Well you've read my plea's for help regarding our Poker Night Fundraiser. So many of you responded, and responded far beyond anything we hoped or imagined or prayed for. We cannot thank everyone enough. We are truly blown away by how faithful God is to provide, as well as how gracious and responsive our friends are. We had the matching grant of $2500 as I told you about, so we set our goal to raise a grand total of $5000. With the help of many, I'm humbled to tell you that we FAR exceeded this goal! I think about it still, 4 days later, and I tear up. This adoption has been moving rather quickly, and at every turn, runs the risk of coming to a halt until we have the money to proceed. After Friday night, we can continue to run this race full speed ahead to bring home our next precious girl!
Thank you's don't seem enough. Even as I hand write thank you's (which I'm horrible at), it seems so .... pitiful. So instead, I pray that God blesses the many that heard our cry, heard the cry of the Orphan, and responded so beautifully. I pray each person who gave, or helped, or prayed has their (sacrificial) gift doubled in their own lives. (Please don't hear me say that that will be in the form of money. No, blessings come to us in many ways. I pray blessing on each donor. That's all.)
Okay. Onto the fun! We had 40 players, and about 70 guests total come out to support and play. The Mercers did an amazing amount of prep work in both preparing their house, as well as preparing the players, and the gifts. Their efforts went above and beyond what any one friend should do. We are blessed to have them in our lives. They throw a mean party, too! They had their basement set up for the festivities, as you'll see below. Brian had detailed rules and cheat sheets, and kept the night running very smooth. There were prizes for just about everything - first party foul, first person to put Aaron and I out of the game, first re-buy, first to lose, most re-buys, whoever had a size 9 shoe, etc... The top 3 players left with some pretty fantastic gift bags. Tons of gift cards, coffee, and the top prize - an xbox 360. But hopefully, everyone felt like a winner....the cause makes it so! The games lasted until about 11:30, and I must admit, I can't remember the last time I've had so much fun. I actually stayed in the game until the final 3! (Okay, so I had to re-buy twice, but then I was on top it!) Who knew? The guys at my table kept calling me a "loose cannon". Hey, whatever works. :) (I also had serious issues with how to count the chips all night long. Thankfully, Mike was my counter every hand.) Maybe I'll head to Vegas to raise the rest of our funds. No. I won't. I'm completely kidding!
The pics really tell a better story than I can. Chelsea Hammond was there snapping some great shots of the evening. (The ones toward the end are the ones she took.) I'm so thankful to have this little photo collection to one day show our sweet girl how many people it took to bring her home, how many people thought she was worth it!
|Good friends, Blake, Joanna and baby B.|
|Neighbors and friends. Doesn't get much better!|
|They call him D.|
|Kassie, the hostess, passin' out some chips!|
|Brian, the host, explaining some rules...like when to use the bathroom.|
|Sweet girls soon to be pediatrician and family friend. (I'm not telling which one he is! You guess!)|
|The rookie. (That would be Amy. She had never played before this event, and now is asking when we can play again!)|
|Christy is counting cards. That's how come she was the one to figure out that the red deck was 10 cards short! Shoot, I knew I was playing with a short deck. Story of my life! (And that's why I'm claiming I had to re-buy! ha!)|
|The Bouncer. Don't mess with her. She'll eat your food.|
|Vanessa's husband was gonna cut her off, until she reminded him it was for a good cause. :)|
|Poor Aaron. Someone stole all his chips, so he had to just watch me play!|
|One of my last hands before going all in.|
|Neighbor Amber and friend Jen w/ baby - Jen and her husband, Isaac, were the first couple to be on the receiving end of this fundraiser. The Mercers did this same event for their adoption a few years back.|
|"YES!!! They totally didn't call my bluff!"|
|"Loose Cannon" I must have won that hand. Good thing, too, cuz all my chips were sitting in the middle! :)|
|Aaron w/ the famous Clay Rush. No really, he is famous! (And he's got the ring to prove it.)|
|The first place winner - Sean!|
|Who's the girl w/ the blond hair? Oh, wait, that's Isaac. Remember the story a few pics up about Jen & Isaac? Yup, that's him.|
|The official "blinds" clock. (Right, it's called blinds isn't it? And how many are the blue chips worth Mike?)|
|Mike is praying that he doesn't lose right away.|
|Just here for the fun! Such great supporters, and friends, these girls are!|
|He kept trying to steal my chips. Oh wait, I just stole his!!! HAHAHAHAHA!|
|The Men in Black. They're intimidating, aren't they?|
|Amber and the hostess, Kassie.|
|Brian distributing chips to a minor. Wait....|
|Yes I did laugh really obnoxiously every time I took a hand. It just should never have been. :)|
Well, there you have it! A night to be remembered! A night to celebrate friends, fun, the journey of adoption, but mostly God's goodness and faithfulness. He holds true to his promises to set the lonely in a family. We are honored that He chose us once again! Thanks for your part. We couldn't do this alone!