Saturday, November 22, 2008

Video Tom Davis Showed at Gala - AMAZING!

WOW!!!

Okay - this just in - combining the ticket sales, auction sales, and commitments/donations made - and subtracting expenses - the Orphans Ticket Home Gala in San Antonio raised..............



$25,200.00 !!!!!!!!!!

Plus - we know of several donations that are being mailed in - so the number will be increasing!

PRAISE THE LORD! HE HAS DONE GREAT THINGS!!!

ORPHANS TICKET HOME GALA WAS A SUCCESS!

There will be more pictures and information to come - but for those needing to see some kind of news and pictures of the Gala - here goes. It was a great success!!!


The amazing people of the night! - From left to right:
Doug Martine, Cristie Martine, Tom Davis, Amanda Clark and Brian Lewis 

Tom did such an amazing job expressing the need for the follower of Christ to adopt and care for orphans. He shared a video that was solely about Ethiopia's orphans and Billy and I were crying so hard. It was a moving video. Brian followed up with such a humble spirit. He is such a gentle, sincere man of God.


As people walked in there were 2 big screens in the front and one in the back displaying photos of adopted children and Scripture verses. Above is a picture of Maliah and Libby kissing on their first Gotcha Day anniversary that was shown in the slide show.


Cristie and Doug had this awesome sign printed on behalf of all those who donated to this event. It was beautifully displayed in the middle of the room between the silent auction tables and the guest tables. To all those who donated money, time, prayers, items and services - we thank you for your generosity and support! This event could not have happened without you!

 
Igor is a sweet, little boy who was adopted from Russia. He mixed his own paints and painted this colorful painting and donated it to the silent auction. A bidding war took place and his painting sold for over $100!!! Igor - thank you so much for giving your talents to Jesus so that other orphans can come home to their forever families!
Kari Gibson donated several "simply love" t-shirts and after much bidding they were all auctioned off - some for more the $40! Toni & Guy donated over 22 services and this was a success as well! I won one of the Toni & Guy certificates and I also won one of the mirrors (above) donated by Rhonda Wall of Southern Living at Home.

The silent auction tables were beautifully decorated by Mrs. Gill and Debbie Graff with the help of some other volunteers -displaying 98 auction items in all!


Kim Parker of Passionfish Designs donated this beautiful necklace she designed and named after an elder of some Somali Bantu refugees she works with here in San Antonio. It sold for $235!


The room was beautifully transformed over the course of the afternoon. The centerpieces were so perfect. Karl and Jenn Gager put together 50 of these amazing centerpieces. They featured pictures of adopted children that were printed on velum paper so that the candlelight in the middle made the pictures glow. I am in awe of this idea! It was incredible!

Cristie worked tirelessly  on every small detail for the evening. She created these beautiful programs that were full of information about the orphan crisis, the highlights of the evening and contact informations for the speaker, the agency, etc. The Red Letters Campaign also donated some information cards that just happened to perfectly match the colors of the night. Billy and I dressed up for the occasion and were so blessed to have the honor of leading worship for this amazing night!

Cristie and Doug are such hard workers and they are so passionate about caring for orphans and about adoption. If it were not for this couple, this event would not have happened. Billy and I are so blessed to call these beautiful people our friends!

The catered dinner was fabulous. The "Black Tie Affair" outdid themselves. Spectacular set up and food! They were able to give Cristie the red table clothes which ended up making the room so perfect!  

Libby, as mentioned in previous posts, gave up a traditional birthday party in order that anyone who wanted to give money in her name could do so. With that money we were able to purchase a table for the cause and we invited some special guests to sit in those seats - some prayer warrior friends who I know were praying over us and the event all night! I love these people! 


Here is another shot of one of the tables set up. So beautiful! And above is Katie - who we affectionately call "chicken". Katie headed up the hostesses and checking people in for the night. Then she and her friends summed up the silent auction bids and were in charge of printing out the winners sheet for each table. Katie and her team did a wonderful job!

Just 2 days before the Gala some old friends of ours wrote us a precious email regarding adoption. I just knew they were supposed to attend this event. They live in Katy and were able to make it and God put some special things on their heart. This is probably just one of the many powerful decisions and families that were impacted by this Gala. So exciting!

