When we first decided to adopt, even before we had told anyone, I started having the idea that we should do a garage sale. I began saving a few things of ours, and my parents were in the process of moving so they conveniently dropped things off to us over the winter, but starting out I knew I didn't exactly have much inventory to do a whole garage sale. So a few months ahead of time, I began to ask people for donations. This can be a little uncomfortable, asking people for help, but I kept telling myself that I don't expect anything from people but I want to open myself up to their generosity. Little by little the word spread, and I would receive a box here and there. Here and there became more frequently, and by the time the garage sale started I literally (I mean literally...not exaggerating here) had filled up SIX GARAGE STALLS worth of items. That happened a few ways:
- Twice I thought I was going to pick up just a few items and my generous friends had almost an entire garage stall full with things for us.
- I received a text with a donation from someone I had never met before.
- People showed up to shop with donations at the same time.
I attempted to keep track of how many donations I received, but I lost track. I think it was 35+. My friends came over multiple times to help me price and organize items. Mostly I think they were there just to calm my nerves. Neighbors just happened to have additional tables that I borrowed at the eleventh hour. Inventory-wise, it was crazy, but somehow we were prepared. Still I thought...would people come?
In preparation, I had organized my neighbors to all have garage sales together, so there were about six other stops in my neighborhood. There was a Craigslist ad for that. I created my own Craigslist ad. My neighborhood had a Facebook event. I had my own Facebook event. We put an ad in at the radio station, and I posted signs in our neighborhood. I regularly posted teasers to my Facebook event to showcase the inventory we had (which also resulted in a few presales which I was not anticipating, but was awesome). And still I thought...would people come?
People definitely came. My sale was to run from 7 AM to 4 PM both Friday and Saturday. And in the freezing cold temperatures at 6:30 AM on Friday morning, I had my first official customer. The Friday shoppers were steady the whole day long. You Friday garage salers are an amazing group of people, truly fascinating. I am usually blind to this culture, since I'm always at work on Fridays, but watching people garage sale is a bonus. Dare I say I love you? Let's just try to move on from this. So the people came, and the people bought. We sold furniture. Baby items. Books. DVDs. Clothes. Toys. Electronics. EVERYTHING! It was incredible.
Saturday was definitely more relaxed. I think our first customer came around 8 AM, and though the customers were pretty steady until about 2:30, there were definitely fewer. But you know what? These customers bought things, too. In fact, one customer who had come twice on Friday to buy and then haul away a dresser, returned on Saturday just to give Byron a gift card to take me out to dinner. Some people were so compassionate with us when they learned our story.
I'm sure I am leaving out many details, but I think that covers most. So this is where I'm going to tell you the actual amount we made at the garage sale. I will say that we did receive a few very generous donations, but when all was said and done, we made in the neighborhood of $5100. FIVE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Can you believe it? I hardly could. And here's why.
Initially I had set my goal at $2000. Quite honestly, I would have been happy if we had made $200, but I set this goal with God and I wanted him to know I was dreaming big (see the irony now?). The crazy thing is that when we were doing the garage sale, we knew we had two payments that would be due very soon - one for $4300 and one for $890, or $5190 total. So you see what God did there? He not only blew our minds but he provided EXACTLY what we needed. At the exact time we needed it. He is so amazing.
And really, he didn't stop there. The best analogy I feel explains this is the feeding of the 5000. Because after God totally showed up, there were 12 baskets of food left over. In our case, there were two garage stalls worth of inventory left over. Which gets handed over to my girlfriend to do the exact same thing next weekend.
So thank you to any of you who donated your items to us, your time, prayed for us, shopped with us, or just thought about us. I feel like I owe a huge debt of gratitude to so many people that I may never be able to repay. No, I will never be able to repay. And the truth is, I don't think people expect me to. This is God's blessing and God's grace at work. Right here. Right now. In our lives.
I hope that I am able to post another adoption update soon. We are in the midst of a ridiculously long process, and even though we've completed training and paid money and sent in vast amounts of paperwork, we are still 1-2 months away from being placed at the bottom of the waiting list. So if you could pray with us that things would go smoothly and that all the right things would happen, we would appreciate it. We are on God's timing, so we are not anxious, but we still just love to experience more little wins than little setbacks.