Archive | July, 2012

Final Garage Sale & Fundraising Total….

30 Jul

We had our third and final garage sale on Friday and Saturday.  It was pretty slow, but by the end of the weekend we’d raised $600.  Not too shabby!  When the first DAY of the first garage sale you’ve ever done brings in $1,200, every other garage sale for the rest of your life will desperately fall short. Our first garage sale was Memorial Day weekend, on a Friday and Saturday. I think it was so successful for a number of reasons…

1. We had a lot of BIG items (beds, toddler beds, couches, desks, tables, etc).

2. It was the very beginning of the garage sale season and people were excited to get shopping.

3. School was in session and we live right next door to an elementary school.  There were hundreds of parents and school staff coming and going.  This brought in a lot of traffic!

4. We weren’t competing with 17 million other garage sales.

All of these factors combined to bring us huge success for our first garage sale.  The second garage sale was tough because it rained for half of the first day (which was a Friday) and we couldn’t do it the second day because it was raining.  Our third garage sale felt very much like the “end of garage sale season”.  People trickled in and out, there were a lot of “drive-bys” without stopping, and although I’d marked everything way down, people still wanted to pay only half the marked price.  That was a little frustrating!

But overall I feel that these garage sales were a huge success and definitely the best fundraiser we can do.  I would recommend this fundraiser to anyone and would definitely do it again myself.  But probably not til next summer…. :o)

Ready for the grand total???  Drum roll please……………

After three garage sales and a handful of eBay and Craigslist sales, we have raised $3,200 this summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Woo hoo!!!!  God is so good.  And thank you so much to all of you who donated items for us to sell.  We feel so grateful and so blessed by everyone’s willingness to pitch in.  We still have many items listed on eBay and Craigslist, so the funds are still coming in!

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Garage Sale #2

18 Jul

We had our 2nd garage sale scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 29th-30th.  There was a lot of decent stuff left over from our first garage sale and more wonderful donations kept coming from friends and family.  The weather forecast said “A” shower around 10am on Friday, then clouds and sun the rest of the day.  Saturday was not looking so good but we decided to go ahead and set up for Friday, hoping the shower would come and go and not cause us too much trouble.  Wellllllllllllllll, A SHOWER turned into an entire morning of “showering” non-stop.  However, it conveniently didn’t start showering until after we’d set up a ton of stuff outside.  Thankfully, my wonderful husband and father-in-law came to the rescue by covering everything with plastic tarps.  Because I had put signs up everywhere and posted on Craigslist, we actually had a steady stream of people all morning.  Every time we thought about packing things up, another person would show up.  We have a garage and large basement so we used that area to set up as well.  By about noon, the drizzle burned off and the rest of the day was just muggy with clouds and bursts of sunshine.  Believe it or not, we ended up making over $700 on Friday!   Not bad for one day that was raining for half the time!  God is good.  We didn’t bother setting up on Saturday because it rained on and off all day.  We’ll be finishing off our garage sale extravaganza the last weekend of July.  Hopefully we can sell everything!

The Paper Chase: Round 2

18 Jul

So remember last summer when I was working feverishly on a little thing we adoption peeps call the paper chase, trying to get all our paperwork done so we could get on the waiting list for a baby from Ug?  Well, guess what?  Now that we’ve switched countries I get to do it all over again!  Okay, so I’m being a little dramatic.  I don’t have to do it ALL over again, but there was still a decent amount of paperwork that had to be collected or redone to get our dossier ready for Eth.  I’ll spare you all the boring details and just say that I’m so relieved we are almost done with the paperwork we need for our dossier.  We are just waiting on a few more documents that we’ve already requested from the powers that be, so you can pray with us that we get those SOON.  We’ve sent our agency all the documents we have so far and they’ve already begun to process them and get them ready to be sent to Eth.  At the rate things are going, I suspect our dossier will be in Eth and we’ll be added to the waiting list (for a BABY!) by mid or late August.  It’s so strange that it will be almost exactly a year ago that we were put on the waiting list for a baby from Ug.

There have been many times in the past few months when I’ve felt a deep sense of tiredness.  Not physical exhaustion but more like emotional fatigue. I’m thankful we’ve not had to completely start over from scratch but I am so looking forward to crossing another milestone on this journey.  Once we’re added to the waiting list it will be 6-9 months until we’re matched with a baby.  Please, God, let that time fly!

And here’s a little something for those of you who love boring details.  Below is a list of all the documents we had to collect for our Eth dossier.  I’ve made notes next to each one regarding whether we had to redo it or could use what we had from our Ug. dossier.  All the things in bold are documents I didn’t have from the Ug. dossier or ones I had to have redone because they were expired.  Enjoy!

  1. Letter of Intent — Notarized (This is a letter to the Ethiopian Director of the Ministry of Women & Children’s Affairs, indicating why we want to adopt from Eth and what we hope to provide for our adopted child, etc, etc.)
  2. Government-Issued (Certified) Birth Certificate (already had these from previous dossier)
  3. Government-Issued (Certified) Marriage Certificate (the one I had wasn’t certified so I had to order one of these)
  4. “Good Conduct” Letters  — Notarized (from local police department…basically they are statements of criminal clearance).
  5. Original Medical Report — Notarized (We had to have these redone because they were expired)
  6. One original copy of our Home Study — (Because we switched countries, we had to get this updated).
  7. USCIS Approval — Whenever our Home Study is updated, we have to send it into USCIS (Immigration) and they re-approve us.
  8. Letter of Employment Verification — Notarized (Both of ours had to be redone because they were over 1 year old).
  9. Bank Letter — Notarized (This had to be redone because the notarization was expiring soon).
  10. Financial Statement — Notarized (this was a document we had to fill out about our financial situation, income, bills, etc).
  11. Letter From Health Insurance Provider (stating that our adopted child will be covered by our health insurance.  I had to get this redone because it was over a year old as well.)
  12. Letter From Life Insurance Provider (stating that Josh has a policy and how much it covers. We did not need this for the Ug. dossier so it was a new document we had to get.)
  13. Three Letters of Reference — Notarized (We had the letters already, but they weren’t notarized so we had to send them back to our friends and have them get notarized).
  14. Obligation of Adoption-Reporting Commitment — Notarized (this was just a form from our agency that we needed to sign).
  15. Power of Attorney — 3 copies Notarized
  16. Copies of Passports
  17. Passport sized photos (two of each of us)
  18. Tax Returns from the past two years