Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ladies' Tea Party Fundraiser!

On May 15th, the culmination of much hard work and planning finally went into effect...
our Ladies' Tea Party!

My dear friend Lynne had donated, over a year ago, a beautiful queen-sized quilt she had made. She originally made it to raffle to raise funds for a missions trip years ago, which ended up not being needed. So, she offered it to us for our fund-raising efforts. With us not wanting to go the "raffle" route, Lynne concocted the idea of an event for women which would have the quilt as its door prize!

We asked Rose at the Inn at Tern Lake if we could use the great room at her Bed n' Breakfast (a gorgeous local establishment that hosts wedding receptions-including Tricia and Jerry's almost six years ago!), and she graciously offered the space free of charge!

I asked six special women if they would serve as hostesses...and they all willingly offered their help! They each tried to sell tickets ($15 admission), and exuberantly took on the task of decorating their table in hopes to win the "People's Choice" award for most appealing table! Rebecca won the prize for the best table...she had all of the kids at her table, and had an African theme, complete with African animal masks for the kids to wear!

Everyone seemed to have a delightful time visiting, and it was a wonderful opportunity to bring awareness to the orphan crisis. I created a "Trivia Quiz of the non-trivial sort" using Ethiopian statistics...such as the population of Ethiopia, then the number of orphans in the country, the median age, and percentage of children who die before age six. (There was a prize for those who got them all right)! I also showed a clip from the Show Hope DVD...and it was a somber education for many in attendance.

We had a buffet with a delightful assortment of goodies that our friends and family helped to make. There was live background music provided by our friends Keith and Kristin (who also play on our worship team), and my friend Virginia on the keyboard. It made the atmosphere so inviting to have their beautiful music playing!

We also had a silent auction going throughout the tea party. We had so many friend Mel made a lap quilt, my friend Willow made a lamp, there were lia sophia items from my mom and Pampered Chef products that I had gotten for free with the fundraiser parties I'd had, artwork and ceramic pieces from my friends Sue and Melissa, framed prints of nature photography from Tricia, a fishing charter for which I had traded out goat buck!, small household items from my friend Rosella, a big sketch of Teddy Roosevelt and a handmade bedframe from my friend Judy, and more...I'm taking a big risk by trying to list everyone individually! We were just blown away by the outpouring of love and support to pull this event off successfully!

The most fun came when it was time to do the drawings at the end of the party! Melanie offered her flower arrangement to draw a name to win, and of course the drawing for the quilt! I had Lynne pull the name out of the basket, and she pulled out my friend Jill's name!!! I was so thrilled that she won, as she and her family are in the process of adopting two children from Rwanda!

The whole event was such a blessing to us, and I pray it was a blessing to those who were involved in various ways! And the final result? $2025 raised towards our adoption fund!!! Praise God!!!

(Thank you, Tricia, for taking all the lovely photographs of this event)!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The "List"

It may be unofficial, but it's a list.

I recently joined our agency's yahoo group for families in all stages of adopting from Ethiopia. It's an amazing group of supportive, encouraging, PRAYING families, and I feel blessed to be a part of it.

One of the adoptive moms in the "secretary." Sometime I'll have to ask her how she got roped into the job! But one of the amazing things she does is to keep track of everyone's DTE dates, the age and gender of the child they requested, and puts everyone in a nice tidy spreadsheet.

This list has a lot of benefits. Basically, it lets us know at a glance where we are in the line-up for baby girls. As families receive referrals for their children, we can see how that affects our family. It also keeps us in prayer for families that are preparing to travel and for families that are having court dates.

There is one definite drawback to such a list. It. becomes. consuming. As in "trying to not get our hopes up, but look where we are in the line-up now!!!" The other drawback is that it is an unofficial list...there may very well be families that have NOT joined the yahoo group, and as such we don't know if they have DTE dates before our own. It can just lead to some major disappointment.

For these reasons, I am so glad that I didn't join the list any would have been agonizing to watch our name creep up the list ever so slowly. As it is, when I joined last week, I realized that we were somewhere around number 12 in all, and at about #7 or 8 for baby girls!

BUT, the past two weeks have seen a MAJOR amount of movement, with court dates being set for families that already have referrals, and LOTS of referrals being given!

Believe it or not, we are now tied (another family has the same DTE as we do, and also requesting a baby girl) in 5th place!!! Actually, I should say we're tied for 4th place, as one of the families ahead of us had requested either gender, and they were just notified that they will soon have a referral for a baby boy.

I still can't believe it...only 3 or 4 more families need to receive their referral for a baby girl, and then it's our turn!!! Two of those families just received an email notifying them that they are "on deck" and will soon have their referrals.

To think that through this whole process, God is moving things along in His timing, knowing each family and knowing each child that needs a family, and He is matching them up in the best way possible!