When Stephen and I started the adoption process in February, I stressed out over the financial part. I looked at the sheet of paper outlining all the expenses and I immediately felt overwhelmed. I had no idea how we were going to be able to come up with that kind of money.
It turns out we’re loved by a whole lot of people. I’ve always heard that it takes a village to raise a child. We’re not parents yet, but our “village” has shown up over and over and over again.
At the beginning of March, we announced on Facebook that we had started the adoption process. Almost immediately, our phones blew up with text messages saying, “How can we help you?”
Our grandparents covered the initial costs, ensuring we wouldn’t have to pay for the home study and that the placement fee would be covered if we were matched quicker than expected.
My sweet friends from Westwood organized the biggest, most extravagant yard sale I’ve ever seen. They sorted clothes, toys, shoes, home goods, furniture, books and so much more. Other friends showed up on the day of the yard sale, cooking sausage biscuits and hot dogs to sell to shoppers for breakfast and lunch. Ladies in the church baked tons of goodies for a bake sale.
When we announced our t-shirt fundraiser, we thought we would sell 30-40 shirts. MAYBE. We underestimated our people. There are now 110 people around the country—and world!—wearing the “Love Makes a Family” t-shirts. We don’t even personally know all of the people who bought a t-shirt. Stephen’s grandma paid for the tshirts, so we could keep the profits, and his Uncle Jeff, who made the shirts, kept the costs of shirts low to help us out.
My parents graciously organized a Q-We-Do BBQ fundraiser, and my goal was to sell 150 pounds. I thought that would be awesome. Well, it was awesome—especially since we sold 242 pounds. My parents’ friends showed up on a Friday night to pull pork, and people from the church where I grew up showed up to buy pork. I told one woman that I was so appreciative, and she responded by saying, “You’re our girl. We watched you grew up. Of course we’re going to help.”
Our village—this community of people we’ve surrounded ourselves with—has supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. I get text messages from friends asking how they can pray for us, or asking where we are in the process. My best friend, Kourtney, just text me last week and told me she has a gift for Baby Hamby. Things like that—people acknowledging that this baby is real and prayed for and loved despite not knowing who he or she is—are such an encouragement. One day, we’ll sit down with our child and tell him or her how much our friends and family cared for and loved them before we even knew them. We’ll show him or her pictures of friends wearing adoption t-shirts, of people pulling pork, and the biggest yard sale in the world. We’ll share how people prayed for us, and for him or her, and the birth mother who made us parents.
We’re so grateful. This seems so inadequate, but thank you, thank you, thank you. You’re helping us toward our dream of becoming parents and I can’t explain how grateful I am for that gift.