Friday, October 18, 2013

But it hurts my pride

*No, this pic. isn't recent. It's borderline chilly here today. Nobody is sporting a swimsuit. But, like I said in my last post, I've been a little busy lately. And sometimes bloggers use pics they have on hand. Or at least I do. Hope that's ok.*

I want to talk to you today about adoption fundraising. I don't want to talk in a formal, informative way. I'm not announcing my latest fundraising effort; I want to talk to you from the heart about what fundraising is doing to my heart. 

Let's start at the beginning. 
I enjoy fundraising. 
I always have. 
In fact, I was a semester away from a degree in Public Relations in college when I decided to become an English teacher instead. My dream at the time was to do fundraising for nonprofit. And now, here I sit eleven years later, with an expired teaching license that I have no intention of renewing, and a desire in my heart to one day do fundraising for a nonprofit after Emily is home and settled, and I'm ready to work full-time again. 

Anyway, I love fundraising. 
I enjoy the short-term projects. 
I enjoy the marketing aspect of it all.
I thrive on watching the numbers rise. 

But fundraising for myself is a whole different ball game. 

The truth is, not everyone agrees with adoption. 
To take that a step further, not everyone agrees with fundraising for an adoption. 

And while I don't agree with either one of these opinions, it doesn't make the dirty looks and rolling of the eyes, and silent judgment I receive any easier. 

At the end of the day, I don't LIKE asking people to give their hard-earned money to our family. 
I WISH we could just write a $30,000 check and be done with it. 

But we can't. 
We don't have $30,000 in our bank account. 
We aren't rich. 
My husband is a teacher and volunteers as football coach. 
We bought my car on Ebay. 
I quit my job to do Noonday and stay home with the girls. 

However, in spite of all that, we are taken care of. 
My kids have all their needs met. 
We have no debt other than our home. 
We are still able to give to others. 
In fact, I'm proud of our financial standing, as we are rich compared to the majority of the world. 

But we aren't '$30,000 in the bank right now' rich. 
We are a typical, middle-class American family. 
I'm not ashamed of that. 
But it doesn't make asking for money any easier. 

I'd be lying if I said fundraising doesn't hurt my pride a little. 

So why do I do it? 
Why do I put myself out there and risk falling on my face time and time again? 

The answer to that is so easy for me; 
I do it because I'm a mother. 

And just like I took prenatal vitamins that made my sick and went over the multiplication tables more times this summer than I care to remember and endured three days in an oxygen tent with Hollyn and had a funeral for a hermit crab,
  I am doing this because it's what my daughter needs

I'm putting my pride in the closet and burying it back there behind the winter coat I only wear on the coldest of days. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone over and over and over again and keeping my chin up because my girl needs to come home. She needs her mother and her father and her sisters. She needs clean water and three meals a day and a doctor down the street. 
She needs us to tell her about Jesus.

And she can't have any of those things until she comes home. 
And she can't come home until I've raised $30,000. 

So I'll continue to put myself out there for my girl. 
I'll lose sleep and rack my brain and reach the end of Pinterest coming up with new ways to raise just a few more dollars. 

The idea of reaching a point in our adoption where we can't move forward because we don't have the funds needed to move to the next step literally makes me sick to my stomach. 
Adoption takes long enough without financial delays. 
And every day added is another day she will sit around the world waiting for her family to come for her. 

God has called us to adopt. 
He knows how much money we have in the bank, and yet He continues to confirm time and time again that we are right where we need to be in terms of growing our family via adoption. And that means we fundraise. 

Emily is my daughter, just like Libby and Hollyn are. 
There is no difference there in my mind or my heart. 
And no matter how hard it is to put myself out there, I will do it as many times as I have to for her. 

Adoption fundraising is the most humbling thing I have ever done. 
Every time someone sends a dollar our way or orders a t-shirt or supports us in our latest venture, 
it touches me. I literally can't articulate how important this is to me. I cannot say in words how truly thankful I am to the people who have helped bring our daughter to her forever family.

Emily is a part of me, and I will do whatever I have to do to get her home, 
no matter how hard it is sometimes. 

I would hope that every mother out there would say the same.

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