When I first shared with Michael my desire to adopt a little girl, his FIRST comment was, "I'm totally open to the possibility." His SECOND comment was, "I'm not sure how we're going to afford it." And my response, was, "I'm not either. Let's do it!" Not very practical, I know. But this IS a journey of faith.
We both struggle with the fact that we aren't better prepared for the boys' future higher education needs. They are all four years apart and while we won't have two in college simultaneously, the reality is that we have 12 years (now 16, with Oakley) of college tuition looming ahead in the not-so-distant future. A typical adoption from China costs anywhere from $18,000 to $23,000. When you include all the incidental fees not taken into account in the estimated budgets provided by the agency, it can easily rise to $25,000. Needless to say, we don't have that kind of money at hand.
I knew it would be necessary to do some fundraising to help with the costs and as a family, we were committed to saving and sacrificing where possible. The boys were selfless from the start and fully supported our decision not to vacation this summer.
We established a special account for our journey to bring Oakley home and held our first fundraiser on June 17, 2006. Our yard sale yielded over $743 and Hagan sold $46 worth of cookies and lemonade. NOT a bad start!
My sister, Lori, one of the most SELFLESS people I know, organized a yard sale at her house and told me that she was going to donate all proceeds to our adoption fund. She shared this information with some of her friends and coworkers and the response was overwhelming! They donated enough items to fill her garage to capacity and Lori spent DAYS getting everything organized and priced. She's quite the merchandiser and some people would go so far as to say she could be a professional yard sale consultant! The one-day sale netted $540.13 and we still had enough inventory to go another round. The weather warmed up a few weeks later, and Yard Sale Fundraiser Part II netted another $386.22. Many, many thanks to Lori and company for your generous spirit and support!
In November, my dear friend Leigh Reed, also a Pampered Chef consultant extraordinaire (http://www.pamperedchef.biz/leighreed), helped me organize a Pampered Chef fundraiser. Guests were challenged to help sell raffle tickets for a Pampered Chef Shopping Spree and gather orders from their family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and associates. My family and friends rose to the challenge with great enthusiasm, and I will be forever grateful to everyone who participated. This fundraiser netted $1,637 in cash! My special thanks to Leigh for doing everything in her power to ensure a successful event:)!
In January, I hosted the 7th annual Cornerstone Inn Scrapbooking Retreat in Brown County, Indiana. I prepared about eight page layouts and held a silent auction. Thanks to my Creative Memories clients and friends, this brought in another $171 for our adoption fund.
In addition, family and friends have donated $6,160 toward our adoption fund. This has been a very humbling experience and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for opening your hearts to us and sharing your resources. Michael and I have been truly amazed by the generosity and have wept tears of joy on more than one occassion for the blessings that have come our way.
Here's a summary of the funds we've raised to date:
- Yard Sale (6/17/06) - $789.00
- Yard Sale at Lori's (10/21/06) - $540.13
- Yard Sale at Lori's (11/24/06) - $386.22
- Pampered Chef Fundraiser (11/29/06) - $1,637.00
- Scrapbook Silent Auction (1/7/07) - $171.00
- Contributions from Family and Friends - $6,160.00
TOTAL FUNDS RAISED TO DATE - $9,683.35