazing day. Dima, my parents and I got to Nectar around 11:45 and the place was already busy. When I arrived I was handed a $50 gift card to Nectar that was purchased by my cousin who lives in Georgia - what a surprising and encouraging start to the day!
Between 12 and 1, it was standing room only. The workers at Nectar, who were volunteering their time, were busy making smoothies, paninis, salads, and sandwiches. It was such an awesome sight! Friends, strangers, Nectar regulars, people from the community were all coming to support our cause. It was beautiful. It was encouraging to see fellow adoptive parents there with their families and I was able to meet others who are in the process of adoption themselves.
At the end of the day, I sat with Desi, Christine and Joyce as we collected and counted the money. Their personal goal was to be able to put $500-$800 towards our adoption. As we did the math, we all had smiles on our faces and tears in our eyes. The total raised was $1800.00!!!
God, again, blew away our small goals. On top of this, Nectar had a record selling day. And in just one HOUR, (12-1pm) more money was brought in than what is made in an average DAY. Wow!
God is so creative. He used 2 young girls with a desire to bring glory to His name and bless our lives. They offered God what they had (a job at Nectar) and He used it to bring a community together to support a cause.
I am learning more and more that God is not in the business of us doing something big and great for Him, but for us to bring to Him what we have and letting Him do something big and great.
I am so thankful. The event yesterday was another reminder of His hand of Provision in our lives through this journey. Dollar by dollar. Smoothie by smoothie. We are bringing this little girl HOME!
Thank you for all who came and supported us. Thank you for the words of encouragement and just your presence there was such a blessing and reminder to us of our need for people's support through this journey. Thank you to Nectar and those who donated their time working so that they could give a full 50%. It will be a day I will never forget.
Here are some pictures from the day...
the start of the 12-1 crowd
talking with people outside as the line was out the door
Dima getting his face painted
Dima's best buddy, Trenton and his sister Elliana enjoying the day
- Our home study requirements are complete along with the initial registration paperwork for our adoption agency
- Once everything is received and we are given the green light, we can begin tackling the mountain of paperwork known as our dossier
- Our first fundraiser was a success!! Thank you! Thank you!!
- My friends from my Bible study are hosting a huge multi-family yard sale on Aug. 16th & 17th in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.
- Click HERE and check out the event page on Facebook. There will be something for everyone!
- Continue to pray for our little girl, that should would be specially loved and uniquely cared for.
- Pray for diligence and wisdom as we fill out paperwork. We want to make sure it is correct the first time so we don't have to do it over.
Until next Monday, love Kate, Steve, & Dima.