¡Muchas gracias!

This post is long overdue!  I had intended to share the fantastic results of our Trash to Treasure sale right after it ended...yeah, that was a month ago already!  Our lives are crazy--mostly in a good way!  In addition to all this adoption paperwork, online training, fundraising, and home studying, I'm planning our church's VBS (with help from some amazing teenagers and college students), working on homeschooling stuff for and with my kids, and Michael and I are getting ready to leave for Guatemala this week for a 10-day short term missions trip!  So, all that to say, I have some valid excuses for taking so long to post, but now it's time to get caught up before I get too far behind! 

 Our Trash to Treasure sale was AMAZING because our church family is AMAZING!  When I first envisioned how this fundraiser would go down, I pictured a decent amount of stuff filling our church multi-purpose room.  But I never dreamed that so many people (including total strangers!) would donate so much nice stuff to our cause!  All I can say is that our church family is awesome beyond words!  When I originally mentioned the idea of a rummage/garage sale as a fundraiser, a lady from our church named Lisa contacted me and said that God had laid it on her heart to help coordinate the event.  I was like, "Great!  I love it!"  But she ended up doing so much more than coordinating!  Lisa poured her whole heart into this event to ensure that we raised as much money as possible for this adoption!  She gave up an entire week of her life!  She was literally at the church every day and some nights until midnight!  She had volunteers scheduled in shifts to work different areas of the sale and she made sure everything went as smoothly as possible.  I honestly don't think it would have been nearly as successful without her!  We are eternally grateful, Lisa!  :)

And the donations...all I can say is WOW!  I couldn't even take a photo that included everything in it.  And this picture was taken when we only had about 2/3 of the stuff collected!  I forgot to take another one right before the sale!  The amount of stuff was just overwhelming!  And we are so grateful to everyone who donated: the people in our church family, our own family members (my parents, Michael's mom, my grandparents, my cousin, Dawn), friends from college who I hadn't seen in 9 years, random strangers...  ¡Muchas gracias!

And then there were the volunteers who sorted and priced EVERYTHING!  There were so many people who came and gave up their evenings to stack the thousands of baby clothing items by size and price all of the tiny knick knacks!  And some of those people even volunteered during the sale, too!  To all of you, we say, "¡Muchas gracias!"

We also had a "Cupcakes for Colombia" bake sale!  And 2 ladies from church baked hundreds of ridiculously delicious and adorable cupcakes for us!  And some of my children's ministry girls from church volunteered all weekend to sell cupcakes for our adoption!  They were awesome at it, too!  They made us almost $200!

In the end, we made a grand total of $3852!!!  That will get us a long way!  It will pay for the rest of our home study and our training.  And it will pay for our next placing agency fee, as well!  In the beginning, I had hoped for $2000.  But God did immeasurably more than I ever could have asked for!  

So, the next step for us is to finish our home study.  We've had some delays in wrapping it up because we were having trouble getting scheduled for training at our recommending agency.  But, we got that all worked out, and we have training and hopefully another meeting with our social worker the week after we get back from Guatemala.  We had our fire inspection, which we passed with flying colors!  I was a nervous wreck right before it, but the guy doing the inspection was super nice and laid-back, which made it a pleasant experience for everyone!  

We apparently have to get our well water tested, and then finish up some paperwork, and hopefully we will wrap up our home study toward the end of summer...Then, we do more paperwork.  And a little more paperwork.  And a lot more paperwork.  Then our paperwork gets bundled together and translated and sent to Colombia!  From what I understand, once our dossier is in-country, the ICBF (the government agency that handles international adoptions) has to approve our dossier.  That could happen in a week...or it could take 6 months.  Then, once it's approved, we get put on the waiting list.  And we wait between 6 and 24 months for a referral call!

We are praying for smooth sailing all the way through!  We're asking God to do what should be impossible--no hiccups with 2 adoption agencies working together to send documents back and forth between 2 government agencies...asking for 2 kids under 4, which I was told is unlikely.  But God is bigger than government agencies and paperwork and statistics!  So, please pray with us that God will go before us and work all of the tiny details out!