One Year Later with our AdoptTogether Family!
At Noonday, we love celebrating and supporting adopting families—in fact, adoption has been in our DNA as a company since the beginning. November is National Adoption Month, and last November was a very special Adoption Month at Noonday. We teamed up with our friends at AdoptTogether to donate $15,000 to one adopting family who had been supported by a Noonday Trunk Show. Our special family was chosen: Shay Potter, her husband Adam, and their seven children, two of whom are adopted. When the moment came to announce that the Potters were our winners, we surprised them via FaceTime in the airport, where they were on their way to visit their soon-to-be daughter in Uganda!
It’s been one year since that exciting surprise—and Shay’s family is now officially one kid bigger, for a grand total of eight! We caught up with Shay and asked her to share more about her family’s journey, and how adoption has rocked their lives in the best way.
Shay, thanks so much for taking the time out from raising eight(!) children to talk to us! For those who aren’t familiar with your story, can you give a quick recap of what role Noonday played in your family’s adoption?
When we set out on this adoption we thought we had six or so months before we would travel on our first trip. So we were really relaxed about it and had time to save and fundraise. Six months seemed do-able. We had our home study in early October (2016), and found out weeks later that we needed to travel for court the following month, November! Panic set in, and our community stepped up.
This is when a sweet friend from church offered to host a Noonday Trunk Show for us, and she mentioned that Noonday would be giving away money for an adopting family that month as well. Our Noonday Ambassador, Rebecca Geddings, drove a few hours from her home to do this Trunk Show for us! We had a great time and loved watching the videos from all of the different countries and how Noonday came to be! In three weeks we had saved and raised enough to get us through the first trip, and would worry about funding the 2nd one once we were home.
When it came time to travel, there was a lot of unrest in world. It was days after the bombings in Paris and we were flying into Brussels on the day they were on lockdown searching for the terrorist. As parents, so many things were running through our heads and we were struggling to push our feelings of fear away. My husband and I were sitting in the DC airport waiting to board and I remember praying for the Lord to show us that this is what we were suppose to be doing, in a world of unrest, we needed his peace. We certainly believe he works in all things and he has often grafted together little happenings and reminders of his faithfulness.
A little while later I heard my name called over the intercom—so I brought all of my documents to the desk where a United employee met me and told me she wanted my husband and I to go to the first class lounge to relax before our big flight. My head was spinning with all kinds of thoughts on what was going on—I knew something was up but I couldn’t figure it out. Once we were in the lounge, my husband headed for the sushi bar and thought nothing weird was going on at all! The employee then took my phone from me and told me I needed to be on wi-fi…I was still so baffled. I sent a text to my friend telling her that something really weird but good was going on, and that I was so confused. She replied: “It’s good! Just wait!”
So at this point I’m freaking out. How in the world my husband was calmly sitting next to me with sushi I had no idea. My phone began to ring—a FaceTime call. I answer and it was Jessica Honegger, the Founder of Noonday Collection. Then it all came flooding back to me. The Trunk Show, the drawing for the fundraising family that we honestly completely forgot about because we never win anything!
Jessica told us that Noonday was gifting us $15,000 to cover the rest of our adoption expenses! My husband and I were both completely in shock by this point. The entire thing was so surreal. Here we are sitting in the first class lounge being told that when we come home from this trip, we can REST. We don’t have to scramble and scrape and stress anymore about the next amount of fees and travel, but we could rest and spend time preparing our children, hearts and home for this next chapter.
It was an amazing gift and we truly believe the Lord orchestrated it all—who does this stuff happen to?! Not only did Noonday financially complete our adoption for Olive, but they gave us a story of God’s goodness and blessings that we can share with our family and friends forever.
That day was so special for everyone here in the office, too! We were all so excited to get to share the news with you. We know that trip was only the beginning for you on the journey to adopt your daughter. Tell us what it was like to finally bring her home.
Yes—although we traveled for court in November, Olive did not come home until early June of this year. We ended up taking three trips total—so Noonday covered our adoption fees plus enough for us to travel those two more times! Because this was our second adoption, my family had all been through this before and our family stepped up to care for our children during all of the trips. I love Uganda, and the first night we got in I kept telling my husband, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe we are back here!”
Of course, it is hard to be away from our children at home, but we always enjoy our trips to Uganda and take advantage of the time that we have to spend there. One of my favorite parts about traveling was that I was able to bring my oldest daughter (eight at the time) with me for three weeks. Getting to be with her as she met and bonded with Olive and experienced her first time in another country was priceless. She already wants to go back and loved riding boda-bodas (motorcycles used as public transit).
How has your family changed since bringing Olive home, and how is she settling in?
I truly believe that our family was “made for” adoption/fostering. Our children adjust extremely well with all of the changes that have taken place in our lives in the past four years and we are really proud of each of them. Are there difficulties and struggles? Absolutely! Our home is full and loud and fun and Olive truly just grafted in so well and so quickly with everything! She just fits. And to be honest, we were a bit nervous about adopting an older child (she is eight), but we are so happy that we said yes, because she has brought so much laughter and joy to our family. She is the best yes.
We have so many adoptive or soon-to-be adoptive families in our community. So we would love to know: as you were fundraising for your adoption and waiting to be able to bring Olive home, what helped you through the process? Any advice for families adopting?
We have a wonderful community surrounding us! Our local church has a huge heart for not just adoption but orphan care in all aspects, and they really rallied around us and prayed, and gave and helped in every way they could. It can be really nerve wracking to start the adoption process knowing that you now owe 30 to 40 thousand dollars and that it’s all due in a matter of months and it requires big faith. We had great success with an online auction, an envelope fundraiser, a Noonday Trunk Show and using AdoptTogether, where so many people happily and sacrificially gave to our adoption.
My advice for adopting families would be…that there will come a time in the process where you cannot go any further without the Lord moving a mountain. Whether it’s a financial mountain, a legal mountain, or a paperwork mountain. There will come a point where you have to let go and trust and stop “doing,” because only he will be able to do this part, and trust that he will, because HE WILL. He doesn’t start things he cannot finish, rest in his promises and be really excited for what he is going to do!
Thanks so much to Shay for taking the time to share more of her adoption journey with us! Are you adopting, or know someone who is? We would love to connect you with a local Ambassador for a Trunk Show fundraiser! We give 10% of Adoption Trunk Show sales to adopting families to help them bring their children home.
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!).