I’m so sorry I haven’t written before now – so many of you so sweetly have checked in on us in regards to how we did. Saturday we went straight from clean up to shower to dinner out with a group of couples all adopting from Ethiopia at an Ethiopian restaurant – so fun! But no time to write. Sunday – well, I mean it was a Sunday – enough said? And all day today I’ve wanted to, but we started potty training, FEMA might mistake my house for a disaster area if they came in, and during the hour I did have to write, I REALLY needed some LONG Jesus time today. So, those are all my excuses. Am I forgiven??
Well the yard sale was a smashing success!!! In the fall we did $1800 over three days – just exactly the amount needed to cover our homestudy. We were planning for two days, but Friday was forecasted to be “severe thunderstorms” so we cancelled. The “severe thunderstorms” turned out to be “not even one drop of rain”. But besides that we just plain weren’t ready. I worked 24/7 all week tagging and sorting and had some help too, but we just weren’t ready yet. I was wondering a little how that would work with only having one day to sell vs. three days. Last time was so exhausting to get up at 5 am, set up for 2 hours, sell for 7 hours, put it all back for 2 hours, and then do that two more days. So I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t so sad about just having to do that in one day. But I wondered about the money of it.
Friday night we set out tables and a few items and covered them with a sheet because “the rain had moved completely out”. Saturday morning we were up at 5 am to find that “the rain had moved completely out” actually meant “there was a very heavy downpour for an hour or more and those things are all soaked”. Luckily it was mainly glassware items and nothing was damaged or ruined by the rain. Good thing we don’t REALLY depend on weather forecasters.
Our first customer came at 6:30 (THANKS BREA!! She even upped the price of what she was buying and told me I wasn’t charing enough.), and I did not stop taking money or answering questions until noon. From 12-2 it was kind of more of people here and there coming in – still a steady stream of people, but not a packed yard. It was solid people coming and going and buying for a full 5 hours though, and I didn’t even get to really say hi to the people I knew. One friend said she had to wait 10 minutes to even get to park because of all the traffic. She asked me if I saw all the traffic, and I was like, uh NO! I didn’t look past the face in front of me! There were so many blessings and cool stories of the day/week:
- Like the many many many people who looked around their house for anything that we could possibly sell and not only were willing to give it to us to put in the garage sale, but they were also willing to bring it to us or be patient with my pickup abilities AND just give freely to us items they could have sold themselves for money. THANK YOU – to ALL who gave us ANYTHING! Because God used it!
- Like the many bakers out there who made cookies and cupcakes and pies and even gourmet dog treats for us to sell at our bake sale. We had so MANY delicious goodies to sell, and there was a steady stream all day of people paying .50 for a little baggie of cookies or brownies! One thoughtful friend even brought us lemonade mix and cups. Because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have thought about that until oh, 7 am on Saturday morning. THANK YOU! I fully intend to write you thank you notes, but it’s not been my strong suit lately and I might forget someone. But THANK YOU!
- Like so many of you praying for us. Seriously, there is nothing better or more valuable than that!
- Like the ten-ish friends who spent hours at my house this week sorting through some really random clothes or pricing items for me. And the ones who let me get teary-eyed on them mid-week when I was exhausted. Seriously, thank you.
- Like my friend Jessica from our church in Texas who has moved herself and is moving again – we keep up on Twitter/blogs, and she tweeted me that morning that she was dressed in my honor that day with a headband/ponytail and our adoption shirt with prayers for the day. I wish I’d had time to take pictures but I didn’t even get ONE. But I was wearing a headband/ponytail and our adoption shirt – thanks Jessica! There were so many just thinking of us that morning! – THANK YOU!
- Like our one neighbor who really doesn’t know what we’re doing, but baked some muffins and brought them down to us because we were working so hard and needed to keep our energy up. And they were yum and warm – peanut butter and jelly muffins! Never had such a thing! And it was the only thing I ate from 6 am until 12ish since I couldn’t step away.
- Like the MANY people buying who said, “What’s an adoption yard sale? What does that mean?” And I got to explain. And so many people just encouraging us in what we were doing. I know I don’t need to work for others’ approval, but it’s still nice to be encouraged.
- Like the one older lady who just spent all she had in her wallet buying stuff and wanted to help. She was commending our generation for being aware and broadcasting to the world about the orphan crisis. She wasn’t necessarily talking about just those specifically adopting, but also all those in our generation who are sponsoring children, or working to build villages in Haiti through financial support, and just raising up the cause in general (or supporting friends’ yard sales). She said she firmly believed that we would have many more orphans in the years ahead, and she believed God was raising up our generation to care for them. Major chills down my arms! Such a blessing!
