Small Change for G & M!!

Many of you may have seen my Facebook, twitter, and Instagram photos of the new fundraiser that Jason and I have started. For those of you who don’t follow me on any of those social media avenues, here is what this little fundraiser is all about!

For the next four weeks we are asking people to fill a jar, mug, baggie, shoe…anything that can hold change…with your spare change from the end of the day. A few months ago I made a coin jar out of a mason jar with the outline of Africa. We’ve been filling it up with our loose change and cash ever since. I thought that this might be an easy way for an entire family to be a part of helping bring home our little girls.

If you want to make a jar here are the easy-peesy steps to make it happen:

Items needed: mason jar, sharpie, Africa cut-out, chalkboard paint, small paintbrush

1. Find a mason jar at a grocery store or in your cabinet

2. Print off an outline of Africa from the internet. I downloaded this outline and resized it to fit my jar.

3. Grab a sharpie and outline the continent.

4. Use a small paintbrush and paint inside the outline.

5. Let it dry and you now have your own Africa coin jar!!

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On Monday, September 16th dump out all the change and count it with your little ones (or you can do it on your own :)) and take it to the bank. As a way to help you out, I’m asking you to donate your change to our online tax-deductible account with AdoptTogether. Once the spare change is in your bank account, you can go online and donate your change to our account! If you do want to give us the change, you can mail a check or if you live in Tucson, give it to me in person.

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Our hope and prayer with this simple fundraiser is that more people will hear about how God is working in our lives and in the lives of our children on the other side of the world. Please share this post with your friends, family, co-workers, etc. We want God to receive the Glory in giving our small change to help make BIG changes for our little girls who are waiting for their mommy and daddy to come take them home to a forever family!

As a side note, we received new pictures yesterday of G & M! oh. my. heart. They are getting so big and they are SO beautiful! The change in their pictures from February to now is unreal. I am thankful every day that we have the ability to provide food, medicine, supplements, and clothing for our girls through their foster home while we all wait to be united!

Keep praying that we pass court by September!

And start filling up those jars!!

Thank you from the bottom of this mama’s heart!

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Thank You!

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Our Thirty-One Fundraiser ended yesterday! The fundraiser went better than I was anticipating! We brought in $425 for our adoption fees. I just wanted to say thank you to all who shared our fundraiser, purchased product, and prayed for us!

We are getting closer and closer to reaching our next goal of $21,700! We have raised roughly $5,000 so far. I know that it seems like we have a long way to go (we do!), but we are tired and know that we are in need of taking a fundraising sabbath. The timing of our exhaustion works out well since we will be heading on vacation one week from today!

Thank you all for hanging in with us as we continue to wait for the day our girls are in our arms!

 

ps-If you’re interested in donating a tax-deductible gift at anytime, we are partnering with AdoptTogether. Here is our website: www.adopttogether.org/woodadoption/

Fundraising is Hard: AdoptTogether

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Fundraising is hard.

I’ve been fundraising in some sort of capacity since I was 18 years old. I fundraised to spend two summers in Colorado with a college ministry called the Navigators. I also fundraised for a missions trip to Namibia (South-west Africa) in college. Three years after graduation I went back into the fundraising world to raise support to go on full-time staff with the Navigators at the University of Northern Iowa.

Each time is was hard. Each time God provided more than enough.

As Jason and I start another season of fundraising, I am feeling a little anxious about asking others again. My heart continually reminds me of how much He has provided for us already in this adoption, but my head has a hard time wrapping my mind around the numbers. I have days when I completely believe that God will use His people to give two beautiful girls a home and then I have days of doubt and I fear the unknown.

On days that I doubt and fear, I remember this passage from Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” God has already given me all that I need in Christ and He will not leave me alone in this struggle, even though it feels so lonely at times.

Another passage that I remember as I am asking people to once again support Jason and I in our adoption is that everything under the heavens already belongs to God and when we give, we are just giving Him back what was His. King David says in 1 Chronicles 29: “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you…. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you.”

