The dinner and auction are over and were a huge success! After weeks of not enough sleep we went into it just praying God would make it what He wanted it to be…to bring the people, weather and atmosphere He wanted. And it was beautiful. It rained all morning and part of the afternoon, which concerned us a bit, but God provided a 40 foot donated tent to completely cover all the auction items and a completely covered (gorgeous!) lodge for the dinner. We assumed we’d just have to find the silver lining in a rainy event, but at 5pm as the band began to play we watched the clouds part and wonderful sunshine come through and enjoyed dry weather for the rest of the evening! We had a great turnout, an amazing band, delicious food, totally awesome friends and family to work with and the auction worked! We had tried so hard to be organized so the check out at the end of the auction would go smoothly and quickly and, even with a few hiccups, we got all the prep work done in the scheduled 30 minutes and had everyone checked out in another 30. It was truly amazing!

The support we received from our friends and family was so encouraging and, through them, God provided another HUGE chunk of the resources we’ll need to bring Grace home. Between the proceeds from tonight, the matching grant and donations that have been sent in from around the country we are now at about $18,000! We were told to expect a cost of between $20-24,000 which 4 months ago sounded like an impossible bill, but today is so close to being met. And while we praise God for continuing to provide for us financially, I’m more in awe of how He’s taking care of us on a day-to-day basis through this. It’s been a very stressful time, but just when we think it’s getting to be too much we’ll have a friend call and offer to watch the kids while we do some task or someone else will call just to say they are praying and ask how we’re doing. Others have offered pretty much every resource you can imagine, just when we needed it to take the next step in this process…and all of this is done for a little girl they’ve never met but are praying fervently for. It’s humbling to be in the middle of this whole thing and truly amazing to see how God is working around us and growing our faith. And we continue to pray that He is letting Grace feel his presence as strongly as we can.

By coincidence it was also my birthday. This is by far the biggest party I’ve ever had and one of the best birthdays I can remember. Philip and the kids surprised me on Saturday with an ice cream cake (I’ve always wanted one of those…yum!) and singing and I kept catching myself trying to imagine what it will be like to celebrate next year with Grace here too. I’m really looking forward to it.

P.S. We just got confirmation from FedEx that our dossier was received in Ukraine!

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