Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Tables are Turned

I have been completely amazed by the adoption community. When we began the process to bring Mylee home we had no money (well, we did have the application fee), and had NO idea how we were going to come up with the amount we were going to need. We were new to the whole adoption thing, we didn't really "know" anyone who had adopted, and to be quite honest, we were terrified of the unknowns.

Not long after getting the ball rolling, I began to research adoption online and started coming across these things called blogs. Honestly, I had never heard of these and really didn't want to start one. It was actually Matt who put our first blog together, I just snuck in, redesigned it and pretty much took it over. We waited 9 months from start to finish for Mylee, and I honesty think those were the longest 9 months of my life. I read all I could about what to expect, the different special needs, joined a couple of Yahoo Groups, and became completely engrossed in blogs of others waiting to bring their children home, those who had already brought their children home, and those who were in the process of going back to bring another child home. I remember thinking to myself, there was no way I was going to go through the roller coater of adoption again. I was certain I was going to be content with just bringing Mylee home.

But, the one thing that amazed me the most was how supportive and giving the online adoption community was. Once I became comfortable, I began leaving comments and even contacting others through their personal e-mails answers, suggestions, and any advice. I just could not believe how willing to help someone could be to a complete stranger.

Then, I watched as people began having giveaways to raise money for their adoptions. I could not believe the amount of money that was being donated within the online adoption community. There were a few giveaways that raised over $10,000! I was completely blown away.

With Mylee's adoption we did not have to ask for help. We were completely dependent on God and He definitely showed us that it could be done. With Drew and Jaxon's adoptions, things were a little tougher. I had already decided I was NOT going to ask for handouts as some have so kindly put it. But, after talking with a couple of other adoptive parents, I realized that I was going to have to set aside my pride and ask for help. So, as many of you know I put together an awesome fundraiser (it took me about 3 months to get it all together), with prizes donated from others who get the whole adoption process and why it is necessary. We were able to raise over $6000 from our blog giveaways and most of that money came from complete strangers, all over the world. We had donations coming in from Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Germany, and all over the US. It was absolutely amazing and so humbling to know that there are people out there who get it.

I am so thankful for all those who helped us bring our boys home whether it was monetarily, prayers, or words of encouragement. We are so thankful for every penny, every prayer, every word. We are blessed beyond words. The tables are turned now, it is our turn to give back.

I have decided to do blog makeovers and give 100% of the money I make to families who are working so hard to bring their children home. I am in the process of creating a new blog just for blog makeovers. But for now, if you are interested in a blog makeover just contact me at and I will get all the info to you.

Right now I am dividing the profits between 2 families that are desperately trying to bring their children home. Lori is mom to 2 boys and 2 beautiful girls from China. She and her husband are in the process of bringing home an older boy from the same orphanage as their oldest daughter. Lori is currently selling t-shirts from Show Hope to help raise money.

Connie is another amazing mom to almost 9 kids. She and her husband have opened their doors to 5 Chinese treasures. They just announced a couple of weeks ago that they are paper chasing for their 6th treasure, Kasisi Joy.

So, for every blog makeover I do, I will divide the funds equally between Lori and Connie. So, with fall upon us, how about a new look for your blog and help two more children be united with their forever families.


Tara Anderson said...

What a wonderful idea, Mandi!!! I have no doubt that you will bless many through your work!

Lori said...

Oh, Mandi. There are no words to show my gratitude. I am beyond thankful for your generosity.

You are a treasure.

Wife of the Pres. said...

Mandi, I have a wordpress blog. I don't really need a complete makeover, but would love some HELP with it. Do you have any experience with wordpress? I have tried and can't do much with it! HELP!

I would love to pay you whatever you feel is fair (wordpress is a pain so if you can do it, I'll pay you more or whatever you feel is adequate for your time!) and to know it will go to these precious families!

Email me if you think you can do it and I'll share with you what I'm hoping for on the blog. :)))

Love for Lilly Yin said...

I need one! I have tried to do mine in the past and I have taken a wrong turn somewhere...haha.

I would love to get your help for our next adoption. We are getting started in the fall or winter hopefully. We also did not ask for help the first time, but if there is to be a next time, we will need help.

I was one of the ones who gave for Jaxson and Drew. I love to give to others adoption funds. Where else can you see 100% of your money used to bring a child home. I love it. I would love to put together something like you did, but I dont know where to start.

Football and Fried Rice said...

That is a fabulous idea!!I think I ((soon)) may be up for a little sprucing myself! And what a greta cause!

TanyaLea said...

God bless you, Mandi! I love that you are in the position to give back. God will definitely use your talents to bless these families.

Like you, I know first hand how humbling it is to ask for help. It took much encouragement and placing (foolish) pride aside before I could do it. And also like you, I was amazed at the people who stepped forward to help in whatever way they were able. God continued to multiply those gifts and encourage our hearts along the way. He is GOOD! And so are the heart so many people out there, MANY who were complete strangers and only stopped by to 'give'... I can't even tell you how many tears I shed in awe of the outpouring of love.

Thank you for finding a way to give back and to pay it forward to those in need now. It's my hearts desire to do the same.

God bless you, dear friend!

Miss ya,

The Ferrill's said...

Hi Mandi!
I sent you an email about this and wanted to make sure you received it! Knowing me, I might have sent it to a totally wrong address!
Thank you for being willing to sacrifice for other adoptive families! The adoption community continues to amaze me with its faithful members! :) Praise God!

Freedom Hollow Farmgirl said...

what a blessing you will be to these two families. I look forward to watching how the Lord blesses your venture.

My husband and I are just starting our adoption journey. I've seen the hand of God at work in some many other adoptions. I am trusting Him to guide us to our child and to also help us raise the necessary funds.

Blessings to you!

Jean said...

What a great idea Mandi! What a wonderful idea to give back to families who are adopting these incredible kids!!

I will be contacting you in the future! For now I like my blog but I can feel a need for change coming on!!

connie said...

Mandi, you know I'm overwhelmed and speechless at your generosity toward our family! You have already blessed us so much, and I pray the Lord blesses you tenfold! You are a treasure to me, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for you and Matt!
Love you!