We had returned just in time for July 4th holidays. Our family has made a tradition of spending this holiday unplugged and relaxing in the NC mountains with close friends and family, so we barely got home and settled before packing up the entire family to head for an extended weekend away. Because we had just returned from a weeks vacation traveling to meet Sweet Girl, we weren’t able to afford any additional time off from our respective jobs for our annual trip. Thankfully my job occasionally offers me the flexibility of working remotely where I was able to remain in the mountains with the girls, while she unfortunately had to put on some extra miles and return to town for work on Thurs and Fri. The girls enjoyed the thin mountain air and getting to experience the lake. We couldn’t help but imagine Sweet Girl joining us for our very next July 4th celebration… what would be her reaction getting to experience mountains for the first time?
After returning from the holiday weekend, we finally got settled back into our normal routine and an eerie silence. Since we had worked overtime leading up to our first trip, we had completed our court dossier in addition to our registration dossier and were able to travel with it and hand it over to our facilitator before returning home. With so much excitement and activity, its odd to be sitting still, not having to gather some document, signature or stamp. Since leaving country, we had been waiting on some documents our facilitator had requested to come back from the capital before she would be able to complete our court dossier and register us for a court date. With summer vacation, this took almost a month. Just as things appeared to quiet down, we got word that our faciliator had received the waiting documents and spoken to the courts in Sweet Girl’s town… we would be allowed to formally submit our court dossier on Aug 8th! I’m not sure the reason for the delay, I believe it is a customary time for officials to take vacation around this time of year, so that might have had something to do with it. But at any rate, we had a date to look forward to that was less than 2 weeks away. To keep us occupied during that time, they mentioned some additional, non-standard documents that the courts in her region would require… we needed to collect 3 more. After collecting dozens and dozens, it seemed hardly a challenge. But we took several weeks and sort of ignored the not so fun part of adopting (paperwork and fundraising). We took our time and collected those and they went off to the facilitator and to be apostilled on Friday.
For some time since before our first trip, we had been collecting items from friends with the intention of holding a yard sale fundraiser. This would be our second large fundraiser after our online giveaway contest. We had several items around the home to sell and figured we could collect enough other items from friends and family to hold a yardsale. As our garage started to fill up with donations and the reality of traveling and expenses started to set in, it was time to pick a date. We hardly felt ready or prepared, but decided that picking a date would motivate us. Being that July was filling up fast having just returned from trip 1 and July 4th holday and August was starting to hold promise of our 2nd trip, we picked the last weekend in July, our 6 year anniversary weekend, giving us about 2 weeks notice to put together the yard sale. So we bought an ad in the local paper and locked us in. There was no turning back now!
Right up to the day before the yardsale, we were both unsure of how it was going to turn out. We had collected some items, but items didn’t really start to roll until there was less than a week left. It seemed every night the week of the event I was driving my truck to a new location to pick up donated items, a definite blessing, but frenzied all at the last moment. Then trying to source a substantial number of folding tables, clothing racks, and hangers to display items on was another challenge. Thanks to the Johnson’s and the Voigt’s for helping us out. We couldn’t have done it without them. And thanks to her mom for letting us have the yardsale in her front yard. It was an excellent location! All in all we raised about $1600!! Our goal was $800 so this doubled our expectations! It was a definite blessing, but reminded us that fundraising is tough and not for the meek! We took the camera, but never got a picture we were so busy!
We now have two last fundraisers:
1. A Christmas in July Auction – Yes, it’s August now, but this started in July! This is a joint effort of several families adopting from Sweet Girl’s country. You can see the items up for bid here: http://www.facebook.com/ChristmasInJulyAuction
To bid, just comment on the picture with your bid and at the end we will announce the winners and tell you where to pay. Then the person who donated the item will ship it to you! It’s loads of fun – like ebay for a good cause! The auction ends 8/12.
2. One of my friends from school has graciously set us up an account at indiegogo.com. We are understandably a little fundraised out, but we are excited to use this as our last push. There is a really awesome video of our first visit over there which is worth a look! You can see it here: http://www.indiegogo.com/Sweet-Girl . There are some great incentive’s for donations too!
AND, most importantly, pray for Vita this week (Wednesday or Thursday) – she is presenting our case to the judge and he will do a preliminary review of the documents and hopefully assign us a court date. I have talked to the only two other families who I know have adopted from this region and they both got about 2 weeks notice for court. This means that we could possibly travel as soon as 8/26!