Exactly one month ago, we received the devastating and completely unexpected news of our agency's bankruptcy. It was a Friday around noon, I was just getting ready to make the girls lunch, when an e-mail from our agency director popped up on my phone. As I opened it and started to read it, I remember thinking: "This can't mean what I think it means..." and I remember thinking that I need to call them, and I walked downstairs to pull up the agency website because in the haze I forget I had their number in my phone. But then the website didn't pull up anymore. It was like from one moment to the next, they had stopped existing. Panic started to settle into my stomach. The another e-mail came, this one spelling it out more clearly - and I just sat there, starting at the screens, reading the words and yet refusing to comprehend what it means. Almost all of our money was lost that day. Almost all of our hard work gone.
Now, a month later, I sense that something incredible is happening. On Tuesday, we launched Little Wonder's Ten for Ten(thousand) blog-raiser . The idea behind it was was that if we could get the 1,000 people who read my blog post that fateful day (which was way more readers than I usually get) to given just $10 each - we would have raised $10,000. It sounds like a great idea in theory ... but really: How much could these people who read my blog from afar or even just stumbled on it for the first time really care? And let's not forget: $10,000 is a HUGE boat-load of money, not something you raise quick with a little blog-raiser. Right? Those were at least some of the thoughts that were in Bjorn and my heads as we kicked off this thing.
Well, my friends, let me tell you: I was wrong! Turns out, people care. Not only do our friends care, but THEIR friends care. And several random stranger who just heard about this because someone else heard about it on Facebook. In the first 24 hours, we raised $1,000 - which is an increbly amount of money! But of course, only a very small portion of what we needed to raise .... but then on the second day, we raised ANOTHER $1,000. Then ... we picked up some speed and a few very generous people gave a couple of larger gifts and we raised another almost $2,000 on the third day. Then my family and friends in Germany got wind of it, and they started to put money into our Germany account (which is not linked to AdoptTogether) - and that's why our little fundraising thermometer here on the right shows we've raised just over $6,000!! In 4 days! I honestly can't even describe how mind-boggeling that is. We are humbled beyond words. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would get this kind of a response. The longer this has gone on, the fewer names I'm recognizing of the people who are donating ... complete strangers to us and our story (but YOUR friends!) ... who wanted to reach out and help. This really feels like something truly remarkable is happening.
A week ago, after we signed on with our new agency and started updating our paperwork, we knew that at some point in the near future we'd have to pay $15,000 to accept the referral of a child. And that thought was just so overwhelming and somehow sad, too, because it seemed quite likely that we'd get a referral and wouldn't be able to accept it because we couldn't pay the fees attached. Now, a week later, we're feeling for the very first time like we can actually do this. That maybe, by the time we are matched with a child, we will have miraculously come up with the money we need .... a second time around!
Of course, as you are well aware, we still have a long ways to go. We're over half-way to our goal of $10,000 ... but we still need help to get all the way there. At the same time, the $10,000 is just the beginning. The total cost of this adoption will be $35,000 ... and most of everything that we could personally invest through savings and a loan has gone up in smoke. But we've started to receive a couple of smaller grants, and we're working as hard as we can to come up with the full amount ... step by little step.
But thanks to YOU, we are off to an incredible start. We have momentum. And above else, our hearts are warmed and our spirits lifted by every single gift we have received over the last few days, no matter how big or small. We truly cannot express to you just how much your support has meant to us.
If you haven't had a chance to give, here's the donate button that will take you to AdoptTogether's secure donation site (where you will also receive a tax-deductible receipt). If you haven't had a chance to share this on your FB page, or even in an e-mail to some of your friends or your church, please do. And when one day (soon?!), our new son will have finally joined our family, know that YOU were part of making something incredible happen.
Yesterday was my birthday, and let me tell you ... what an incredible way to start into a new year of life. Slowly, deep in my heart, I'm beginning to believe again that maybe, just maybe ... at some point during this next year of my life, I'll finally be the mom of not 2, but 3 beautiful children.