Sunday, September 18, 2011

Continued Support

Just had to mention the several donations that have been coming in through various avenues.  We have had donations of $25, $20, $10, $200, $100, $500, and $40 come in through our DONATE button on this blog.  We have also had donations of $100, $20, and $50 come through our adoption account at Utah Community Credit Union. Several check and cash donations ranging from $10 to $1000 have come in from friends and friends of friends. These donations are precious to us.  We know that every donation has been a sacrifice for whomever offered it.  We hope and pray the Lord will bless you for your willingness to share what you have to help us get closer to our goal of blessing the lives of these children.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Time and Irony

I have piles and piles and piles of clothing here at my house...all of it needing to be sorted, tagged and hung on hangers (of which I do not have enough). The kids and I have been working for hours and hours and hours on those piles and piles and piles...and there are still piles.

Now, don't get me wrong...I'm grateful for those piles. You see, last Friday and Saturday was my first experience with a consignment sale. I had never even been to a consignment sale, let alone participate in one and help set one up. My new friends at Second Chance Charm originally came to our yard sale in Santaquin and, after finding out about our cause, invited us to participate with several perks, all of which help benefit our fundraising efforts. These dear, sweet women have helped walk me through my first experience with consigning and answered all my questions patiently. I sold nothing last week...nothing; mostly because my items at that point were all adult size clothing and I learned that this is more of a children's clothing sale, but also because the consignment sale was shut down early. A man from Springville city showed up and announced that the sale had not been set up properly so it would have to be closed down. My new friends tried to help him understand that they had done what they were told to do in order to set it up properly, but he refused to show mercy. So we packed up, disappointed but glad there was a sale this week in Midvale. So, I didn't sell anything, but I did, however, have a new experience and I learned A LOT.

While I was helping with the early pack up, I got a phone call from my friend's sweet mother telling me that she had a source of items that might help our fundraising. She was at a clothing swap held at the BYU married housing church gym. This swap was hosted, organized and planned by seven women, all spouses of the MBA and law school students who make a promise not to work for the first year of their programs. With such a financial need, they were inspired to begin this service of providing clothing for families at no cost. They take donations and store them in various locations until the day of the swap. That day, they serviced more than 500 families. They were willing to let us pick through what remained after their event.

After spending two days consigning, I had a much better idea of what would sell...and I knew I had another week in a more lenient town to try to make a go of it. So, I raced up to BYU as quickly as I could and called my husband for back up...and a trailer.

One trailer load and one giant pick up load later, I have at least a thousand articles of clothing at my house. While we were unloading these giant black bags into my garage, all I could think of was the fact that there are people out there in the world who don't even have a shirt to wear, let alone two. And here I am, loading a store-size inventory of clothes and shoes into my garage...for free.

I haven't written about this before, but recalling those feelings suddenly brings back the memory of our first Saturday with Ruslan. He had been with us since late Monday night/Tuesday morning. There were activities planned almost every day of their stay here and Saturdays were reserved for mandatory dinners/barbecues/get-togethers that we were to take the children we were hosting to attend. Any families interested in adoption were invited to meet the children and other families.

Our first Saturday dinner was held at a large, beautiful home in Draper; up on the hill, trampoline, play equipment, mountain view, tables and canopies set up with serving trays of food piled high. After we had all eaten, the orphans were asked to stand in front of all the guests and were introduced, one by one, to the interested families. (At this point, we knew we loved Ruslan but we weren't financially prepared to make a commitment to adopt him so we didn't feel right about keeping him with us. I also felt we needed time away from each other to know what all our feelings really were. We knew he'd be going with another family the next week and we knew that there was a very real possibility that someone more prepared than we were could decide to pursue the adoption of both children and that would be it.)

Those children were all standing there in a line, Ruslan at the end. He looked uncomfortable and almost sad. I couldn't help myself and I just started to cry. Well, it was more like a sob, to be honest. There was a sudden flood of emotion that came over me. I almost physically hurt to see Rulsan look like that. I imagined what it was like for him to be there, representing himself and his sister to strangers, looking for a way out, a way up. He was suddenly a man, a man with responsibility for more than just himself...and at only 14.

But, it was more than just my feelings about Ruslan. It was a feeling of shame. Here were these children with nothing, literally nothing. No family, no material thing they actually owned, no one they belonged to and nothing belonged to them. Can a child of God be any more humble? Can a person be any more alone? To be a child with no one who loves you...that is the epitome of loneliness. And there they were, standing in the midst of every possible material thing and several loving, intact families...abundance in every sense of the word. What a painful contrast. And never again will I wonder why it was so important to the Lord to admonish us to "visit the fatherless and the widows".

