On our way…

We flew Memphis to Chicago early this morning.
We are about to board to Hong Kong. We will stay there w/ dear friends a few days before traveling to Fin and Mae’s city Zhengzhou, Henan on Saturday.

Excited that Mallie gets to experience Hong Kong, where she is from, even for a few days. It is such a gift to her heart.

If Fin is healthy enough, we get them both on Monday Aug 4th, which is Sunday Night USA time. If not, we will get Mae that day and make another “Fin plan”.

My next blog post will be from C.H.I.N.A.!!!!!!!

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A little on…..Fin’s Health, Travel Options and a Way to Give

I can not even begin to describe how “fundraising weary” we are. Constantly asking for money makes you eat HUMBLE PIE every. single. day.

When we first started falling in love with Fin and Mae we knew a large part of our journey as their parents was going to be fundraising, for both their adoptions and their medical needs and possible liver transplants.

We wrestled. And wrestled. And cried. And wrestled. And cried more and more and more.

Somewhere in the midst of that emotional tussle Mark and I began to feel stronger, more committed, more prepared to lay ourselves humbly down, more committed to opening ourselves up, more willing to change and grow, more willing to daily live in a way that needs others, more willing to be a conduit of God’s provision for 2 more beautiful lives. Fin and Mae.

They are worth it. They are worth every single fundraising ask. Every single struggle. Every single fear. Every single person that misunderstands. Every single thing we have already done and all that is still to come. Their stories are still unfolding. We have only just begun. We will keep eating “humble pie” as long as we need to for the sake of our kids.

We can not walk this journey alone. As much as I want to. As much as I want to be self sufficient, independently wealthy, and able to do this ALL ALONE. We can’t and I don’t think we are supposed to. I think God has a bigger more amazing story to write. One that includes miracles, provision, people, and community.

So in light of that….we just posted this on CrowdRise:

You can follow this link: Fin and Mae Fund

We are overwhelmed and humbled with the generosity of so many who have already contributed to our adoption of Fin and Mae. When we set out on this journey we had no idea how supported and loved we would feel this close to getting on an airplane to get our kids.

Both Fin and Mae have a congenital liver disease called Biliary Atresia, which often requires a liver transplant. Both of them have been stable since last year, but just 1 week before traveling to pick them up in China, we have learned that Fin’s health is declining.

There is still much uncertainty, but we are traveling as planned on July 29th. We hope and pray he will be stable enough to travel home with us Aug 15th.

Since this news, several friends and family have asked how they can give towards the upcoming expenses we will incur. Once again the community of people who are pouring out love and support overwhelms us. We are in AWE. AMAZED. HUMBLED.

We are preparing for many options:

1. Our hope is to bring Fin home right away and get him medical attention here in Memphis ASAP. This might include going straight into the hospital and being listed for a liver transplant right away.

2. If Fin is close to being healthy enough to travel home, but misses our adoption appointment already scheduled for Aug 4th/5th, then one of us will stay in China to get custody of him separate from Mae. The other parent will bring Mae home as planned on Aug 15th.

3. If he is too sick to travel within the next moth, then we will both bring Mae home and one of us will travel back to China to bring him home as soon as he is stable enough to travel.

All of those options include expenses we were not expecting to incur at all or in terms of medical expenses we were not expecting them to come this quickly.

The fastest way to mobilize giving is to use a platform like this one (CrowdRise). If we get home and know we are moving towards transplant, we will most likely change to another organization that specifically raises money for children’s transplants and oversees the use of those funds for the lifetime of the child. But with the uncertainty and time crunch we cannot set that up yet.

As we know of specific expenses we will adjust our “to be raised” amount (in CrowdRise). So please don’t be surprised if that amount increases over the next few days, weeks, or months. We want to be good stewards of all the money that has been entrusted to us for the adoption and medical care of our kids.

Fin and Mae Fund

Blessings,

Tona

We Got TA and a few prayer requests

Just a quick update and a few prayer request…….

We got travel approval today!!!

We will book tickets in the next few days but could travel as soon as next week!!!!!

We are soooooo excited to see these sweet faces in person!!!

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Please pray I can get a bit of sleep between now and lift off. My “to do”, “to buy”, and “to pack lists” are growing by the minute.

Please pray for Fin and Mae,  as they are about to go through an incredibly difficult transition. The thought of what they are about to go through breaks my heart with that painful, can’t breath, kind of ache. I know in my head this transition has to happen, but thinking of all they are going to experience as they leave all they have known for 2 yrs….that is just too much. Please pray for them and for us as we prepare to walk with them through it.

