Lily is passed out on the overstuffed chair next to the computer, there's a fire going in our wood burning stove, my kids are all listening to Adventures in Odyssey while I type, and I'm looking with tears in my eyes at little Artem and Olga's totals right now.
I don't even know how to put into words how blown away I am by the generosity of people. Truly, I just wish there was a way to reach into the computer and hug all the people who leave comments here...or look them in the eye and tell them how moved I am by their kindness.
Take Sue for instance.
Well, back up for a moment first...
I finished feeding all our munchkins tonight, wiped the last dish dry and put it in the cabinet, and came over to the computer to check on Olga and Artem's totals. Which was probably the three hundredth time I've done it today...I'll clear the history and recheck again if their totals haven't moved, just hoping there's been a change the computer isn't registering yet.
So tonight when I sat down for a second and hit "refresh" on my own blog...my eyes just about popped out of my head when I saw Olga's chip-in at over $1,500. She had been holding out at a little over a thousand all day, and I had been brainstorming for things to add to our giveaway to entice donations. Poor Tillie, our ancient shih-tzu, has been in my sights more than once when I start scoping out our house for valuable things to give away. She was a prize back in the day, but a serious under bite and a bad case of dog Alzheimer's has probably lowered her market value somewhat over the years.
Just kidding. I would never ever stoop to auctioning off my dog.
ANYWHO, my eyes just about popped out of my head when I saw Olga's total at about $500 more than what it was at the last time I checked, so I quickly opened up my gmail to see what comments had been left...and found this one:
First off thanks for allowing anonymous posts because I don't have an online account and can't post on many blogs I read!
Thank you for this post about the institutions. I am new to RR this year and trying to gather information as a Christmas Warrior for a Christmas appeal letter to raise money for my RR child who is facing the institution soon. I also read your interview with Adeye Salem from awhile ago - gave me lots of helpful information! You might want to rerun it sometime!
Giving thanks for my healthy baby born this year (who was expected to have many complex chromosomal and heart problems - but had NONE) --- I donated $500 to little Olga's account.
Sue - Wisconsin
Sue- bless you. Bless you for showing a little mama of ten that there are amazing, kind, generous, unselfish people in the world, even when it sometimes seems that life is filled with critics and cynics.
And bless you for bringing Olga that much closer to coming home to her family.
You're the reason I keep on blogging. You and people like you, whose hearts humble me with your compassion and tenderness for orphans.
People like Mary:
How could I not donate again to help Olga? She has been in my prayers since I first read about her here through a link from the blessing of verity. Susanna is my niece. God bless you for what you do for these orphans, Patti.
I just donated to the Abells! I came across your blog about a week ago and quickly found myself drawn to Reece's Rainbow, and today I'm signing up to be a prayer warrior!
I donated and shared on facebook. We found Reece's Rainbow last year when you were advocating for Olga. Now, we're leaving for our first trip to meet our two new sons, in less than a month. We'll do whatever we can to help bring Olga home! Blessings!
I always want to donate but never seem to have enough money to spare anything. Sometimes that 5 or 10 dollars means the difference between putting gas in my car, or paying for some other thing we need.
I am so thankful that this time I was able to help in some small way. I can only imagine how much it must hurt a mama's heart to be sooo close to bringing your baby home, knowing how long she's already waited, and yet being so far away.
Love to the Abell family!
I am so amazed at the little ways your readers come together and bless families and children in BIG ways! Our money is tight too, and I would never think just $1 can help. But the way you put the call out there makes it easy to give - and makes me feel like that dollar DID important work. I'm glad to send it to Olga and her family!
Perfect timing. I only have 5.07 left on my rebate card and truly was wondering how that would ever get used being such a weird amount. This is great!!! You have such a big heart and are helping so many. Hugs to you.
I donated to Olga. I had never really thought of donating "only" 1 dollar before, but your writing helped me to see how much of a difference it could make if everyone donated. Kind of like voting.
Jennifer from CA
or Kellan's Momma:
I read this with tears...I just know this is the final push needed to get Olga home. I've been praying and e mailing and face booking and I just don't have the impact that you do. You are a blessing to many Patti, and I admire you so much! We have been saving coins for Olga and my 9 year old counted them again tonight, and we have about $27 that we will cash in at the bank tomorrow and add to the chip-in! Happy way to end my day! Thank you!
or Melissa Buirchell:
$5 all the way from Australia. Time for Olga to meet her family now. My mom has just recently passed away & feeling such sadness but knowing this little girl has no one is nothing in comparison to what I'm feeling. Can't wait to see the outcome of this. God Bless xxx
or Gwynne Adoption Journey:
The Gwynne Family is sowing seeds into Olga's adoption! We gave $10.00 and all in honor of our little boy waiting in EE.
We gave $5, which is sadly all we can afford right now (end of the month is rough). We've been giving every spare penny to her fund this year and are praying faithfully that she will be home by THIS Christmas. I shared this on my facebook wall in the hopes that some of my friends would come by and donate. I hope and pray that they have or will. I will continue to share it until the last dime has been raised to ransom Olga. A blog is coming as soon as I have a minute to write it - girls are sick this week and time is limited.
Bless you Patti for never giving up on these children or their families. The $1 challenge was brilliant. I mean, who DOESN'T have a DOLLAR to spare? Even if there are no prizes, everyone should be able to give a DOLLAR to save a child's life.
And I could go on and on and on and on because every single comment left here has touched my heart so deeply, and I know they've touched Olga's mama's too. And some day, when Artem gets his family, I hope they come back here and read how hundreds of incredible acts of kindness were woven together to produce a life of hope for their son.
I am honored- so very honored - to call you my friends.
Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me. Matthew 25:37-40
There are four days left of our Thousand Gifts Giveaway for Artem and Olga. Just in case you missed it, we have some fabulous prizes that have been donated. Three autographed copies of this wonderful book:
as well as $50 gift cards to Target and Amazon.com
(sorry, no shih-tzu!)
All you have to do to be entered to win is donate to Artem or Olga. Any amount is welcomed- a dollar is just as generous and amazing as $500, because honestly? These children's grants have risen for the most part, thanks to hundreds of one, five, and ten dollar donations. We are eternally grateful for the love and generosity you have shown this month, and I cannot wait to see what God does for these children in the days ahead.
Random.org will draw winners on November 1st.
And just because I know you've been missing her, here are some cell phone pics of our little Lilybird. She has had an EXPLOSION of learning as far as sign language goes the past two weeks. I've been trying to get it all on video, but Mackenzie has had her camera for the past few days, and my lame little flip phone really doesn't take the best videos. Next week I'll be sure to capture it all though...we counted over 25 signs Lily can do, and she is SO proud of herself when she does them!
For now here are my favorite mobile uploads....
P.S. I just wanna know: how many of you came to read this post today because of the title??? :):) teehee!