AMEN!!!! When Maggie spotted this sign at a craft show in town, she knew we had to have it. Our kids have heard us tell anyone that would listen, how God promised to provide for our adoption if we would just be obedient to His call. We believed Him but we are still amazed at His goodness every time He provides MORE!
With that said, I thought I'd take a minute to do an update on our fundraising. A couple months ago we had a huge yard sale. For weeks prior to the sale we had lots of friends donating items. Amelia and Carol came to my rescue helping me price the mountain of donations. Then the day before the sale several friends joined us for a day of set up. Our very generous friends, Shawn and Jennifer offered their yard since it is a prime location for a yard sale. Then it was the day of the sale, and way too early in the morning, many of our dear friends who have partnered with us in effort to bring this sweet baby home, joined us to work the sale.
Before I share more about the sale itself, let me back up. A few weeks before the sale I began thinking of a dollar amount to pray for.... the number that came to my mind was huge and not typical for a yard sale.... $5000. Yes, that's crazy so with out sharing this number, I asked Shawn to pray about it and let me know the amount that he thought we should pray for God to bring us from the yard sale. Immediately, he told me that he had already prayed about it and he thought we should pray for a yard sale totaling...... $5,000. This still sounded crazy but I knew that Jesus had not given us both that number for us to choose a smaller one. So, with that decision, we began asking our close friends to pray for that amount as well. As the sale approached, we were feeling confident.... everyone just felt like God was about to do something huge through this yard sale. We had great stuff, a perfect location, 300 fliers had been passed out in the surrounding neighborhoods and tons of friends letting us know they were coming out to show some Esther support!
Mama and Daddy were pumped, although we ain't looking it in this picture. If you've done a yard sale then you know.... just preparing will wear you out.
Our oldest girls had on their game day face early in the morning, ready to meet the customers.
Esther's sweet Aunt Kelsie is always right by my side.... no matter what I need her to help me with. Every girl needs a Kelsie :)
Maggie sold drinks with the help of a few cousins.
Y'all ready for THIS?
At the end of the day, we had sold over $3,000. in stuff and received donations totaling more than $1,500... is that crazy or WHAT?!!! Again, we were amazed at our generous Father. I left the sale with my body worn out but my heart so full from Jesus' love that I could hardly even rest.
We had two more fundraising projects on the calendar but a natural disaster would change our plans temporarily. Another friend of mine, Jana was planning to host another 31 Party for us, when the night before the party, the deadly tornado that killed hundreds and left thousands without a home, ripped through our neighboring communities. She and I quickly decided that we would rather our friend's time and resources be directed toward the tornado victims and we would have the party weeks or months later. Little did I know, she went ahead with a catalog party bringing in many orders and donations.
One fundraiser is still postponed for later in the summer. More details about that coming soon.
Our adoption shirts were a huge success.... we have been so thankful for our friends who have not only purchased them for their own families but sold them to other friends and family for us. Including our friends, the Boggans. Check out Dr. Boggan's staff showing some Esther support.
They set up a display in their dental office and sold tons of shirts for us. It is so cool to see "HOW" God planned from the beginning to provide for this adoption.... by having our family, friends and mere strangers join forces with us in determination to bring this precious baby girl home. We have sold around 400 shirts and have a few left. If you would still like to purchase one, we have size medium, X large and XX large left.
One year ago, we set out to raise $30,000. to bring our little girl home. That number seemed so far out of our reach.... I thought surely we'd be taking out a bank loan to ever get our child home. Today, all glory to God, we are only $5,000. from that goal. WOW!!! That is a wildly generous, providing Father!
The excitement doesn't end there. It still gets better :) All of our older kids want to travel with us to Ethiopia... of course they don't want to miss this unbelievable moment of meeting their baby sister for the first time in an orphanage half way around the world. After all, they have spent the last year or more praying their hearts out for her. So, we said YES. BUT..... they would have to raise the money for their plane ticket. They all said, "deal". Dallas has already saved over half and by working all summer will have more than enough. However, he has a dirt bike for sale that will pay for most of his ticket if it sales. Uncle Jeff is working on that one for us.... I'll keep you posted. Lexie and her friend Kayla have a great fundraising idea that they are working on for the end of the summer.... no doubt, Lexie should be ready to purchase a ticket in a couple months. Maggie was the one concerned. She keeps saying, "Mom I'm ten.... how will raise enough money for a plane ticket to Africa?" I just keep reminding her that God will provide.
Over the weekend.... our precious friend Kari who is about to head to Africa on a mission trip, offered Maggie enough sky miles to get her to Ethiopia and back! I'm crying for the hundredth time just typing that....
Please give the Lord some praise right now! Show me a family that wants to adopt but says they can't afford it, and I'll show you a God who will provide every stinking dime to bring a baby home. Our God is good and HIS love endures forever!
If you are reading this and you have prayed for our adoption, or helped us financially raise $25,000. please know how much we thank you. I can't wait for Esther to see the pictures and hear these stories when she's older and realize how much she was loved before we ever laid eyes on her. God knew her before the foundation of this world.... and He knew she belonged to us.
Last of all, please jump over to our friends, the Wilbanks blog, and check out their new adoption shirts they are selling to bring their sweet girl, Bella, home. The shirts are very cute! You can find them HERE!