Monday, December 11, 2017

Fundraising Info & Update

Fundraising Info! 
www.marylittlemoments.com
There has been such an outpouring of support from friends, family, and community; we have been blown away!  (I think you will read me repeat this over and over for the next few months:) 

I wanted to provide a little more information regarding our fundraiser, answering common questions we've received and sharing our hearts for this cause!

This past year our hearts and eyes have been opened to God revealing His character to us in new ways. God is a fighter for the oppressed-- not in just a caring way but with the heart and spirit of a warrior, a protector, a provider. He calls us to represent His heart through caring, protecting, fighting for the poor, the widowed, the fatherless.  

"He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing" Deuteronomy 10:18 

We know that adoption matters because it is a part of WHO God is. We have no greater command than any believer, simply God has placed a plan on our hearts that we are trusting Him to bring into fruition. 

This means that the hearts and lives of all believers are integral to supporting adoption in a way God places on their hearts. One truth we have clung to through this process is that we have done nothing God did not do solely FOR us. 

The funds we have thus far are not ours, the funds we have left to acquire are not ours---God is using us as vessels to accomplish His plans of protection, provision, justice, greatness, and overwhelming love for a child that He created. In order to steward our responsibility well, we wanted to be sure we did not skip or cheapen the process for our benefit. 

We view the money of this adoption as that of protection and provision for a child and their birth mother (or father, family, etc.). 

The consultants we are working with turn no considering mother away. They meet her needs regardless of completion of an adoption plan, they provide, they love, they support her and her family unconditionally. This continues post placement through counseling and continued connection with birth mothers. Showing the heart of Jesus is a pillar of this organization. We also chose an agency for our home study that advocates for birth mothers on every level. Adoption is not a way for a family to "get" a child- it is a way for a mother to experience the love of a God that sees her and meets her where she is as a protector, a warrior, a provider (and this is accomplished through each and every heart that gives, shares, talk, advocates for adoption). 

That is why we are choosing to communally fundraise. We want to use our voices well in this process, for so many more reasons than just the precious child we are allowed to steward.  

It is my hope to continue sharing the incredible ways adoption reflects God's heart to those facing unwanted pregnancy and all affected by it; and to vulnerably and humbly share are continued needs as we try to serve well and diligently through this process! 


Things to Know :) 

- We are able to directly receive donations through Venmo: ben-rhodes-3 

- Our fundraising platform, PureCharity, is tax deductible!!! .. meaning any donation is given a tax deductible receipt.. aka.. get those funds in before the end of the year

- If you know of or have any gifts/services to be used for fundraising or giveaways, we are 100% open and grateful! This includes ideas for fundraisers, etc. 

- Please continue sharing our story and posts! 

-At the time of matching (we are hoping this to be Jan/Feb 2018.. aka SOON!!!) we have to provide our agency with a picture from our bank account, with the funds, showing we have raised enough to complete to process. We are praying HARD that this is accomplished by then and trusting for miracles :) 

-We have had some family members recognize that their companies match donations given to pure charity. In doing so, be sure you and your company use our ID: FUN267433



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Something We Can't Say This Enough

Once again... I'm behind... but it is never too late to say Thank YOU! 

If you followed my Facebook updates, you'll know that we held an "adoption party" for fundraising earlier this month. I wanted to write a quick post about the INCREDIBLE blessing this event was as a part of our journey. 

Through the adoption process (especially the beginning) I was researching EVERYTHING  about ways to fundraise.. this idea wasn't on any lists or blogs I found so I also want to share our details to serve as encouragement and possibly innovation for others walking through the fundraising process to mimic. 



We planned our party in a very short time.. and in all honesty the true planner was our beloved friend 💛Bird. Legit.. He was our backbone.. entirely!!!

Food, location, and drinks were donated (thanks to Bubba Garcias & Southern Soul--> check them out) as well as silent auction items.  


Our friends Tonic Blue offered to play jazz music for guests, while we ensured the college football games would all be playing on the TVs. (Georgia College Ball is no joke...) 


The items for silent auction were all gathered within a week or two -- gift cards to local businesses (shout out omcore yoga.. seriously.. the best yoga studio like EVER ✌), cooler, night stay & dinner at local hotel, and gift basket put together by my sister. Some were requested and some were offered without even asking because sweet owners wanted to support us! (This was AMAZING, to have people offer services and products on their own accord to show their contribution and support) 

We advertised solely on facebook and word of mouth. We told everyone- the gym, co-workers, church groups, family, etc. then asked them to tell all their friends too! We posted the event on FB and asked our friends to share. (again, all of this was at no cost) 

To raise funds we charged $20 a person for party entry, food, and drink. $ was given upon entry and we kept donation boxes available through the location. And thats really all there was to it. 

