JT and I (Dani) have been preparing to adopt from Taiwan for a year now and it is finally becoming a reality! We have a son who is one and a half years old waiting for us and every time we open his photos we find ourselves staring at him. Here’s this perfect little boy that’s ours and we have no idea if he likes cars or planes (or both!), what color he likes, if he tries to help with household chores or tends to causes big messes. We are currently being told that he’ll be coming home somewhere between September and December of this year and we can’t wait!
Coming to the decision to adopt was both hard and perfect for us. I had a miscarriage in August of 2012 that had some minor complications. While our doctor said she found no reason why we couldn’t have biological children neither of us felt all that comfortable trying again. We hemmed and hawed for months over it before I got up the nerve to ask JT if he’d like to consider adoption instead. We had always talked about welcoming our kids’ friends into our homes as if they were our own and having a big family by simply “adopting” them. Why not actually adopt?
That one little suggestion has ended up rocking our worlds. We now can’t imagine our lives without the son that we still haven’t met. A little over a year ago we would’ve thought you were crazy if you told us we would be adopting. Now, adoption seems to come naturally to us as far as being the way to grow a family.
Raising the money for this hasn’t been easy. Because we chose to adopt a waiting child our fees have come a lot quicker than what a normal referral adoption would have been. A process we expected to take 2-3 years paying for has become a quick, 12 month affair. Our fundraising efforts have been up and down. Some were complete flops, while others were major blessings. We raised a little over $300 using a Pure Charity page, but because people had to make an account and jump through a few hoops to donate most weren’t up for taking that route. We hosted an auction via Facebook selling some homemade items as well as necklaces from The Adopt Shoppe Paired together with a Chrome Buffalo fundraiser, we raised almost $800.
We’ve learned a few things along this fundraising journey, the biggest of which being that community matters. We currently live on the other side of the country from our friends and family, which leaves some major resources of support and encouragement untapped. To add to that, we moved out to a small town where we don’t know many people and have only been attending our church for a couple of months. It’s fairly hard to fundraise when nobody knows who you are. We also learned that t-shirt sales just plain don’t work for us. We’ve tried 5 different t-shirt campaigns and the only non-flop was the Chrome Buffalo one. Maybe with our son home and acting as the adorable shirt model those type of campaigns will work better next time.
As of right now, we have several ongoing ways to bring in the money. We have a storefront with Just Love Coffee, which will donate $10 for every sale. We partnered with She Does Justice, where we receive 25% commission on each sale. We also work with Once Was Lost, who donate $5 per item will be given towards our adoption if you put JT and Dani Carroll in the notes at checkout. We also have a group page on Thred Up, which is a cool site that acts like an online consignment shop. They accept medium to high-end clothing and if you ordered a bag through our group page we receive the payment for those items! We’re in the process of putting together a clothing swap where the “admission” fee is two items to donate. You can see more about the types of items they accept here.
What we’re most excited for is our upcoming Etsy shop! A dear friend of mine has generously donated a ton of fabric for me and my mother-in-law to use to make baby quilts specifically to raise money towards bringing our son home. I’m hoping to have the shop open by mid-March to early-April with quilts, burp cloths, and other new mom goodness ready to be purchased.
If you’d like to keep up with our journey you’re welcome to follow us at How Do You Say Love in Mandarin? We’re hoping that as our story unfolds we’ll see God’s movement clearly and trust Him with the finances, timing, and our son’s life.
Each Friday I’ll feature a different fundraising adoptive family. My hope is that we can support each other and also learn from each other. For submission guidelines, go here.