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Floodgates Update

Well, it's been a busy summer around the Florida house....actually we haven't been around the Florida house much at all this summer...hence the busy-ness.  The blog's been sitting silent, the dust is thick and the weeds are high...I'm feeling like my list of things to do around here is growing faster than my 15 year old son's feet!

My projects may be languishing, but God's got His all under control and has been making some noteworthy progress.  Apparently the Holy Spirit has been busy speaking and you all have been busy listening...because things are happening and we're hearing a steady clink, clink, clink as the coins drop from God's Floodgates.  It's gotten to the point that I think it deserves a special ledger page on the blog to keep track of all these deposits and praise God out loud for them.

If you've been following us at all, you couldn't have missed the Ordinary Hero grant contest we participated in during the end of August.  I turned my facebook profile into a one week-long commercial and sent so many emails that Yahoo temporarily blocked my account because of "suspicious spam-like activity!"  You can read about how Ordinary Hero helps adoptive families raise adoption funds here.  This week-long grant contest was an open door I felt I had to walk through and let God make what He wanted to make out of it.  Long story short - not only were we one of the top 3 sellers who received an extra $500 grant BUT WE TOOK 1ST PLACE!!!  1st place didn't earn us any extra money, but it gave us a great big shot of adrenaline and put a spotlight on the amazing team of family and friends who are ready to link arms with us on our way to Ethiopia.  Each time I see or hear about one of you wearing an image of Africa on your shirt in solidarity with us it overwhelms me again.  What a blessing you all are!!  Our total earnings from Ordinary Hero are $1,158 - $$ clinking straight into the adoption fund!!  You can check out the Ordinary Hero blog to read more about the contest results.

The coffee fundraiser got a bit overshadowed by the OH frenzy, but it's an on-going opportunity.  It's earned $15 so far thanks to our coffee-loving family and friends!!  We're just finishing up our first bag of strong Ethiopian brew and will be ordering more soon.  Hope you love yours too!

While we were camping with friends, the three 10 year old amigos assisted by a little sister, hosted a lemonade & bracelet making stand.  They gave up a whole afternoon of swimming and other camp-ish activities to alternately sit behind the sales table and ride their billboard-laden bikes around the campground to advertise.  We now have an envelope full of coins, $2.98 worth, labeled "Baby Birr" with the donated proceeds from their sales.  (Birr is an Ethiopian dollar!) Thank you sweet girls, for loving little baby Florida this much!!

God's been smiling down on our mailbox too. 

A check arrived with "adoption fund" in the memo line.  The return address was for some sweet friends of ours who we've connected with through ministry and our kids.  It's amazing to have God connect us with people who's hearts beat the same way.

Another check arrived from an aunt and uncle who are echoing their wonder at God's workings and plans for us.  Impossible to underestimate the power of blood-family who follow God side by side.  Our families give us such momentum.

Another check arrived from a dear girlfriend who used to be one of my Senior High small group girls and her husband.  They've been encouraging to us even before we signed on the adoption dotted line (I think they could see the writing on the wall before we could!) and have given us courage every step of the way.  What a blessing to have her grow up in front of me and turn into just the friend I need at just the time I need her!  The check came in a super-cute card that said "You're Adopting" across the front!  Who knew Hallmark had adoption cards??!!

And then today....I found a strange purple gift bag crunched between the console and passenger seat of the suburban.  Usually our suburban is carpeted with stray papers, wrappers and general it's unusual that I would be alerted to something new appearing.  We've had a recent cleaning extravaganza to clear out the camping crud which shined a spotlight on the purple bag I hadn't seen before.  (My kids disagree with me on this, they're position is that we clean the suburban "ALL THE TIME!"  The recent cleaning must have seared itself into their minds so hotly that it displaced the memory of junk falling out of the doors each time they're opened.)  The purple bag contained a Ziplock bag stuffed with coins and bills and a note that said it was "to help bring the new Florida baby home!"  It was signed by the two adopted sons of one of my dearest friends - the friend that pushes me, prods me, challenges me to follow God farther and harder.  Support from these two boys is especially precious to me.  I'm counting on them to be part of the support team  that makes my little adopted person/people understand how wanted and loved they are by us.  BIG kiss, kiss to my sister-friend who's upholding me with her friendship and raising such tough and tender boys.

Isn't this ah-maz-ing??!!  I desperately don't want events like this to begin to feel common-place as God makes them  happen with common-place regularity .  Each one deserves celebration and thanksgiving - for the God who is opening His floodgates and for the people who are letting themselves be the funnel through which His blessings flow. 

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. "
James 1:16-17


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