When we made the decision to adopt, one of the first things we were overwhelmed with was the cost. Every adoptive parent we know has told us that the money is the easiest part of the process, but when you’re staring at “$36,000+” on a piece of paper, well — it can be a little daunting to imagine raising those kinds of funds.
After researching countless lists of fundraising ideas, Frankie and I decided that an online auction would be our first fundraising venture. The basic premise is that donated items and services are listed in a group on Facebook and then over the course of a week, people comment on each listing with their bids. The highest bid at the close of the auction wins. Easy enough — especially given the fact that it took very little money out of our own pockets to get this particular fundraiser started (which is a good thing, because the pockets were empty).
I contacted friends and family members asking for donations of mostly new items and services and was so humbled at the response. Within a week of the auction launch, we had about 25 items, which was halfway to our goal of 50. I decided to print up a flyer with a brief summary of our story and hit the ground at a nearby strip mall to see if any of them would be willing to donate something from their sale racks. I have to say, at the end of that day I was more than a little freaked out. In a strip mall of about 15 stores, not one single person opted to give. Don’t misunderstand me — I’m not here to judge. I’m a business owner myself and I realize that everyone needs to make money. But here I was, a week from launching this thing and highly concerned that we weren’t going to have enough items for people to bid on. Frankie and I had a goal, though. We knew the amount that we needed to raise and we brought that to the Lord in prayer. God knows the numbers and we stood in faith that He was going to make it happen — not us.
One by one, people contacted us with items and services that they were willing to donate. By the time we were two days away, we had 62 items — 12 more than our goal! To say that my husband and I were humbled by the outpouring of generosity would be an understatement. After receiving more than our fair share of negative comments about our choice to adopt (and they way in which we were doing it), it felt so dang good to have people rallying behind us and getting just as excited as we were to get this process started.
Let the bidding begin
We were still receiving items up until the hour that the auction began. By the start of it, we had 72 items total. Amazing.
The first two days of the auction were so exciting. We saw bids rolling in and had a rough idea of what we were expecting. With almost $8,000 worth of items, Frankie and I would have been thrilled with $2,000, which is the total cost of our home study. You can’t begin the adoption process until you have a home study done, so that was the prize we had our eyes on. As the days ticked by, we became increasingly confident that we’d meet that goal.
By the numbers
I want you all to see exactly what we were believing for and exactly what we got, because this is just as much of a victory for you as it is for us. As I mentioned before, the cost of the home study (done here at our home in Louisiana) is $2,000. There is a second payment, however, that is required by our placement agency. This payment is the initial payment to get the ball rolling on the Ethiopian side. Below is a breakdown of everything we needed.
- Home Study – $2,000
- Placement Agency Application – $250
- Placement Agency 1st payment – $2,650
- Reimburse cost of supplies (these were things we bought for auction items that we made, such as paint and wood and pieces that we refurbished to sell). – $214
The total of expenses: $5,114
And here is where God decided He was going to show off. Here is the total of what we brought in.
- Personal Donations – $350. (When two couples that we love dearly found out we were adopting, they opened their hearts and their checkbooks and just gave. Be still my heart. I love my friends.)
- Online Auction Total – $4,761
Total of donations: $5,111
Y’all. Y’ALL…. I can’t even. Down to almost the dollar, we made exactly what we needed. It was extremely important for me to communicate these exact numbers with you all for two reasons. One – we want to be very transparent with you through this process. Frankie and I cannot do this on our own. That old saying, “It takes a village”? Totally true. We need both your prayers and your willingness to give financially for our baby to come home. Every step of the way, we will be honest and open about exactly what we need this money for. This is not just our vision and our reason to rejoice. It’s yours too. Secondly, I want you to see that EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS. If a day comes when you feel like you want to give, but you can only spare $10, that $10 just may be exactly what we need to make our goal. We were within THREE DOLLARS of our goal! While we would have been more than happy to just cover the initial cost of the home study, God did us one better and used the generosity of our community to step it up and provide what we NEEDED, not just what we were “okay” with. He multiplied. It’s what He does.
From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I can’t even adequately express how grateful I am for everyone who donated, placed bids, and prayed. Yes, folks…your prayers are just as important as your dollars. This child is so very loved already and we haven’t even met her yet. Thank you for loving her and supporting us on this journey.
The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.