Many people have asked us how we raised our adoption funds. We smile a knowing smile… because WE didn’t raise the money, God did. He funds what He favors! Adoption is expensive… domestic AND international. Personally, I don’t think it should be expensive, but that’s another story for another day. We didn’t have nearly enough cash to adopt from Colombia, but we had some “seed money” that we planted and waited for God to harvest. Our dream of adoption came from the Lord so we relied on Him to show us where the adoption money was hiding. It was a huge step of faith! Huger than any we’d taken previously!
When our adoption process began, we had faith that we would be one of the QUICK families…. not so. It took us 10 months to get our dossier together (we had to work with two Canadian provinces and five American states!) and then we waited three months until we were approved. THEN a 34 month wait for our referral. From the referral to us kissing our girl’s soft cheeks was eight days. Eight days of FLURRY, scurry and hurry!
The 34 month wait was when we put our noses to the grindstone and searched hard for adoption funds. I applied for 10-12 grants, and we received only one from Show Hope (MaryBeth and Steven Curtis Chapman) right at the beginning of the journey. It was the sweet priming for the fundraising pump that we needed! Thank you, MBC and SCC!
We also sent a letter to friends and family far and near telling them of our expanding family and asking if they felt the Lord nudging them to help bring a child home. The monies from that one pink letter came in over four years. It brought me to tears time and time again. Faithful friends, doing their part! Thank you, if you were one of those loving people.
My sister-in-law, Jennie, came up with this fabulous idea to sew purses and carrier bags from recycled and donated fabric. She nick-named our daughter Zaza, and Bags for Zaza was birthed! The sewing escapades went on for over a year with six or seven contributing seamstresses (with three solid contenders). She auctioned them online and it went over brilliantly…. 10 times more brilliantly than Jennie originally hoped for! Thank you, Jennie!
While searching other adoption blogs and fundraising sites, I learned about having a Media Drive. Great idea! Ask all your family, friends and enemies to donate unused, dust-collecting media….. I gathered books, CDs, DVDs, videos, games, collector cards, plus more. The valuable ones I was able to sell on eBay and the less valuable ones I sold at a local used book store. This really encouraged me as friends far and wide donated boxes and boxes of stuff! It made me feel great that there was a way everyone could contribute to helping an orphan…. it wasn’t just people with extra cash. Everyone.
I also looked around our house and decided we didn’t need all this stuff that had accumulated over the last 20-something years. I started selling everything: furniture, clothing, sports equipment, household trinkets, silk trees, books, lamps, you name it. I sold most of these items on Craigslist.com. There is one in your area!
Our neighborhood group decided to have a “Large Item” garage sale for us…. held at our house. More than 20 families donated large items for this day and it was a great success. Thank you, neighborhood groupies!
Right when I needed another idea, a flyer was squeezed into our front door crack telling about a children’s clothing consignment sale. I sent the word out for friends to donate kid’s clothing. I gathered, ironed, tagged, hung and delivered over 200 items!
Most unique of all: Matt’s Meals with a Mission. A high school grad in chef training (friend of daughter’s) set up MMM to raise money for different causes. So, our adoption was one of the causes he supported by cooking meals for different families for special occassions. We were so amazed by his giving heart, generosity and cooking! Thank you, Matthew!
The day before we flew to Colombia we received a phone call from a businessman we are acquainted with. He asked how much we still needed and transfered the funds into our account that day. It still brings me to tears, knowing that God had people lined up to take care of the needed funds. We did our part and others did their part, as a body of believers and unbelievers alike, God used MANY people to bring our girl home. The blessing is spread far and wide. Be encouraged if you are fundraising! Be creative! God funds what He favors! Here’s our breakdown for you:
- Our Savings – 19%
- Show Hope – 7%
- Letter to Family & Friends – 23%
- Bags for Zaza – 16%
- Media Drive, Garage Sale, Craigslist, Consignment, MMM - 8%
- Last minute Donation – 27%