I have many short tales to share about our raising funds to pursue a nation-wide adoption, so here they are.
It started with me mentioning that I was going through our personal library to put more books up on my half.com store. And a friend told me she was going through her library & wanted to know if I wanted the ones she didn't want. Absolutely! I made mention of it on Facebook & several other friends asked if they could donate. Well, about 600 books later, I've got a ridiculous number of books listed & at one point, I was selling about a book every 6 hours! See what happens when you ask friends for help?
Sometimes it's not even friends. Sometimes it's from just an acquaintance. I posted a lot of my rubberstamps for sale on my blog a while ago. A lady I know only through an online messaging board contacted me & asked me if one particular stamp was available. When I told her it was, she offered me about 10 times what it was worth, saying "It's for a good cause." I just about cried. I mean how cool is that?
I started going through more things around the house, digging through closets & drawers, saying "I want a child more than I want this object." A few of the items I put up for auction on eBay, including a beautiful wooden painted jar that my parents had brought back from a visit to Kaluga, Russia . The thing was gorgeous -- black with gold leafing -- but it was just not my decor, so into a drawer it had gone. I mentioned on my eBay auctions that we were raising funds for adoption, and the winning bidder contacted me to say that he was so very excited. He'd adopted 3 children, two of them actually from Kaluga! Since then, we've been in contact & I dug out another container made in Kaluga, which he bought from me, paying me twice what I'd asked for it. Again ... wow.
Once I'd gone through my closets & drawers, I realized that I'd accumulated a lot of stuff, but I wasn't too keen on having a garage sale, because I remember all too clearly just how much friggin' work they are! Well, wouldn't you know that a friend's teenage daughter was redoing her room and asked if she could donate her stuff to me to sell & make money? I mean this is a no-brainer. When a teenager takes an active interest in our adoption to move forward, I've just got to run with it, right? Her mom even volunteered to manage the sale while we were gone for the first 3 hours of it at the American Heart Association, making it possible for us to be open for business!
While we were at the walk, my friend made a sale to a couple, a ziploc bag full of toy cars that I'd priced for $1. When they found out the sale was raising funds for adoption, they handed her $5 and explained their son was adopted.
One lady stopped by, completely unplanned, in full church attire & when she saw the sale was to raise funds for our adoption, she explained she'd just been to a talk about growing families through adoption. She picked out many things from the sale & said that although she was financially strapped, she believed God would make sure she had enough in her purse to cover everything she wanted, including a framed crewel-work piece that was in her favorite colors with her first initial! I gave her the total, $15 and change. She pulled out a $20 and told me to keep it all. Praise Jesus, indeed!
One of the funniest moments of the garage sale happened shortly after a neighbor lugged over a giant cooler & told us to sell it & keep the profits. A shiny black Audi pulled up & I joked with my friend that hopefully they'd have some money to spend. Well, he'd spotted the cooler & did a U-Turn to come back. The guy hopped out of the car, neatly groomed with pressed pants & an argyle sweater vest, walked right towards us briskly and asked how much the cooler was. We told him it was $20, and he said he'd take it. We learned that he and his wife were on a way to a christening and they decided to stop. We laughingly asked if this was a typical pre-christening activity for them, as he pulled gifts out of the backseat to make room for the cooler. We also said we hoped this wasn't going to result in marital discord, as his wife continued to sit in the car. He laughed and she said, "Are you kidding me? Now we won't have to borrow a cooler from the new guy anymore!" Happy people all around!
One gruff customer dickered with me over the cost of a cordless drill that was missing a charger. He was a fierce bargainer, and it was clear he was keen on getting a bargain & didn't want to part with his hard-earned cash. We decided upon a price, and he counted out the money. I laughingly mentioned the cookies & brownies we also had for sale and mentioned we were raising funds for adoption. He looked incredibly sheepish, handed me a bunch of singles and said, "Aw, just take it. I don't need no cookies. Give 'em to somebody else." Never would've thunk it!
Lastly, as I've been putting things on Craigslist, I've made some interesting connections. One was a post of someone looking for postage stamp for his collection. Although it turns out my childhood stamp collection is pretty much worthless, he did share his story of how he adopted his 2 kids about 15 and 20 years ago. It encouraged me to keep on pursuing this new agency even though it feels risky & feels overwhelming & really really really freakin' expensive.
Oh, and as a last thought, I'd just like to make mention of all the friends & family who have come out of the woodwork to loan tables, to give me packing materials, to help me set things up, to donate items for us to sell, and just to let me know you're there. It means more than you can possibly know. Thanks for touching my heart & giving me hope.