Our band traveled into town and helped us lead worship. We are so grateful for these guys. They are each so precious and we love working with them.

Okay - so as soon as I know what came in through donations and any other important details - I will post it. I'm also going to try to make a video of the event -but that might take this Mac illiterate girl some time!



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Orphans Ticket Home Gala

Tomorrow (Friday) night the San Antonio Orphans Ticket Home Gala for our agency - AWAA - will finally come to pass. A cold front is coming in, excitement is in the air, just under 200 guests have registered, 97 auction items have been accounted for, and we are TOTALLY pumped to get the night rolling. In the morning, many volunteers will gather to set up the silent auction tables/items. The caterers will be coming in the early afternoon. Amazing centerpieces (made by the Gager family) will be put in their places. The main tablecloths are red -  the color of urgency. The centerpieces are black with color photos of adopted children and orphans - beautiful and elegant. The slideshow/video of the faces of orphans and adopted children is chilling. The powerpoint is ready to go. The bid sheets are done and ready for some generous bidders. All the promotion, fliers, radio spots, printed letters/posters/business contribution and silent auction requests are being laid to rest. TO SAY THE LEAST-  Cristie Martine has outdone herself in organizing all these huge and complicated details. For seven months she has prepared, prayed, organized, sacrificed, promoted, designed, shared, begged, pleaded, cried, laughed, slept and ate Gala details! I can personally speak to the time and effort she has put into this project. It is beyond what most people could ever do on their own. She has labor intensely for this event to take place. Most will never know the sacrifices she has made. But none will be in vain.  Hostesses are ready to seat the guests, the speakers have solid directions and strong words to share. Worship songs have been decided. Band guys will arrive tomorrow. Precious people with the gift of hospitality and the generous desire to house incoming guests are preparing their homes tonight for the speaker (Tom Davis), AWAA staff and band. There is a delightful buzz of expectancy in San Antonio tonight. It's almost like Christmas morning is about to arrive. We are so ready to see what God has in store for the hearts of those attending and for the orphans of the world waiting for identity and adoption. The hopes of one adoption agency and the constant work of some passionate AW representatives to alter the lives of over 5100 orphans is about to be impacted greatly by the work of God and the obedience and generosity of His people. 


Please be praying for Doug and Cristie Martine, the America World and staff, Tom Davis, our band, the guests, the volunteers and the orphans as we come into the final hours of preparation. Pray for the healing of some who have been sick all week. Pray for the hearts of those who have always thought about adopting but haven't yet followed through. Pray for those who have money and are called to give. Pray, pray, pray - for the presence of the Holy Spirit, for the softening of hearts, for ears to hear the message, for passion that should never die out, for freedom in worship, for obedience to whatever God calls the guests to do - give, pray, adopt - whatever that looks like. 

Our friends and family ended up donating $920 in Libby's name. $580 was used to purchase one table and 2 extra seats (10 seats in all) (all that money goes to the AW's 4 point initiatives that will help bring 5100 orphans home). All 10 guests invited to sit in those seats are praying, godly people and I know the night will be impacted simply by their presence. $340 will either be used in the silent auction or simply donated - either way - all the money ends up in the same place. We are so grateful to have such wonderful friends and family who love Libby and wanted to help other families bring their little ones home. 

I bought a clear, tall jar and a tube of vintage looking buttons the other day. Tomorrow I am going to give it to Libby. She will learn that each time she gives to people or does something out of selfless obedience she is actually storing up treasure in heaven. As a symbol of that treasure - we are going to add buttons to her jar each time she does something special for those in need. This year she is giving up a traditional birthday party and gifts and giving the donated money to the orphans in need. She will be receiving 3 buttons in her jar representing approximately 3 orphans that she is helping bring home. We will continue adding buttons to this jar over the years and when she is ready to be on her own we will exchange her buttons for a special jewel or ring representing a heavenly treasure. It will be her reminder of how we trained her to live in the reality of heaven. 