Please pray from Mia and Mallie, who are traveling with us, as they watch them struggle. Trusting God has this experience for them as well.

Please pray for Mallie as she goes back to Hong Kong for the first time since her adoption. I am praying the time there is a gift to her heart!!!!!

Please pray for the boys as they go to TX with my parents, family, and friends. Pray they have “the time of their lives” and for the days to fly by for them and my mom =)!!!! Please pray for them and my parents to stay healthy during their time there!!!

I still can not believe these two beautiful babies get to be ours and we get to be theirs….. forever…soon….so very soon!!!!

Tona

A look back at our first email inquiry about Fin and Mae as we celebrate LOA!

In honor of getting our Letter of Acceptance for Mae Yossell and Griffin Quentin today, I thought I would share part of the very first email I sent inquiring about them.

The email was sent 9/29/2012. That was twenty-one months ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fin and Mae were both just several months old.

I sent the following to a friend from the organization Show Hope. They were both pictured in Show Hope newsletters the months prior to this email. Show Hope supports/runs the care centers they are in.

Thank you for humoring me about sweet Yossell (insert for clarification – we had just seen him at a conference a few days before and mentioned Yossell to him). I am not sure what God is up to, but I feel SO strongly connected to her and another sweet boy, who seems to be in the same home and with the same liver condition. His name is Quentin.

I am trusting these two sweet precious faces are keeping me up at night for a reason. So I will keep praying and seeking….and of course honoring my hubby…who said it was ok to email you =)!

(I went on to ask if he could give me any information on them, if their files were started, what agency they were with etc….b/c I was going to “advocate for them”….which I did. You can read a blog from 12/06/12 about them here)

I can only imagine how the Lord was looking down on me with such delight as I typed that first email, like a parent who tucks their child into bed on Christmas eve knowing the joy and surprise waiting on them in the morning. He was keeping me, and very soon thereafter Mark, up at night praying and growing more and more in love with our children. As we prayed over them, we began longing more and more for them and finally risked being honest with how much we wanted them to be Ottingers.

Hope is always tied to risk.

We were risking our hearts.

We allowed ourselves to hope with no promises.

There were many many many days of private tears, pleading prayers, fear, no promises, nothing to do but hope beyond hope, and wait.

BUT GOD-

Moved mountains, provided finances, opened doors, and nudged us to take the first few steps, which led to a few more steps, which led to a sprint, which led to a marathon….which we will be running with them for the rest of our forevers together.

We did not get Mae’s paperwork until Nov. 2013. 13 months after that first email and Fin’s did not come until March 2014, which was 18 months later. Those were LONG LONG LONG months. BUT OHHHH SOOOOO WORTH it!!!!!!!!!!

As we just checked “accept” on their official referrals from China….

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I can not wait for their two precious faces to keep me up at night but……while sitting in my arms!!!

China is expediting their process based on medical necessity, so we could travel to get them AT THE END OF JULY or AUGUST!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Doing the LOA (Letter of Acceptance) happy dance,

Tona

Are You SOOOO Excited?? The Honest Answer….

Are you so excited Fin and Mae are coming home soon?

Ah…. the million dollar question I get asked a million times. Yes!!! YES!!! Y.E.S. of course we are so excited!!! I am crazy excited but…..I am also TERRIFIED.

YEP totally completely TERRIFIED

In fact, I think you would be hard pressed to find any adoptive mom or foster mom…maybe ANY mother….if they are being honest…that did not have some level of fear as they jumped into parenting. Oh to be sure, it can show it’s self in all kinds of ways…. nagging worry, panic attacks, over controlling behaviors, exhaustion, anger, over eating, over sleeping, under eating, under sleeping, and on and on and on…..

You might feel inclined to ask….

WHY IN THE WOLRD WOULD I CHOOSE TO DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME FEEL TERRIFIED??? And do it S.I.X times?????

I will start with this quote…

“Fear, of course, is almost always a fear of losing something.

