1) The new adoption agency completely freaked us out by sending us paperwork that in no way matched what we'd discussed with them thus far. They are now completely apologetic & state that they realize that this has caused us significant stress & made it difficult for us to feel comfortable with them. They've since sent us a new agreement, which I scanned quickly -- it IS what we expected from them initially. We missed our window of time to get it notarized when we had free time on Friday, and now it'll have to wait until later this week. Not coincidentally, later this week, we'll almost certainly have enough cash on hand to pay our initial $10,000 fee. Good timing, yes?
2) A friend continues to go through her library & has donated more books to us. So, I'm back up to almost 650 books on my half.com store site! Manga, graphic novels, kids' series ... lots of good stuff & more going "active" as I continue going through the garage sale books. And as I go through books to update, I've been pulling all the ones that are worth less than 75 cents. We took 6 bags over to Half Price Books this afternoon & made $25. Every buck counts, so I'm not complaining.
3) Ready for the most mind-boggling bit? I met a neighbor at the garage sale on October 3rd. She remembered what I'd told her about our situation & appeared on my front door step last Thursday morning. She had already laid the groundwork for a raffle to help us raise funds! She's already got several local business owners to make donations & is soliciting more. She's working with a local restaurant, DuPage Inn, that's selling raffle tickets at their bar & on November 7th, they'll hold a drawing during halftime of the Bears game for 3 different gift baskets. Is that cool or what? When I mentioned it on Facebook, a friend's husband commented that this should be the kind of thing shown on the evening news. Another friend, who is a journalist, offered to write up a press release. So, who knows how big this will get??