Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yard Sale Update and Prayer Request

Hey! So I'm sorry it's taken me so long to update everyone on how this weekend went. It started off really well but the way it ended has left us with heavy hearts.


The yardsale was a success and we are so grateful for the dozens of people and families who donated to our sale, the many volunteers who gave up their Satudays (and got up at 5am!) and the people who came out on Saturday to show their support and to buy our stuff! It was a LONG process to plan it and the days and weeks leading up to it were exausting. The day itself was a lot of work... but in the end it was all worth it! We were blessed and excited to raise over $3,000.00... $3130.04 to be exact :) So incase you just aren't very good at math... That means that each family (us, obviously, and the Dager's) took home over $1,500.00!!

Woo-hoo!!

Now, I'm not sure if you remember my post from here, but that is exactly the amount we need to pay for our homestudy, which coincidently starts NEXT week!!

God is so gracious in providing for our needs as we have them!!

We have also had donations from 4 individuals and families up to this point totaling another $1,460!!!

That brings our total so far to....$3,025!! 

We are humbled.
We are thankful.
We are blessed.


So now on to the part that gives us heavy hearts. One of the amazing volunteers who came out this weekend was Jennifer, Matthew's cousin. Jennifer lives over 3 hours away and she drove all the way here to help on Saturday. Of everyone who was there she probably took the least amount of breaks (if she took any at all) and worked her tooshie off going through PILES of clothes and folding/sorting/hanging them ALL.DAY.LONG.  She left our house on Saturday night, I didn't even get to say goodbye, she drove to her sister's house about 45 minutes away to stay the night. On Sunday night when driving from her sister's house to her own she was in a terrible car wreck. She has been in the hospital since and had surgery yesterday. Please please please pray for Jennifer. We love her dearly, and we know that her road to healing may be a long one. Please pray that she has a full recovery and that she can get home and get better quickly!!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Local News Covers our Yardsale!!

Check it out!!





(If the above video doesn't work go here: http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/video?id=8365911)

3013 PROSPECT PARKWAY, DURHAM
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 24TH
7AM-2PM






Wednesday, September 21, 2011

3 Days Until Our Big Sale!!!!

Well after having to delay our yardsale for a month thanks to good ol' Hurricane Irene we are back on for this weekend!!!




3013 PROSPECT PARKWAY, DURHAM
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 24TH
7AM-2PM




This is located in the Brightleaf at the Park Subdivision off of HW 70 between Durham and Brier Creek! When you turn into the main entrance of the Subdivision off of HW 70, take your first right (the pool and playground will be on your right) and follow it ALL THE WAY until the street dead-ends and that's where we'll be!!

We have EVERYTHING you can imagine!! Brand new Xbox Kinect, Brand new Logitech Revue with webcam and keyboard, golf clubs, furniture (tables, chairs, cribs, toddler beds, etc...), toys, clothing for infants-adulthood in all sizes and styles, exercise equipment, TV's, home items and decor, books galore...

We will also be serving some breakfast food items with coffee and water to drink!!
Please come and help support 2 families who are trying to bring children into loving homes! We appreciate it so much more than you can imagine!
And just to wet your appetite for the great deals that will be coming check out these pictures of some of the items we will be selling as well as pictures of my house that has been taken over by yardsale stuff!!!!












We can't wait to see you there!!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Fundraising Stage 1 out of 4: $5,315.00

So as not to overwhelm ourselves with the financial task ahead of us I have decided to break down our financial needs in 4 stages, and we are obviously, currently in stage 1.

Stage 1 lasts from now until around January and includes:
*agency application fee: 250.00
*NCFA Training : 175.00
*Home Study fees: 1,500.00(+)
*US Citizenship and Immigration Fee: $890.00
*Approval Fee: 2,500.00
---------------------------------------------
Total: $5,315.00

Now obviously Stage 1 is just a small portion of the money we need to come up to complete our adoption. (You should see Stage 3, it makes me wanna cry..)But my Daddy always told me, "The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time." So, I guess you could say Stage 1 is our appetizer.

I have been brainstorming some ideas for coming up with this money, and I've got a few things up my sleeve...

First, we have the ever-implending yard sale on Saturday, September 24th!! It's going to be at 3013 Prospect Parkway in Durham! We're hoping to get a decent chunk of this first goal that day!

