7/29/2013

Garage Sale Breakdown: The Good, Bad + Grand Total!

I'm letting my sister, Lindee, take the floor on the blog today since she and her hubby spearheaded our garage sale fundraiser this past weekend.

The garage sale fundraiser was Thursday - Saturday.

Grand total: $1002.84!!

Garage Sale Adoption FundraiseWhat was the best idea implemented at the garage sale?

Reaching out to family and friends to let them know we were doing this as a fundraiser.

Lots of people had items -- some had a lot, some had a few -- that they didn't want or need anymore.

And some people were happy to empty their closets!


What was a waste of time, or something you wouldn't do again?

I can't think of anything that was a waste of time.

Pricing the items took a lot of time - 85 percent of items were less than a few bucks!

TIP: If family members are participating, see if they'll price donated items before dropping them off !
Garage Sale Adoption Fundraise
What was the hardest part about the garage sale fundraiser?

It took a LOT of time to put it all together.

Tagging each item and going through boxes of donated items was the most time-consuming.

And then trying to organize that many items.

We made sure to post signs about the garage sale being an adoption fundraiser.

This triggered a LOT of wonderful conversations and support from complete strangers!
Garage Sale Adoption Fundraise
What's the best piece of advice you received while preparing for fundraiser?

Price items in 25 cent increments.

We had LOTS of things that were 25 cents or 50 cents.

A majority of our items were under a dollar.

All of those little purchases add up.

It is very true that one person's "junk" is another person's treasure.

Don't throw away ANYTHING before trying to sell it.

I was shocked at some of the things that sold!

By the third day, things were pretty picked over, so

EVERYTHING was 50 percent off.

We got rid of a lot of items in the last 30-minutes!
Garage Sale Adoption Fundraise
What are a few tips you would give others considering hosting a similar fundraiser?

-On the last day, offer 50 % off. Items that don't have a price-ask for an offer.

-Sell cold bottled water for a dollar-especially in this heat.

-Have someone bilingual in English & Spanish (it was a huge plus for our sale).

-Advertise online (we used Craigslist and the Des Moines Register).

-We had a canopy tent for the "check-out area." It worked out well, so we could stay in the shade and out of the way.

-Use an old school desk to hold your extras: price tags, bags, tape, markers, brochures, money, etc.

-Post a sign describing the fundraiser. People are less likely to barter prices knowing it goes to a specific cause.

-Waterproof your signs.

-Get TONS of plastic bags. We had hundreds and used every last one of them!

-After a sale, throw in a flyer with a link to your blog/additional ways people can help if they're interested.

I am still amazed at how successful our garage sale adoption fundraiser was this past weekend!
 

To all the family members and friends -- even strangers in Des Moines -- who donated their treasures
for us to sell: THANK YOU! 


And special thanks to my sister, Lindee, and her hubby, Phil, who organized this fundraiser and lived to tell all about it!
 

We're so grateful...

7/24/2013

Hurting Hearts: We Weren't Chosen

Our hearts hurt.

A lot.

Today we found out we weren't chosen.

Again.

This situation was di fferent than the last.

A baby girl was born Monday.

She was healthy.

She was in a hospital with no family of her own.

The birth mother wanted to make an adoption plan.

She needed to choose a family.

And choose a family quickly.

In a matter of hours we talked with work.

We talked with family.

They were cautiously excited.

We made plans.

We wrote a personal letter to the birth mom.

We explained how excited we were to meet her.

We told her how much we would love her daughter.

A small part of us might have already started.

We didn't care that we had no stroller.

No out fit for her to wear out of the hospital.

No diapers.

No bottles.

We were going to figure it out.

We were hopeful.

We were ready to get on the next flight to meet our baby the minute that phone rang.

But the phone never rang.

All day.

It never rang.

Today has been a long day of waiting.

Tonight we finally heard word that the birth mother chose another family.

We weren't chosen.

Again.

And it hurts.

Then our adoption consultant, Susan, reminded us this:

While some of you wait, 
while some of you pray, 
while some of you hope and dream, 
know that those who are celebrating today with little ones 
were in your shoes.
 
The waiting ends.
 
The prayers are answered.
 
The hopes and dreams come true.
 
God is faithful and families are made.

This is what I'm holding onto.

Our time of celebration will come.

Our waiting will end.

For now we're choosing to be grateful this baby girl -- who we never got to meet -- will have a home with a family who loves her.

7/10/2013

The Stroller Fiasco

Who woulda thought it'd be SO gosh dang hard to pick out a stroller?

I mean, seriously!

Can't they make just one universal stroller for every baby?

We did manage to pick one out for our registry that has an infant car seat included thanks to the
helpful folks at Babies R Us.

So the so-called "Stroller Fiasco" was pretty short-lived.

Thank God.

Then we moved onto other important decisions like baby carriers and pack-n-plays and bottles.
Our experience [as adoptive-parents-to-be] at Babies R Us has been so wonderful.

When we walked into the West Des Moines store the other day, and an employee greeted us with a big smile.

"Do you know what you're having?" she asked.

"Not yet, we're adopting," I said.

"Oh my gosh! Congratulations! I love hearing about adoption!"
she said.

The kindness continued throughout our 2340983 circles around the store.

And what I thought was going to be an overwhelming task was actually really fun.

Plus, it was a good excuse to look at cute baby stu ff like this (right, Mom...er, Grams-to-be?!):

7/09/2013

We Weren't Chosen

I can count on one hand three fingers how many people knew that our profile was shown to a birth
mom for the fi rst time last week.

The verdict is in:

We weren't chosen.

Another family was picked.

We're not devastated, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't sting a little.

It does.

We were ready to say, "Yes," if the birth mother chose us.

But she didn't.

That's OK.

Our consultant, Susan, emailed us and told us she was praying for us and our future baby.

She gets it.

And she reminded us what this really means:

This situation -- this baby -- wasn't part of God's plan for us.

I'm just hoping and praying we can continue to be strong, keep our heads up and our hearts protected and open in this process.

7/01/2013

Back To [Paper] Work!


Our adoption profiles are HERE!

Each pro file has photos of us, and information about our family, our hometown, our holiday traditions, our jobs, etc.

We answered 30+ questions and uploaded about 100 photos.

Then our adoption consultant, Susan, went through ALL of 'em and put it together into something that turned out so beautiful!
We're excited to cross this step off our list.

Now it's time to get back to paperwork (and a messy dining room table)!
The upcoming weeks will be spent applying to agencies and sending these profiles off with our applications and required documents/fees.

We're also going to be hitting fundraising hard, so that when the call comes -- we can say, "Yes!"
[And oh my goodness, we can't wait for that day!]