26 October 2009


Okay, so I'm about to be transparent and real here.  This also means that you will get to see my ugly but real side.  Warning.
I will try to keep it brief.
For months I have planned an adoption auction.  I have spent countless hours designing a website, gathering auction items, creating flyers about Ethiopia and orphans, purchasing supplies, asking God to bless the event, asking friends to make desserts, etc.  I've honestly spent more time on this event than I did on my wedding planning. 
We spent Saturday morning setting up and decorating.  I continued to pray for 3 main things: 1. That it would bring God glory, 2. That it would bring an awareness of orphans, 3. That we could raise a specific dollar amount with the auction.  It came together wonderfully and I was nervous but hopeful.  By mid afternoon, my throat was getting sore and I knew that I needed to sit down for awhile.  That break didn't happen but I did have a chance to get cleaned up (and put on make up for the first time in months), bathe my wild kids, and spend a few moments with family. 
We left to head back to the Opera House so that people could bring their desserts and we could eat as a family plus our friends that were helping.  As we sat together and ate our pizza, I had this overwhelming feeling of loneliness. 
So I began to pray.
Why would I feel so lonely.  Maybe it was that I was sitting in the big Opera House and had stopped running around.  The prep work was done and we were all getting a bite to eat before it began.  Maybe it was the devil playing tricks.  Of course a million things run through my mind.  I felt like I was having this argument with God about the lonliness and the "what if no one comes" thoughts that were running through my head.
But God, I aksed you to bless it in Your Name, not mine. How will they know about the need to care for orphans if you don't bring them through the door?

And the negative thoughts continued.  I should have sent out postcards.  I should have put more in the paper.  I should have...  Seriously, why do we do this to ourselves.  The bible clearly says not to give the devil a foot hold.  Though I firmly believe that we should pray for specifics, I knew that God would choose to do what He wanted regardless of how much work I did and how much I was kicking myself for not doing.  Do you ever have that?  Where you have this battle in your own head?  I should have done the postcards... but I can only do so much with my time.  I should have done this... but I have two little kids that need mommy to eat supper with them. 
And so I shrugged it off and went on, focusing on how to present the desserts, etc.
The auction started at 630 and I'm so thankful I wasn't wearing a watch!!!  People were there but not tons and tons of people like I had hoped for.  It wasn't until the auctioneer walked in that I really realized how little people were there.  There was 45 minutes on the silent auction before the live auction of about 8 items.  Here stood the auctioneer and we hadn't even filled the room yet.  We waited another 15 minutes before I faced the inevitable and went on with the live auction. 
I didn't count the number of people there.  And to be honest, I don't think its important.  What I do know, is that I was really, really dissapointed in the turn out.  There were approximately 30 people there.  Besides the auctioneer, there was only three people there from the community outside of our church.  One was helping with the auction and the other was the auctioneer's son, who also happens to be a client of Ryan's.
The live auction came and went without much excitement.  A few things were bid on by several people but most things kept their starting bid or had one bid on them.  My saddle and blanket went for $25 when the auctioneer started it at that but even he turned and told me that he wouldn't understand if I didn't want to sell it for that much.  This was not what I envisioned.
My heart was happy but broken all at the same time.
Sure, the Iowa Hawkeyes were undefeated and playing at the same time but that couldn't have kept everyone home could it?  It wasn't even raining out.  I feel stupid for planning for 500, thinking we'd have at least 200 and having 30.  There's all these desserts, are people going to be mad that I asked them to make a dessert that I didn't really need?  What are you trying to teach me through this Lord?
Of course, I'm not all negative in my thinking...
At the same time, I was so glad for those who did come.  In fact one of the checks in the donations (they didn't bid on anything) said "we care" in the memo line.  Oh how I wish they would have said that at the event.  How could I stand there and look past all the people who were there to only focus on who wasn't?  There were lots of people there who care about us.  Who see the value in adoption.  Who care for the orphans.  That was so obviously evidenced by the amount of donations, by the desserts given, by the prayers said and the kind words shared.  But I was asking for more.  And it so wasn't in God's design for there to be more that night.  I still don't know why but I'm trying to be at peace about it.
I am so thankful for all the participation.  So, so thankful for the countless hours that mom kept my kids while I worked on adoption stuff.  So, so thankful for Ryan's ability to let me be off in another world focusing on this while he put the kids in bed and didn't get my attention.  So, so thankful for Cassie's amazing help planning, shopping, setting up, getting donations, adverstising, etc.  I'm so thankful for those who have cared through this process, whether they put it on the memo so I could "see" it or not.
We can't always see things even if they are there.
It's so much easier for me to understand and comprehend the tangible.  I specifically prayed for a range of money (between $4500 and $5400).  I didn't set a goal that would fund all of our adoption, or even a goal that would fund the difference of what we'd not saved on our own.  I don't even know where the goal came from except to say that it came to mind while I was praying one day.  We didn't meet that goal with the auction but I'm okay with that.  Because in that I faithful to pray and seek God and He was faithful to answer.  Those who supported us through winning bids, supported us big time.  I heard one lady say that she was writing a check for $500 and wanted the difference to go towards the raffle tickets.  I didn't know what her total was so I added it up later that night.  I was blown away to read the totals on checks and then match them with what they'd purchased.  It was so cool.  And as I held the money in my hand late Saturday night, I was and am so thankful to God who made it all happen.  Cause at the end of the night, we were ~$3,000 closer to bringing children home from Ethiopia. 
Yes, God did hear my prayers and He did answer and I'm so glad to have participated in that!

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Janel said...

I can certainly appreciate your honesty. To be picturing something, and then to have it turn out completely different is really hard and frustrating. Keep pressing onward! If God has called you to it, He will lead you through it. You are never alone!

Matthew 19:26 With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Fantastagirl said...

I wish it had gone better for your family. One of my favorite cousins was hand picked by my Aunt and Uncle when she was 7 yrs old (I was 8), I can't imagine my family without her!

With a non-profit group I'm involved with we have seen a considerable decrease in our monetary donations. I'd like to think it's partly the economy, and not the people that live in our community. With the state's 10% across the board cuts, and a few major employers laying off entire shifts, and/or possibly shutting down... people are doing what they can to tread water.

A year ago, I think you would have met your goals... it's just that a lot of people's pockets are now empty.

A year ago, I would have been able to donate, or participate...now we are just trying to keep the lights on....does that make sense?