Saturday, June 12, 2010

Adoption Fund-raising Yard Sale

Looking back, it all came down to God glorifying Himself and  immensely blessing us with money to go to China to get our girl! What a week it was!

"Let's start at the very beginning....a very good place to start!"

A couple of my girlfriends encouraged us to have a yard sale to raise money for our adoption expenses. Not being a yard sale person, I didn't know the magnitude of work it encompassed!

God sent the exact people for the right tasks at the right time. Besides getting prepared for the yard sale, I had a big home school meeting at my house on Wednesday from 10-2pm...and had people coming to organize donated yard sale items in the basement, simultaneously.

My basement looked like the Goodwill store that survived a tornado, honestly! The response from our church family was overwhelming; the donations just poured in for a week! The first pic is the unorganized mess! And Shane, Caleb and Peter began folding the mounds of clothes....

During the homeschool meeting, Gina, Marjorie, Sandra and Ellie~ along w/ my grunt men- Shane and Caleb~ worked magic. Tables were assembled and all items were categorized. My garage was completely overhauled and my anxiety level came down by 99%. If I adopt any more munchkins, they will be named after these ladies!!!

And Shane, Caleb and Peter folded clothes....

Thursday brought Kristen to serve by helping me price items and make fabulous, creative, bright yard sale signs.  What a life saver! My dear friend, Bambi, came to further categorize and work her "detail" magic! As I write this, I'm overwhelmed w/ how God brought His gifted Saints to serve us!

And Shane, Caleb and Peter folded clothes....

God impresses my heart most times when I'm in that in between state of dream and consciousness at 6am; you know, right before you awaken?  He told me to call Darcie and ask her to call restaurants to donate food for all the workers on Fri/Sat. My "Beauty" is soo gifted in this area. God used her to get 2 dozen donuts donated both days and 6 pizzas donated from Domino's and James Gang. ( Thanks Laurie and Glenn, Dunkin Donuts, Dominos and Green Street Bakery) Our helpers were well fed both days w/ some to spare for tomorrow! "Thanks Beauty."

Caleb, Shane, Ellie, Courtney, Marjorie, Kristen, Peter, Todd and I were up before the crack of dawn....5am to get begin set up, but not before praying. We knew that sin wouldn't take a vacation! We prayed that our attitude would like that of our Lord Jesus. We prayed for great weather, but mostly for God to be glorified.

We knew His hand was in this and that He would bring the community to support our adoption.We walked out the door only to find the Steele family pulling up at 6am to serve us! ( They actually donated ALL of their yard sale items to our fund-raising efforts...only to then come and stay the day to help!) The first costumer arrived at 6:30am!!!!!

And Shane, Caleb and Peter continued to fold clothes....

As I stated in the beginning, I'm NOT a yard sale connoisseur at all. But more than that, I HATE  negotiating or discussing prices; thankfully, God sent ladies who were fantastic in this area. At customer check out, they asked people if they'd like to donate above and beyond their purchase. One evidence was a lady who bought Winnie the Pooh toddler bike for $8 and gave $50! How very kind!
From all the pictures, you can see that both days were a huge success! More than purchases were made. New friends were met, friendships were renewed, fellowship occurred (between gracious price negotiations and teens carrying purchases to the costumers cars) , kids played together, laughed together and served together!
A huge addition to the yard sale was the bake sale; 4 teens and 3 moms baked their 'tushes' off~ cream cheese stuffed pumpkin bread, strawberry bread, home made caramel popcorn, beef/barley soup, blue ribbon banana bread, the thickest brownies I've ever laid my eyes on, dozens of chocolate chip cookies, zucchini bread and muffins, panda bear cupcakes, etc. 

People returned on Saturday looking for a renewed batches of baked goods!!! But they were happy for Ellie Abel's cold lemonade on a hot, steamy afternoon!

I am indebted to the following teens and singles: Shane, Ellie, Peter, Caleb, Courtney, Ellie A., Luke, Christian, Kelland, Christoper, Natalia, Marjorie, Hannah, Abby, Elizabeth, Rachel, Jacob, Michelle, Andrew, Emily, Ally, Rebecca, Rebeka, and Ben-Bob. Did I mention how many clothes the guys folded??? LOL

The following ladies and gentlemen served us tirelessly throughout different parts of the week and weekend: Gina, Marjorie, Michelle, Sandra, Kristen, Bambi, Pam/Mike, Shannon/Steve, Deb/Tom, Darcie, Lisa, Natalie, Rita, Merrie, Rick/Cheryl.

 I hope I didn't miss mentioning anyone. If i did, it's not because we're NOT appreciative, it's because there were so many!

Overall, I'm reminded of Romans 12:4, " For as in one body, we have many members and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many , are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them..."

...and use them they did.                  
We are eternally grateful to each who faithfully glorified God by serving our family! !

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Can you say L-O-A????

Yay!!! We received our LOA...only 11 days after receiving our that's fast, folks! We signed and sent it back the same afternoon; after China gets it back, BCS will start making travel arrangements for us.

The picture above is the very gracious UPS guy allowing us to get photographed together...

Now I can post Sophie Rose Xueqin's precious picture on our blog and send her a care package. I'd love to send her a scented blanket that smells like us, a disposable camera and a photo album of our family!

The orphanage staff will also tell her that we are her family. Would you please pray that God would knit her heart together with ours quickly?

So many church families and gracious neighbors have blessed us w/ generous amounts of donations for our adoption fund-raiser yard sale on Friday/Saturday. Busy workers organized, sorted and labeled from 1-6pm today and a new crew will begin tomorrow at 10:30am. We are so grateful.

Please join us in praying that:
God would be glorified on Friday and Saturday!!
God would open the flood gates and we'd be able to sell all of our things. ( That's a HUGE wouldn't believe all we have; it's overwhelming!)
God would provide fantastic weather. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

About our girl, Miss Sophie (Xueqin~ pronouced Sheo-chin)

We received the following from an updated medical report. She sounds just like a Bentzel!

"Her current physical condition is good. She can walk, run, go up and down stairs. She is an outgoing and active child. She is a grade one student in an elementary school. She learns Chinese, Math., English, Health Education Course, Music, Gym. and Arts at school. She does well in the school, especially at Math. She knows simple English. She loves music and dance. She is independent. She often helps younger children in the institution. All of the younger children like to play with her."

Music to this Mamma's heart!

Bye for now!

Sopphie Rose's Bucket List

Everyone laughs when I say I have a "bucket list," but I will be 'dying' to myself after Sophie arrives home!

Update 6/16/10~ I'm revising this; June will be manual labor, July will be packing, planning for 2010 school year and learning Chinese. 

So here's my Sophie Bucket List that I'd like to complete this summer!

Touch up painting around the house~ X
Stain the front door~ X
Learn 10 Chinese phrases
Paint my bedroom/ bathroom
Make a fire pit in the woods behind our house
Make a cod fish pond beside some landscaping
Lose 20 lbs-on my way!!!
Wash all windows ( I have MANY)
Adoption fund-raising yard sale ( next Fri/Sat)- BIG CHECK X- raised more than enough money to buy Sophie's plane ticket home!!!
Clean all carpets
Make/freeze meals for homecoming
Plan 2010 school year- order TOG curriculum
Pack for China!!!

Not sure I'll get to all of it, but I'm motivated to work towards completion as God gives me grace!

LOA! LOA! LOA! LOA! LOA! LOA! LOA! LOA! LOA! ( LOA received June 9th!!)