Sunday, September 18, 2011

Progress in Another Form: a Recap of the Fundraiser

The Short of it:

  • We collected a suitcase full of baby supplies that weighs significantly more than I do.

  • We raised $1333.00, with $485.00 of it designated for the 50/50 raffle winner.

  • We drew the raffle winner this morning : Mike Holt.

  • Mike, who also happened to attend the party, talk to everyone at it, AND stay until the very end, insisted that we keep his jackpot for the cause.

The Long of it:

I really thought we'd have a travel date to go and get Acacia by now. We are likely still anywhere from a few weeks to a few months away from having her home, and as I've said before, it's the unknown that's putting me over the edge.

Riding the wave of emotions in the past few months hasn't been easy to say the least. I am someone who lives by the principle of "high ideals, low expectations." I know how I want things to be, but I don't ever expect much, thus I'm more often pleasantly surprised than I am disappointed. However, my general rule doesn't apply to wanting my baby home. That exception is all about hoping for the best, and expecting the best... because how could I do anything else? Though as a result, I've experienced a lot of let downs.

The fundraiser was that kind of thing that had me returning to my low-expectation standby. I didn't want to get too confident that we'd get a good turn out or collect many supplies. I'm also not the fundraising type... I hesitate to put others in the position of feeling obligated to give. The whole thing was out of my comfort zone, yet it still felt like something that I needed to do.

I was admittedly a little discouraged when I didn't hear from some of the people I expected I would. Patrick sensed this, and did his best to encourage me that we'd have a great time. I did my best to remember this wasn't all about me, but about Acacia and her fellow buddies from her orphanage. It was tough, but I still found myself adding small details to the event to honor those kids. This included making a large batch of little lapel ribbons to wear at the event.

At the peak of last night's get-together, with the colors of the Ethiopian flag pinned to every shirt and blouse, I truly did feel a unification. There were people who were there for us, because they've always been there for us. We need that, and we couldn't be more thankful for that. There were also people who made an appearance because they really believe in what we're doing, and I was so touched by the conversations that revolved around this. There were a few friendships from the past that feel rekindled as a result of the evening. At 13 months old, Acacia has already managed to connect me to, reconnect me to, or deepen my connection with so many different people. This notion, along with the copious amount of donations we've collected, has put me at peace with the delays we've faced. We didn't let this extra time go to waste.

A few of Zinnia's teachers came to represent, showing me that Zinnia has, and needs, support in this endeavor, too. Her school put out their own collection box, unprompted, and such initiative speaks volumes. Another teacher was our babysitter for the night, gave Zinnia great care (as Zinnia will tell me everything!), and gave us total peace of mind while we were out. We came home to a sleeping kid with a glowing report.

When we drew the raffle winner today, I was really excited to see it was our friend Mike. He added a lot of energy to last night's outing, and it felt fitting that he'd get the other half of the pot. I was overcome with so much emotion when he told me he wanted us to keep it, and that there was no changing his mind. His generosity, which is a conglomeration of everyone's generosity, is appreciated, inspiring, and completely restoring. As I talked with him and recapped the evening, I felt like life's lessons were hitting me left and right. At a time where it's been hard to feel much progress in any area of my life, I suddenly realized that I haven't been as idle as I'd thought.

Again, thanks to everyone who participated, who came out with us, who added a tube of diaper cream to the pile, who has prayed for us, who has written us an encouraging message, or who simply reads this blog and silently cheers us on. I can see clearly at this moment that it has made all the difference.

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