Monday, October 17, 2011

one thousand gifts giveaway

Dear friends,

As many of you know, my wonderful friend Julia and I have been blogging our hearts out this month for a special little guy on Reece's Rainbow. When we started Down Syndrome Awareness month and the 31 for 21 campaign on October 1st, I had no prizes to offer readers, no great incentives other than this sweet little boy's face...

Many of you have already responded to our five dollar challenge for Artem.
SO many in fact, that he now has $9,162 sitting in his grant fund on Reece's Rainbow. I am - once again- amazed at the generosity and kindness of strangers. (Although, I've gotten to know so many of you over the past year and a half, that really it's hard to call Lily's readers strangers anymore!)

We still have $838 to go to reach our goal. I've been praying and plotting for a way to help make that happen, and I know I'm not the only one who has been going to bed each night with little Artem on my heart.

Last Wednesday I came home from church to an email in my inbox from a friend...

Patti, I'd like to introduce you to my incredible friend, Elizabeth.  Courageous mama.  Incredible support.  Wise soul.  She wanted to get in touch with you re: a recent post you wrote on Lily.  

I can't say enough good things about Elizabeth. Patti.  Compassionate, sweet soul who shares our dreams. 

You've officially met. 

K e l l e   H a m p t o n

I sent off an email to Elizabeth, checked out her blog, and suddenly I had this deja-vu feeling...I remembered that someone else tried to introduce me to Elizabeth months ago...last February during our Pure Love Giveaway. Elizabeth knits...she knits and knits and knits, and at the moment I am supposed to be getting Lily's measurements to her, because I've known her less than a week, and she is already about to knit a pair of leg warmers for my daughter. Because that's just the kind of person she is. She is undergoing chemotherapy for invasive lobular carcinoma, and she has two children with special needs, and she is knitting Lily leggings.

Can someone go tell Elizabeth she is amazing?

So during our Pure Love giveaway last Febrary, one of the friends I've made through blogging emailed me while we were out of town, saying a reader wanted to donate knitted socks...I wish I could say I immediately fired back an email saying: wonderful, I'll post them right away! But I had gotten so many offers of items to be donated while we were out of town, and at that point I just wanted to stop adding things in and steer donors in the direction of some other families who were in need of items for their giveaways. I am very much an out-of-sight-out-of-mind person, so I probably never even responded to that email (I'm sorry, Nicki!) or if I did, I certainly didn't understand the kindness behind it.

Fast forward to Wednesday night..scrolling through the posts on Elizabeth's blog, the dots started to connect themselves.

Elizabeth had read my post about wanting so much for Lily to read, which prompted her to ask Kelle for my email address.

Here's part of her email:

I am only a couple of years ahead of you in the T21 club, but as a physician (now retired) I've studied developmental neurology for years and years... perhaps God knew what he had in store for me...
We are a talking, reading, talking family.  Might should add singing.  and talking.  I guess if you had a separate category for talking about reading, that might come in first.  So I worried about the same things.  It turns out that somebody who REALLY knows DS is way ahead of us.  Dr. Sue Buckley, a researcher in England, actually did a huge (on the DS scale) study a few years back that proved that teaching our sweeties to read early (as in at age 24 months) helps tremendously to pull along their spoken language skills.  

She then went on to explain some things about our kids learning to read, and gave me the links to videos of her son George reading at age two. You read that right, reading. Click on that blue link above to see him doing it, and prepare to be amazed.

 Soooo...Friday I was reading Elizabeth's blog again, and even though I had read this post the day before, all of the sudden I recognized a woman she was knitting with in some of her pictures. I did a double take- wasn't that the face on the inside flap of a book I've been reading for weeks? I emailed Elizabeth right away and asked her. She answered yes, and what did I think of Ann's book? I said I loved it, and that I've been wanting to do a giveaway with that book since I got it, but I didn't want to part with my copy (being the generous person that I am. :/ )

Guess what Elizabeth sent back, two minutes later?

how about we have ann send you an autographed copy to give away?

Ummm...for reals?!?  Turns out Elizabeth is very good friends with Ann Voskamp. And thanks to that friendship, THREE AUTOGRAPHED COPIES of this incredible book are now on their way to Corvallis... be given to three random commenters here on November 1st!!

In case you don't follow the New York Times best selling list,  One Thousand Gifts is "a dare to live fully, right where you are." It is thought-provoking, eloquent, and heart wrenching, and it will change the way you live. It is one of my favorite kinds of books- the kind you can pick up, flip open to any page, and glean something different than the last time you read it. It's a story, but it is a devotional as well- inspiring and convicting and full of hope and I just can't say enough about this book!

(And Ann, if you're reading here, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your beautiful words and beautiful heart.)

