Thursday, June 30, 2016

Update on Life and Adoption

Much has happened since our successful garage sale! To start with we have an exciting life update- we're moving!  For the last two years I (Stephanie) have been commuting over 80 miles to and from work, five days a week.  In May, Eric accepted a teaching position in the same school district.  This was a huge blessing in many ways but left us with the dilemma of deciding that we would either both need to commute that far every day or we could carpool, though our work hours would be slightly different.  Or another option was that we could move.  I have loved working in this smaller town and we've known for a while that we would like to eventually move farther north at some point anyway.  Over the last several weeks we contemplated the idea of selling our house and moving to be much closer to our work.  With the home study being the next piece of our adoption process we needed to either make the decision to move right now or not for a long time (moving shortly after bringing an adopted child home would just be even more transition we don't want to put him/her through). Recently we have felt strongly that moving now is what we were supposed to do.  Our house will go on the market next week, so now we wait and pray that all will go quickly and smoothly with one more unknown (but exciting!) process and outcome added to our lives.

Now for an adoption update!  This week we were able to make another payment to our adoption agency and apply with our home study agency!  Since our adoption agency is located in a different state, we needed to find an approved agency in our state to do the home study.  The home study process will likely take 3-4 months.  The first couple of months will be gathering background checks and other paperwork that is needed, along with some education courses.  One of the last steps will be having a social worker come to our home.  This is why we need our house to sell quickly and smoothly!  We are prayerful that we will be settled in a new home by the time we get to this step in the process so that nothing will be delayed. 

We are still short on funds to cover the entire cost of our home study.  Once our home study is finalized we will be able to start applying for adoption grants (we already have some applications stacking up), but we need the funds to get through the home study first.  We are working on trying to come up with some more fundraising ideas- if anyone has any they would like to pass on, we would greatly appreciate it! In the meantime we are always collecting donations through our YouCaring page: Growing in our Hearts, for those who may feel led to support our adoption financially.  Please also consider sharing the link with other friends, family, coworkers, etc.  And we continue to collect those cans and bottles and sell coffee here: The Zander Adoption as well.  We are incredibly grateful for all of the support we have received in the beginning of our adoption journey.  We know that God will continue to provide the funds we need, when we need them through so many different people and ways.

Please pray with us that our house would sell quickly, smoothly, and at asking price, that our home study process would go as quickly and smoothly as possible, and that funds would continue to be provided as we need them.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Garage Sale Update- WOW!

Wow.  The is about the only word that comes to mind after our garage sale this weekend.  It was simply amazing.  First of all, it never would have happened without the donations. Within the last two weeks we received more donations than we could comprehend.  We had over 20 different households donate things to our sale. So thank you so much to those who donated! We never would have imagined that so many people would contribute.  It also never would have happened without my parents who were willing to let us use their house, not only for the sale but also to store donations in their garage, living room, and back patio for the last two weeks.  As well as the many hours they put into helping sort, price, and organize things for the sale.  We are so blessed to have their support!  And yes their garage, living room, and back patio were filled almost to the brim with donations by Thursday night.  We were all pretty overwhelmed, both by the generosity of so many people, and how in the world we were going to get all of this stuff set up for a sale by morning!  Oh and there was still a 70% chance of rain...  And then what if no one came and not much sold? How would we ever get all of these things out of my parents house?!  Somehow though, it all worked out and early Friday morning as we were getting things set up it was even sunny!

We had more donations than would fit on our tables but we put out as much as we could and one person was given the job of refilling the tables as things sold (IF things sold... I still had this worry in the back of my head that maybe it would all be a big bust and we would need a semi truck to get everything to Goodwill!).  Just a few minutes before 9:00 the people started coming though.  And coming, and coming, and coming.  And buying, buying, buying!  And that's how it was all the way until early afternoon when we had our first small rain shower.  By that point several of the larger things had sold and we were able to fit most things either in the garage or under the tent canopies a couple people had let us borrow (another huge blessing!).  It didn't last too long though and pretty soon the crowd was back again all the way up until 4:00.  At that very moment the skies opened and ALL the rain came down.  We were in awe of how the day had played out and all of our prayers answered: the crowds came, so many things had sold, conversations about adoption were had, and the rain had held off until the very perfect moment.  Wow.

Saturday morning there was less to set up, but still so many things we were hoping to sell, and unsure of how many people would come to our sale the second day since so many had come the day before.  But again we were making sales before it was even 9:00.  The first crowd didn't last long though and pretty soon we had been there a while with no one coming to look at all.  Eventually though the crowds did come and this time it lasted for hours.  Pretty soon there was even extra room on the tables but we had nothing else to put out!  By the end of the day it was amazing to see how little we had left in comparison to when we started.  Yes, there will still be plenty donated elsewhere, but compared to what we were looking at Thursday night: Wow.

So now what so many have been wanting to know, the final total.  Let me preface by saying we had set a goal just between each other that we would like to reach with this garage sale, though I think we both knew it was a pretty lofty goal and wondered if it could really happen.  That goal was $1000.

Our final total from the garage sale this weekend: $1,502.55.  Wow.

We are overwhelmed and beyond blessed by God's work this weekend!  Thank you to all of those who supported this fundraiser!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Garage Sale Time!

Well it's officially June which means our garage sale is coming up very soon!!  We have been so blessed by the donations we have received for this event.  We have had nearly 15 different families donate to our sale and our garage seems to get fuller everyday!  

As the days of the sale near we would love it if you would keep the following things in your thoughts and prayers: good weather, a good turnout that leads to a successful sale, and opportunities to bring awareness to and conversation about the topic of adoption. 
Those of you who are in the Vancouver area, please help us spread the word about our sale and stop by yourself to find your own treasures!  This is going to be a HUGE sale!