|My dad and Danette with Liam, Tucker, and Noah|
After receiving them in the mail, I wrote a blog post about the fundraiser, closed my eyes, and hit "publish." I posted the link on my personal Facebook page, as well as in several adoption groups online, and prayed. Side note: Every single time I launch something like this, I always feel a surge of doubt. How are we going to sell 100 bracelets? Are people going to feel obligated to buy them? Will people like the colors and words that we chose?
A week later, I placed a second order with MudLove for an additional 165 bracelets (60 Hope, 35 Redeemed, and 70 Be The Change). I told them that I would pay for them as soon as they sent me an invoice. However, I quickly received an email back from them stating that the invoice had already been paid. I immediately started to cry, knowing that my dad and Danette had surprised us yet again by purchasing this second order. How can you properly thank people for sacrificing their own money to help you? There were just no words for our gratitude!
When I posted on Facebook that I was packaging the second order, several more people wrote again to say that they hadn't ordered one yet. Many had given theirs away and wanted more. I contemplated starting a third round, unsure if we would have a minimum of 50 bracelets. In light of the upcoming holidays, I decided to take a leap of faith and open up a third round with the following words:
I asked my dad if he wanted to share anything for this blog post, and he wrote the following:
"Amy and Ryan have opened my mind and heart in a way that has been transformational. Initially, I did not understand the reason anyone would want to travel half way across the world to adopt a child. I’m still not certain I fully understand it. What I do understand is that adopting a child in need from anywhere is a good thing, a great thing, and perhaps one of the greatest gifts that a family can give. But it is also a gift where the giver (and all around them) receives the greatest gift of all – the love of a formerly abandoned child.
I’ll never forget the feeling that I had when I first saw Tucker when he arrived at the airport. He looked so little and scared, but he turned my heart into mush. More amazing is to see photos comparing the day he arrived to the change that has happened over a year. It surely is amazing to think about all of the changes he went through: to having everything in his world turned upside down, to leaving his home and his nannies at the orphanage, to learning a new language, to eating new foods that were different. The beautiful miracle is watching him bond with his forever family when he initially could not have known what forever meant. He loves his forever family, and we love him!"
My dad (above in yellow shirt and gray jacket) went back to MudLove today to thank them, in person, for all that they do. He has witnessed how their work has made a positive impact on our family and wanted to express his gratitude. He even called me and put me on speakerphone, and I had the opportunity to thank everyone and share how their work has helped our family. They were so kind and encouraging and shared that hearing stories like ours gives them motivation to keep coming into work day after day.
As a reminder, MudLove gives 20% of their profit to an great organization! Thanks to each person who ordered bracelets for our fundraiser, Water For Good will provide clean water for 460 weeks (1 week per bracelet) to families living in Central Africa. How incredible is that?! After going to the Water For Good website, I learned that $40 will provide over 500 people with a month of clean water. So amazing!