Second, on the right sidebar you'll see a button/link that will lead you to our Just Love Coffee store. This is internationally grown, fair-trade coffee and for every bag you purchase we will get $5 towards our adoption.

Third, also in the right sidebar you'll see a PayPal Donate link and a little widget that looks like this:


That's just to help us keep track of our goal! You can click on either of these links and donate directly via PayPal, if you wish!

When we reach our goal for Stage 1 we'll move into Stage 2. And let me tell you, this mountain just keeps getting steeper. But it's OK. We're trusting God to provide for this adoption he's calling us to. If you want a refresher on the total cost of the adoptions and what we're doing ourselves to come up with this money you can click here to see my previous post about it. We know though that we're not going to be able to do this alone, and we hope that maybe some of you will want to come beside us in this journey and pray about a way you can help us get our children home!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Watch it....

...and PRAY for
*our children
*our family
*that God would be glorified in this journey and in this story...



Another photograph to wrestle in my head
Another sleepless night on concrete featherbed
These thoughts of you like bullets to my soul
We’ve got to find a way to get you home

I’ll find a way to get you here
If it takes my fleeting breath
Another sunrise hits the ground
And it’s a dark lonely sight
Lightyears away I hope you know
There is somebody searching
For the way to get you here

I will get you here

Throw the clocks away and run out to the street

We’ll fly to distant clouds where it’s just you and me
A day will come when all of this is gone

You’ve got to find a way to believe

I’ll find a way to get you here
If it takes my fleeting breath
Another sunrise hits the ground
And it’s a dark lonely sight
Lightyears away I hope you know
There is somebody searching
For the way to get you here
I will get you here

Close your eyes and dream of a better day with me
As angels hold you tight, may you sleep in peace tonight

So dream, dream, dream my child
Hear the whisperings of hope





(I originally saw this song on the blog of another family here locally who is adopting from Uganda. Go check out Zach and Michelle Miller's blog and read their story!)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Tale of a Table

Many of you who are close to Matthew and I know that we have dreamt of having a large family for a long time now. Not because we think we can handle it (we don't...), and not because we think it's cool (we don't...), and not because we're trying to make some sort of political or religious statement with the size of our family (we aren't).

We want to have a big family because we believe that God loves children. It's pretty clear throughout the Word that God considers children to be a direct blessing from Himself. In a culture that often-times looks at children instead as a burden, a barrier to a particular lifestyle, an inconvience only to be had "when we're ready" and in quanities only conducive to maintaining the previously mentioned lifestyle... we want to counter the lies of our culture and the lies of the affluence of the "American Dream" (that arguably has turned into a nightmare for much of America).

We want to simplify our lives. Not by becoming empoverished.... but by using the resources we DO have to live a lifestyle that is glorifying to God, not to ourselves. And that means, loving what God loves, which is very simply... people. God loves people, therefore we want to strive to love people. We start in our home by loving Him, loving eachother, and loving children that have and will come into our family both by biology and by adoption.

For that reason I long dreamt of dining tables. I know this sounds silly... especially since God seemingly doesn't care about dining tables. But He cares very much about what a dining table represents... and that is family gathering around it, spending time together. Plus, we would need a new table as the one we have in our kitchen only seats 4 and will be useless once we're a family of 5. My idea was to move our current dining room table (that justbarely seats 6, tightly) to our kitchen. That of course leaves us with an empty dining room, but such is life.

Although I may sound somewhat self-righteous in my above stated views on materialism, let me clarify that I am not! You see, this is one of my biggest struggles. I loved watching HGTV (when we had cable). I love leafing through the pages of home magazines, gazing at the glossy pictures of beautiful spaces. One of my favorite hobbies is looking at home decor blogs. While I certainly don't have desire to drive a mercedes or live in a huge McMansion... I do really enjoy looking at pretty things and spaces. And I believe that is how God made me, and millions of other women! God made us to be homemakers, and part of that is in making a home that is lovely, welcoming and comfortable for our families and our visitors. I do not think it is sinful to like pretty things, I think it becomes sinful when those things are put above the things God loves and values most... which once again, are people.

All that to say... over the past almost 5 years of marriage, everytime Matthew and I would be out shopping or walking through the mall I, ummm I mean, WE (hehe) would love to walk through stores like Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, World Market, etc... We would look at, and sit at huge tables like these and joke about how many kids we could fit around it...


