Sunday, September 22, 2013

Garage sale fundraiser, the toy, and the collection

Two weekends ago, Dan and I had an adoption fundraiser garage sale. We had been planning it for about a month. We collected so many donations of items to sell that our house literally looked like an episode of Hoarders. Dan was pretty stressed out and every time our poor dogs turned around, they knocked something over. But you know what, it was worth living like that for a short period of time because it helped us earn money for our adoption fund. It taught us some things about ourselves. It showed us the amazing support system that we have. And we even met some awesome people. We advertised it as an adoption fundraiser, so even strangers came out to show their support. People came to share their stories and experiences with adoption with us. They came to tell us good luck. The words of encouragement were so meaningful and appreciated. Everyone helped us from donating their time to help us set up, clean up and stay organized, to lending us things like tables, clothing racks, a cash box, their truck and trailer, and even their home and yard so we would have an ideal location. It could not have been more successful.

So, it was hard for us to decide to have the garage sale as a fundraiser because we did not want people to think that we were asking for any kind of hand out. We didn't want anyone to feel like they had to help us. We know that pursuing adoption is our plan and our decision. It is our responsibility. But I remembered something someone close to me once said about my infertility. We were having a very emotional and in depth conversation about how isolated and angry that, I, especially felt while we were going thru our IUI. When we decided to do that, we didn't tell anyone really because we thought we had to keep it private. And that was stressful. And she said to me that she wished she had known we were going thru that because she would have wanted to offer any support she could have. And there were some other things, but the bottom line was because we kept people in the dark, we didn't give them the option to support us or not (and I don't just mean financially). We took away their ability to offer love and support and be there for us in any way they were comfortable or able. So the adoption process is going to be different. We are going to be honest about what we are going thru. We are going to allow our friends and family and coworkers, etc to support us however they are comfortable. And with that in mind, we planned the garage sale fundraiser. We ended up raising around $2500 from the weeks leading up to the sale, the two days of the sale, and in the few weeks since. Pretty amazing! We have a long way to go, but that was definitely a great start with what we had saved already (what we had saved was going to be for another IUI, but plans have a way of changing and we truly believe the adoption is a change for the better for us).
Roly Poly Chime Ball-First toy for Baby Howard

The Roly Poly Chime Ball pictured is a toy that was in our garage sale. Dan found it and brought it over to me. It was a moment with just the two of us. He showed it to me and said, "Look at this. Isn't it cool? This is a really old toy. I think we should keep it and it will be our baby's first toy". A super sweet moment that melted my heart and showed me a glimpse of how much Dan is looking forward to us being parents. I still don't think he really understands how much that moment with him, and that toy means to me. We have nothing for a baby. We have nothing on purpose. And one of the guidelines we have been given is to not get baby items or a nursey or anything like that too far in advance. And I understand why. And I am following that guideline. But we are keeping the toy because it is a reminder for us of what we are going to have. Besides, it's a little memento from our garage sale.

On another note of fundraising, Dan has the most thoughtful and wonderful co-workers. I just found out today that they started a collection for us at his work. When I saw this picture, I literally started crying. Part of it was the stork. Isn't is silly how that image could evoke such an emotional reaction from me? I don't know how to explain it. It's about what it represents, I guess, if that makes sense. The other reason that I was crying was because of the generosity. These are people who work hard for their money, people who have their own responsibilities, families, needs, etc., but they want to help us financially. More then financially, though, they want to help us acheive our dream of becoming parents. Dan has worked at his job for 13 years. I always knew he had good co-workers and friends. But they are so much more then that. Now, they are a part of our story. They will have a hand in helping us to one day bring our baby home. I don't know if they all know just how grateful we are, and how much this gesture truly means.

So, to our family, friends, co-workers, family and friends of family and friends, and even strangers; thank you. Thank you for helping to make this possible, thank you for being there, thank you for your support and generosity, thank you for believing is us and believing in our dream. Also, thank you to anyone who reads my blog.