Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Big Ol' Fundraiser Shindig Thing

I've been putting every spare kilowatt of brain power lately into our first adoption fundraiser. Even just writing those words, our first adoption fundraiser, floods me with a crazy mix of emotions.

Are we really going to do this thing after all these years? Are we really going to finally get to adopt? Will I have a larger family next year at this time? Will it look like what I am imagining at this point? Are there really more kids out there that God has chosen us to raise? What are we thinking? Can we really do this? What if we're totally fooling ourselves and this is going to be just one more huge disappointment--this time for the world to see because we've made it public? God? Are you in this?

It's so exciting, and a little scary, and completely overwhelming, and totally exciting...plus, a little scary.

I told you the story of securing the venue for this event, right? Yes, if you missed it, it's right here. Since that time, I've designed, printed and mailed out invitations. I've designed what the event will look like. I've secured the band. I have a handful of volunteers (not nearly enough) signed on to help; decor is in the works; beverages have been priced and partially purchased; the dessert chef (one of my public speaking students who is well on his way to becoming a professional pastry chef) is choosing his recipe; about half of the silent auction donors have been confirmed.

Next is the food, finalizing the rest of the silent auction items, making a PDF of the auction catalogue to distribute to guests as they RSVP, lining up the rest of the volunteers, finishing the decor, renting or borrowing tables and chairs, creating a database of the guest list, and making the name tags that will serve several purposes. Yes, ALL of those things are next. The event is December 9. It's coming fast.

I have to tell you, though, I am oddly at peace with the whole thing. I really, truly feel that God is going to pull this thing off. I am only responsible to be faithful to accomplish all the little details and He--not me--will be responsible for bringing it all together and raising the funds needed. I'm not afraid.

I have had moments of panic, yes, but they have passed so quickly--not my normal operating mode. Once God gave us the room, I figured this was His thing.

I contacted a friend who is an amazing decorator with tons of connections in the industry and asked if she would be in charge of the decor. I know when a room looks good, and I have fairly good taste, in my opinion, but she is one of those women who can take a blank slate and transform it into pure awesomeness. I knew I needed her on my team (learning to delegate and all), so I was thrilled when she said yes. Decorator. Check.

Then she called back a few days later and apologized for the fact that she had double-booked herself for the day of the event and was busier than she realized and wouldn't be available to help at all after all.

Oh.

I went through about two and a half minutes of "No! I can't do this without her! Shoot! What am I going to do?"

And then a small but clear voice said, "Oh. So this was her event? I thought it was Mine. Do you really think I can't do this without her?"

Oh. Right.

And the panic passed. I am now really excited about the design for the space. I think it will be really beautiful, and full of meaningful symbolism, too.

Then there was the sponsorship issue. We had hoped that two local adoption support organizations, both of whom I am involved with, would be willing to sponsor our event, at least in word, to give us a little credibility in the community. The first organization decided they didn't want any official connection with the event because we would be serving wine. Ok. The second organization declined because their leaders were going to be out of town at that time. Ok.

No sponsors. We were on our own. God, You want to take this one? He did. The peace came down.

Most recently, there was the mailing list thing. Because we are focusing on fine art as auction items, we thought our artist group--the group we helped found--would be willing to let us use the group's mailing list to find the addresses we needed to get our invitations out. At first, there was no problem. But then the mailing list didn't come. And didn't come. When I called the person responsible for compiling it and asked when I could expect to get it, she hesitated. It probably wouldn't be ready until sometime after our next artist guild meeting--where we would be discussing it. I sensed something was wrong.

What would I do without that mailing list? Those were prime invitees--art-loving, socially active area residents who love to go to fundraiser events and throw their money around. We needed that list!

And then the voice again. "Am I really unable to do this thing without that list? Don't you trust Me?"

Oh.

That's right. This event is only happening because God put it into motion against all rules of human logic (go back and click on the story linked above, if you haven't read it yet). If God has put this adoption thing in our hearts, and God has made arrangements for us to even have a fundraiser in the first place, and God gave me all sorts of cool ideas for decor, and God made our first choice band available, and God placed a seventeen year old pastry chef who happens to be adopted in my speech class, could God not also bring in the guests without that list? Was my faith in God, or in a mailing list with magical powers?

And again, the panic passed quickly.

Sure enough, there was a fairly awkward scene at the meeting last night wherein it was decided that we are not to have any access to the list for invitation purposes for this event. I let it go. That list was not the most important thing in the world. I felt no fear--a tiny bit of resentment--but no fear.

I have way too much to do in the next few weeks. Really. WAY TOO MUCH. But I'm not afraid. He's got this one. I'm going to just trust and keep plugging away at the details.

Note: If you are more than an occasional reader of this blog, you're probably beginning to see a theme developing for this year, with posts like this one, and also this one. I'm beginning to see it, too.

1 comment:

Jeannie said...

Great post! Thanks, Sherry! I needed the reminder today that God is in control when we commit it to Him for the outcome.