I will post again tomorrow to let you know how the Gala turned out. 

Thank you for your prayers,
Cindy

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hallelujah - referrals are rolling once again!!!

This week I have been so concerned about referrals and have just LONGED to see a referral from our agency for the families on the top of the waiting list. Well, today it happened! The Blackwell family, the Hall family and the sweet Forrest family (who lost their first daughter to illness before ever meeting her in ET) all received referrals today. Congratulations to all!


There are rumors that many more referrals are to come - especially girl referrals! COME ON! THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO HEAR! It is expected that by early Dec. all families with DTE's through March will receive a referral! WOW! That means we really are on schedule - I can expect a referral in mid to late March - at least for now. Ahhhhh.... relief!

I woke up this morning and thought - "I haven't registered for anything at BabiesRUs for Lulu and I need to do that." So I got started. We already have so much from our first precious girl, but we still need car seats, a double stroller, sling, and some other basics. It just hit me today, for some reason, that I better start getting ready for Lulu to arrive. I need to get baby gates up at the top and bottom of the stairs. I need to get safety plugs on all the electric outlets. I need to get clothes out of boxes and organize her closet. I need to make our payment to AWAA by Jan (that one's not so fun). I need to get some of Libby's old toys out of the storage closet. I need to do so much! And I totally need to start thinking about what I will need for travel. I haven't been reading many posts about that so I need to do some research. Oh! And I probably need to start getting my shots for travel.... oh my, oh my!!! YEAH! This is getting exciting, folks!

Chan family - if I were a valley girl I would say, "You've been waiting for your referral for, like, ever!" I am so praying that you get a referral for an adorable baby boy this coming week!!!!!!!!!!! Holler!

This week some AW families are traveling to get their little ones. Scroll down to link to their blogs so you can follow their journeys: The Juvinalls, the Gambles, the Armstrongs, the Pridemores and the VanWettens (who are going BACK to ET to pick up their 2nd. daughter whose court case was postponed - they were just in ET 2 weeks ago to get their other ET daughter!)

And - here is the glorious updated, estimated list for the "girl waiting list":
(re-adjusted this list on Nov. 25, 2008 because the Black family also received a referral of a girl)
Bowman - 1

Lunceford - 2

Rothermond - 3

Eckhardt - 4

Heinrichs - 5

Jones - 6
Keiderling - 7
Gillman - 8

Mullins - 9
Moffat - 10

Pickard - 11
Delfosse - 12

Drogovich - 13
Gagnon - 14
Bartley - 15

Portilla - 16
Foote - 17!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Redd - 18
Kerby - 19

Reed - 20
Bowers - 21

Carpenter - 22

Monberg - 23

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

5 MONTHS WAITING!!! HAPPY DANCE!

Tomorrow morning I will wake up on the 5 month mark of our official wait time. Anyone else want to do the happy dance with me? I'm not a good dancer, so just move your feet and shake your tush a little and we'll call that the happy dance. 


Not sure if the 5 month mark means much. There have been no referrals in a LONG time! Supposedly AW is going to do some catching up starting mid-November, so next week - we'll see...

I want to take a moment to share a special site and ministry. Instead of explaining it all, I'll just post the link and you can visit the site and see for yourself. It's www.straightfromtheheart.typepad.com

This site is, both in light of it's sole mission to end the orphan crisis and that November is adoption awareness month, highlighting adoption stories/adoptive families each day of this month. This Friday and Saturday the site will feature our adoption of Libby and our current adoption journey to Aria-Lu (Lulu!). It's so exciting having the opportunity to share our stories because we have been so greatly blessed and changed by the power of adoption and we believe so many more are called to experience the same thing. 

This is all the news I have for now. I think an AW conference call is coming up soon (if I haven't missed it already - I better check on that!) If I learn anything new - I'll be sure to fill you in!

Blessings,
Cindy
PS - Lulu, we pray for you and think of you daily. You are becoming more and more a part of our family before you even get here. We moved Libby's changing table into your room this week. Slowly, we are preparing every inch of our home for your arrival. Christmas will be a little bit lonely without you here. Love you baby girl! Love, Mommy