"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to ACT"...Proverbs 24:12

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bring on November

So lets see...
The tagsale was a huge success!  We have raised over $3,500.  With some large donations and money that we have been saving we are nearing $5,000.  Over the next month or so I will be ebaying/craigslisting some really great items that just never ended up going.  (like the tons of baby stuff...I may just do better online anyways?)  On Monday we have to go to an Immigration office in Hartford to get 'fancy' fingerprinting done...once the govt Ok's those and sends them back to us (taking a few weeks?) we can go on the child refferal list. 
THis was quite an experience and I've learned alot from tagsalers.
 1st of all- I want to become a tagsaler...what they walk away w/ for the price they paid is seriously incredible.  It was hard to figure this whole thing out.   So there were 2 types of people I figured out:  the hard core tagsalers that live for this and they expect the cheapest of the cheap- when I say $1 they actually put the bundle of glasses down and raise their eyebrows. I was selling clothes for 50 cents...a lady pointed out a stain so we said 25 cents...she still wasnt satisfied!  The 1st day I had a custumer tell me that I would never sell anything! 
On the other scale we had just random stoper by's- people who dont do tagsales often but just decieded to stop- these people, when I say a price their eyes bulge and say, 'wow...ahhh...ok.'  I had a custumer laugh at my low price and he offered me $10 more than I was selling something for!  I also had a custumer who kept telling me that my prices were too low.  So you cant really win I guess...

Interesting stats here though:  I had at least 4 people ask to use my bathroom...and yes I kid you not...one man asked to use my nailclippers, walked around the tagsale clipping away, gave back the clippers and then walked away w/out paying.  (I think that may have been is tactic- stun and run!)
I had a few people give us doantions w/out even buying someing, even strangers.  I still can not believe this but a man walked up our driveway, asked me if I was Jill Turner, shook my hand and introduced himself as an adoptive father himself who saw the little blurb in the paper about how this was an adoption fundraiser, and then he handed me a wad of cash and walked back to his car.  A stranger- a man I cant even remember what his name was, went out of his way to hand us $100.  That man will forever inspire us to love and to give and to bless others generously. 

Today the Veterans of America truck came and carted the leftovers away.  They did not take any furniture- so we have to just figure out what to do w/ that...thinking maybe the curb but it's alot of stuff so Im a little leary.  I have a huge load of stuff to sell at Once Upon A Child too.  We finnaly have the tables at least down, the circus looking tent is still up, there are tarps all over our back yard trying to dry out, and there is a really big ugly pile of wet cardboard and garbage to be carted to the dump...Im praying before winter comes!  It's not too pretty here at the Turner's to say the least! 

In the midst of breaking down the tagsale, Mike had to move his office out of the garage and into a 'shop' across town.  I honestly dont think that we have ever been in a crazier time!  We try to laugh through it and take it one day at a time.  Although I must say that my expectations are usually to high...meaning my
 to- do lists for the day have been taking me a week to get through!  I should just write down, 'coffee- feed kids-clean-repeat.'  The Turner's dont like unorganized caous. Yes, there is a difference:  caous we can handle, hey we love kids and want more right?!  But the type that is going on here well we keep telling ourselves that this is just the 'season' that we are in.  This may sound contradictory but last night we were both saying how we cant wait for this baby to come home so that our lives can get back to normal!  Mike actually used the word 'organized!'  I know it sounds funny- (baby's do NOT bring organization into the home) but I totally know what he meant- My mind is in a million places at once right now and busy w/ stuff that I dont like being busy with (if that makes sense!)
Too much skimping down on school, too many skipped playdates and homeschool group, not enough yummy homemade meals, too much movies for the kids and not enough movies for the adults...
I hope I'm not complaining- this is something we seriously love doing- Im just Really happy for November to come! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Memoirs of a Tagsale

 Yes, my driveway looked like a 'Once Upon A Child' store.
Where were all those baby's?  We have sooo much baby gear (some looks brand new!) and I think only a couple sold...hopefully next weekend the people w/ babies will come :)

A yard full of clothes...I thought they would never get organized- but they are all labeled now thanks to Pam!  We already sold garbage bags full of clothes!

 Under the tent
 Books, books and books

rows and rows of tables...boxes of stuff under the tables too!

PHEW...is all  have to say.

I was brought to tears many times this weekend...only once or twice from actual exhaustion....but for the most part it was the good tears.

I can write a long blurb about how hard this was and what a crazy amount of stuff we had and how we feel like we aged a few years in several days, but Im not going to :)

Yes, many many times while Mike and I were carting heavy loads into an already stuffed basement we felt a little insane but we had our slogan, 'this is a sacrifice of love hunny!'

