Monday, September 14, 2015

Humbled & Excited!

Do you remember a time when the community surrounded you and any attempt to express your gratitude fell short? 
Maybe it was a wedding or a baby shower where you just felt overwhelmed and undeserving of all that people had done for you! I've definitely been there before. 

And this week, I find myself in that place again. 

Humbled. Grateful. Excited. Overwhelmed by the undeserved love of the community surrounding our adoption. 

As I read through the list of 18 people who have stepped up so far to do fundraisers for our adoption.... I am speechless. 
Then I look at all the shirts that have already been ordered.
All the raffle tickets that have already been bought (before the fundraiser is officially announced).
All the people who are stepping in and saying "I want to "shop" your fundraisers!
I am whatever is beyond speechless.

Only God.
Only God could move on the hearts of His people to love and support. 

So thank you.
Thank you for your amazing response to Project 30 so far!! 
We love each and every one of you guys!

A few people have asked for an "update" on the fundraisers, so here ya go! 

The goal for Project 30 was 30 fundraisers for my 30th birthday in October! So far we have 18 (yay)! Some of the fundraisers have already started, some will start soon and some will last through the entire month of October. If you want to keep up with everything that's going on... please "LIKE" our Project 30 Facebook page! 

Here is a list of all the fundraisers we have so far! Please consider supporting us by participating in some of these fundraisers!

  1. Megan Manuel is having a bake sale! She is located in Clinton, so if you are in the area please consider buying some goodies!
  2. Alicia Mattern is selling our Project 30 T-shirts! They are 20$ each including shipping. These shirts look awesome! Don't miss out. More info is posted on our Project 30 Facebook Page.
  3. Tracy Mattern will be auctioning a handmade picture frame the week of October 11-17. We will do this online so please be on the lookout! 
  4. CJ & Danielle Stewart will be auctioning a wooden piece from Old Camp Kickapoo. Stay tuned for details.
  5. Diane Beddia is having a yard sale all the way up in Boston, MA! 
  6. Erin & Adam Rees will be hosting a Crossfit Clinton WOD open for anyone to come and workout! Details to be released soon! Please consider coming and working out to support us!! It will be a blast!
  7. Morgan White is hosting an online show selling her makeup from Younique! You don't want to miss it!
  8. Karen Bedford made the precious Ethiopian baby dolls that I posted on facebook the other day. They are so cute and will be auctioned online the week of October 11-17th!
  9. Amy Sherman is having a Yeti Cooler Raffle! Details will be released soon on how to purchase tickets!  
  10. Hannah Wallace and
  11. Amy Stackler are hosting a Noonday Party in Clinton. Noonday is beautiful jewelry made by beautiful women across the world. It is an amazing ministry! This party is open to everyone, so if you want to come just let me know and we will get you the info! Think of it as more of a "LADIES NIGHT" because it is going to be a blast! We are trying to get as many ladies to come as possible! This will be on Tuesday night October 13th!
  12. Brittany Wilson is donating her proceeds from her shop (Fresh Picked) at the Antique Mall of the South in Ridgeland for the month of October! So go shop!! 
  13. Jennifer Crane will be doing photography sessions during the month of October in Madison, Ridgeland and Reservoir areas. More info to follow! Great timing for Christmas card photos!
  14. Lee Blackburn is probably the most giddy person I have seen regarding Project 30! With the help of some great friends, Lee is having a Rifle Raffle just in time for hunting season. Apparently the gun is very awesome... (he's gonna kill me)... I just don't know anything about guns so I should probably refrain from attempting to say details! He will announce the details very soon!! 
  15. Alison Schmelzer is graciously donating her proceeds from the children's consignment NEW 2 U on October 1-3!
  16. Holly Leach
  17. Jessica Followel
  18. Ashley Richardson are all 3 still working out the details of their fundraisers! Will keep you posted! 
Seriously... Doesn't reading all those just make you joyful? It brings tears to my eyes to see The Village coming together! The Village doesn't just consist of these 18 names, but it consists of the TONS of unnamed people who are MAKING THESE FUNDRAISERS POSSIBLE!! 

So thank you, thank you, thank you!!

If we stopped now.. my heart would be more than content!
But if you feel prompted to help us reach the goal of 30 fundraisers... please let me know and I will help you brainstorm of fundraisers! It can be a teeny tiny fundraiser! Every dollar counts! 
Something easy too is donating something to be auctioned can count as a fundraiser!

