Climbing the Mountain: Part 2

This week, I am beginning one of the first treks up the mountain as I kick start a few fundraising efforts. I have a first chunk of money set out before us to raise and I’d like to have it by mid-November. I have no idea if that is an unrealistic goal or not, but I’m setting it out there.

To be honest, I’m not overly comfortable talking about the funding on ye old blog, but I also know I can’t do this without a little help, so with that in mind, I have a few ideas up my sleeve to start traversing up this first peak in our journey to Russia. We would really love to have all the funds needed to complete all the paper work by early Spring so that we can get on a waiting list for a referral with the hope that we will be able to start our travels sometime late next summer or early fall. I’m willing to work for these funds, and we plan to work hard, but I’ll need some help spreading the word.

And I am entirely open to suggestions as well!

So without further ado, here are a few things I’ve set in place to kick off our fundraising.



Do you have a small business or indie-biz that you would like to advertise? Are you selling products or in need of a boost in your site stats? I am opening up private ads for the first time and would love to chat with you about it. I’ve set very reasonable prices and there are a couple of different options that we can discuss in your advertising.

From buttons in the sidebar to sponsored posts, I am willing to discuss what your goals are for your business and work with you to increase your traffic through the solid network of readers that give me the honor of their time here at Minivan Are Hot. With that in mind, though, I have always tried hard to keep the content on this blog fresh and relevant to motherhood and parenting, so while I am open to increasing the sumbers of sponsored posts I write, I will also be working hard to make sure the content is new and engaging and real and honest and I promise not to talk only about the adoption!!! Contact me at kellistuart00 (at) hotmail (dot) com for more information.



Did you know that my actual job for the last ten years has been ghostwriting and editing books? I haven’t done too much this past year with the move, but I am ready to take on a couple of projects if you are in need of any writing/editing. Have you written an E-Book or a book for print and don’t know what to do with it next?

Email me. Seriously, I’ve practically made a career out of pitching book ideas to publishers and have learned quite a few tricks and tips along the way. Do you just need a fresh set of eyes to go over the manuscript and help polish it? I would love to help! The super nerd in me gets giddy over editing. Giddy, I tell you!

Do you have a website that is in need of some fresh content? Let’s talk and see if we can work out a way to help one another out! Whatever your writing/editing needs are, I would love to help out. Email me at kellistuart00 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Adoption Bug


One of the organizations that works tirelessly to help families fund adoptions is Steven Curtis Chapman’s Show Hope. I frequent this site often for encouragement, wisdom and tips on how to take this journey well. In an effort to kick start our fundraising, Lee and I have set up an Adoption Bug store, which is a free service offered to adoptive families through the Show Hope foundation.

There are six styles of t-shirts that you can choose from, and I tried to select a variety of styles and colors, all of which I would wear myself (and will, since I plan on ordering some of them!) We receive anywhere from 35%-45% on each sale of the shirts that come directly from our page and that money will go straight to adoption costs. Would you consider purchasing a shirt today?

And if you wouldn’t mind, would you spread the word about this Adoption Bug site? You can simply post this link ( to your Facebook, Twitter or blog to send people directly to our page where they can purchase the shirts we have chosen to sell. I’ve also placed a widget in our side bar that you can click that will link you directly to our Adoption Bug site.

Thank you for your help, my friends. This means so much to us.

Garage Sale


I have big plans over Labor Day weekend. Huge plans, indeed. I plan to ransack my house for each and every thing we do not use on a frequent basis and begin setting up shop for a gigantic garage sale sometime in late September/early October.

I know, it sounds like SO MUCH FUN. Don’t be jealous…

If you have tips or tricks on how to throw the perfect fundraising garage sale, I am all ears. If you live in the Tampa Bay/Clearwater/anywhere in Florida area and have items you would like to donate, please shoot me an email and let’s try and set up a time to meet. I will happily drive to you to pick up any items you might have to donate.

I am intimidated by this idea, but I’ve heard of so many people having great success with large garage sales, so I plan to roll up my sleeves and give it the old college try. The kids, for their part, are super excited because I’ve told them they can sell lemonade and cookies during the garage sale. Party!

