In early February, we began a massive baby bottle fundraiser in which willing participants each took an empty baby bottle provided by us and filled it up with change (or any currency they wished) and returned it to us a month later.
When we began this project, we estimated that we'd possibly bring in around $1,000.
Probably more like $800.
As of today, with a few bottles still trickling in, we've officially raised $2,800 through our baby bottle project!!
I know...we still can't believe it either.
We're still completely blown away by the community support we've received. We didn't know that this would spread like wildfire, but by the grace of God, it did. We are so grateful to all of you who gave so generously to our adoption fund through this project that it's just too hard to really put into words.
However, one contribution in particular must be pointed out:
I was sitting down at church one Sunday, several weeks back, shortly after we launched the baby bottle fundraiser. A young, seven-year-old girl named Tahnayja came up to me. She had found a dime on her way to church and was trying to figure out what to do with it. Somewhere along the way, she had heard that we are adopting a baby, and while she didn't fully grasp what that meant, she understood that it's an expensive process. She came up to me and thrust out her hand with the dime in it. I asked, "What's this for?" She replied, "For your baby!" I thankfully received the small coin from her hand and put it into my pocket, fighting to maintain composure.
It was one of the most touching gifts we'd ever been given.
I couldn't help but relate this scenario to Luke 21, in which "Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, 'Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'"
I don't mean for this to minimize -- in ANY way -- the generosity shown to us by all who have contributed to our adoption fund, but what had compelled this little girl to give away her newfound prize to us? To a seven-year-old, ten cents can mean you're only a few more dimes away from a piece of candy. In a very real and tangible way, it truly felt as though this little girl had somehow "put in more than all of them."
On March 28th, we held our benefit brunch at Ida Mae's Bruncherie, a wonderful family-owned restaurant. THANK YOU to all of you who came out to support us, even though I'm sure the draw of eating great food didn't require us to twist your arms. The place was packed for most of the day so we ended up going from table to table to express our gratitude to all who came. We had a bunch of surprise attenders, which was awesome. Overall, it felt a little like our wedding day, as we wanted to make sure we spent at least a few minutes with everyone who showed up. Special thanks to Heather, Stew, Jeff, and Jeanie who drove considerable distances just to participate in our fundraiser. You have no idea how much it meant to us. We made about $200 at Ida Mae's that day and are unbelievably grateful to the restaurant's owner, Mary Kate, for being willing to partner with us in this effort. Ida Mae's is a wonderful restaurant that serves great food and employs wonderful people -- so hey, you should support them and eat there as often as you can!