Our yard sale was a success! We raised about $400 to put towards the adoption in about three hours. Thank you so much to the friends and family who donated items to the sale and who helped price items for the sale on Friday night. We could not have done it without you! I want to say a special thank you to our friends, Jeff and Lisa, who drove a long way to come to our sale and brought beautiful handmade necklaces and bracelets (courtesy of Lisa) which they donated to the sale. We were very touched by your generosity and kindness.
With the success of our yard sale and an anonymous donation from someone at our church last week, we have blown the top off of our adoption fundraiser thermometer. Prayers have truly been answered. I remember reading a story on another Bulgarian adoption blog about a family needing more funds to pay for their travel and how a young man came to their door one day and said that God had told him to give them some money. The amount was what they needed and when they needed it. I remember thinking then that this family had great faith and that the young man had not only great faith but a strong desire to follow God's will. However, I never dreamed that Rob and I would be the recipients of a similar donation. Yet, that is exactly what happened last week when the anonymous donation came in to our church. We are extremely grateful to this unknown person for their generosity and kindness towards us and our son. I know that God is blessing this person, and in turn, this person has blessed us.
While adoption can be a difficult journey fraught with a huge paper trail and endless days of waiting, it also brings untold blessings that stretch far beyond bringing your child home. Rob and I have met so many wonderful people during this process and have made several friendships that I hope will last a lifetime. Jeff and Lisa are two of those people. We met them at our first fundraiser at Chick-fil-A. They had recently come back from meeting their daughter in Bulgaria on their first trip and had heard about another family at our agency adopting from Bulgaria - us. They drove almost an hour to come to our fundraiser to give us support and to share pictures, stories and information about their first trip.
I have also gotten to know several people through the wonderful world of blogs that I probably would not have ever known if we had not all been blogging about our adoption journeys. These women are a great source of information and support. We are excited for each other when one of us takes another step along the way in the journey, and we encourage one another with our posts when times are difficult and the wait can seem unbearable.
And, how can I forget our friends CeAnne and Paul who we met on our first trip to Pleven, Bulgaria. I know that God put them in our lives for a reason, and I thank him for it. I can still hear CeAnne's voice over dinner at Pizza Roma in Sofia telling me that she knew that I could handle all the issues that had come up with my son while we were visiting him at the orphanage. I was having serious doubts at this point, but she explained to me that she knew Rob and I could do this because she and Paul had done this before, not once but twice. This was a great comfort to me, and she continues to be a source of inspiration.
Then there is my dear friend Kelly who in my darkest hour in our apartment in Sofia was emailing me back and forth from the states with words that I so desperately needed to hear. And, I listened because I knew that Kelly would be honest and that she would have prayerfully considered every word that she was writing to me. She is an adoptive mom herself and a friend who always gives good counsel. She is the person who I shared Aleksandar's referral papers with over dinner and helped me comb through all the medical jargon. She is the person who knew that I would decide to adopt even before I knew myself. She is also my favorite person to have dinner with and the one person I would take to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter :)
Rob and I are also members of a wonderful life group at church as well. We actually were introduced to our life group by my friend Kelly and her husband. These wonderful people have cried with us, rejoiced with us and prayed over us during this whole journey. I can't imagine making this journey without each and every one of them by our side.
Two of our friends from our life group, Celeste and Jorge, have offered to make the most amazing salsa for us to sell as a fundraiser for our adoption over the next six weeks. Trust me when I say that this salsa is the freshest and most wonderful tasting salsa that I have ever had. It will be difficult to have it in my possession and not be "tasting" it all the time. Rob feels the same way. This is such a loving and wonderful gesture from our friends and hopefully a sure fire hit. If you would like to buy a jar, please post a comment on my blog or email me. The cost is $10 per jar, and you can order mild or hot. I promise that your taste buds will thank you!
The money raised from the sale of the salsa will help pay for our apartment on our next trip to Bulgaria and our daughter Julia's plane ticket as she will be traveling with us this time. The money we have already raised will be used to pay our remaining fees and for mine, Rob and Aleksandar's plane tickets.
As you can see, we have truly been very blessed in so many ways by our adoption!