A few posts back, I wrote about how we needed to raise funds for our adoption, but I had no clue what to do. We'd been praying about what to do, but meh....nothing seemed possible or interesting, I guess. I'm not sure what clicked too long after that, but I realized I have been given some tools and I just needed to put in a little elbow grease and most importantly, not be afraid to fail.
One idea I've toyed around with for awhile has been an Instagram auction. I've noticed that a lot of people have Instagram shops in lieu of or in addition to their Etsy shops. I've also noticed and participated in Instagram auctions to benefit another family's adoption, a mission trip, hospital bills, or medical equipment. My problem was that I don't know a whole lot of people who have shops nor did I really have that big of a "following" either. I finally just decided to go for it. I essentially cold called shops that I loved and asked them to donate an item, figured out how to make images on an iPhone app, and then publicized it. And then prayed that I'd actually have people who would donate and then people who would bid on the items. We ended up having 58 donations (76 total if you count the stuff I had for sale leftover from last summer's handmade market) and raised....wait for it....more than $1,100!
Here's what gets me - there were a few people I know in real life who participated in the auction, but the majority of vendors and bidders are complete strangers. So for those of you who donated an item or bid on an item, thank you. You don't know me or my family and only know our story from our Instagram or this blog, but you took a leap of faith on us, and we are so, so grateful.
Switching gears, we happened to be out and about when we landed at a baby store. I figured we're far enough along in this process that we should begin to think about some of the bigger purchases like a stroller and a car seat....you know, start to plan. One thing lead to another, and somehow I got CJ talked into letting me start a baby registry. Not that we expect anyone to actually buy anything for us, especially given how much support we've already been given, but I like having things in one place and knowing we've already agreed on certain things.
And speaking of baby stores, they really don't cater to adoptive families. I know it's not intentional, but the whole process is definitely geared to first-time parents of infants. If you're adopting a toddler...well, those baby coupons and baby thank you gift they provide aren't really going to do much. Their system even requires them to enter in a due date, even if you've marked that you're adopting, so we chose a due date of Christmas Eve 2016. Again, I realize it's not meant to be exclusive, but it definitely comes across that way.
And our biggest news...the dossier is complete! It went off to our agency this morning! To be clear, we aren't done with the paperwork, but this is the biggest chunk of work. This file goes to China for their authorities to review and hopefully approve us to adopt. Once we have their approval, we'll be eligible to be matched!