Tuesday, August 25, 2015

We still need help with Project 30

I just want to thank everyone who has volunteered to help with Project 30! So far we have about 10 different fundraisers! Yay!! 

Fundraisers so far include a bake sale, T shirt sales (which will start soon), silent auction items, crafts for sale, Younique makeup party, Crossfit WOD, and a yeti cooler raffle!! 

I am getting more and more excited about my birthday week! 

We still need 20 people to join in our effort to make this the best birthday ever!! 

Would you help us?? 

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about... The short version is that I turn 30 in October and am asking 30 people to help fundraise for our adoption! 

30 fundraisers for my 30th birthday! 

Here is the detailed blog link about Project 30...

Happy Tuesday! Hope to hear from you soon!! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A still, small voice

She stopped running a year ago. She's walking now. It's not a brisk walk. It is a walk where each step is painfully slow. It's as if she is barely moving at all. Her body is weak. Her spirit is weary. Her hope is tiny. 
The journey has drained every ounce of energy from her body. 
She attempts to take another step... but as her foot touches the ground, her fragile body collapses underneath her. She is too weak to carry on. 

She lays there. 



She is too weak and weary to continue the journey. Silence surrounds her. 

Last week our agency sent us an email describing their financial difficulties keeping the Ethiopia program open. They have set a massive fundraising goal for the program and we are having a conference call later today. Ethiopia is becoming increasingly difficult (and almost impossible) to adopt from. The reasons behind this are too much to mention here. Our agency, and most all agencies, are struggling to keep programs alive. 

Doubt has gripped me all week long. To say that I have been emotional would be an understatement (my husband says "Amen"). 

Yesterday was particularly heavy. 


I was so tired. My prayers are not something I am necessarily proud of. I basically begged God to let us stop. I asked Him to let us change courses. The journey is becoming increasingly difficult to finish. 

Here was my prayer journal from yesterday morning. 

"Let me find peace, joy and rest in you. I think my doubt stems from a few places - would You be so kind as to shed light in these areas? 
1) Did we hear you wrong about Ethiopia? It is hard to be confident about the call to adopt from ET when so many other people have felt confident in their call to adopt from there and the doors have been closed on them. 
How are we any different?
Are we any different? 
How can I pray with confidence for this journey to be completed? 

2) has the plan changed? 
Was this a journey to open our eyes to many other things? I know we are different people because of this journey. I thank you for that. 

3) should we give up now? Are you changing our direction or should we continue on our way to Ethiopia? 

My day went on. 

I spent some time talking with friends and Lee about the situation. Sweet Lee is just full of faith and I am simply not. God knew what He was doing when He partnered us together. 

Our family loaded up to head to church last night. As we were pulling out of the driveway I told Lee to stop and check the mail. He pulled out a package that I wasn't expecting. 

I opened it up and a pair of my gym shorts fell out that my friend had borrowed a few weeks back. 

A check also fell out. 

Addressed to me. 

Did she owe me money for something? 

No. Especially not such a generous amount of money! 

Did she send this for our project 30 fundraiser? Maybe? 

No. The check was dated for July 28. 


I texted her asking what that check was for?? 

Her reply was simple, but profound. 

"Bring our sweet boy home." 

Tears streamed from my eyes. 

She is still laying on the ground. She is too exhausted to move and too broken to even attempt. 

The wind begins to blow. 
It is a light breeze that she barely even notices at first. 

But as she tunes her ear to listen... She hears a whisper. 

A still, small voice.

A voice that says, 
"My girl... Don't you stop now. Keep going. Rise to your feet. Keep walking. It is just ahead. I hear you. I see you. I knew you would fall down today. In fact, I prepared for this fall on July 28." 

Do not quit. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Project 30

On October 16th I will turn 30!!  Yes... The BIG. 3. 0. 
I cannot believe it. I am like "grown" now. 

