***Update: In my next post, I will attempt to articulate how blessed I’ve been by all the support we’ve received this week. Right now we are down to less than 24 hours of this post being up, and I’m still in shameless fundraising mode. We are less than $900 from our goal of $3000! If you are reading this, will you consider making a donation to help with that first payment we have coming up? Yes, YOU, blog reader! We’d be FOREVER grateful. I promise, tomorrow I will stop asking. 🙂

I keep saying that a post is coming about how we plan to pay for this adoption. Well, here it is! (And I’ll give you a hint: it involves all of you and that little link over to the right.)

Here’s my strategy in a nutshell. These are to be spread over the next 2 years:

Step #1: Ask my online blog community and FB friends to help.
Step #2: Write a letter to family and close friends to see if they want to help.
Step #3: Have the biggest garage sale possible in June.
Step #4: After our homestudy is approved we can apply for grants–any and all grants for which we are eligible. At least one is a “matching”grant.
Step #5: Get creative with fundraisers…maybe a silent auction or benefit concert?
Step #5: Take out an interest-free loan if needed. (Available through non-profits.)

If you read how we came around to this decision, you’ll remember that the financial aspect was the one thing holding us back from adopting. I told Trent that the thought of asking people to help us pay for this was more than humbling–it was borderline humiliating. I didn’t know if we could or should do that. Some people would love it, and others think it horribly tacky and not approve.

Some of you will still think that! And I apologize. Come back next week for cute blog pictures and no requests for cash. But enough others have seemed genuinely excited that they might be able to help financially. And we need you. Last year I found out that one of my blog friends had donated to another blog friend’s adoption–these 2 moms had never met. I asked the Rory why she did that. She said that she and her husband had a heart for adoption, but they probably were not going to adopt themselves. She had been very touched by Kristen’s story and journey to adopt. This was a way for them to follow their heart and care for a child, without adding another kiddo to their own household. I think many people feel exactly the same way.

And also, as I’ve mentioned before, we just had such a peace about this decision to adopt internationally. We prayed and talked and prayed and truly felt God was saying : DO THIS. We honestly have nothing more than an emergency fund in our savings, so the only way to “do this” would be to invite others to participate.

SO. Here’s your chance to participate! I’m going to keep this post up for exactly one week. I’m making an appeal to my blog readers and this “community” we have through blogs and facebook, to help us reach our first payment of $3,000. (Or even the next $3,000 payment this summer? Do I dream?) Google analytics tells me that more people have been reading my blog since I started talking about adoption. Would you like to support us in this crazy, wonderful journey? I’m surprised all the time by people who are reading my blog: my parents’ friends, my childhood friends, my extended family, my friends’ parents, friends of friends of friends. Whether you are a regular commenter, an occasional reader whom I’ve never met or a facebook friend who wandered over here for the first time, I’m asking for your help. I feel vulnerable, embarrassed, excited and hopeful all at the same time.

A gal in my choir heard a story of an adoptive family being given $10,000 by someone they barely knew who was so moved by the family’s decision. She told me she’s praying for that! It would be awesome, don’t get me wrong, but I think we’ll meet our goal with many smaller gifts. No amount is too small. You can click the link above on the right to go through Paypal. You may even be able to do it anonymously. (I’ll look into that.) If you’d rather write a check, I’d be more than happy to mail you a self-addressed, stamped envelope. I’m so sorry I can’t figure out a way to make it tax-deductible, because any funds will be used directly to pay the agency for their services. If you have questions, feel free to contact me at jen_tompkins[AT]comcast[DOT]net.

And lastly, if you can’t or don’t feel comfortable giving financially, we need help collecting items for our garage sale! If you live anywhere near us, we’d be glad to come and pick up. We’re especially looking for big-ticket items like electronics and furniture, but we’ll take just about anything in good condition.

That’s all. This post is already (true to form) wordy and long, but I hope you can read my heart behind the appeal. Much love and thanks to all of you.