So here's the deal: five dollars gets you a chance to win one of these autographed copies. Just donate to Artem, and leave a comment here saying you donated, and you will be entered to win. And if you've already donated to Artem, please leave a comment saying you did so.

A huge thank you to Kelle for introducing me to Elizabeth, my new found friend. And an equally huge thank you to Elizabeth and to Ann Voskamp, for their kindness and willingness to help Artem.    

Happy, happy, happy day!!!


Just Trying Not to Blink .... said...

Interesting how you finally connected with Elizabeth after your paths crossed before (in cyberworld anyway)... And the idea of staring to read with your toddler is not something I would ever have thought of, but why not try it?

I am so happy to hear that sweet Artem's fund has grown so large. I donated to him earlier this month.

Have a happy week!

Sandryte said...

Thank you so much - it is so GOOD to GIVE, DONATE, HELP, LOVE ARTEM!

(I've donated $5)

Education: Exploring Online Learning said...

I love this community!!

cathy said...

of course I donated & i am donating, again.....


nicole said...

First of all, the new header ~ she just keeps outdoing herself! Love it sooo much!!

Funny how God "knits" people together. I follow a blog (In the Heart of My Home) that linked to Kelle's birth story of Nella back in February of 2010. From her birth story, I found you in the comment section and became a follower of "A Perfect Lily". The author of the original blog I came from, who happens to also be named Elizabeth, is the same lady who connected me with Elizabeth DeHority about donating cashmere socks she knitted herself. I was already familiar with Elizabeth and her heroic struggle with cancer. It turns out the cashmere socks she was donating went to another RR orphan's giveaway named . . . Elizabeth! What an amazing group of inspirational mothers God has so generously put in my life!

(I'm donating $5 to Artem, because I happen to like Ann's blog too!)

lovemy3 said...

First off, I absolutely love the new pic of Lily!!! I did donate to Artem. How could you say no to Lily or to his sweet face?!? I'm going to have to check out Elizabeth's blog too.

Mandy said...

I've donated and have heard great things about this book! We're gathering books and movies for our upcoming trip to meet our boys and this one is definitely on the list :)

Gwynne Adoption Journey said...

We just donated for the second time. While we are working to raise funds for our little Ds baby in Russia we just could not ignore the need of Artum! I am amazed at how this whole beautiful blogging community comes full circle. Ann's blogs have been balm to my weeping sole through 2 stillborn babies.

Mrs. K said...

Lily Anne you are Beautiful! Love Mama's new header of you.

Grammi has donated for Artem a couple of times, the first was when he first visited Mama's blog and just last week when you wrote in your best writing to SAVE ARTEM. I am also a Prayer Warrior for Artem and few others so it will not surprise me when I read "Artem has a family." God is working many miracles connecting Mama with Elizabeth and Ann. Keep smiling my precious Lils.

Jonana said...

I donated to Artem a couple of weeks ago. And, I'm talking to Lily here now, so just talk amongst yourselves..."Lily, girl, you are rockin' that vest in that new picture!".

Lisa (DanielsMommy) said...

I just had to send even more $$ to Artem....praying the next picture (transer) is never taken...instead, praying to God the next picture is from Gotcha day. Praying he finds h is momma!!!

Kiara Buechler said...

I finally donated!

Amy said...

We have been really tight with our finances as we are going through our own adoption process, but I just wanted to let you know I did blog about Artem and your giveaway on both my blogs (family and adoption). I'm not looking to be entered for the giveaway, just wanted to let you know I'm spreading the word as much as I can. :) hugggggggggs!!

MegHD said...

Hi Patti and Lily,
I donated to Artem last week, and have been watching to see if he reaches $10,000! I've been praying he finds a family so soon! Lily your sweet face makes my day often-- I love seeing you grow through your Mommy's eyes! Blessings.

Eleven and Heaven said...

We donated to Artem last week. He is going to find his forever family we know it!!

The Road is Long said...

I was reading Julia's blog post and she said to come here to let you know about donations. I had donated $10.00 to Artem from Julia's site. I will try to donate more as I can but am adopting myself and trying to make sure I have enough to submit my dossier for Mateo as well as have travel money. However, o that face!! I love Artem. I'll donate again when I can. Much love,

cara said...

God is GOOD!!!!!

Jennifer said...

I donated $5!

Marci said...

I've donated $5 (beginning of the month), but plan to donate again once payday comes around again! So excited, and can't wait until Artem finds his forever family!

Mud pies and Moonlight said...

Hey Patti,
I donated $20. Ann Voskamp is my favorite author and my birthday is November 3rd. This signed book would be an incredible birthday gift but even better than that, Artem's family finding him. Wonderful heart, friend, you continue to amaze me.

Elissa said...

Donated the other day. Let's get Artem a family!