Love y'all much!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

3 years on the waiting list!

I would like to share a story with you. Please engage in the seemingly irrelevant details and try to resist the temptation to skip ahead. 

A mother and her two sons went to a store to buy balloons. The mother decided to purchase 3 solid color balloons and 2 "happy birthday" balloons. 

The boys gleefully watched the employee air each balloon up with helium. First the blue balloon, then the gold, then silver and finally the two birthday balloons. 

The cashier rang each balloon up individually and passed them to the mother. As the mother grabbed each balloon, she noticed that the solid balloons all had white strings attached to them. Then she noticed that one birthday balloon had a blue string and the other had a yellow. 

The family left the store with 5 balloons in hand. 

As the mother was closing the door of her van, she noticed one of the birthday balloons had gotten loose and was flying away. She ran after it. She tried her hardest to grab the blue string on the balloon. Unfortunately she was unsuccessful. She stood in the parking lot watching the balloon fly away. 

Exasperated, she sat down in the van and her oldest son said, "Mom! Now we only have one birthday balloon!" 

"Oh well," replied the mother. "We really need to get home." 

They drove home. 

When they arrived home, the mother opened the back of the van and was simply shocked to see all 5 balloons inside! 

3 solid balloons
2 birthday balloons

"What in the world?" She said in astonishment. "There must be some mistake. This is impossible!" 

Questioning her sanity, she said to her oldest son... "Please tell me that you saw the birthday balloon fly away in the parking lot!!" 

He replied, "Yes I did." 

She grabbed the balloons and examined the strings attached to them. 

They were just as they had been in the store. All the solid balloons had white strings. One birthday balloon had a yellow and one had a blue string. 

"There has got to be a mistake!" 

So she rushed to find the receipt from the store. 

She thought to herself, "surely they sold me 6 balloons and I didn't notice. How else would I still have 5 if I lost one in the parking lot?" 

She examined the receipt. 

Then she paused. 

There were only 5 balloons listed on the receipt. 

Astonished... She checked and re-checked. 

Everything was just as it had been when they left the store. 

It was unexplainable. 

Or was it? 

Yesterday was our 3 year anniversary for officially being on the waiting list for Malachi. DTE means that was the day our Dossier was sent TO ETHIOPIA. 

It was a bitter sweet day. When we first began this journey, I never dreamed we would still be waiting to see Malachi's face after 3 years. I wish I knew when this roller coaster of a journey will end... But I don't. 

So we wait.

Yesterday I did a lot of reflecting on our adoption journey. 

The pain of the wait has been real. But the pain hasn't necessarily been soley a longing for my child. In the past 3 years I have learned that this adoption journey is actually more about my relationship with God than my son in Africa. 

God placed me on this journey to draw me closer to Himself. 

In His love, He has used the pressing circumstances of adoption to expose my unbelief. He has exposed my true thoughts about His character. 

I have doubted the character of God. 

Is He good? 
Is He faithful? 
Is He Just? 
Is He able to do the impossible? 

I didn't just ask these questions. I wrestled over them. My heart ached over them. Just ask my sweet friends who have drug me through the trenches these past 3 years. 

I shared a blog post a long time ago about not being able to sing the lyrics "nothing is impossible with you" because I didn't truly believe it. I felt like adoption was impossible and that God wasn't able to complete it. 

So what does the balloon story have to do with all of this? 

I am the mother. 

I am the one in the story. 

And yesterday... As I tried my hardest to figure out what happened with those balloons... 

I stopped. 

And I realized that the real miracle wasn't the balloon (although I was pretty... Umm.. Freaked out)

The real miracle was that I actually BELIEVED that God was able to do the impossible. My mind was tempted to settle with the idea that it was  "unexplainable." 
But for the first time, I stepped into belief that God was able to do a miracle. 

Six months ago I would have been a huge skeptic and said that something "weird" just happened, or that I was surely wrong about the balloons. Rationalizing would have been easier than believing in a miracle. 

I will never know for sure what happened yesterday with those balloons. And honestly, it doesn't matter. 

What matters is that my faith grew the instant I believed God was able. 

And as I reflect on these 3 years... It has been hard and dark at times, but to taste the goodness of The Lord makes it completely worth it! 

I am so thankful He loves me too much to leave me as I am!