It was a community surrounding one family, encouraging, loving, supporting, blessing, and working alongside them to see that they are able to bring their children home.
Ryan and I practically floated home from the Pizza Ranch last night we felt so loved, cared for, blessed, and perfectly protected in the Hands of God.
Before I share the mind blowing results of our efforts, I best start at the beginning.
I could feel the energy building for our event way before it was actually time to head over to Pizza Ranch. So many of you shared about our event and invited your friends. I can't tell you what it means to an aching mama's heart to know that she has friends who are fighting alongside of her to see her children brought to safety.
I knew that God was going to do something big, but I couldn't have imagined the beauty He displayed last night through His people.
So we met up with our amazing team of friends at Pizza Ranch, changed into our adoption tees which came yesterday morning I might add :D Then we got to work putting out all of the tip jars. Huge thanks to everyone who lended me their jars!!
We weren't even there ten minutes when I was taking the plates from a table and I heard something that still has my heart stinging. I noticed a boy, probably around 12 reading our tip jar. He was looking down at our boys' pictures when he blantently said to his parents, "Why would they even want them?" I didn't even process what he had just said until I was walking away, but all of a sudden I felt his words penetrate my heart like a razor sharp knife. I went into the back scraped the plates and put them on the counter, but I couldn't move after that. I knew the tears were coming. He is just a kid. He doesn't understand. You had better get used to this woman, you knew this was going to happen at some point. were all thoughts that ran through my head, but they weren't a strong enough pain reliever for my heart. Someone had just looked at our boys' precious faces, the faces I have come to adore, and expressed through words what I know so many people have thought to themselves or said behind our backs, that they are not worthy of our love and desire.
Just then my friend Keri came back and said something to me. I told her I was about to cry and instantly she stopped what she was doing and came to my rescue. I told her what had happened and then the tears really started to come. There I was bawling my eyes out in the back of Pizza Ranch, probably freaking out their poor dishwasher. Then my other friend, who was just there eating with her family caught a glimpse of us and gave me that look like Are you okay? What happened, Who do I need to beat up? She eventually came into the back too and we just had a good tear fest. Both of them know what it feels like to love a child who the world tells you is not your own. They wrapped their arms around me and healing took place. One of them told me that she was telling her son about our boys on the drive over and he asked her if he could give his own money to us. This is a boy who understands adoption. Adoption brought him his brother and sister. He get's redemption and he wanted to play a role in our Ivan and Levi's. After she told me that I realized that every cruel comment we may receive while walking the path God has called us down is going to be worth it because someday Landon will be that child that understands that every life matters. He will not need to question why people love and I pray someday he will choose to give of himself to love the unloved as well.
Shortly after my little episode in the back, God opened the floodgates and people began flowing in. The next three hours FLEW by. People told me that they had to park way down the street because we had the place packed out! Strangers told me that they heard about our event on the radio and wanted to come show us their support. So many friends and our church family came out to express to us their love for our WHOLE family and their support of us bringing home our little lovies. It felt more like a big family get together than a fundraiser. There was much laughter, fun and encouragement being had at the Pizza Ranch last night! When Keri and I sat down to eat something I told her that God had redeemed all of the pain from the hurtful words. Truthfully by the end of the night my cup was so full of joy that I wasn't even thinking about how much money we brought in. But when we finally gathered to hear the total of our earnings I was BLOWN AWAY!!
God You are so good it's hysterical!!!
Personally Ryan and I had been praying that we would raise a thousand dollars. We thought that would be a miracle!
We had some people give to us that were not able to come last night, but wanted to support us anyway. With the money they gave and our tips we made......
That is not including the 10% of what the Pizza Ranch made last night!!
Ryan and I were just blown away!!
Everyone was blown away!!
The people who work at the Pizza Ranch were completely BLOWN AWAY!!
God when you show up it is so crazy beautiful people are just left speechless!! Thank you for showing up last night. Thank you for redeeming the pain that ignorance brought my heart through the healing touch of your Body, wrapping Ryan and I in Your love and support. You confirmed again that we are safe with You and although it will be hard, we are not in this alone.
To God be all of the glory and praise!!!
|Our amazing team!!|
Words truly cannot express our love and gratitude to each of you who made last night so incredibly beautiful!!