Thursday- returning home from the hospital after 2 days w/ Jacob I look around at my basement and seriously wondered if this would really happen.

Let me tell you that it would not have, with out the love and support of so many.

Mike and I were thinking back over this weekend and we are simply blown away.

We are grateful that God answered our prayers and the 'nor'easter' of strong winds and rain that was forecasted for Friday was over by dawn and we were able to open Friday AM.

We are so grateful to sooooo many who went out of their way to gather and drop off items for our tagsale...we never imagined it to be this big!

As hard of a week it was, I am glad we went through it...seeing what other people did for us truly inspires us to be more giving of ourselves!

Here's what I see:

a friend in my driveway at 5am, knowing full well that she had less than 5 hours of sleep,

people sacrificing hours even days of their time helping us out, people cancelled appts, got babysitters, and skipped school (opps did I say that?) to help us, people showing up at our door armed w/ meals to feed my family (tears)

at one point, I ran inside my house for a quick second only to find a friend at my sink washing probably 2 days worth of dishes, my disaster of a home was now sparkling clean and she gave the kids the credit...now that really brings the tears!

We were thankful for the oppurtunites to talk w/ some cusumers about adoption and to be able to listen to their stories of how they were touched by adoption, we were given a couple oppurtuities to share our faith too.

We are just so thankful for everyone!!

And now the drum roll....everyone is asking how we did...

Our 1st financial goal was $6,000.

We have been steadily progressing up the adoption ladder and we are now at the point of being able to have our names on our agencies 'child referral' list. Now that's craziness! So, in order to be on that list we need to pay the 1st set of fee's...(which is the above goal)

This 1st weekend of the tagsale we made, $3,000. We are quite excited about that. Because we have soooo much stuff and people are offering to drop off some really great items even this week- we are going to have the tagsale for 1 more weekend.

This Friday Oct. 22 and Saturday Oct. 23 from 8-4. 111 Oak St. Southington

It's all tarped up and ready to go!

Please keep the weather in prayer and for even more people to come on out...there is still soooo much great stuff!

Thanks to so many, this is so worth it.

As my daughter said to me this weekend, "wow mommy, you did this for me too?!"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Being Honest.

Sometimes it just blows my mind to see a tiny glimpse in God's enormous plan- it's so crazy:

Now, we do not deny that God has called us to missions. He has and by doing that he has shaped our lives differently. It's truly is amazing to think about (stay w/ me here)...

as teens we go on a mission trip and really feel like this is our life calling- we feel God calling us to missions and specifically we receive a burden for the country of India, we get married have a baby and move 1/2 way across the county to get missions training- still focusing on India,

when we came home I really thought that we would go overseas w/in a couple years. I wanted to Go so baddly- I love my family and friends but when God puts something on your heart...your heart takes over.

Our goal was to pay off debt and go. Mike got layed off and we both felt it was timing for him to open up his own electrical co. For years he has wanted to do this but this time I really felt it to. It was a God thing and his business explodes. At that same time God puts adoption very strongly on our hearts. It was one of those things that we could not ignore. We picked India because we really thought we would be living there one day as missionaires...why not blend in a little better w/ an Indian child? ;) (hmmm...trying to pay off debt to Go and God tells us to adopt...not your normal way of going)

Now, this whole time- even in the midst of adopting we were still thinking Missions...just maybe a couple More years now?

Then Sova has been home for 1 year and it happens again...an overwhelming burden for orphans. Specifically the country of Ethiopia was bombarding our brains...I kid you not...sleepless nights and all. At the time the kids were 6,5, and 3...I thought surely God is not calling us to adopt again? So like I mentioned in another post- I started looking into doing a short term missions trip to Ethiopia. But we both knew it wasnt that. So we waited a few months to see what would happen...but yup- it was still there...we are adopting from Ethiopia. Now please dont get me wrong- we are truly very excited, we cant wait for this new little one- But the fact that this will be #4 changes things. It made us have to really really really pray hard and know for sure that this was God. Because remember now- up until then we still had our 'missions' plan. I have told only a couple people this and here's where the honesy comes in...it was a very difficult decision for me. Two weeks after Mike told me to start the paperwork for this adoption I realized that I didnt want to touch it and that obviously bothered me...why was I not excited to start this?

Finally I could not take it anymore. Mike was working on the computer so I planned on going into my bedroom to do some 'wrestling' prayer. Those few weeks I was praying for God's direction but I never took the time to sit and listen! So I was going to purpose myself before God and I wanted answers! You see the reason I was terrified was because for the last 10 years of our lives we were thinking 'missions.' I knew that adding a 4th child could quite possible sabatage change this... and I did not like that idea.