Over the years I have seen many people do very cool things to celebrate their 30th birthday. One girl raised 30 thousand dollars to help with non-profit organizations. Someone else did 30 random acts of kindness. The list goes on. As I began thinking about my own 30th birthday, I contemplated how I could celebrate. I initially wanted to raise money to support efforts in Africa to provide clean water for those in need. But as I began the fundraiser planning, it was daunting to me to raise money for a cause while we still   have financial needs with our own adoption. Our heart is to adopt without debt. 

So I shifted gears. 

I have come up with a fundraiser and I hope that you will decide to be part of it! 

I am calling it "Project 30." 
The theme comes from the African Proverb "it takes a village to raise a child." 

It takes a village to raise all children, but it especially takes a village to raise children who have been adopted. We have seen our village rise up with fundraising efforts, prayer, encouragement and wisdom. We pray that we continue to see the village rise up once Malachi is home! We will need people to love and encourage our entire family. Y'all know I will need help with his hair and with navigating the waters of having a transracial family in today's society. 

So I want to do a fundraiser to celebrate my 30th birthday! 

I am asking 30 people to rise up and commit to doing an individual fundraiser for us. 

Yes... That's 30 fundraisers for my 30th birthday!! 

This will be impossible to achieve without you guys!! 

Here is my plan. This plan may shift if needed, but this is the rough draft. 

1) I need 30 people to volunteer to do a fundraiser. 

2) I will give a T-Shirt to each person who volunteers. Please wear your T-Shirt during your fundraiser! The shirts are awesome (thanks Jenn Crane!) 

3) I would love for all of the fundraisers to take place the week of my birthday - October 11-17. 
This is flexible if needed. 

That's it! I don't really have a "goal" for how much we will raise. I think my heart will just be so full to see the village at work for my son! We will be working too!! :-) 
After 3 years it is hard to get motivated to fundraise, so having you guys alongside me will help tremendously! 

Let's do a short Q & A to clear up some things! 

1) What do I do with the money I raise? 

This is the most important question of all! We are asking that no donations be made directly to us. Instead, we would like for you to donate to our Lifesong Account! This account was set up for us last November and is awesome! Your donation is tax deductible through them and it is guaranteed to be used for adoption purposes. Not that we wouldn't do that anyway!! We have been extremely diligent the past 3 years to use all funds for ONLY adoption purposes! We have a completely separate adoption banking account! But we can't offer a tax deduction if donated to us. 

And still... We love the fact that a professional organization manages it for us! 

We will chat in further detail personally about how to donate to this account! 

2) How do I sign up? 

Please contact me via Facebook (Abby Miller Blackburn), phone, or email abbymiller_22@hotmail.com and I will get you signed up. Please include your name, fundraising idea, and a potential fundraiser date/location/time. 

John Smith
Garage Sale
Saturday, October 17 @ 6 am
Your address 

Obviously we can chat in more detail but I will keep a list of all the fundraisers so we can get the word out!! 

3) Does my fundraiser have to be something big like a garage sale? 

No! Not at all! It can be as small as selling a piece of art or having your kids set up a lemonade stand! Please get creative!! 

4) Is there a minimum amount of money that I have to raise? 

Nope! Every dollar helps! 

5) Can you give us some fundraiser ideas? 

I sure can! But don't limit your creativity to this list!! 

Garage sale

Lemonade stand

Selling crafts (all you Pinterest people out there!) 

Using your business to raise money (ex: donate a portion of sales) 

Bake sale 

Pancake Breakfast

Tea Party (great for getting little girls involved) 

Spaghetti Dinner (or any dinner) 

Silent auction (can be online or in person, multiple or single items) 

The list goes on and on.
Here is a good link! 


That's all folks! 

We are excited and anxious to see who all will stand up and BE THE VILLAGE!! 

In our weariness to finish the work God has called us to, we seriously need you. We don't necessarily need your finances (we serve a God who owns cattle on a thousand hills), but we need you to carry us with your prayers and encouragement! 

Let's have a birthday party!!