- Like another neighbor who lives about 20 houses down the road who I’ve met a few times but who adopted 16ish years ago and really wanted to support us. She’s been so encouraging during the times I’ve gotten to chat with her. She brought a card to us, and I didn’t even have time to open it right then because we were slammed, but I thought how nice that she brought us an encouraging card. I sat down at the end of the day and opened it and found a $100 check. And we hardly know her! I even called her by the wrong name at first – seriously it was a crazy day. But I was floored and humbled and shocked. What a blessing!
- Like one of my high school girls who gave up her ENTIRE Saturday morning to go drive and get change and then sat beside me and helped me check people out or was manning the table when I was chasing kids. I couldn’t have done the day without her – thanks Casey Cappa!
- Like my sweet across the street neighbor whose whole family worked tirelessly (thanks Bundys!) because they’re kind of stuck looking at our desperation because they’re right there. Her parents were in town, and even THEY brought us items all the way from Missouri to sell AND did some major yard sale shopping AND worked our bake sale AND helped us with the cleanup efforts. Seriously – I told them they’d never come in town again! What a blessing!
- Like the many friends who really didn’t NEED anything, but they came by and let their kids pick out some toys they didn’t NEED either. But they were really there to just show their support and say hi – thank you to ALL of you. Seeing your sweet faces was such an encouragement to us!
- Like the so many shoppers who just said “keep the change” (even if they had just asked me to take the price down – ha!) so it could go towards what we were doing. And sometimes the change was $20.
- Like the trailer guy who came along at 2:30 when we were all done and trying to pack up and bought a bunch of the leftover just piddly stuff and spent $100. He brought his trailer on the back of his van and picked out random items. Someone said he was going to resell it somewhere else, BUT I DIDN’T HAVE TO PACK UP A BUNCH OF GLASSWARE!! RESELL ALL YOU WANT DUDE! Thank you God for making it clear whether we need to do another yard sale with all the leftovers. By the time he left, we really didn’t have enough!
- Like my sweet stepmom who stayed inside and CLEANED OUR HOUSE of all the clutter while we were working. Our house had yard sale remnants EVERYWHERE – a purse or belt here, a picture frame there. Empty boxes and just trash. It was so nice to come in to an organized house – a blessing for sure! And then her and my dad kept the kids for us to go out that night.
And maybe you skipped all that because I write too much (I know I do!) to find out the totals, but I hope you’ll read that. I’m not bragging on us but just on the Lord. He is SO GOOD! He has been so good to us through this process – putting people in our paths to reassure/encourage/care for us throughout this right when we needed it. I always debate sharing a total – one the one hand, it’s all to God’s glory and not mine so I want to give him honor and praise where it is due. But I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging either. So read all those above – they are EVIDENCE of God’s grace and love for us this week. YOU, our supporters and friends, are CONDUITS OF GOD’S GRACE AND LOVE for us. Thank you thank you – it’s beyond what I can even express!!
Okay okay – totals! In ONE DAY we made $2397.85 – that included a few donations that day and the bake sale proceeds. Can you believe it??? $2400????!!!??? I really sat and marveled that only God can take people’s random assortments of just junk they want to get rid of and make it into two thousand four hundred dollars! Only God! I FIRMLY believe it’s like the story in 1 Kings 17 where God made the widow’s flour and oil just multiply and last until he sent the much needed rain. Or the loaves and two fish story – both show how God took a little and made it a lot. I would venture to say that we did not sell $2400 worth of stuff; God multiplied it. I do believe it!
Last yard sale our $1800 was the exact amount to cover our homestudy. $2400 this this time PLUS I still have a few Craigslist big items AND items set aside to sell in the consignment sale in the fall. Guess how much the fees are for adding the second child (not counting airfare, just agency fees)? $2750. Yeah well, God used this yard sale to cover that by the time everything comes in.
We are truly in awe this week. Truly. So many of you have asked where that leaves us – how much more do we need? We have enough in our account to cover about 1.5 (of 2) airline tickets for the first trip. We basically still need to come up with now 3 more airline tickets at around $1600/each and 2 ONE WAY tickets for the kids at around $1000/each. Plus travel expenses in country. I’m guessing that is around $13,000 needed total in travel for the two trips. We have about $2500 towards that now. So about $10,000 to go. But God has already provided so much and so extravagantly. It’ll come somehow! Pray that God gives us wisdom to see ways to work on that.
Other than that, I am EXHAUSTED! I cannot say thank you enough to all of you that had ANY part in this past weekend – from a quick prayer for us. To working the week in sorting or tagging. To donating the small to the big items. Whatever you did. THANK YOU! We love you and I count it a privilege to share this with you. God is so very good!