So here I am, asking you to prayerfully consider helping Jason & I complete the fundraising process. In the next three months, we will need to cover the cost of $20,000 for foreign fees and interim care for our sweet girls. After that all that we will have left is travel fees and our final payment to our agency. Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us? We will need small donations and big donations, so anything will help. Please don’t think that your $10 or $20 donation is a drop in the hat, it speaks volumes to me as a mommy-to-be that people are behind us. (We won’t say no to big donations either, though :))

The benefit of this season of fundraising is that we finally have a tax-deductible option for you to give!! We have partnered with a great organization called AdoptTogether and they are willing to host us on their website. You can go to our website page HERE to read our story and donate*. You can donate using your debit or credit card instantly on the website (there is an option to give an extra percentage to the organization, but that is not required) or you can send a check to them with Jason and Sarah Wood in the memo and on the envelope at

AdoptTogether
251 W. Central Ave #278
Springboro, OH 45066

Thank you for your investment of prayer, finances and support in our family and God’s Kingdom purposes. We are so grateful for the friends, family and community God has given us. We could not be on this journey without you!

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(*Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.)

Piecing our Family Together

When we said yes to adoption 7 months ago, we had no idea how God was going to provide the funds we needed to adopt but we knew that He would. We didn’t even think we would have been adopting two children from Africa!! God has revealed Himself to us in so many beautiful ways during our journey and we look forward to how He will continue to provide for our financial and emotional needs. Our international adoption of two children will be roughly $65,000 and in the past two months we have raised almost $15,000! We are blown away by the generosity of our family, community, and strangers! We have experienced the truth that God does provide for His children.

We are nearing the a phase in our adoption process where will need to have available a large sum of money to accept our referral (it’s coming!). In the next three to four months, Jason and I will be working hard to raise that money, apply for grants, and save to make the payment. We are trusting that God will continue to help us and provide the necessary funds to help bring home our children.

One of the fun fundraisers that we are doing over the next month is our puzzle fundraiser! I mentioned in a previous post that we would be kicking this off at our rummage sale and it was a huge success! It allowed us to talk more about our adoption and our heart for orphans.

My friend over at SheDoesJustice designed this adorable print for her daughter and allowed me to use it as well for our adoption. I have access to both the pink and blue print 🙂

africa adoption--pink-puzzle

Here are the details!

1. Each piece of the puzzle is a $10 dollar donation. Our puzzle is 1008 pieces! When every piece has a name on the back, we will have raised $10,080!! That amount will be roughly 1/3 of our next payment!

2. For every piece of the puzzle that you purchase, I will put your name on the back of the piece. We will be purchasing a double-sided frame so that when all the pieces are put together our children will be able to see the names of the people who helped bring them home! We hope to hang this in their bedroom as a reminder of the God’s faithfulness in bringing them to our home.

3. To contribute to the puzzle fundraiser, use the PayPal link on the upper-right hand side of the blog or just click this link (a small processing fee is taken out of each donation). Or you can send a check directly to us. If you want to send a check, please email me at sarah.amelia.wood@gmail.com for our mailing address.

4. We would be so grateful if you would spread the word about this fundraiser! Below you will find a simple 140 character description of our fundraiser that you can copy and paste for your Facebook, Twitter account, or Blog!

Help piece together the Wood’s Adoption! With every $10 a puzzle piece will have your name on it! Go to http://wp.me/p1PdiA-aJ to donate!

This fundraiser will continue until May 31st! We thank you in advance for partnering with us!

She Does Justice

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One of my new favorite blogs is She Does Justice. It is a site and shop whose mission is to be: 

“an advocate for those who need one. It is a space where organizations who are working for the good of others are recognized. It is a community of people who want to show love to the ‘least of these’. A place where we strive to show those in need that they are known and loved.”

A minimum of 10% of their shop sales are donated to a different cause each month. In February, they donated 10% of their proceeds to a non-profit working to rescue girls from trafficking and in March they donated to an organization working to clean and put shoes on the feet of Ugandan children. She Does Justice also donates to families who are in the process of adoption.

