When we decided to adopt, we had no idea how we would pay for it. We certainly have enough to raise another child, just didn't have thousands of dollars at our fingertips. We paid for most of the initial costs (home study, passports, USCIS fees, etc) ourselves, but that left the remaining bulk of it (airfare, lodging, food, time off work, translation, etc.). At the beginning of this week, we still needed $5400. I was out of fundraising ideas and didn't have time for those suggested to me. We expect to be traveling in a few weeks.
A few weeks ago, we found out we were rejected by the one grant for which we qualified. I was devastated. They gave the reason that they're a small organization and can't help everyone, but I was convinced it was really because I didn't do a very good job in the phone interview. I posted this on facebook:
Our Lifesong application for a matching grant was denied. I am reeling. :( I have been a sobbing mess. I feel like it's all my fault. I knew I didn't connect with the lady who called & interviewed me.
As soon as she read that, my friend, Nicki, got an idea. She conspired with another young friend, Emily, who is a journalism major at Ball State University. Unbeknownst to me (but known to my husband) they decided to make a video and launch a website to share our story and our need. I didn't learn that they were conspiring for us until the night before they shot the video. This is the result:
*Be sure and watch the video to see a glimpse of our crazy life. :)
They launched the fundraising campaign at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, and by 11 a.m. on Wednesday, they had raised $5500!!! Fully funded in 25 HOURS!!!
Incredible, awesome, unbelievable, amazing...all words we have repeated over and over. We've alternated between weeping and laughing and, quite frankly, we're exhausted! But it's a GREAT kind of tired. :) Beyond the money and the obvious move of God on behalf of our new child, the stories and encouragement people have shared with us have humbled me and filled me with gratitude. As I sent thank you emails, people responded. Some shared their stories of why they were moved to give:
Thanks Tara! I'm so excited for you guys. I'm the oldest of 4 siblings and my younger brother Jacob is a downs kid. My parents actually run a not-for-profit back home that provides therapy for special needs kids so I know what a blessing they can be! Best of luck to you all! --Josh Frigo
Many blessings to you! My husband and I have a heart for adoption and hope to adopt someday, yet our time has not come. I’m glad that we can help in a little way... --Greta Lundby
I have never considered adopting before. I want several kids, but have never wanted to adopt. Even after traveling to Haiti and Peru on mission trips and working in orphanages, I didn't want to adopt. I wanted to have MY kids, biologically. But after watching the video and learning your story, my heart was totally changed. I texted my fiance yesterday after watching it and asked him "would you be open to adoption once we decide to have a family?" Because he's wonderful, he said "of course!" I just wanted to say thank you for your witness to God's love, because through you and your "yes" to this adoption, my heart was totally changed. Maybe someday, I'll get the chance to give a precious child a whole new life through adoption. God is good. --Valerie Carnevale
Others simply gave us words of encouragement:
I am honored and extremely humbled to be given the opportunity to be a part of this. All of us our being blessed by this. This adoption isn't just changing one child's life. It's changing an entire community of people. It's one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever been touched by. Can't wait to meet a kid I already love :) --Grace Mitchell
...I hope you feel the love and support of not just those of us donating and making noise, but most importantly of your Heavenly Father who loves, adopts, and supports you. I'll be praying for you and your family. --Eric McCoy
How humbled we are that others would choose to partner with us in rescuing a child. That they, too, would see beyond our circumstances, our desires, our plans and see the heart of God. What happened here was holy, of that I have no doubt. We would be foolish to think this was about us. This is clearly about He who instructs:
"Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don't stand back and let them die. Don't try to avoid responsibility by saying you didn't know about it. For God knows all hearts, and he sees you. He keeps watch over your soul, and he knows you knew! And he will judge all people according to what they have done." Prov. 24:11, 12 NLT
And who calls the care of orphans "true religion." (James 1:27)
And who tells us that when we care for the least of these, we are doing it to Him. (Matthew 25:40)
We are thrilled to have the funding, don't get me wrong! It was a HUGE faith builder for us, but we are even more excited that others see the needthat moved us to action. God is using our story to change hearts because it was never really ours, was it? It has been His story all along.
He is so good!
* We are continuing to receive donations because, well, adoption expenses are not set in stone and circumstances may conspire to increase them. :) We plan to take some toys along to share with an orphanage or two, also. With whatever funds we do not use, we will bless one of the many precious families we know who are still waiting to bring their special child home.