Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. ~Isaiah 1:17
It has been a while since we have done any major fundraising and to be honest it felt nice to take a break. If you're adopting, you know fundraising can be so stressful yet joyful and really just full of so many emotions...mine are usually excitement for the event, followed by stress that I don't want to feel like we are asking everyone to drain their pockets, followed by worrying that the fundraiser will be a big flop and it will be lots of time and effort for nothing, followed by realizing even if it is for "nothing" financially we will have spread the word about adoption through it and then I come back to being excited for it again...a vicious cycle!
I just have to say with every fundraiser we have done thus far though, God has surpassed our expectations and as usual is almost always at the last second when we really need it. I have to keep reminding myself of this because let me tell you it can really consume you. Truly when I think back, it's not our fundraiser events so to speak, that have brought us closer to the financial milestones we have needed to meet, but rather donations from friends and family and even some strangers that have now become friends so to think about that I realize that our fundraising events have been more of a profit of knowledge to share with everyone around us. Knowledge about adoption in general, about living conditions in Africa, and Ethiopia specifically, knowledge about the costs of adoption yet also about the resources that are there to help and knowledge on the fact that we are called by God to take care of orphans.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. ~James 1:27
When I think about all of this and actually write it all down, this knowledge that we spread through the trials and tribulations that comes with an adoption and fundraising for it is worth so much more in the end than any dollar amount we can raise. We do know that God has been faithful to place people in our lives who have helped us get through this past year both emotionally and financially and I do find comfort in that when thinking about the next year (or maybe less) to come.
Now that we have changed our request to SIBLINGS (still makes me smile and get so excited!) from a single child, our adoption expenses has gone up of course. It doesn't double in cost because much of the expense is on things like a home study, USCIS background checks, paperwork expenses and the biggest part, travel! Since these are all things that will stay the same (minus one extra seat on a flight home one day) our estimated total adoption cost has went from $28,000-30,000 to $35,000-37,000 which means...you guessed it...more fundraising and more saving but we are ready for it!
We have been training for a half marathon for the last month and are up to 6 miles now (7.1 more to go). This half marathon isn't just any run but the Chosen Marathon for Adoption in which families and supporters can run and raise money for specific families adopting through ABBA Fund Organization and Bethesda Family Ministries. We are running as part of our non-profit, It's A Child's Life, to promote it but also to raise money for our own adoption. The great thing about this is that all donations are tax deductible as the donations go directly to Bethesda Family Ministries which will in turn donate to our adoption after the run is complete.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to our adoption, you can Donate To Our Team Here. Just make sure you put our team name in the "special instructions" box: It's A Child's Life- Team O'Neal
and now I will leave you with a few recent photos taken at our county fair this weekend. Jalen just loves being around other kids, it makes me so excited for him to have a brother and/or sister someday.
|Jalen (almost 3), Kade (1 year old), and Peyton( almost 2)...2 of my co-worker's children|
|Peyton and Jalen walking hand in hand around the fair|
|Peyton and Jalen sharing a seat on a tractor tire|