Monday, September 17, 2012

Too Much

"Well, Kate. We were hoping for 50 people, but we have 150 people coming to the fundraiser on Saturday." 

This was the conversation I had last Friday with my precious friend, Romina. As I mentioned in last week's blog, Romina is a woman who began following our story on our blog during our first adoption. She and her family live in the San Diego area. While we were nearing the end of our adoption of Dima, they were beginning theirs. Our hearts are forever tied by our adopted Russian boys.

When she found out we were adopting again, she and her family began dreaming of ways they could help us raise the money we needed. They decided on throwing a big pizza party for friends and family, with the proceeds going toward our adoption. Now, when I think pizza party, I think... "order a few Little Ceasar's pizzas and throw some Cokes out on the table." This is not the pizza party they had in mind.

We skyped on Friday, the night before the event, and "met" face to face for the first time. She and her sweet daughters showed me all around their property. Romina had spent all day making home made pizza dough and pizza sauce that was going to be cooked in their outdoor ovens. They hired 2 chefs from California Pizza Kitchen to toss and bake the pizzas for the evening. On their property, they have a choo choo train and a go kart track. This was no ordinary pizza party...this was a full scale family EVENT - packed with great food and fun activities for all.

On the night of the event, Romina had me skype in, then set her computer (with me on it) on a table filled with pictures of our family. As people came up to the table, I was able to talk and "meet" many of those who were coming to the event. I tried not to scare people because most people didn't know I was actually "live". They would come up and look at the pictures and I would try to wave a little to get their attention to say hi. It was actually quite entertaining. It was so fun to get to see faces of these people who I will never meet, but people who generously supported our adoption through this event. Many encouraged us and sent their blessings to us for our journey.

The next day I got to hear all of the amazing details of the evening. I can't even describe the amount of work that she, her husband, her family and her friends put into making this evening an over the top success. They thought of every little detail. From rewiring the sound system, to having their children be waiters and waitresses, to purchasing portable air conditioning units since the evening was unusually hot. As she shared with me about the event, I just began to weep. "How can we accept this? Why would someone do something like this for us? This is just too much. Too much." She beamed with excitement as she told me all about it and I was just overwhelmed with the graciousness and generosity of this family. 

About 12 of the kids served the tables. They took orders and brought the food out to the attenders. At the end of the night, they each had a collection of tips that had been given to them. They asked, "Romina, what should we do with these." Romina, who said to me that she never wants to force generosity, told them, "You have worked hard for these tips, and you offered your services for free. You can keep these tips for yourself as a thank you." 

One of the kids said, "can we give them to the Garcia's?" 

"Yes, you may.." she said, "but you do not have to. You deserve this money." And one by one, each of these kids placed their hard earned tip money into the donation jar. One boy in particular had received quite a large amount of money in tips. He thought for a while and then placed the money into the donation jar. Wow. Could there be a more beautiful picture of generosity? 

There is story after story of kindness that are too many to even share - and some I probably will never even know. 

By the end of the evening, they counted all of the money and were so blown away to tell me that  they received $7,000!! Unbelievable. God, again in His goodness, went above and beyond all of our hopes, dreams, and expectations. He used a hard working, generous family whom we have never met to bless our lives.

When I wrote Romina and told her how I couldn't believe she would do this for us, she responded in this way,

"Kate, remember....I did not "meet" Michael (my adopted son) before I decided to make a difference on his life. The value of a person does not go up or down depending if we personally met them or not. We are all God's children that need help and redemption!"

What a beautiful reminder of how to live and love others.

And though everything in me wanted to say, "no, Romina! I can't accept this. This is too much money. You guys did too much work...I just can't.." I was reminded of God's love for us. 

What if we responded to His gift of salvation to us in this way, "No Lord...this is too much. I can't accept this. Your death on the cross for our sins is just too much." It would be offensive to God to not accept His gift, though the cost was unimaginable. 

His heart is gladdened by our reception of His gift. This is the tangible picture of grace my dear friend Romina showed me. As we skyped on Sunday afternoon, she was exhausted, but more than that, she was filled with joy and excitement to be able to offer such a gift to us.

So, we accept this amazing gift with humility and we rejoice in God's goodness to us and His generosity through amazing people, like my friend Romina.

P.S. Here are some pictures of the evening. As you look at them, imagine the bustling noises of people, train whistles, go kart engines and party music :)

the night's menu

chef Romina

the waitresses

fun on the go karts

train rides!

  • We are hoping to have all of our documents for our dossier in our hands on Thursday of this week (that's what FedEx says). Then, we will mail it to our agency and hopefully be officially registered. From there we will know what region we are assigned to and then have more region-specific paperwork to complete.
  • Including this latest fundraiser, we have received close to $23,000 in donations. We have begun applying for grants now that our home study is complete and look forward to God continuing to meet our needs.

  • We pray for our little girl - that God would begin to prepare her heart for us and us for her.
  • We pray for wisdom as our agency works with the facilitators in Russia to determine what region we will be assigned.

Thank you for following along with us. We hope you are encouraged to see the amazing things God is doing through people. We are!

Until next Monday, love, Kate, Steve & Dima.


  1. Wow! Goodluck!!!! I'll pray for you guys!!!!

  2. I have been so blessed by your story. Each blog post is so amazing and brings me to tears. Praying that your little girl is being safely taken care of.