Friday, November 18, 2011

Fundraising and Faithfulness Re-cap of our Journey

In the past couple weeks I've had several random conversations with people regarding fundraising for our adoption and how we went about the whole thing. As if to just reiterate the recent theme of conversation, I then got an email this morning from another gal who was asking any advice on fundraising because they're beginning an adoption as well and she wanted me to share what had worked for us. It forced encouraged me to look back over the past (almost) 2 years of our adoption story and recall the different ways that God provided!  And man did it ever leave me shaking my head at God's goodness once again!

I thought there might be some of you out there that would benefit from hearing my response to the email I received this morning as well. Maybe you are on the fence about jumping into the sea of huge adoption fees that come with international adoption, but there seems to be a relentless nudge from the Holy Spirit to step out in faith regardless of the dollar signs and trust Him?! Let me urge you, if God has burdened you to "jump"... JUMP! Our family is living proof! God is faithful.

Okay, so first off, here are some of the fundraisers we took on and worked for us....

Our first "big" chunk of money was raised by doing an online auction of items/services that were donated by friends. I started by sending out a heartfelt email to my closest friends and family (both local and far away) asking them if they had a talent, service, or item they would be willing to donate towards our adoption for me to auction off. I was amazed at the response of people's willingness to get involved- not to mention their creativity and determination to find a way to offer something worthwhile to donate! I mean, a week getaway to a farmhouse?! Awesome!  I gave the entire "set up" of the auction a month to get everything put together and hear back from everyone, all the while sending reminder emails and getting people's descriptions/details of the items they were donating. I started spreading the word about the auction dates about 2 weeks before it began, so people anticipated it. I set up a separate blog just for the auction that I could send people directly too, and I would highly recommend doing that. Here is the link to that blog, and it'll give a better idea of how it was set up.
This auction brought in $1455 towards out adoption! God is faithful.

Another big fundraiser we did was our adoption yard sale. This one required the most work on our behalf honestly, but also brought in the most money! If you've ever done a garage sale, then you know the prep work going into it is killer! Pricing items and organizing the garage is a beating! But here again, I sent an email out to local friends and asked if they had items that were thinking of giving to goodwill that they might be willing to give to us instead! I'm truly a minimalist and so even after going through our entire house searching for anything we could possibly put in a garage sale, there was barely anything! So... this project really did require the help of others who were purging through their stuff (and made me grateful for the hoarders in my life, ha!)- and when all was said and done, we had TWO garages (our neighbors generously let us use their garage too) FULL of stuff to sell! Good stuff too, like furniture and refrigerators... big ticket items! The key with the yard sale is to get the word out there! Advertise like crazy on Craigslist and post that the proceeds are going towards your adoption! Post pictures of the best stuff you're selling too! We had several people buy things before the actual yard sale off of Craigslist and give MORE than what we were asking, because they read about our adoption. Link everything back to your blog. The day of the actual yard sale, we did have a table set up with info on Ethiopia and a sign letting people know that all the proceeds were going towards bringing our baby home- but honestly, the majority of the people that were shopping the garage sale didn't speak English (depending on the area you live, that may be different), and so I don't think they were even aware of what the sale was all about. Don't take offense when they want to haggle the $1 candle sticks down to .$25, and you're sitting there thinking to yourself, "But it's going towards our adoption people, you can't seriously swing $1!?!?!". Even just one cent is that much closer to your goal!  The adoption yard sale brought in $2121 towards our adoption! God is faithful.

If you have a talent or craft, or for instance your mom or mom-in-law likes to sew, like my mine... you can always do these simple side projects and auction them off! These Africa t-shirts have brought in a good chunk of money- probably close to $500 or so! The totes have easily brought in over $500 as well! I suggest promoting them on both your blog and FB. I typically have more "lookers" on FB and that's where I have auctioned off almost all the shirts and bag/totes. God is faithful.

I make the adoption countdown walls for adopting families and they have raised about $400 or so just making them here and there when an order gets placed. I actually just shipped one off today! God is faithful.

Here's the deal though... what I think you'll find is that God will provide in ways you NEVER imagined and use other people in ways you NEVER imagined! You'll find that you may have others who think outside of the box on your behalf...  and it'll simply bring you to your knees in humility and gratitude! I have MORE stories of the roles others have played in funding our adoption, than I actually have of the ways we came up with the money!

Take sweet Kalisha, one of Joshua's former students for example, who sold our An Inexhaustible t-shirts for us at the high school and raised $1000 towards our adoption! God is faithful.

OR the lady from my mom's bible study who hosted a little bake sale on our behalf without us even knowing and sent us a check for $150... God is faithful.

OR the stranger who stopped by our yard sale, heard our story, and generously offered her photography talent to do a photo shoot raffle where folks bought $5 tickets for the chance to win a photo package with her. That brought in just over $500! God is faithful.

OR you might go to your mailbox one day and find a note with $4 tucked inside from the sweet 9 year old boy on your street! You WILL cry, trust me! (o; God is faithful.

OR I can mention my sister's friend from college who took it upon herself to go shopping at garage sales for cheap stuff, and clean it up- then resale it at a consignment event- and then send us all the proceeds from her hard earned money! She sent a check for $75 towards our adoption. God is faithful.

OR the day I went to grab the mail and we received a check for $1500 from another adopting family that we had NEVER met! The following day, no joke, another adopting family, who we had NEVER met as well, sent a donation for $500!!! Both of these families were also fundraising towards their adoptions! There are moments you will simply be left speechless! God is faithful.

OR just when I thought God simply couldn't show off anymore, I came home from running errands the next day (after receiving the $2k from the adopting families) and nonchalantly checked my email only to find a pending donation of  $845.26 from my old Promisland Sunday school teacher who lead me to Christ! Her donation was the exact amount needed to turn in our dossier and get put on the wait list with our agency! God is faithful.

OR one of my lifeguards that had worked for me one summer at camp, Lenora, that I hadn't heard from in 5 years who randomly contacted me and said she wanted to give us $1000 that she was given from her dad's trust fund! The only catch was, it needed to be tax deductible. Well, let's face it,  there are no roadblocks too big for God! Which leads me to encouraging you to apply for grants!... God is faithful.

I highly recommend checking out both Lifesong for Orphans and ShowHope for adoption grants! We applied for both and we're blessed with one. We were approved for a Matching Grant of $3000 from Lifesong for Orphans! This opened up the floodgates of people willing to give towards our adoption! Because it was tax deductible sweet lifeguard Lenora was the first to give towards our grant with her $1000 gift! The stories are endless of the generous hearts that God used to meet every need along the way! I mean, crazy generous, make you say, "WHAT?!" kinda generous, like this particular family that gave $2,750 towards our matching grant! God is faithful.

 Our grant from Lifesong was by far our biggest amount of money raised! Today we have $10,667.21 sitting in our Lifesong account waiting to be used once we get our referral! God is faithful.

I wish I could share every single story of how God provided- but I would seriously have to write a book! This is just a snip-it of His goodness! Every story is written down and documented, so we never forget! I would encourage you to do the same in your journey! Give Him the glory along the way! You get the idea, God is faithful! Yes, fundraising is one of the ways God provides, think creatively, bust your butt and do your part to bring in extra money... BUT always know at the end of the day, HE'S GOT THIS! HE WILL ROCK YOUR FACE OFF!!! HANG ON!!!


  1. This makes me cry! SO amazing how God provides! Love ya, girl! Thanks for being a prayer warrior in this beautiful, crazy, amazing adoption journey we're on together! :)

  2. I love hearing about all the different ways that God provides for adoptions. He is faithful. He funds what He favors and we KNOW He favors adoption!


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