Monday, June 01, 2015

Why I've Been Awake since 3:15 a.m.

This morning I woke up at 3:15 a.m.  It wasn't an emergency.  No police, no appendicitis attacks, no kids sneaking in or out -- just an idea that wouldn't go away.

You may have noticed on my Facebook that Bethany has started a Go Fund Me campaign to support our Stronger Beginnings Model.  A couple who are on my board -- and who are amazingly awesome -- have agreed to help raise money for the campaign.   I have been trying to figure out a way to give the campaign a jump-start and instead I have come up with the idea for a movement.  Yes, if you know me, you are probably not surprised that I am envisioning a movement.

But what would it be like to have a list somewhere of people who love children?  I place where I could put my name that signifies things like "I believe kids grow best in families.  I believe that they are entitled to the best start possible."  

As I began thinking about this I thought of all the groups of people out there who believe this to be true and have an impact on children.  I thought it would be so cool to honor them in a tangible way.

So I am going to donate money to Bethany for each category of people I want to honor and tag them on Facebook and see if there are people in that category -- or another -- that they want to honor.  And, of course, if it took some of the pressure off of me and my current deficit budget because we have started this new approach -- that would be a nice by-product.

 I know that 90% of my readers would hand me a five dollar bill if I asked them to -- even if it was to buy myself my favorite Starbucks drink (Trenta Shaken Tazo Tea, Unsweet, with Extra ice).   So maybe, just maybe they will be willing to take 5 minutes and donate that $5 to Bethany in honor of someone important to them.  

So, here are the categories I have thought of and I would love to have you pick one and join in on the fun.

1)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of my mom and in memory of my dad who gave me the best start possible.   So many people knew and loved my parents for the investment they made in the lives of children over the past 80+ years.  I know that they have many friends who have parents who did the same for their children.

2)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of my husband and others out their who have been a true partner in parenting.  Without him my children would not have made the progress they have and I would be a complete wreck.

3)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of single moms, especially the single moms who are raising my grandchildren.   Their lives aren't always easy, but they are working hard to give their children the best start possible in the situations they are in.

4)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of my children who, though they may not have had the strongest beginning, are working hard to overcome their past, move forward, and have a stronger future.

5)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of adoptive parents whose parenting journey would have been so much different had their children had a strong beginning.  I honor them for the tremendous gift they have given their children from "hard places" -- I honor them for their resiliency, their tenacity, and their strength.

6)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of some of my first friends in the adoption journey... those who have been parenting kids from hard places for as long or longer than I have.

7)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of adoption professionals who work with expectant parents, who prepare adoptive parents, who support those who are in the trenches.

8)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of educators.   Teachers who invest in children regardless of their abilities, recognizing that children did not choose their own beginning.

9)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of pastors, youth pastors, children's pastors, and other leaders in the churches around the world who invest in the lives of our children.   Their contributions to the lives of all children and their parents is unmeasurable.

10)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of those who are using their careers to support orphan care.  Social entrepreneurs who are finding ways to use their gifts and abilities to make a difference in the lives of children whose beginnings were not what anyone would have hoped.

11)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of my coworkers at Bethany.  Their dedication to children is unparalleled and I am blessed to know them and to be part of the bigger Bethany team.

12)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of bloggers who have influenced the world by sharing their stories... especially those early bloggers who blogged only to help others -- before it became a method of self-promotion.

13)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of folks who may not be working in adoption, but who strive for those early beginnings for children that are so important -- people who work to prevent child abuse, fetal alcohol and drug exposure, domestic violence -- people who work as nannies or in preschools.  

14)  I'm giving to Bethany in honor of really cool young people who love children... who are great aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends.

15)  I'm giving in honor of my Bethany board and their commitment to us as a staff and to making a difference in the lives of children.

I think I better stop or Bart might suggest that I'm giving a bit more to Bethany that I need be in our current financial situation (we already have a monthly pledge, so this is above and beyond).

I bet you have a person you would like to honor in one or more of the above categories.

If not, maybe just encouraging me with a $5 donation would be enough to get you to do it.   :-)

Here is the link:  Bethany's Go Fund Me Campaign

If you do, please share with your online network and tag someone you want to honor, encouraging them to do so as well.  And just so you know, I'm not going to tag everyone in every category -- so if you fit any of the above, consider yourself tagged now :-)

This is what I intend to post along with the sentences above.  And yes, I'm going to give 15 times. 

5 minutes and 5 dollars is all it will take to honor someone important to you and declare that you believe children deserve the best beginning possible and that children grow best in families.  Please join this list by giving to this Go Fund Me campaign and then tagging others to do the same.

One more thing -- if you read the description of the Stronger Beginnings Approach and listen to the video and for some reason do not agree with our approach, just designate that you would like the donation to go to one of our other programs:  International Adoption, Post-Adoption Support, Older Child Foster Care Adoption, or Post-Adoption Counseling and Services.

As you know, this is more than a job for me.  This is my life's passion and the reason I get up every morning.    Thank you for being some of the first ones to join this movement  :-)

You can check out some of these posts on Facebook today and see how it's going, but I would love to see you do this before I tag you.... and that would make you one of the originators of the movement that woke me up at 3:15 a.m.  :-)

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