Ambassador Community Rallies Around Adoption
Today on the blog we’re privileged to share an amazing story. One of our Ambassadors, Leigh Ladd, and her husband Gray recently went through a whirlwind adoption journey. With the support of Leigh’s Noonday Ambassador sisters, she and her husband were able to raise $17,000 towards the adoption of their baby daughter in just four weeks. Thanks to the community of women who rallied around Leigh and her family, their daughter is now home with them and is a part of their forever family. Leigh took a few minutes amidst the exciting chaos of having a newborn to share more about her story.
Leigh, congratulations on the beautiful addition to your family! You and your husband have certainly had a unique adoption journey. How has adoption fit into your family’s story and what led you to pursuing the adoption of your daughter?
Adoption has always been our hearts. My husband was adopted by his parents as an infant and adoption was something I was drawn to at a young age. We adopted our oldest son from Ethiopia 3½ years ago. When we began thinking about growing our family again, we felt God calling us to domestic adoption and so we began the process last fall.
What were the hurdles you faced as you started the adoption process?
The biggest hurdles we faced were financial, especially once we found out about the baby we were matched with. It was a Monday afternoon when our adoption agency told us about a baby girl who was due in just four weeks. The moment they started telling me all the details, I knew in my heart that this was the baby and birth mother we had prayed over for months. This was our daughter.
The biggest catch was that if the birth mother decided we were the family she wanted, we had to have $11,000 ready to go. After that, we would have to have $11,000 more at birth. We only had $5,000 in our adoption account. It seemed impossible. I went to bed that night feeling so discouraged, but my best friend kept telling me, “If this is supposed to be your daughter, God will work it out.” The next morning, I woke up and knew we had to go for it and that we would do whatever we could to fundraise. In 36 hours we raised the additional $6,000 we needed for our match fees. It was unreal. A few hours after that, we found out that we had been chosen for this precious baby.
It sounds like your family really had to rely on your community to follow this dream! In what ways did the Ambassador community offer support to your family during this process?
It started when we were raising the first $6,000. A dear friend and fellow Ambassador put out a plea for our fundraising efforts. In response, so many of my Noonday sisters donated to our adoption and began sharing our story on Facebook. When we had to raise the second $11,000, I began feeling so discouraged. It was just an unbelievably overwhelming time and I asked my fellow Ambassadors to pray for our family. The response was amazing. Two fellow Ambassadors held big Instagram auctions for our family and we were connected to another new friend who put on a clothing swap to benefit our adoption.
The outpouring of love for our family was and is so overwhelming. Between the fundraising efforts my Noonday sisters put together and donations from other Ambassadors, we raised over $7,000 of the $17,000 total. I hope one day our daughter can grasp how many people played a role in bringing her into our family. She is one loved baby girl and we could not be more proud to be her parents.
We love seeing the ways the Noonday Ambassador community has become a real sisterhood, even though most of our Ambassadors have never met face to face. How did you find out about Noonday and what drew you to becoming an Ambassador?
I became a Noonday Ambassador in June of this year. I had been a Noonday fan for several years—my husband Gray and I always purchase products with a special purpose at Christmas and other holidays, so Noonday had been a go-to for gifts. When I was looking for a little something extra to do while still being a stay at home mom, Noonday seemed like the natural fit! After our first adoption, I had the desire to do more to impact others but felt stuck as to how I could make a difference. Noonday Collection has given me that opportunity.
What are your favorite parts about being an Ambassador?
I love getting to share the stories of our Artisan partners while showing off their beautiful work. One of my favorite things is seeing my friends and family fall in love with Noonday Collection like I have. I love when I get excited texts and phone calls about the new Noonday lines or pictures of customers rocking their Noonday. It’s a purchase you can feel good about! Being an Ambassador has made me bolder in sharing my passion for shopping with a purpose.
What would you say to other women contemplating becoming a Noonday Collection Ambassador?
Noonday Collection is about so much more than beautiful jewelry and accessories. It’s about being a voice for positive change; it’s about storytelling; it’s about empowering our friends and our Artisan partners. For me, this isn’t a job—it’s a privilege. I love getting to share with women that we have power when we use our voices!
Thanks to Leigh for sharing her amazing adoption story and her experience as a Noonday Collection Ambassador. If you have been searching for a way to make an impact and a community of women determined to change the world, consider becoming a Noonday Collection Ambassador today!
Meet Jenna Tanner
Jenna is Noonday’s Content Curator and loves to write about fair trade, social justice and Artisans around the world. She also enjoys marathoning her favorite TV shows with her husband, playing intense games of Ticket to Ride, and searching for the best tacos in Austin (let her know if you find them!).