Suggestions Welcome


Our home study is in two weeks. Once that has been completed and submitted, we will have a little more freedom to pursue other options for fundraising. We are all ears when it comes to this piece of the adoption puzzle and we welcome any suggestions you might have. I know that so many of you have climbed this mountain ahead of us so if you have something that worked for you, please feel free to share and thanks in advance!

There are a lot of things to consider and a lot of options out there for adoptive families. I even thought about selling spray painted curtain rods in an effort to raise funds.

No I didn’t…

The biggest piece of this fundraising puzzle is pray, pray, pray!! I can’t tell you how many people have told us that somehow, when they needed the money for the next big payment, it was always there. We are trusting fully that our hard work, paired with the grace and provision of the Lord, is going to result in met goals and we look forward to rejoicing in that with you all!

And if I may be so bold to ask, would you all be willing to share this post with others? If I can spread the word a bit on what we’re trying to do and hoping to accomplish, I think I could have a little more success in accomplishing these goals. Thank you. Seriously, I know I say it a lot and I’ll be saying it more and more, but thank you. Thank you for helping us make this happen.

Happy weekend all! I pray you have great fun awaiting you!


  1. Vonita Hill says

    So well written … ‘cuz of skill and heart. Praying, praying, praying! May the floodgates of the Almighty poor out upon you in Spirit and wealth as you work hard to seek and accomplish His will. As Moses blessed God’s chosen, I ask Him to bless you and Lee and your children. Read all of Deuteronomy 33 when you can but this is a WORD for now… I LOVE YOU!
    11 Bless the ministry of the Levites, O Lord,
    and accept all the work of their hands.
    Hit their enemies where it hurts the most;
    strike down their foes so they never rise again.”

  2. While preparing for our second adoption, I had a yard sale. I love to go to yard sales, but having a yard sale, much less a fundraising one, was intimidating to me. Several friends donated items for me to sell and a few showed up to help me that morning. It was a success and raised $574.50!

    I do have some yard sale suggestions, if you want them. 🙂 Price everything in 25-cent increments. Advertise it (Facebook, newspaper classifieds, word of mouth, posters) as an adoption fundraiser and have a jar available at the yard sale for donations. Organize clothes by sizes and display neatly, otherwise you’re going to end up with a whole bunch of clothes left over!

    Also – I’m going to email you about a book project I have going on.

    Happy fundraising!

    • Thanks Kristin! Yes, garage sales scare me, but I’ve heard so many good thigns about them that I’m gonna go for it. Plus, I am really looking forward to getting rid of a bunch of stuff around the house.

      Can’t wait to hear about your book project. 🙂

  3. melcable says

    So I have done my fair share of garage sales. Do a Friday/Saturday punch. You’d be surprised how many people come on a work day, especially on their way to work at like 7 or 8 and even on their drive home. Have your kids out there peddling cookies/coffee/lemonade. Some people would just give my kids a $5 for water. Lots of tables or lay out large tarps. Clothes really don’t sell much, so be careful how much you take from people. For kids clothes I did like 3 for $1 grab bag kind of thing or whatever price you come up with. Make sure to have your money box, grocery bags to for them to pile their stuff in, and just organize it by dept. You will need lots of extra hands that first hour as it gets busy, and don’t leave the money box behind while you go help someone. You can check out Wynne Elder’s page, she did a great garage sale. You could even see if your kids class could get behind it and bring their things in as well. Oh and lots of signs, placed the day before. Ok, there ya go. It is a ton of work, but can be worth the money! So excited for you.

  4. Huge plans for the greatest of the goals. I’ve so proud of you, my friend! You’ve thought everything over. You will win!

  5. Soon…. I’m going to email you soon about advertising! 🙂

  6. Grab bags @ the garage sale are a great idea….we had tons of smalle r toys no one would really buy individually like rubber balls, army guys, mcdonalds toys…but make grab bags in gallon ziplocks with like items and sell for $1 or so…you’d be surprised how many people will let their kid pick a grab bag for just a buck.

    Also wondering if you have set up some kind of account where people who just want to donate to your cause, can do so? I’d love to just donate a bit to help out. 🙂

    • Great idea, Jen! We are working on a donation idea right now. We aren’t comfortable just out right asking for money, but we’ve gotten an idea that we hope will allow people to be a part of what we’re doing in a special way. We’re fleshing out the details right now. Thanks SO much! 🙂


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