Thanks to that fantastic year of 2011, that I speak so fondly of... we have had to cut back our expenses, sell what we can, and now we are fundraising by selling 'something'. (Cannot disclose, as I have agreed to not sell it 'publicly'). This certainly was not on the agenda... but one cannot predict the cards that have been thrown in our direction, nor expect that the actual timing of our adoption (that has been underway for over 2 years now) would coincide with our lovely hand of cards!
Many, if not most adoptive families fundraise for their adoptions... it certainly is not unusual. In fact, it is the norm. After all, how many people do you know who have an extra $40-$50K in their pockets?
Over the years, I have supported many adoptive families by purchasing Christmas ornaments, recipe books, t-shirts, jewelry, etc... I love the idea, and I love assisting families bring their children home. BUT - you can't imagine how difficult it was for me to jump over to that side of the fence.
I don't like to ask for help. I don't like to ask for favors (although... getting a bit better), and I don't like being indebted to someone. If you ask my friends and family, they will tell you I have never even so much as borrowed $5 from them. I have been like this my entire life though... (another Leo trait? ;) I much prefer to be on the giving end rather than the receiving end. So, I really had to do a lot of soul searching to make the decision to suck it up, swallow my Lion's pride, and fight to bring our daughter home by asking assistance from our friends and family.
Well... I think everyone should do this at some point in their lives, because there are a few lessons to be learned.
Over the last 2 weeks, I have sold 144 units at $30/piece. I am absolutely astounded at the out pour of support. Really - quite unimaginable!! With a goal of 288, I think (hope) we might just make it!
One thing that I do find interesting, is that those who support you the most will be those who you least expect. People who I have never officially met in person, and those who are in the least position to help. Students on budgets, single Moms, children (!), and those who just simply struggle to put food on the table and get the bills paid.
It's quite a lesson of realizing who your friends are. Who truly has your back, and who you can depend on. Not that I am saying anyone who doesn't support our fundraiser - is not a friend you can count on. I understand tough times, and I know we can't do it all - all the time. Believe me! I understand it is an issue of finance and not a lack of intention or compassion. However, it's hard to not take notice when someone in a position to help blatantly chooses not to. What does that say? Actions do speak louder than words ... clearly there is a message in there, I just haven't unravelled it yet.
A few touching stories that have brought me to tears over the past week... the woman who approached me saying that she wanted to support by buying an item, but couldn't afford the $30, and asked if she could instead give me a cheque for $10 as a donation. !?
The good friend of a family member who doesn't even know me who overpays $10 to put towards the cause.
The long lost friend of the family who wrote me a very touching note -(Giving me more credit than I deserve.) asking if she could purchase a dozen and then proceeds to overpay me $140, as a donation. Seriously?! Thank goodness for Kleenex! I washed my face with tears that night!
I cannot tell you how much these people have 'warmed the cockles of my heart'. ;)
These folks are all cut from the same clothe. They have something in common. Not only are they all dedicated family people, but they have all been there. Not 'here'... exactly, but they all know what it is like to go through tough times. What it is like to be on this side of the fence. They have lived it and breathed it. They know first hand how the smallest gesture can make the largest impact!
To all those who have and continue to support us in this journey... Many of you, who have expressed that you wish there were more people like me in the world, ... I want you to know that I think this of you! With hearts of gold, it is people like you who move mountains and define the word "humanity". Small acts of kindness snow ball and leave an impression in this world. This adoption would not be possible without you... each and every one of you were and are instrumental in our adoption. I am so very proud to call you friend and family. In my times of doubt and defeat, I look around and see all of you rallying around us, and I know that we can do this!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Please watch this beautiful video - my favorite inspirational story, I know you will all enjoy it.
For all of my 'Starfish Boy' Friends and Family... thank you for making a difference in the life of one!
A fellow soon to be adoptive Mom blogger reminded me of this story today. She is selling very cool starfish t-shirts to raise money for her adoption, if you want to check it out! ;)