Monday, October 1, 2012

Yard Sellin fools

Let me begin with an update on our adoption status...not a huge amount of movement this month, but we are officially number 109 for September, two places up from last month. The courts in Ethiopia remain closed, and its predicted that they will not re-open until mid October, so we are not anticipating any real movement for next month either, but will be pleasantly surprised if we are wrong!

Now for the update on our largest fundraiser, our 30+ family donated yard sale. It was HUGE! We were shocked with the amount of donations that flooded into the the gray house on Frazell in the past few weeks. Our garage truly became a hoarders dream.  I'm sure our neighbors were close to holding an intervention for our seemingly new collection obsession. We took the advise of many yard sale mentors and advertised every where, had unique eye appealing signs, offered Africa shaped cookies, and wore our "Hearts in Ethiopia" matching t-shirts, all in hopes of attracting a large crowd.
The morning began bright and early Saturday at 7:00 am. Jay and I woke up and started pulling items and tables out, and basically got bombarded from that moment on (we were supposed to officially start at 9am, those die hard yard sellers don't mess around, and DONT get in their way of a deal!). It was a llloonnnggg day to say the least, and right when my feet started to bark and I was ready to go lay down, I realized it was only 10:30 am and I still had another 6 hours ahead of me, not to mention the following day! Our amazing family and friends really supported the effort, whether it was moving items around, pricing, packing cars for customers, completing sales, or telling everyone that walked up the driveway about Ethiopia and our adoption process, they were an invaluable asset to our sales success.  We truly have some amazing people in our lives and we are truly grateful to ALL who helped, whether through thoughtful and selfless donations, time with preparation, prayers, or actual (free) labor, we want to express a gigantic THANK YOU to everyone involved. With your help we were able to raise over
$900, with all proceeds helping to bring our little man home, and we still aren't done with the donation quite yet! We did have some left over "larger" items that we are currently selling on craigs and getting more than our garage sale asking price!  Here are a few moments we captured in between our sale efforts.

Uncle John taking a moment to try on some of the fashionable items for sale. I don't believe he bought any of these items, but the girls in the background really enjoyed the show non the less.

Jay and I sporting our fashionable Ethiopia attire.

Here is Nicole (a dear friend and co-worker) and both soon to be grandma's taking a much needed break.
Overall, it was great experience. I do want to share a pretty cool "God" moment that occurred at the very end of our garage sale. Before the start, I took time to not only pray for good weather and plenty of traffic, but I also took time in the midst of a packed garage to pray for all the amazing families who once had the items, and for the new families they would be going to ( I know it sounds kinda corny but I felt compelled to "bless" the donations as their revenue was truly blessing us). I prayed that the items would go to those who needed them. At the very end of the sale, as the nervous breakdown started to kick in from looking at the remaining multitude of items and wondering where on earth we were going to put them and who the heck would come pick it all up,  a couple of young girls rode up on bikes.  Their entire family had just moved from the Philippines and they didn't have much. They also spoke little English, but they shared their story and what they needed was just what we had needed at the start of our sale, a little help. We donated most of the left over items to this family and they were almost brought to tears with thank fullness. I really do hope that the items go as a blessing to that family and I am glad that God heard all of our prayers that day and answered them all! Thank you again to everyone who made this such a success. Jay and I are one step closer, well actually two according to the numbers and over 16,200 if your counting the Birrs (see below in my Ethiopian educational piece to understand this joke), to becoming a family and this event was a wonderful and beautiful reminder to the love that is backing us in our adventure.  

Now onto my Ethiopian Educational piece, which I thought should be
conveniently about the dollar, moolah, the dinero, or as Ethiopia refers to
it, the Birr. The official currency used in Ethiopia is known as the
Birr. It is the second most widely used currency in Africa after the
Nigerian naira.  Besides having almost all the legends in Amharic,
there are two features which help to immediately identify an Ethiopian birr. Early dated coins,
those dated before EE1969, (which as you recall, Ethiopia has their
own calendar and is seven years behind us..they just celebrated 2005
on Sept 11, hence thee EE1969) feature a crowned rampant lion holding
a cross. See below:

Later dated
coins, those dated EE1969 or after, picture the head of a roaring lion, with a flowing mane, as seen here: 
The currency conversion is one U.S. dollar to 18 Ethiopian Birr. However, foreign currency is rarely used in Ethiopia, so Jay and I will have to convert our money once we get there. Like the American dollar to coin, the Birr is divided into 100 cents. There
are 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 Birr notes, much like our paper dollar amounts.                  

According to the website I was looking at, the Birr is very stable and there is no significant difference between the official rate and black market rate..thank goodness right?!

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