BUT big things happened! Ben and I were COMPLETELY overwhelmed with our community surrounding us with such love, support, and encouragement. We truly felt the Lord moving through OUR friends, OUR community, OUR favorite places all for OUR baby👶 and their birth mom. It seems inadequate to describe how immensely our hearts were flooded with love, excitement, friendship, and community. 

The morning of the party I had an amount on my heart to pray specifically for- I shared this with a few of our warriors that have committed to walking alongside us in prayer and Ben. He felt the same-- that we were praying for an amount that was MORE than we thought possible- we had to leave room for God to move and DREAM BIG. At the end of the day, God had provided that amount! For those considering using this template for their own journey of fundraising (and since the funds are not our own but we're simply funneling them to accomplish the Lord's work) our total raised from the party was $4,000. 


Image: Wherethereslove.com
This entire journey of fundraising has been small uphill battles that arrive and feel like I am being presented with the anxiety, sometimes the grief, and feelings of doubt BUT each time God has shown me that He is our source, He makes us conquerers, He is fighting for us and our baby. 


And I cant say it enough. Not even close to enough. BUT THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU to each and every person! 


Stay tuned for more on our continuing fundraising, FAQ post, blogs on the money breakdown, and baby updates :) 

Monday, November 13, 2017

All Things Adoption

"Defend the weak and fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed" Psalm 82:3

Although I have been blogging MIA for a LONG time... Ben and I have been discussing how much of a platform and information hub this blog can be for our newest RHODE of becoming parents thru adoption.  It is my intention to post more often and share all the incredible things we have been taught thus far. I'll start with an introduction into our journey...

Ben and I have always discussed and mutually understood that adoption to build our family was something we desired. We didn't know what that would like or when. Last summer we knew God was beginning to lay into our hearts that it was time to start a family. We began looking into adoption as an option, how it would work, what type we thought would be best and eventually had our first call with a consulting agency in May of this year.
Pic: mary margaret curtis from www.marylittlemoments.com

After our call, we knew this was exactly what God was leading us to pursue. It is easy to say that God has called you to something and feel that certainty but difficult to explain how even when that happens the fear and doubts can still be paralyzing. As trivial and vain as it sounds the financial mountain associated with adopting is one that battles me constantly. It makes no sense how we will make this work but we are constantly reminded that nothing we have is only what the Lord has given us. It is so simple when we look at how all we even call "ours" is from the blessings and provisions we have that did not come from us at all. So we took our first steps.

Our home study started in August and finished last week. There was a literal hurricane in the middle of it but other than the normal loads of paperwork, doctors visits, and interviews went smooth and easy. We are hoping to receive our completed report in the next few weeks. We decided that our adoption will be for a domestic infant, meaning a baby from the US (typically being matched before birth and allowing us to bring home baby from the hospital!).  Our consulting company has our application and should be contacting us in the next few weeks to begin our journey towards "going live".

All of these terms are also intimidating and unfamiliar to most, as they were to us, so I will expand. A home study is a report from an agency or social worker summarizing legal documents, education, and ability to be parents. This is one part of the process that includes paperwork on paperwork (financial statements, essay questions, marriage, health, birth, licensure certifications, etc.). Home studies are required for all adoptions and foster care situations. Ours will meet universal standards providing it applicable to situations across the entire US.

A consulting firm is a bridge between adoptive parents and prospective birth mothers and agencies. Adoption agencies typically serve both birth mothers and adoptive parents as individual clients but consulting agencies bridge the gap between all parties. They also work with agencies across the entirety of the US vs. specific states only. The firm we have chosen has a great reputation for quick matches (almost always under a year) and being an adoptive parent and birth mother advocate. It is also unique in that they require counseling for all birth mothers pre and post adoption (which is HUGE in providing healing and love to them!). The evidence of Gods loved being poured into the birth families that work with this firm is unreal and their service has blown us away.

"Going Live" will mean that our profile is actively being shown to prospective birth parents, enabling us to be eligible for matching. Matching means that we have been chosen by a birth mother to be the parents to her baby and we accepted. Once this happens we will have more information regarding due date, gender, location for birth, etc.

This post could go on for days so I will end this one here! There's more to come! And for more updates on our progress or if God is leading you to join us in this journey-- you can follow our fundraising sight! www.purecharity.com/rhodes-of-adoption

My next post will be FAQ! Post, FM message, or text me any questions you have! This is a journey everyone reading is a part of!!