In other words, we cannot just talk ourselves out of our fears. We cannot just pretend we are not afraid. We cannot hate or frontally attack our fear. To begin the process of appropriate “exorcism,” we must first of all feel and “suffer” our actual fear, taste the nature of our anxiety, get a sense of its texture and style, its falsity, its plausible disguises. We have to admit that we don’t want to lose something, and admit exactly what that something is. Is it our reputation, our manner of living, our group identity, our control? Then we can deal with the real demon, instead of shadowboxing with enemies that are not the real enemy at all.” Richard Rohr (http://sojo.net/magazine/2004/10/fear-itself)

I ask myself what I am afraid to lose, as I become a mommy to two more precious medically fragile ones?

WHY am I afraid? What am I giving up? What might I lose? What is at stake? Now we are getting somewhere!!! 

I take inventory of my fear. I see it for what it is…..

Then I move into a place of knowing.

We KNOW without a doubt Fin and Mae are our children. We love them with every part of who we are. My fear does not take away from that. But in order for me to be an attune mommy, that is fully emotionally present for myself, my hubby, my kids, and my Lord I need to be brutally honest. I need to pause and understand my fear and how it manifests itself in my life.

Then FEAR no longer controls me.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

 Then I remember THEY are more important than what I am losing. They are more important than my fear

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

 Then The Lord reminds me HE IS my ever-present help

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

He will never leave me of forsake me.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

He gives me peace not like the world has to offer, but His peace.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

And even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death EVERY day I am not in eternity. Every day I am in the midst of brokenness, suffering, and pain. I do not need to fear. He is with me. He will comfort me.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Then I feel a little more courageous and a little less afraid. And I do this exercise over and over and over again.

Then I find myself living a life following Him and not my fear. Stepping out LOVE and not paralyzed by FEAR. RISKING. HOPING. LIVING.

So thankful for the gift of motherhood 6 times over. Thankful “fear of losing” did not win.

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Blessings,

Tona

Lessons Learned From a Ridiculously Huge Fundraising Yard Sale

It has been a week since our adoption yard sale…which looked more like a flea market, or outdoor goodwill than a yard sale… and I have come out of hibernation.

The four-day event feels like a distant blur. Then I look at our adoption savings account and see the extra almost $9000 that was our half of the total raised. UNBELIEVABLE!!!! We netted $17,896 that was split between us and the Phipps family. OH MY STARS!!!!!! That is a crazy amount of cash for a weekend sale that struggled with rain showers off and on.

I thought I would share a few lessons we learned and then a few highlight pictures.

  • God provides and blesses…and that is most often accomplished via people
  • Things are so so so much better done in community
  • Work harder than those volunteering to serve for you
  • Spend a little bit extra to make sure you do it right 
  • Never under-estimate how even showing up for an hour to help can mean to someone
  • Trash blows really really far in stormy weather 
  • God whispers and reveals himself in the midst of chaos and crazy. Breath deep and listen and watch for Him
  • Once you touch that much stuff, you may never want to buy another item ever ever again (well until you walk into Target…who can resist that??)
  • People can get really mean over $1. Just let it go
  • People will steal from you. Just let it go 
  • Be prepared to say you are sorry b/c you will hurt some people’s feelings in the midst of the crazy 
  • People donate weird weird things…but when those items are unpacked it will bring much-needed laughter 
  • I love teenagers. They are amazing
  • I have the best family (on both sides) I could ever hope for 
  • I have the best friends I could ever hope for 
  • Put sunscreen on your lips even if it is cloudy (mine were two times their size from being burned)
  • Leave a borrowed facility cleaner than you found it
  • God sees you and He will remind you of that in really profound ways every single day 
  • Eat lots of protein 
  • People buy wet rained on stuff and lots of it
  • Even if you only sleep a few hours at night and leave in the pitch black…Remember to pluck your eyebrows and chin hairs they grow long over three days and you are standing in the sunshine were other people see your face very clearly… profound I know 
  • Chick fil a waffle fry boxes are the best boxes in the history of all mankind
  • If someone donates stuffed animals…get rid of them immediately. Don’t bring them in your house. Don’t waste space and energy storing them. B/c they are really nasty when they get rained on. They stink. And you will hate stuffed animals for the rest of your life
  • If you want to do a sale the size we did be prepared to do NOTHING but yard sale prep for weeks and weeks and weeks prior to the sale
  • People will donate more and larger items if you can pick it up from them
  • Don’t price items prior to the sale
  • Sell clothes by the bag
  • If you can, rent storage PODS to hold your donated items rather than storage units and uhauls. Then you only have to pack the donated items one time. We had 6 large PODS and 7 truck loads to reach our total raised
  • Start getting donations 2 months out
  • Your kids will think it is REALLY fun the first month but will be DONE by month 2
  • Fed your volunteers at the sale
  • Make sure you have round the clock care for your other kids
  • Wear really comfy shoes
  • Cut all your finger nails totally off before you even start preparing so you don’t get ticked every time you break another one. Just let it go
  • Eat Advil like it is candy
  • Remind yourself every few minutes WHY you are running a flea market so that the crazy people don’t make you crazy too
  • Enjoy it. Don’t complain. Every single item donated and every single item purchased is getting you one step closer to your kiddo/kiddos

It started with this…

Yard Sale

 

Then is began to look like this….

