I am terrible at asking for help.
In college my best friend and I ran a couple coffee shops to help kickstart our college ministry. We did it all…art, advertisement, decoration, food, set-up, planning, talent booking, volunteer recruitment, setup, tear down. We owned it, and it was awesome. However at the second coffee shop while we were running around in a frenzy setting up, I saw a lot of our volunteers sitting over to the side hanging out and chatting. At the first pass I was bit annoyed…didn’t they know we could use their help? After the third and fourth run by, I slowed up and realized…maybe they didn’t? Or maybe they knew help was needed, but they didn’t know how to help? And that was all on us, the leaders and the ones who needed help. We had cast a vision and asked people to participate, but we hadn’t told them how. And we certainly hadn’t taken their giftings and abilities and directed it to the areas we needed help. We were more focused on getting the job done ourselves. More focused on doing the job well and the way we thought was right than we were about allowing imperfect people to do their imperfect thing to glorify God. Which was what we were doing too. It was selfish and prideful, and God convicted me that I had lost an opportunity to allow others to serve Him in my own prideful perfectionistic pursuit of serving Him.
Unfortunately I still have to fight this tendency to do it all myself. It often seems easier to just buckle down, work myself to the bone and get the job done. But when I’m done, exhausted and snapping at everyone around me, my husband, or my kids, or my friends often come along side and say “why didn’t you just ask for help?” And I wonder. More often than not the answer is pride. I have people that love and care about me and I’m too prideful to ask for help.
The ironic thing is, I love to help. There are very few times that you’ll ask me for help and I won’t bend over backwards to help you. Need a meal? I usually bring closer to four. Need me to watch a kid for an hour? Take your time, and I’ll get the other one from carpool (as long as I can get my own). Cupcakes for a shower? Of course, and I won’t let you pay me a dime. I love helping in a classroom, in a church, in the home. I am genuinely willing and eager to help others. Not just in acts, either.
It has been our joy to support several missionaries, both national and international. It has been our delight to support children through World Vision and 410 Bridge. We have loved getting to partner in helping bring several children to their forever families. It thrills us to be able to give, and we will continue to do so in the midst of trusting God to provide for us.
Often God brings us to a place where we can’t do it all on our own. Sometimes that’s an opportunity to build up faith and trust in Him. Sometimes it’s an opportunity to build up faith and trust in people. Sometimes it’s to humble us. And sometimes it’s all of the above, which is where we currently find ourselves.
We’ve got this new adventure of adoption in our lives. It would be selfish and prideful for us to try to do it on our own. It would be selfish and prideful to not give others the opportunity to be obedient in giving, It would be selfish and prideful to not allow others to experience the same JOY we have in giving of our time, resources and prayers.
I don’t want to be selfish and prideful. And we don’t want to do this on our own.
I think God wants to overwhelm us all with His generosity and provision and often He uses people to do that.
But we first have to humbly admit our need.
Art courtesy of Hand Lettering Co. Love their work!
We need $50,000 to bring our girl home. We are humbling ourselves and saying that we need help. We could muscle through and manage a lot of it, but we would have to make some decisions we aren’t super comfortable with. We could delay the timing of the adoption until we’ve been able to save up enough to cover it all on our own, but that would be disobedient to the timing God has placed on our hearts. We could say that we can bear the emotional weight of trying to raise to raise three kids while undergoing the adoption process, but we know that we can’t do that either.
Simply stated again, we know that we need help.
How you can help: We don’t say this cheaply or offhandedly…we would covet your prayer support. We have already experienced how the enemy is attacking our marriage, our family, our health, and pursuit of community as we walk through this process. In many ways we have been blessed to see evidence of how it has united us, but we have also felt under siege, and we are very much still at the starting line. Prayers of protection for our family and marriage would be huge. Prayers for our emotional perseverance and strengthening, prayers for wisdom in the many big decisions that lie ahead, prayers for God’s hand on our daughter until we get her would all be incredible! God is all about restoration and redemption and Satan loves to thwart it. After reading statistic after statistic about Central Asian orphan girls grim future, we believe our daughters story is already one of restoration and redemption and can’t wait to see how that continues to play out over her life.
