Adoption Carnival – a HUGE Success!
This past weekend in Westmoreland, TN (my hometown), the Lakeside Church Adoption Ministry hosted the 5th Annual Adoption Carnival for Kids. During its previous four years, the carnival has helped to assist and fund families who are taking part in the adoption process. So far, this program has helped to adopt 11 children from the U.S., the Philippines, Haiti, Korea, China and Ethiopia. This year we were chosen to be the recipients to help support our upcoming adoption of two children from the Congo. We were so blessed to be a part of this event.
We were a little concerned moving into the weekend because the event was scheduled to be in the city park and a huge storm front was moving through. On Friday night, it set in. The local weather stations were saying that it should be out by noon the following day (which was cutting it close considering the carnival started at 2pm!). We got up the following morning and were all saying our prayers that the storm would quickly make its way out of town. Sure enough, it went from no sun, heavy rains and chilly weather to an absolutely gorgeous afternoon, pleasant temps and blue skies. It couldn’t have been more perfect!
There was so much for the kids to do! Leave it to my country TN friends to come up with some resourceful ideas such as the train ride (shown here). All you need is a lawn mower and some 5 gallon drums with holes cut out in them! They are definitely not intended for big people, though. My best friend from college had a hard time getting her legs in there, but we still made the best of it as we took our ride around the track.
There were all kinds of carnival games, from fishing, to toilet bowl tosses, to putt putt, to dart throws. And of course the jumping houses were a huge hit. What kids (big and small) don’t love a good jump house?
We were so excited to meet some adoptive families at the carnival. One family in particular drove all the way from Franklin, TN (about 1.5 hrs away) to meet us. They are also adopting 2 children from Congo through Lifeline Children’s Services (our adoption agency). They were recently just matched with their kids that they will soon adopt – 6 year old twins! It’s neat how God connects your hearts with complete strangers through adoption.
The silent auction turned out to be a coveted event for the adults at the carnival. This was the first year to incorporate a silent auction and it ended up generating $1400 of the total funds that day! There were some great items that were donated by friends, family and local businesses to help provide a wide variety of items and services for the auction.
We were excited to finally display our new t-shirts! Everyone seemed to love them and purchased theirs to help show their support. (We still have more left, though, for you out-of-town folks, so stay tuned for how you can get your shirt!).
Bobbye Wix, the event director, called me late Saturday night. She had tallied the figures and re-counted the money several times to make sure she had it right. She was amazed – along with me – that the total number raised that day was over $5,000! WOW! I think that’s the only word I could get out for a few minutes during our conversation! We were expecting to raise about $2,000 or so but did NOT anticipate $5,000!
We are simply blown away at the overwhelming support and love that we have been shown this past weekend from some amazing people in middle TN. We are so excited and encouraged as we move forward in our adoption process and know without a doubt that God will continue to provide for us and help us bring home our two little ones.
It’s so true, but hard to believe at times, that God only calls us to do something when he intends on paving the way for our journey. We didn’t know from the beginning how we would come up with the $34,000 or so that it would take to adopt these kids, but we knew that God was asking us to put our “Yes” on the table and step out in faith. So far in our journey, we can testify that God has been faithful. To date we have raised/saved over $19,000! Over halfway there.
To ALL of you who helped make this day happen in some shape or form, THANK YOU from the deepest part of our hearts! This weekend has been such a great source of joy and encouragement to us! We can’t wait to tell our children about all of you who helped play a part in giving them a forever home.