Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Our Yard Sale!

We recently held a yard sale to raise funds for Lifetime Foundation, providing education scholarships to birthmothers and adoption grants to families opening their hearts to special needs children.

We were utterly amazed when we opened our local newspaper and found this gem, summarizing our efforts. Click here to read on the newspaper's site. Or just keep reading to see it below:

Just Mom: Garage sale turns up gem money can't buy

Reprinted from The Union

By Gina Gippner
July 26, 2005


This past Saturday morning my girlfriend, Melody Blaz, and I had to be up in Nevada City for a meeting. She printed the directions from the Internet, and within minutes of being where we should have been, we found ourselves completely lost.

When we realized we were not Lewis and Clark, we changed our course and decided to head home. Almost home we noticed a sign that read: Garage Sale. We both smiled and decided the morning was not all wasted. Being that we could actually see the sale, we both agreed the destination was within our reach.

Now, I love garage sales. Junk that others no longer want just seems to call my name. When my children were very young, I would tell people my home was decorated "early American garage sale." Everything I owned had at one time ... belonged to someone else.

Rummaging through the table of clothes I hear, "Those clothes are only .50 a piece. All the proceeds from today's sale are going to Lifetime Adoption Center." I grabbed my selection and asked, "What is Lifetime Adoption Center?" Within a moment I had received my answer. The woman I was chatting with, Mardie Coldwell, happened to be the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, and after meeting Mardie, I had a new definition of the word "founder." Inside each of us is a loss. We all mourn over someone or something. Mardie had understood what it felt like to not be able to carry a child, and from her pain and adversity she "found" this desire to help others.

I cannot fathom what it would have been like to be told I couldn't have had my children. On the other hand, I can't imagine what it would be like for a child to be told they can't have their parents.

When I got done purchasing my items, Mardie, Melody, and I found shade under a tree and chatted. Melody and I listened as Mardie shared her heart. Married to Greg, they have four children; Jesse, Alissa, Cory and Julia. I was amazed when she said, "We get between 100 to 300 phone calls per day inquiring about adoption." There's nothing more enlightening than listening to someone share their passion. It took everything I had not to cry when she said, "Sometimes children from foster care call us themselves. They get to an age where they become proactive. When I ask the child how they found me they would simply say, 'the Yellow Pages." I guess children understand the meaning of, "Let your fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages." There truly is no other way of getting somewhere without taking that first step.

Mardie Caldwell assists in over 120 adoptions per year and is an author, educator and lecturer. Mardie has appeared on CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, The BBC, Dr. Laura and numerous other radio and TV shows. Her book "AdoptingOnLine.com" won Best First Nonfiction Book of the Year Award by Publishers Weekly and The Benjamin Franklin Award.

I'm glad to know that there are parents looking for children, and children looking for parents. I know for me that I wouldn't have to give birth to a child to love a child, feed a child, or give a child a place to call home. I also know there is nothing greater than giving a child a name that attaches a child to a family. I have watched many mothers put together their "family" trees. Generations after generations of families brought together because of the commonality of a name.

Another generation beginning is what stories are made of. It's nice to know that "Once Upon a Time ... " turned into "Lifetime" and that there are children, who, because of women like Mardie Caldwell, do get to live "Happily Ever After."

If you would like information on adoption, please log onto www.LifetimeAdoption.com or call 530-432-7373.

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