Your emotional support. We have been delighted at some of the response we have received as we very slowly started to share our news. And we’ve dreaded and cringed at the response of others. As we walk down this road we know there are many who are cheering us on and offering to help in a variety of ways. There are also some who are questioning our sanity, think we are crazy (we’ve been on the crazy train for awhile, not sure why it would shock anyone at this point), and have made some difficult comments. We know this will continue to happen. When God calls you to crazy things, there are a lot of people who don’t understand. For the most part, we’ve got thick skins and can deal…but we know sometimes it’s going to get hard to process and respond for us and our kids (who have been a big part of this decision). To have people who are encouraging us and are behind us will make those times a lot easier (and help to drown out the voices of the naysayers).
Your financial support. As much as we hate to say “we need money”…we do. As much as it has been our joy to give, we pray that God would multiply your joy in giving as well. We pray that as you felt led to give and respond in obedience that when we share the new pictures of our daughter, and as we meet her for the first time, and as we have to leave her twice, and as we eventually get to bring her home, that your heart would swell and tears of joy would roll down your face as you know that you played a part in bringing our girl to her forever family. That as she leaves an orphanage parentless and walks into a home where she is loved, cared for, and shown Jesus, you will know that you helped that to happen.
If you felt led to give financially, we have two separate fundraisers going on. As we’ve mentioned before, the adoption will cost about $50,000. About half of that will be for expenses that will go directly to the agency (agency fees, home study fees, international adoption fees, etc), and the other half will go to travel fees that we will be required to cover. We are looking at AT LEAST $21,000 for the flights alone for the three trips we are required to take there. The first half of the money due in the process will be almost all agency fees and the last half will be almost all travel fees. So agency fees are what we are focused on for fundraising first. These are the two separate fundraisers we are doing right now. They are through Pure Charity, a great organization, and all donations are tax deductible. The link for both fundraisers can be found on the right hand side of this website (with the travel one being specified).
One of the things we love about Pure Charity…besides that it’s tax deductible, is that there are options to help support and fundraise for needs beyond just giving. Basically, you just sign up for Pure Charity, go to the rewards tab and download the app. Then just shop anywhere online. Be sure to click the Pure Charity button on the top left when you are shopping, and it will tell you what percentage of your purchases will help go to fund our adoption! Super simple…and you help us just by doing what you already do!
Another way to help just by shopping is to use my amazon links on the side of the webpage. Any time you click through those and purchase something (or sign up for Prime!), I get a small percentage of what you purchase. All funds raised through this are going straight to adoption.
We are exploring all fundraising options, including applying for as many grants as we can, and are optimistic that maybe a few of those will pan out. We are hopeful to be able to decrease the amounts we currently need, or transfer funds we earn in other areas directly to the fundraising account.
We have some additional fundraising ideas as well like cupcake sales (that’s right, I’m selling cupcakes again!), Instagram flash sales (for kids clothes, adult clothes and accessories, so be sure to follow katekelly510), spaghetti dinners and more! I’ve also been making a few things to hopefully be able to sell through the flash sales, like clutches and other fun things.
We know lots of our friends who are going to want to help, but aren’t necessarily in a finical position to be able to do so. As I said before, we need help, and will take it however we can! A few other ideas we have had of ways people could help is to donate something they make that we could sell off in the flash sales or do an auction for. Another way to help is to clean out your closets. Any gently used name brand clothing for kids or adults, accessories or gently used shoes are things that usually go over well in the flash sales (think online garage sale). We have so many creative and brilliant friends, and we know you may have way better ideas than we have. If you have an idea for us, or way you think you could help in your own unique way, we would love to hear it!
Another big way to help, is to simply help us get the word out. Sharing information about the flash sales (we’ll give you plenty of notice!), cupcakes, or just about the adoption (so many people have a heart for it!) would be incredible!
All of that said…
Please do not give out of guilt or from any feelings of obligation to us. We don’t want that. God doesn’t want that. I believe that God is going to amaze us at how He provides for this. I believe that He’s got a plan for our daughter, and that my working myself to the bone won’t raise more money than He has already decided and determined to provide. I believe that He’s got this, and that as we trust Him to help us bring our girl home He’s going to delight in bringing other people alongside us in that journey. I believe that He loves and adores my daughter and that out of the ashes that has been her early years, He is going to bring beauty and is allowing us to participate in that process.
God called us to say yes. It’s a scary, big, exciting, yes. We’ve said yes to adoption with a million questions and unknowns. Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit is moving and some of you feel called to say yes as well.
We are grateful for any and all ways you join us in this journey.