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Monday, March 9, 2015

Unforgettable


Saturday was an evening we will never forget. This weekend left a mark on our lives that is truly incredible and we will never be able to express what it meant to us.

When we first announced to our families that we planned to pursue international adoption, fundraising came up quickly as part of the conversation. While we were resistant at first (it can be awkward and uncomfortable), we quickly realized that in order to pay the fees associated with bringing our children home in the relatively near future, we would need to ask for help in some form or fashion to supplement our savings plan – fundraising, grants, loans, etc. We attended a seminar through our adoption agency on affording adoption early in our process and learned a lot about all of the different ways to raise funds; this started the discussion on how we would move forward, step by step, to make this part of the adoption process a reality.

Mary’s family had the idea of a trivia night and silent auction and ran with it from the start. The planning started around Christmas and the outpouring of support was overwhelming from the beginning. Donations of silent auction items and reservations to attend came pouring in and the next couple of months were full of plans and excitement. Saturday finally arrived and we had 28 silent auction items with 115 seats reserved – this was well beyond what we could have even hoped for! The event was such a fun time – Scott and I loved seeing teams of people from all areas of our lives come together to have such a fun evening playing trivia! We had people there from all over the country to support adoption – our family and friends traveled from all over Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, and Kansas to come to this event. We wished we had the time to sit down and talk for hours with every single table – it was so fun to have such a tremendous team there in support of adoption and in support of our family! Like we've said many times before – it takes a village to raise a child and we were so thankful for this time with our “village” this weekend.

Our families ran this event – from writing the trivia, purchasing/baking all of the food, checking people in, setting up, tearing down, managing the 50/50 raffle, keeping the food stocked, etc. – the event was a success thanks to our family. We cannot say how truly grateful we are for all of the time, money, and effort they put into this event!!!

From the fundraising perspective, this event went beyond what we could have EVER imagined. Close to $8,000 was donated on Saturday night through ticket sales, the silent auction, MudLOVE bracelet sales, 50/50 raffle, and additional donations. Like we said… speechless. We are adopting a sibling group (will explain more below), which will be approximately $40,000 in fees. To raise 20% of our total cost in one evening? Absolutely incredible. Your generosity and hearts for adoption have humbled us in ways we cannot explain. We appreciate your support more than words would ever be able to say. You have all left an impression on us & our families that will last a lifetime.

We have some significant updates on the process, too!

Our home study draft is complete! Woohoo!! We met with the agency again last Wednesday to finalize any remaining questions they had, then they sent us our home study draft on Friday afternoon! We are in the process of reading through it and making any edits we need to – it will go back and forth like that between us and the agency until everyone feels good and then it’ll be complete! Yay! Once that is finalized, then we start on our dossier paperwork. In the meantime, we also get to start on our education and we are very excited for that. We received our education plan when we met with them and are anxious to get going on it. We are excited to learn about parenting, parenting adopted children specifically, and all about different techniques, stressors, etc. More to come on that as we complete it!

A very significant update that comes as part of our home study is our wish to adopt a sibling group. We have said all along that we were open to a sibling group, but what we did not anticipate as part of the home study process was the recommendation of putting that we were looking to adopt a sibling group specifically. Instead of, for example, putting that we are looking to adopt 1-3 children, we now have that we are looking to adopt 2-3 children. So, a match to an individual child is highly unlikely since we have made that more specific. While we are certainly open to an individual child, they urged us to be very specific, which led to us the indication of a sibling group. So now, our reference to “our children” rather than “our child” is very purposeful! From the beginning of our adoption process, we have felt very led to being open to a sibling group, but for some reason taking the leap to putting that into our home study felt like a huge one. Rather than a sibling group being a “possibility”, it quickly became a reality as it is in our home study and will eventually go to Eastern Europe as part of our paperwork.

You might be tired of hearing it, but we will never be tired of saying thank you. We feel that our words fall so short of expressing our true gratitude to all of you for your support, encouragement, generosity, and prayers. We are so thankful for our village.


Love,
Mary and Scott



A few pictures from trivia night!

So excited for an incredible evening!

One of my best friends, Megan!


Best friends that came all the way from Ohio!

Full house for trivia!

My Dad emcee'd the evening and ran the trivia!

Sarah modeling all of our beautiful MudLOVE options! Bracelet MVP/Coordinator

The winning trivia team - so fun!

Sarah doing what she does best... bracelets!
Dinner time! Our families kept all of our guests fed and entertained!

My awesome brother and sister helping to run the event!