A couple of months ago I was invited to speak about our adoptions at a fundraising gala for the Rollstone Foundation, an adoption grant organization in New York. If you haven't heard of Rollstone, please go to their website and read about them and then go "like' them on Facebook. We think they are pretty great! They gave us a large grant and made it possible for us to book tickets and bring Lilly home!
When they called and asked us to come speak at the fundraiser in May we were really excited about the opportunity to help them raise money so they can help more families adopting special needs kids. So often money stands in the way of children finding families....that is so heartbreaking to us. We know there are families out there willing to adopt kids with special needs but don't feel financially able. Adoption grants are so crucial to helping these families bring home kids who may otherwise never be chosen. So when Rollstone called and asked us to come, we were very happy to say yes.
We had the choice of driving or flying. If we drove we would have to rent a 15 passenger van so we could bring Jovia's wheelchair (the transmission on our wheelchair van went out last year and we haven't had the money to fix it). Flying would mean coming without the wheelchair, which we didn't want to do. So, we decided it would be better to drive. My mom, Millen, Kensia, and Finn decided to come along....and then decided to bring the dog. So we ended up with 7 kids, 2 adults, 1 dog, 1 wheelchair, and 238,748,329 suitcases (ok, maybe not that many) in a 15 passenger van, driving from Ohio to New York.
It took us 2 days to get to Long Island. We got stuck in New York traffic (oh my, the traffic!) so we were running late! After dropping the others at the hotel, Millen (my helper for the evening), Lilly, Mayer, Jovia, Benja and I went straight to the fundraiser. It was a beautiful evening. We were surrounded by such loving, generous people and the kids were treated like royalty. More importantly, they raised enought money to provide grants for several more families and children who are waiting to come home!
After the fundraiser we headed up the coast to Newport so we could show the kids Cliffwalk. It's always been a favorite place for our family - I have a lot of memories of Newport and Cliffwalk from when I was little.
We then set off for Vermont. We spent a few days around North and South Hero and Lake Champlain before heading back home to Ohio. We were gone for a little over a week but it went so, so quickly! The kids were WONDERFUL the whole time.
Everyone had fun and it was a really great trip!