 

 

Inside my house

 

Then Saturdays started to be all about packing another storage POD

Sale

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Then it was set up time. But we had to wait for the rain to stop

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This is what it looked like by 8am Thursday morning!!!

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There was a massive storm followed by an AMAZING DOUBLE RAINBOW!! We took that as God’s promise to us that He was going to provide, protect, and supply what both families needed!!!

 

 

 

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A few of those crazy donated items I mentioned above!!!!

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Friday:

We had a huge tent donated to us b/c there was more rain on the way!!!

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We started slashing prices…..

 

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The kids had a great time!!!

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We had  AMAZING volunteers!!!! THERE is NO WAY we could have done it without them!!!

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Saturday:

It started out WET

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But people shop in the rain and buy wet things…go figure….

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And God reminded me of this bright and early that morning as I was sorting items…. He has such a funny sense of humor

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And sweet friends showed up in the rain, with a DP in hand to work

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And get muddy doing it….

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And then by 6 pm Saturday it was OVER. Finished. DONE!!!!!!!

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And I will be so deeply deeply grateful for all those who gave, worked, shopped, encouraged, and supported us along the way!!!!!!

The “Ottiphipps Yard Sale” is in the books!!!!!

Tona

 

You are not going to believe this….

I just have to share something that is so CRAZY GOD SIZED AMAZING it is undeniably HIM!!!!! For those who took the time to read my previous posts about my “Broken Hallelujah” and “Letting Grief Ooze On Out” are you ready for this?????

For those who have not been following along……You can catch up (here) but in a nut shell there was a 3rd little fella that Mark and I fell in love with in China. It was the original little boy we posted about before God did crazy amazing things to bring us Fin. Trying to explain all the details via the blog is difficult…but bottom line….God closed a door….He said NO and I have been deeply grieving. The grief over not getting the other little boy takes NOTHING away from Fin and Mae…it is a different story…a different journey…a different child…a different loss. I have felt very compelled to share honestly about it online, when I would normally hold these kinds of things close to my heart.

So on to the CRAZY GOD SIZED moment…..

We had a massive yard sale this past weekend…I will post details on it over the next few days…but this needed its own post and I need to tell you before I burst.

Friday morning of the sale my friend Elizabeth, who we did the sale with, comes running up to me with tears in her eyes and a box in her hand.

She said “Tona you are NEVER going to believe this!!!!!!!!!  I just quoted a lady a price on the sculpture in this box, but when she turned it and I saw the writing on the side, I took it from her ” ( lady was NOT happy!!!!! But this was an appropriate time to be an indian giver.)

I looked down and the box and started WEEPING. There is no other word. Bent over, in the middle of a hundred people at a yard sale and I wept. HUGE CAN’T BREATH TEARS.

I will share as much as I can without giving up too many clues as to who the little guy is that we fell in love with or where he is ….. b/c I want to do my best to honor him and his adoptive family.

But the orphanage where he is in China was started by a branch of a company in China that manufactures good…mostly faith based inspirational type items, including sculptures.

The side of the box said  in a nutshell….the sculpture in the box was created by “said company” and sales of this product go to support “said foster home” and provide medical care for the children, so they can get healthy enough to be adopted into loving homes.

OH MY STARS!!!!!!!!!!

Elizabeth knew where the little guy is.

She knew this was made by his orphanage/company.

She knew God was loving on me that morning in the midst of that crazy yard sale.

And that box was sent there FOR ME as a gift from the Lord.

We have NO IDEA who donated it, so if it was you….please LET ME KNOW!!!!!!!

But it gets even BETTER!!!!!!!!!!

The sculpture inside the box…..

Had this verse on it…..photo 2-3

 

And was of this….