But what was confusing to me was that it was God who said missions and then God who said Adopt. (hmmm...could He have a plan with this?)

I was scared to pray because I already knew the answer.

Back to the story.. While walking to my bedroom I find Sova standing in the kitchen looking like a dear caught in headlights. It was 11 pm and she was still up...impossible- this girl falls asleep in seconds! But it just so happened that one of our chickens died that day and she was scared to go sleep. Reluctantly I took her into my bed thinking that she was thwarting my prayer attempts. So here I am sitting up in my bed praying quietly while Sova is drifting off to sleep with her arms wrapped tightly around me.

At this moment I am asking God some serious stuff and I see Him standing before me gently nodding his head yes to my questions. He is strong before me yet so warm and gentle...I was in His presence and I was a wreck. I then look down at Sova who is still laying in my lap...the one who only 10 minutes ago I thought was going to 'hinder' my prayer time- I now look down and weep for her. I weep out of the pain I feel for not having her with me for her 1st 4 years of life and I weep out awe and rejoicement that He called me to be her mother. I think of what if I never adopted her. Ya see I was wrestling w/ God.

God of course knew that I was scared and right then and there He spoke a scripture verse to me,

Isaiah 40:11, "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."

That alone will carry me on...I took that as my personal promise from Jesus. He said,' Jill my lamb- you are in my arms- I will carry you close to my heart- I will personally lead you...will you take up one little lamb for me?' The fears the devil pushed into my mind about adopting another child where shattered, smashed forever to pieces- Love truly does conquer all things. The fears that I once thought were big, now looked ridiculous and petty in the face of Love. At that moment I believe I would have said yes to adopting a whole colony of lepers! But in His graciousness all He asked was for one...one child...one life. And that is sooooo miniscule ....sooooo small in comparison to the millions of orphans. Last year it depressed me... I would think- what's the point in adopting one when that wont solve the problem? I'm not denting the orphan crisis- a child will fill my child's bed the second we go get them! I felt like throwing my hands into the air, "God, deal with that!" So since then he has done just that. He asked us to go do it. I ask- '1 doesn't do a dent though God- shouldn't we adopt more...what about siblings?' He speaks- 'I am asking you for one. That one does count, that is my child ...will you do it for me?'

Come on now- the fact that we were born in the US and own 2 cars in a world where only 8% of people own cars! Should I ask God why does he not ask the Christians who are fleeing for their lives in other countries from persecution? Or what about 1.3 billion people who are living on less than $1 per day- why dont you ask them? or the 800 million in the world suffering form hunger and malnutrition? You get my point...my family is not hungry, my kids have too much clothes and toys, God has blessed us here in the US not to just kick up our feet and rest while others in the world suffer. I am not saying everyone should adopt- but I believe everyone should do something about something...passions are given for a reason.

It is just the first step of Faith that is always the hardest. Like when I was a teenager and I heard the powerful message of the Cross for the 493rd time. I 100% believed in Jesus and yet I did not want to completely surrender my life to him...just yet. The lump in my throat was all too familiar to me. I needed to make my move but I knew it would change my lifestyle and possibly be uncomfortable for a bit. This is no different. My Christian walk did not arrive and end the same day. It is a life choice...I lay down my life for Him because the one who gave His life for me deserves no less! That very same day I read in Romans about Abraham- 'the father of faith' and how he stepped out and believed and walked even before he saw. This is no different. It is something that we 100% believe in but we have a lump in our throats because we are human and it is scary to walk out into something new. And your right- we may not exactly be new to adoption and the miracles that God did financially in bringing Sova to us but it sure does feel that way. And yes it will be new to us to have 4 kids and all the responsibilities that come w/ that number. We can be hesitant and insecure about many things but the moment we cast our eyes back to Him and remember that there is no better place to be than in the will of God-than that is where we want be .

So back to that little glimpse that blows my mind...what if...what if God called us to missions and put India on our hearts because he knew we would go and he knew there was going to be a little girl at that same time who needed us? And what if he called us to missions and gave us such a love for other cultures so that our hearts and eyes would not be closed to the monstrous needs of Africa and would not be scared to cross racial barriers in bringing one of their children into our home?
And what if God called us to missions so that we can instill this in our children and take them to these countries on summer mission trips and opening up their eyes? And what if we took our whole crew to serve overseas one day or mike and I go when they are older? Im not sure...but I can rest in knowing the One who does.