I am so excited and thankful to be an affiliate for She Does Justice! If you’ll notice on the right hand side is their button, you can click on that and it will be sent to our “shop”.  For every item sold using our shop link, 25% of the sale is given to our adoption fund! The founder of this site has a huge heart for adoption as she is also pursuing an adoption in Africa! Her products are quality and they are super fun and cute! Here are a few of my favorites:

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My ‘Heart’ Country and State Canvas ($20 each)

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She Does Justice T-Shirt ($25)

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Bright Aqua Heather Scarf ($20)

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Hearts & Dots Scarf ($20)

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Ethnic Print Scarf ($20)

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Blue, Green, and Orange Swirl Headband ($12)

And those were just a few of my favorites from her site! Check out her shop and find your favorites! When you do purchase an item, make sure to thank Megan for allowing us to partner with them and help us reach our funding goal! (you can also put our names in the note box too, just to double check that it is sent to our “shop fund”)

5 Reasons I’m Thankful for Social Media

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Social Media gets a bad rap these days and rightly so most of the time. It is definitely something that can distract people from the life that surrounds you. BUT today, I am so thankful for social media and the gift that it can be for people! Here are 5 reasons I am thankful for it today:

1. It allows Jason and I to stay connected to our friends and family who live all over the country and the world.

2. Our adoption story has spread to more people than I could have imagined through Facebook & Twitter. It has encouraged and challenged people I don’t even know of to pray for orphans and consider the blessing of adoption for their own family. You can read more about our adoption story here, here, and here.

3. I’ve been able to connect with like-minded ladies via the Influence Network. Which is an online community of women who want to make their online lives mean something for the kingdom of God. The Network has provided me a community of women who know much more about blogging and readership than I do to help me manage my blog more effectively. I’m so excited to continue to learn and allow this little space on the internet be an encouragement to people.

4. I’ve been able to find grants and other means of funding for our adoption through Twitter and blogs. I found the You Caring website that has our online fundraiser through connections on Twitter and that has brought in so much funding for our adoption that I was not anticipating! Click on the link to see how far along we are in our funding for our current need!

5. Similar to #3, I was able to make a connection with a young woman through the Influence Network who has a heart to help families fund their adoption! Today, over on my life (his mission)Kerry is highlighting a few families and encouraging people to check out their stories and help them reach their funding goal! We are one of those families! I have loved the connections we are making via blogging!

For those of you who came here via Kerry’s blog, welcome and thank you for checking out our life on social media!

Now I’m going to get off of social media and enjoy an evening with my husband and some friends! Take advantage of the blessing of social media, but don’t let it rule your days.

And We Are Adopting From…..

AFRICA!!!

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We are thrilled to share this with you! We have been telling our family and friends over the past three weeks that this was the route we were taking, but to announce it to the blogging world is so exciting because it makes it feel so much more real! We can’t post online the name of the country for safety and privacy policies, but we can tell people in person or phone, so if you’re interested in more of the details, please let us know! I’d be happy to talk with you more about where!

Reality hit when we sent our amazing agency our initial fee for adoption!

Our next step in the process is to complete the home study. Thankfully, we had already started our home study paperwork with Christian Family Care and they are able to complete that with us! Once our home study is complete and submitted for approval we will begin the process of completing our dossier (a big pile of paperwork). Have I lost any of you yet! 🙂

It’s a lot to take in for Jason and me at times, but as my friend reminded me today…”Keep the end in sight”. In a matter of 14 months we will have two beautiful children in our home that were once orphans but are now our sons/daughters. Every time I think about that my heart hurts a little and I’m not there to hold them, but thankfully God is at their side.

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Our next payments will total to be about $7,000. Once we are at that point we will be able to apply for grants to help cover some of the costs as well. Would you pray alongside of us that between now and February 21st the money for the second payment would be provided?