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A praying woman. One of my kids said “she looks like you mommy”. Bless that child…b/c mommy is a bit fluffer than that sculpture…but I will take it =)

Oh dear one reading….you have to know there is a GOD and HE LOVES you fiercely. He LOVES you so deeply.

There is NO OTHER WAY to explain THIS but the hand of a loving compassionate God who wanted me to KNOW WITHOUT a DOUBT that HE KNOWS my heart ache, my deepest hearts desires, my pain, my loss, my hope, my fear, my joy and that HE HEARS my prayers….and I AM NO MORE DESERVING than YOU!!!  HE LOVES YOU WITH A FIERCE LOVE.

He sent this praying lady sculpture all the way from China, from the company tied to the sweet baby boy that I love so deeply I feel like a part of me is missing, via a yard sale donation, to my friend’s hands who knew the story (lots of others were working the sale that would not have a clue), and sent it straight to my heart B/C HE IS ALIVE AND ACTIVE AND SEES AND KNOWS AND HEARS AND LOVES WITH CRAZY FIERCE LOVE.

And I am on my face in worship….offering up to HIM my broken hallelujah again!!!

Tona

Taking off my mask and letting the grief ooze on out….

Sometimes the hard, and real, and raw need to be shared

Sometimes we need to pull back the mask and let the real coming oozing out

Sometimes we do it for us

Sometimes we do it for others

Sometimes it creates space for others to share – to feel

Sometimes it creates space for us process – to  heal

Sometimes it is just the right thing to do

Sometimes it is time

It is time

It is time to share my sadness. My grief. My loss

I have been holding on to it for weeks out of fear

Fear that sharing would leave me misunderstood

Fear that sharing would steal away from my precious Fin

Fear it would steal away from his story. His preciousness

If I shared how I was deeply grieving for the little boy we did not get (see Broken Hallelujah) then maybe you, they, everyone would question

Maybe you would question my love for Fin. My joy for Fin. My excitement over being HIS mom

But I decided to trust you

To trust that you would have the ability to offer me space for both

Space to both grief over what isn’t and joy for what is

I believe we have capacity for both

For both grief and joy

We prayed for months and months for a little boy and we longed for him to be our son with all of our hearts. God said no

That is not easy. It is painful. It is hard. It is ripping me up inside

I have been doing a lot of soul-searching work over the last few months

Why is this so hard?

What about this situation makes it so difficult for me?

A few days ago I realized this is my “loss”

This is my “thing”

This is the “thing I have hoped and longed for but it is not going to be fulfilled” thing

You see I have infertility

I had a full hysterectomy before age 30

But I did not grieve my infertility the way most women do

Infertility was not my “thing”

I questioned myself for years. Maybe I should have felt more? Grieved more? What is wrong with me that I did not weep and grieve the way most women with infertility do? Was I shut off emotionally? I had older women push back on me when I said “I was ok”, “fine”, and “it is no big deal to me”

But you see……when we found out we would never conceive, we already had two beautiful babies at home. Camden and Mia were already ours. We started our family through adoption. When we wanted children we chose adoption first.

I KNEW with every part of me that I was fulfilled. I never had to feel a baby kick inside of me to be satisfied.

So I never grieved infertility b/c I never felt like I longed for a child I would not have.

I had the children I longed for. If and when we longed for more children, adoption was a gift that we would gladly receive again.

I know that my story of infertility is so deeply different from most ladies I met and talked with. In fact, I often avoid talking about it altogether , because I don’t really relate and I never ever want to steal away from the pain, loss, grief, or any part of someone else’s story because my process was different.

A few weeks ago, when I was crying out to the Lord about why I am still longing for this other little boy  too…..please don’t misunderstand me…it is not “instead of” my other kids…it is “too”…I want Camden, Mia, Mallie, Dax, Fin, Mae, AND him….it hit me…this is my “loss”….this is my “thing”

This is the only time I have longed for and loved a child this deeply and them NOT become ours. (I cried out over Fin and Mae…and look what the Lord has done!!!!!!)

I have no expectation that this will be another “Mae and Fin” story where God will do some crazy stuff and make them ours like He did them.

I really feel like this is my “loss”

My “thing”

The thing I have to grieve

My “Broken Hallelujah”

The “thing” that will allow me to touch the grief many other women feel as they walk miscarriages, infertility, failed adoptions, and unmet desires to be married. Please hear me….I am not saying these things are the same or compare equally to one another….but they all come with paralyzing loss as women. They are the losses of a feminine heart.

So I am sad.

