Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You Can Help: Fundraising

The Orphan crisis is massive.  While most numbers still range at 143 to 147 million orphans, UNICEF is now pushing numbers closer to 163 million.  That means the number of orphans has risen by 20 million in 5 years (when I first began hearing these numbers).  That is staggering.  However, one by one something CAN be done.  You can do it. 

Often the reasons people give for not doing something is not being called to do it.  I won't argue who is called and who is not called to adopt.  However, I do argue that because orphans are God's heart, we as believers are called to take care of them.  One way to do that is to fundraise.  These funds can go to a family that's adopting, a family fostering, an orphanage (such as Eagle's Nest in Guatemala), an organization that helps orphans (such as Lifesong for Orphans), or an organization that helps families who are adopting to raise finances (such as Show Hope). 

Garage Sale
Garage Sales are awesome ways to clear out the clutter in your house and raise money for the orphan.  Take one week a year to dedicate to this.  Hang a sign that tells where the proceeds are going (and the percentage that is going there--you don't want to trick people into thinking that 100% goes to families when you only plan on donating 50%).  Often when people see that money is going to a good cause they are apt to buy more or give more.  Ask friends and relatives to donate items they are no longer in need of to make the garage sale bigger and more profitable.  Make sure you know about the organization/family that the funds are being given to and include pictures if possible.

Craft Sale
Do you craft items (jewelry, hair bows, scrap-booking pages)?  Make them and sell them. 

Recently I've seen some very powerful fundraising done on Facebook.  Set up a group and encourage people to donate.  This is especially significant if you put a challenge behind it such as: It will take 18 months for this family to receive a referral so donate in 18's ($.18, $18, $180).  

Host a Big Ticket Event
Host an event that is "big" and sell tickets to it.  Some ideas include: Daddy/Daughter dance, Valentine's Couples Banquet, Dinner Theater.  You will have to spend a bit of money to make this event possible.  Rally friends around you to help keep cost low but value of the night high.

Make sure you always pray over an event and give God the glory for the success He has allowed you to have.  Do your research before supporting a cause or organization.  I know many families in the adoption/foster world who would be thrilled to hand over fundraising to a friend so they could concentrate on paperwork and home-studies.  Check out more fundraising ideas here or here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Simple Faith

We use the word orphan all the time in our house all the time.  The other day Addilece asked what an orphan was.  I told her that an orphan is someone who doesn't have a mommy or a daddy.

My little girl pondered this for a few seconds and looked up at me and declared, "We have to take care of them mommy.  They need a mommy and daddy."

Faith.  It's so simple for a child.  They don't see dollar signs, birth order issues, room issues, or any of the other "inconveniences" that throw us adults into a tizzy when we think about the orphan crisis.  A child sees a need and declares we must fill it.

Jesus had a heart for the child.  He understood that a child's simple faith is what was need to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. 

 I pray that we as adults step back and have the simple faith of child.  The simple faith that says, "A child doesn't have a mommy and daddy. We are a mommy and daddy.  We can be a mommy and daddy to that child."  And let God do the rest.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Adoption Conference

The Connecting Hearts with the Forgotten Conference is just over a week away.  This is its sixth year and it has gotten better every year.  A conference run this well is not typically free.  However, the board feels it is important to offer this information to families and individuals  at no cost. 

There is still time to register.  If you live in Central Illinois you will not want to miss it.  We will have Pastor Daniel Bennett (Pastor and author of A Passion for the Fatherless), Desi Stephens (former orphan, she also spent some time working at Dori's Promise-an orphanage in Guatemala), and one of my personal heroes in the adoption world Carolyn Tweitmeyer (adoptive mother and founder of Project Hopeful). 

This conference is NOT just for those wanting to foster and adopt.  It is for anyone that is any age who has a desire to see why God calls the church to care for Orphans.  Come and be changed. 

Check it out:

Also their is a Connecting Hearts with the Forgotten Youth this year.  If you are a teen and want to learn about your part in the orphan conference, this is for you!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Type of Placement

In this post I answered what type of placement we were looking for in the sense of short term, long term, adoption, etc.  I want to answer another frequently asked questions about our placement choice:

How old do you want the child to be?  What sex?

Determining the answer to this question has been one of the hardest things we have had to do in this whole processes.  It has required us to look at our home, our own child, our lifestyles, a whole new way.  

The simplest answer is: Zero to Ten and we will accept sibling sets.


We chose 0 to 10 because while we would love to have a younger child, however, we know that many people want that age.  We feel that ten is a good max based on our age and Addilece's age.  Above ten is a deal breaker for us (for now).  We have no grandiose dreams that we will receive an infant or even a single child under 5 for that matter.

Many have thought we would only accept younger then Addilece.  However, Addilece is young enough that we feel its fine to bump her as first born.  I've said since she was little that she wasn't meant to be a first born, nor a last born.  She loves following kids older then her around but would also make a great big sis.  Also, accepting two or younger pretty much guarantees that we will NEVER get a placement.  (That is exageratting, but it would be very very hard.)


Tony and I have a heart and passion for sib sets.  I hate to think of these kids being split because people don't want two (or three or four).  Will jumping our family from one to three (or four) be hard?  Yes, but we see it take place in the adoption world all the time.  It's possible. 

Tony believes we are going to take a sib set of three with two boys and a girl.  That is what God has layed on his heart.  We will see how God works things out. 

There are numerous other factors that we also have to consider.  I won't go over these at this point because at this time we've said, "no we can't accept that" doesn't mean we won't accept that child in the end.  Those issues may also come out after the child is in our home.  There are also things we can't accept due to our home.  A child in a wheel chair is an example of this.  We have too many stairs and no bedrooms on the lower level. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Picture Perfect: Wagon Ride

On Tony's side of the family their are four girls between 2 1/2 and 4 1/2.  It means a LOT of personality, a LOT of fighting, but also a LOT of fun!!!  And yes, they did all ride around in the wagon together.

And just for fun....all seven of the grandkids together!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Picture Percect: Beautiful January

The last day in Jaunary was absolutely gorgous.  And I had just gotten a new camera (a birthday gift from my hubby).  The park is where we headed to enjoy the day.