Sunday, July 28, 2013

MONEY - Ori's birthday

Grab. Your. Tissues.
Never in my life have I been so humbled and amazed at the outpouring of love and giving that this adoption has shown us.  We have had people give large sums that blew us away, and some that went out of their way to show us support.  I just have to share with you what a young girl did for us this past week.
Oriana, a daughter of my coworker, had a birthday party.  In lieu of gifts, she asked each of her guests to bring donations to give to... you guessed it... little old us and our adoption.  My coworker surprised me at work on Wednesday with a huge plastic bag full of change and a few bills.  Isn't. that. amazing????

Here is Kian with "The Bag"

There it goes!  In the machine!!!

This note came inside the bag.

Because of Ori's gift, and many others like it from so many people - some friends and family, and some complete strangers (talk about humbling) - a little girl will have a home and a family.  Something we take for granted every day, something you don't realize you need until you don't have it or see someone who doesn't.  We all need a circle of people to orbit life around.  This thoughtful girl gave up her birthday presents (what kid would do that???) so someone can enjoy a birthday with a family soon.  No Ori, this bag did not contain $50.64.  It's value is immeasurable.

Luke 21:1-4.  No one can give more than that.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

MONEY - Carrie's 25 mile dawn-dusk hike

A guest post from my sister Carrie - who did a 25 mile dawn-dusk hike on the same day as Zack's 50 miler.  Hers was also a fundraising effort for our adoption.  It was amazing and humbling to have her do something like that for us!  Thank you times a million!  I asked her to write about her experience:

"When Zack asked me if I wanted to run a fifty-miler with him to help raise money for his and Rachel's adoption fund, images of a shriveled-up me collapsed at mile fifteen flashed through my head. If there's one thing I know about running, its that getting those distances in takes a whole lot of time. Living a state away where I can no longer just stroll next door to grab my brother-in-law for an evening trail run, I began to brain storm about other ways I might help.
Charlottesville, my residence at the time, is located not far off a piece of the A.T. (Appalachian Trail).  My friends who have hiked it say that twenty-five miles is a fairly reasonable estimate for a good day of hiking- ambitious but not impossible. So I decided that while fifty miles of running might just kill me, I could handle twenty-five miles of hiking on the A.T.
I was really excited and encouraged when five or six friends agreed to join me and co-workers and friends from way back volunteered to pledge donations per mile hiked. By the time we started the solidarity hike on the fifteenth of June I felt like I had a whole team with me.
Hiking the A.T. has been a dream of mine for awhile so I was pumped up and determined to carve away the miles. Honestly the first eighteen were not bad at all and not even boring really. The woods had their charm and that entertained for quite awhile. By mile twenty I was more than ready for the rest stop we had planned. We laid in the grass, visited the hole-in-the ground bathroom and ate our now mushy peanut butter and banana sandwiches. In hind sight I wonder if this break at mile twenty was worth it because it was a long enough rest to trick our bodies. Aches I hadn't noticed for the first twenty miles were now settling in and making themselves known.
The last five miles were tough. We ran much of this last part just to use different muscles and to see the end come sooner. Every now and then I would think of Zack and imagine that he was quite possibly still running, having started his journey an hour and a half before us and with twice the distance in mind.
At the end of the trail we had completed 24.9 miles so a few of us ran laps around the parking lot until we had safely covered a point-one-mile distance.
I was sufficiently tired, but it was the best kind if tired. I knew I could now tell my donors of our twenty-five mile distance. With all my team of friends with me, we piled in the car and celebrated with pizza: the dinner of champions."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

PAPERWORK - update

Thank you just does not convey the gratitude we feel at the donations that have been given for zack's race.  Receiving money from strangers and seeing an outpouring of support from family and friends is certainly humbling to say the least!
So it looks like our house is a little unorthodox to be considered for a home study.  Those of you who know us and our house are smacking your foreheads going "duh".  Apparently the presence of doors on ALL rooms matters to some and not to others.  Some fire extinguisher tagging and buying and extension cord changing and fire escape ladder buying and preliminary fire inspection walk throughs later, it is very up in the air whether this house could be approved.  We are going to keep trying to continue with our home study while living here in this house, but it is growing increasingly more evident that we will probably have to wait until we move to my parents house to complete the paperwork process.  That could well be a year from now.  The only solace in that is as long as our current house could be approved, we can do a lot of the paperwork now, and special needs adoptions are expidited.  The submission to travel should be relatively short.  We continue to follow the path we are shown, trusting God to reveal every step.  If it must be an arduous, slow process, then we would be joining the ranks of many an adoptive parent that had traveled before us!  It's probably a blessing in disguise as we will have more time to make the adjustment, learn more, and beef up our funds!