Here I am, again, in the midst of material abundance with my piles of clothes, shoes, toys; ready for sale. What an twist and maneuver within the societal norms into which I have been born, to make it possible to remove that loneliness from two of God's children. To sell material things to accomplish a spiritual goal. And it takes time. Lots and lots of time.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why not us?

When we were told a photographer was going to come take a picture of us for the article in the Daily Herald, the wheels in my mind started turning. I realized how almost instantly our story would become much more public than it had already been.

I have to admit that the current size of our family was not something I wanted to divulge at first. I was sure that people would look at our family of already six children and would be uninterested in helping us bring two more into it. We are in a position where we have to rely so much on the generosity of others and their time and resources that I was afraid to turn anyone off to our need.

My wise husband, however, helped me realize that though some people might say, "Why you?" the answer should be, "Why NOT us?" If we are willing and anxious to make a difference in the lives of other children, why would we not do it? Just because we can bring our own, natural children into the world doesn't mean we can't make the world better for other children?

Our friend, Lonny, said he thought this adoption was bigger than just Nastiya and Ruslan coming into our family. When I learned the article ended up on the front page and that the reporter had chosen to focus on the idea of a perpetual adoption fund, I suddenly felt that he was right.

There are children of God in need in this world. "Where much is given, much is required." We have been given a loving, wonderful family and the joy of bringing children onto the Earth. Now, it's time to share that gift and perhaps make a difference in the world. And if that requires countless hours of effort, work and sacrifice, we will do it. All we have is only on loan to us from a God who is waiting to see how we use it.

Now, if you'll excuse me...I have three more fundraisers to prepare for this month. But, first, I have to answer the door. There are two adorable little men in muck boots and pajamas standing there. They have harvested pickling cucumbers for the shelves and sunflowers for the girls. With all this joy, how could the Lord not require us to share it?

Why not us?


Notes from the editor: 
Join the Perpetual Adoption discussion at
See the Daily Herald story about the Morfords here:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Onion Days...An Onion?

I'm sitting here in my lovely little booth at Onion Days in Payson. What an incredibly BEAUTIFUL day!! The temperature is literally perfect in the shade and I actually have time to sit down and write a blog post.
It's not easy for me to have, find or make time to write because, well, I homeschool six children on a little farm and the words "leisure time", "spare time", "quiet time" and any other adjective that can be used to describe time that is anything other than "full" or "busy" are just not included in my vocabulary.

So, here I sit in the loveliness of the oncoming fall and I have plenty of time to sit, think and type. The funny thing is...I don't want the time to do it. The only reason I have it is because nobody is children, no dishes to do, no animals to care for...and no customers. *sigh* We seem to be on the wrong side of the street. The realty chant "location, location, location!" is ringing in my head. I think I may have given away more stuff to cute children who were begging their parents for a giant Pixy Stix or a cool Ring Pop than I have sold today.

So I have to wonder...will Onion Days turn out to be an onion??

Oh, I have had wonderful friends stop by...friends who unfailingly come to every single fund raising activity we've had and always seem to find money to buy something. And other friends whom we know through our parents came by to cheer us on and get treats for the grandkids.

Then, there was a group of three teenagers (whom I've never seen before) that came up and handed me three dollars...I offered for them to take some junk food in exchange, but they refused. "We just want to give this to you," they said.

Another friend, with pregnant belly and four children in tow, came with limited funds and supported us by buying some of our soap.

"Heidi" came by, too. She went out of her way to cross the street to our booth because she saw our "Adoption Fund Raiser" sign. Her husband was adopted from Korea and others in her family were adopted, too. It meant something to her to support us...and she gave us all she had left after a day at the celebration.

Oh, and some lovely ladies just dropped by and handed over $10 for the cause, leaving these items to be "bought my someone else". What selfless gestures so many people have given me today.

Onion Days isn't's only 3:30 in the afternoon and we still have Labor Day left. There still may be hope that we will make a little more with this event.

While I've been sitting here fixing my signs and straightening my displays just to have something to do, I've had time to think. Time to think about that fact that all of this is an act of faith. I have made a pact with myself that I will take every fund raising opportunity that comes in my path. I am bound and determined to give the Lord ample opportunity to bridge the cavernous gap we face. He is all-powerful and fully capable of giving us all the money we need if He wanted to do that. But, as my husband said, He will test our fortitude, our dedication, our endurance.

So, it doesn't really matter if we bring in a lot of money with this event. In the big picture, we're proving to the Lord that we will do what it takes, we will do whatever is necessary, we will work so He can work in our lives. A wise man once said, "People die in bed and so does ambition."

So Onion Days, no matter what happens from this moment on, is not and can never be "an onion". We're here and the Lord is in charge.

With that, I will go back to enjoying the lovely weather and the quiet, leisure, spare time I have been blessed with today. And I might just sneak a cookie, too. (Shhh...don't tell my kids!)