Thursday, September 5, 2013

surprise blessing + a fundraising update

This past weekend, we were surprised to find a letter in our mailbox from Show Hope.  We applied for a grant from their foundation back in June, but we were not expecting to hear any news just yet.  Jeremy opened the envelope...

Me:  What is it?  What does it say?
Jeremy:  *silence*
Me:  Is it bad?  We didn't get anything, did we?
Jeremy:  Yes, we got something
Me:  How much?
Jeremy:  Guess
Me:  2,500
Jeremy: Keep going
Me:  5,000
Jeremy:  Keep going
Me:  *crying, sniffling, unable to speak clearly by now*   How much?!
Jeremy:  6,000!  Praise the Lord!

Wow.  Just wow.  We quickly got out our AGCI fee schedule and added some things up.  What do you know!  We had about $6,000 in fees remaining.  What a tremendous blessing of provision from the Lord.  He knew just what we needed at this time.

This grant has helped us arrive at the point where the only thing we lack to being fully funded is our travel costs.  Our Show Hope grant cannot be used for travel expenses, only for adoption fees.  Similarly, our Brittany's Hope matching grant also cannot be used for travel fees, just for adoption fees.  However, we are so excited to only be saving and raising money for travel now.  What a surprise blessing indeed!

I like to periodically share some financial details of our adoption because I believe finances are a big part of the process.  Sometimes, for those who are just beginning adoption or praying about beginning an adoption, the financial part can be a big fear.  So, I like to be somewhat transparent to help inform and encourage others out there in the adoption community.  That being said, here's a update of how we have funded our adoption up to this point. 

Total funds acquired:   $22,806 
Fundraisers  -  21%
Gifts  -  9%
Grants  -  37%
Personal Savings  -  33%
What's left?
$3,000 appx. for 1st trip (needed this Fall)
$4,000 appx. for 2nd trip (needed this Winter)

We have been so blessed by our fundraisers.  Selling T-shirts, hosting a benefit dinner, delivering spaghetti lunches, selling graphic prints from a friend, washing cars, and selling lots and lots of stuff on Facebook and in consignment shops has earned us a lot of money, and we are so thankful for each and every person who has supported these efforts.  

Of course, we continue to be humbled and thankful for the spontaneous gifts we receive from friends, family members, Facebook friends, and complete strangers!  It's amazing to me that 9% of our adoption fund has come from people who have felt the Lord leading them to spontaneously donate to our cause.  Many times these gifts come at such perfect moments that I literally cry when we receive them.  We are so grateful for each and every gift we have received whether it has been $20 or $200!  Each gift is needed, wanted, and appreciated. 

So far, we have received 2 grants:  a matching grant from Brittany's Hope and, most recently, a Show Hope grant for $6,000.  We still have a little bit left to raise for the matching grant, but we pray that that grant will be fully funded by the end of September.  We are so grateful to these organizations for their ministry to help make adoption possible for our family!  

God has also been so good to us to allow us to so far be able to save 33% of our adoption fund right from our incomes.  He has blessed us with generally good health and good work.  Jeremy has switched jobs during this process to a job much closer to home that is saving us hundreds of dollars on gas, and he gets overtime almost every week!  I have been blessed with classes to teach, students to tutor, and an additional part-time job as a hostess.  We are still working hard to keep our expenses as low as possible so that we can continue to save.  Some months we save more than others, but God has always made a way for us to set aside some money each month for our adoption fund. 

Posts like this get me excited!  They make me want to praise God more and more for His provision!  When we started this process in July of 2012, the fee schedule was daunting.  I would sit and look at it and frown at that one little line item that was checked off.  I would feel dread as I scanned all the many other line items to come thinking secretly, "How in the world are we gonna do this?"  Let me just say to those of you who are thinking of adopting or just beginning your process-- nothing is impossible with God!  If He has called you to adoption as He has done for us, He will provide.  You may not suddenly wake up one morning with an extra 20K in your bank account, but with hard work, creativity, and faith, it can be done!  We still have a little way to go, but we are seeing the light at the end of the fundraising tunnel.  

Thank you to you all who have partnered with us by praying and giving! 


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