I find myself taken by waves of loss that are deafening

ALL the while I am OVERWHELMINGLY blessed and crazy FULL OF JOY for what is and what is to come.

I am certain the story God is writing will blow us away. I am expecting that. I am clinging to that.

But….

I am giving myself space for both. No sugar-coating. No tying it up in a bow. No pat answers or quotes for this one.

Just hope, joy, and blessing sitting up next to pain, loss, and sadness.

And I am OK with that….

If you feel inclined to share your “thing”…. your “loss”….your “grief”……your “broken hallelujah” I would be honored to hear.

We need to hold space for one another,

Tona

 

 

 

 

 

“10 for Fin”

Adoption is expensive. There is no doubt about that. Everything in me wishes it wasn’t. I struggle with the cost. I struggle with humbling myself enough to ask for donations. I don’t like it one single bit. I wish the price was lower. I wish the money was in the bank. I wish the injustices of the adoption process could be done away with.

But then I look at their eyes. Not just Fin and Mae but the eyes of those already in my home. The eyes of those in the homes of my many many friends. The eyes of those waiting. The eyes of those who will never be pursued. The eyes of those with special needs. The eyes of the older children. Their eyes. And somehow the price tag just doesn’t seem to matter.The hurdles seem to melt away.  It all seems insignificant compared to the value of their life.

How do you put a “price” on the adoption of a person? On a human life? You can’t. The price of adoption should never be attached to the person but to the services rendered and the costs incurred in the adoption process. How much is too much to spend to create “a forever”?

How can you say that a family shouldn’t adopt if they don’t already have the money in their personal savings account? How many people do you know with $40,000 sitting is savings to adopt 2 waiting medically fragile kids?

Fundraising is a hard and weary task. But it is a road Mark and I knew we would need to walk when we said yes to our kids. And in reality, with the very real possibility of 2 liver transplants staring us in the face, we are just taking the first fundraising steps on their behalf. The financial need will most likely get bigger once they get home.

So how much is too much to ask? WE HAVE NO IDEA. Truly. We have wrestled deeply with this question.

The only answer we come up with is….they are our kids. We will do whatever it takes.

But we don’t have all the resources needed. So we fall on our faces in humility and desperation and we remember HE DOES. His people do. The community does. The church does. The village does. And we can’t do it all. We can’t do it alone. And frankly we don’t think we are supposed to. We believe we should live life interdependent on others. We are all supposed to give and take. Serve and be served. Love and be loved. Be “with” and “for” one another. Not a very typical “american way” of thinking is it? If we look back at the early church, they lived this way. They lived with one another in mind. They gave of themselves. They looked out for others. They modeled community. They modeled humility. The modeled interdependence.

So with that heart, we decided to set up our next fundraising effort…. “10 for Fin”

“10 for Fin” - where we are hoping to raise $10,000 for Griffin “Fin’s” adoption fees (orphanage fee, travel, physical, visa, passport, translation fees,etc) plus some money towards our family’s travel expenses. (We hope that our yard sale will cover the remainder of our travel expenses.)

If you would like to make a contribution you can click on our Crowdrise account “10 for Fin”

We deeply appreciate all those who have given out of both abundance and sacrifice!!!!! Your generosity has brought us to our knees in gratitude and thanksgiving.

Blessings,

Tona for the Ottinger Crew

 

 

Yard Sale Madness and the Joy of Community

We are in full swing preparing for our mega yard sale with the Phipps (who are also adopting a precious princess from China) the sale has been coined  “The Ottiphipps Sale.” While it has been crazy and exhausting preparing over the last month, I am loving the picture of community being displayed in our midst. We have been blessed with generous donations and people sorting, loading, and lending us vehicles and trailers. We even had several families that were planning to have their own yard sale donate their items to us!!! We are in awe of His provision through junk…I mean treasures.

The details:

Yard Sale

We have a saying in our home “Many Hands Make Light Work”. If you would like to be one of our many hands and lighten our load by volunteering to help during the sale click here to sign up online.

It truly takes a village and we are so thankful for all those who have donated, sorted, dropped off, and helped us so far!

We have 5 storage PODs already and hope to fill a few more over the next 2 weeks. Please let us know if you would still like to donate.

At this point it is crunch time, so drop off donations are very much appreciated…but we can pick up larger items or schedule a pick up if you can not drop the items off.

Here are a few highlight pictures:

Sale

 

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Blessings,

Tona