However, all of these tables range in price from around $900 to as high as $2,400. Well, unfortunately fortunately, our pockets aren't that deep. So these tables remained in our dreams and far from our house.

Until one day a few months ago.

This story starts just after we had made the definite switch to pursuing an international adoption and a few weeks before we announced it on this blog.

An unfortunate part about Matthew's job is that he has to work weekends sometimes. The only benefit to this is that he then gets a couple of weekdays off the following week. We usually use these days to do something fun as a family. Well, on one of those days we were driving down a road on our way to somewhere I don't remember when we started approaching one of my favorite thrift stores. It is associated with the Durham Rescue Mission which is a Christian outreach to homeless and addicted individuals in our area.


This place is massive. Matthew decided to be thoughtful and without me even asking he pulled in and as soon as we got out of our car this is what we saw sitting infront of the entry door to the building.


I know it looks a little rough, but I was instantly smitten. I got so excited about this table! I looked all over this thing, determined that although it had been "well loved" (which actually added to the appeal for me, if you look at the above pictures I like the distressed look) it was a solid wood, sturdy table, that did indeed, seem to be as good as it looked. This table is a massive 104" piece that is made to seat 10 people comfortably, without the leaves it's 72" long, seating 8 comfortably. The best part, it was only marked $75.00!! Did these people not know how great of a piece this was?!?!

While we were looking at it a lady who works at the Rescue Mission approached us and asked if we liked the table. We said we did and she went to get the manager. He came up a few minutes later and said if we liked it he would sell it to us for $50! Are you kidding me?!?! At this point I'm about thisclose to freaking out I was so excited! (Those of you who know me well know that this is definitely the type of thing that gets me excited!) We said we'd take it!!

Finally, the cherry on top... When I went to the desk to pay for it the lady told me that they were having a special and if you could present a church bulletin that we would get another %10 off! Luck be a lady, I reached in my wallet and sure enough, folded in there was the previous week's bulletin from our church!

$45 for our dream table!!

I was so excited I couldn't stand it. We took it home and as we were unloading it from the back of our friend's truck I noticed a little something stuck to the bottom of it...


I'm not sure if you can read that, because it was taken on my cell phone (as was the above pic of the table) but it's the original sticker from Pottery Barn!! OH.MY.HEAVENS!

Now I just didn't know what to do with myself.

You see, to me, this isn't a story about a table. It's about a dream that God has placed in our hearts to see a family with many children, from differnt countries with different colored skin and with different stories, all gathered around a table for dinner. It's a about a dream of craft projects, glue sticks and crayons in little hands being worked on at this table. Its a dream of one kid laying on it while the other plays doctor as they use it as a pretend examining table.

Most of all, its about God caring about those little things. Those little desires in your heart, that truth be told, don't mean a lot in the grand scheme of things, but that represent to you, much more. It's about God loving you, and loving me, so much that He takes joy in those little bitty unimportant details like dining tables.





(The above pictures are taken from the webpages of Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and World Market)

Monday, September 12, 2011

FLORIDA!!

Well this past week has flown by!

I did end up having surgery last Friday. Everything went well... and it took me about 5 days until I was really feeling well again... but I feel back to myself and I am loving that I don't have to worry everytime I eat about whether or not I will have a gallbladder attack. I can easily say the worst part was not being able to pick Ainsley up. I could have others pick her up and hand her to me, but either way, when she runs up to me and puts her arms around my legs, I just want to be able to pick her up and hug her! It was frustrating for both of us, but we're doing just fine now.

The Sunday after my surgery we made the 9 hour drive down to Florida. Some of the people from my side of the family were coming down to go to Disney, so we spent some time hanging out with them and were able to go to the park one day with them thanks to a sweet family member who gave us a ticket for the day! The high-light of the trip for us was getting to see Ainsley meet Minnie Mouse!! Minnie is right up there with Ainsley's other 2 favorite "people" in the world... Bob and Larry! Even though she was a little frightened she warmed up enough to give Minnie a kiss, which was a courtesy none of the other characters got! My mom emailed us a couple of pictures she took on her phone. Hopefully I can add some pictures of the whole crew later!

Ainsley meeting Daisy, you can really see how hesitant she is! Cousins Jake and Avery encouraging her!

With Daddy, meeting Mickey Mouse

Giving Minnie a kiss!

With Daddy and Goofy

Smiling with Minnie!