Sunday, April 12, 2015

John 14:14 and Chicken

"You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." John 14:14

     A few months ago, one of our dear friends approached me about doing a chicken BBQ fundraiser on behalf of our family's international adoption. We graciously accepted her offer and with that, our friends hit the ground running. Tickets were ordered and printed. Fliers were made. (Well-made, might I add.) Posters were hung. Emails were sent. Spreadsheets were created...complete with red numbers and with black. Truthfully, the amount of behind-the-scenes work probably can't adequately be explained into one little post. But I want to try...because it was a LOT!

     Soon, the time came for ticket selling. Our Sunday school class took on this task...and the idea of divide and conquer seemed like a great one! Many of our friends took stacks of tickets to sell. The fundraiser was shared on social media. There were announcements made at church. Getting the word out was half the battle. 

     Early on in the fundraiser, I remember naively asking our friend if there was a minimum number of tickets we had to sell. I had heard from a friend that this certain company had a minimum presale of 300. I laughed. That can't be true. 300 is a big number. Maybe it's different for personal fundraisers. It has to be...right? Wrong. My friend's response when I asked her was 300. 300?! The minimum pre-order for this particular chicken BBQ company was 300. No matter who you were. Ha! Remember that spreadsheet with red numbers AND black ones? Breaking even was selling a little over 200. And a few weeks before the fundraiser...our number was 87. Honestly, my hope and prayer was that our friends could at least break even. To take this fundraiser on was a huge task and I knew the amount of work that had been dedicated...on our behalf.

     We continued to pray for this fundraiser and for well...chicken. And you know what? God heard our prayers- our prayers about moving in the hearts of others and our prayers about chicken.  And after another week had passed, we hit 226! The goal of 300 was much more of a reality now! Red numbers became black numbers. Praise God! Even days before we were to give our final count, people were ordering tickets. My coworkers bought 13 more the day before we had to turn in our final count to the BBQ company. Honestly, it kind of chokes me up just typing this story...because it's a story that only God could have authored. To go from 87 to nearly 300 in a matter of a couple weeks is crazy. But God does crazy things! We've witnessed that time and time again in this journey already.

     Well, today was the big day. The BIG day for our BBQ chicken fundraiser. And do you know what our number was? 355. Three hundred fifty-five. That's how many dinners we served out of our church kitchen between the hours of 10am and 1pm. Oh and I should also add that our dear friends added a cookie to each dinner as well...homemade cookies. So on top of serving 355 half-chickens, my friends (and mama) baked more than 355 cookies to pass out as well! One of the most exciting things about this journey is the stories that we have to share with our son or daughter some day. The stories about our friends, our church family, and our community who rallied behind us to help bring him/her home. And thanks to this fundraiser, we can add more than $1400 to our adoption fund. I can't wait to bring in the stack of checks to the bank tomorrow. As I've been asked other trips to the bank, "Did you just get married?"'re adopting...and this will help bring our son or daughter home. Thank you for bringing us even closer to that moment. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are forever grateful to each and every one of you.

     Lastly, what's a great post without some pictures? Unfortunately, I did NOT get a picture of everyone who was involved as I was the crazy ticket-taking lady. And was crazy. Thank you to everyone who bought, sold, served, baked, and shared our fundraiser. We love you all!

 The directors of traffic reporting for duty!

 Have you ever seen so many cookies? I have not.

 The first shift crowd. Ready for action!

The second shift action shot! No time for posed smiles. 

Praying that you all have a blessed week. Thank you for reading about our journey and being a part of our story!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

It Had to be You

Early bird. Night owl. Which one are you? I've always considered myself both a morning person and a night person. Now, don't get me wrong...there are days when I like to sleep in just as much as the next person...and there are definitely nights when I can't wait to get to bed. But when you average it all out...I tend to function on little sleep. *The level of functionality is definitely up for debate by my loved ones, I'm sure.*

Evenings, in particular, can get me into trouble though. It's usually when I write (for example, it's after 10PM as I begin this entry)...or it's when I work on school stuff...or it's when I simply pass the time by going on bunny trails sparked by social media or other thoughts that won't turn off in my brain. Speaking of bunny trails...

There I was...on a late night bunny trail...a week or so ago. My destination not completely unknown. I knew where I was going, but I didn't necessarily know what I would find. Or who. And that's when I saw you. You. Beautiful and precious little you.

I knew it had to be you. I had never seen you before, but I knew it was you. I recognized your sleeping habits. I recognized your medical needs. I recognized your milestones. I recognized it all and so it had to be. It had to be you. Beautiful and precious little you.

Although I had never seen you, I first met you a few weeks ago. It was then that I learned about how you came into this world. I learned about many things that make you tick. And I wanted to see you so badly. But I didn't need to see your face. I just wanted your words. Words that I could pray over. Words that (we) could pray over. Words that introduced me to you. But the time just wasn't right for more than words. Until this night...when I was on a bunny trail...and I met you for the second time. This time, with more than words. My bunny trail had a purpose. My bunny trail had a destination. My bunny trail led me to you. Beautiful and precious little you.

The next week was filled with prayers and phone calls...and waiting. Lots of waiting for you. We were supposed to hear about you on Monday. And then Monday came and went. I prayed for you again on Tuesday. And then Tuesday came and went. So here we are on Wednesday and I'm praying for you again. Beautiful and precious little you.