A great big thank you to everyone who participated in some way in our adoption auction! We raised over $600. The final total for what the items were sold at is $607, but as I'm receiving checks, cash, paypal payments, etc. many of you are being generous and rounding up or adding an extra $5-10, so the total has gone up a little from that.
After most of the auction money comes in, we should be able to send off our I600 in the mail, which is a petition for "advance processing of orphan". You ship it, birth certificates, marriage license, the home study and $890 of to the USCIS (United States Citizen & Immigration Services) and they'll set up an appointment for us to get fingerprinted (again.), and then once that is approved (and we get other paperwork together... and more money...), we'll be able to send our dossier to the Congolese government. The latest fundraisers have been enough for us to get that check in the mail (Thank you God!). The next big chunk of money is the dossier fee, which is $2,000 and the translation fee (for the dossier) of $300.
All this adoption stuff is so new to me, I'm learning as we go. I only sort of/kind of know what we're doing next. I went to our agency's website that keeps track of where we are in the process, just to confirm that I'm telling y'all the right information!
Tonight I updated our little thermometer over there ------> to be accurate to the cash/checks we have (or have had) in hand. It doesn't include auction money that we haven't received, so I'll keep updating as the cash/checks/paypal keep coming :)
So... what's next? I'm still knee deep in auction stuff. The auction ended 5 days ago, but I'm still delivering items, collecting money, shipping out packages, etc. Honestly, I'm only able to juggle a certain number of balls. Children, house, husband, church, friends, adoption paperwork, adoption fundraising.... so I don't want too many "adoption balls" in the air at the same time. So, we won't be doing any other fundraisers until all of the auction items are out of my house and delivered :) BUT, we do have one on the calendar for the end of May... so everything should be delivered by then! ;)
On May 28th (which happens to be Memorial Day) we'll start our week on Give1Save1 as the featured family! The website is a fabulous website, run by a woman who is in the middle of the adoption process herself (and still raising money for their adoption), but felt like God was calling her to help others. This website has grown a ton just in the past 6 months since I discovered it. They now have 3 featured families every week- 1 family adopting from Africa, 1 from Asia and 1 from Haiti. The whole idea of "give 1, save 1" is the thought that not everyone has a lot of money to give, but pretty much everyone of us can afford to give $1. Just one dollar. So every week she asks people to donate 1 dollar to the family of the week. If 20,000 people donated $1 to our adoption fund... we'd be covered! If 10,000 donated $2... we'd be covered! If 5,000... you get the idea! So, that week I'll be asking you to support us financially (every dollar counts!), and I'll also be asking you to help spread the word! The more people that hear our story, see our video and click on that link to donate $1, the closer we are to getting our baby girl home!
So, that's our fundraiser for May :) At the end of June we'll be hosting a benefit concert, and you'll be hearing more about that at the end of May (remember... one ball at a time!)