Friday, September 6, 2013

Wreaths, Money, and Secrets!

Did I hook you with my Inside Edition inspired title? Are you ready to delve into the underworld of the black market wreath trade in America? Just kidding - I don't have any contacts in that underworld. But I do plan to write today about what many people find to be a touchy and sensitive subject within the adoption world: money. And wreaths are germane to this topic - I promise!

Background Info Alert!
Let me take you on a journey to the past - about two weeks ago to be precise. I was brainstorming ways to give our house just a little more curb appeal before I took a photo of it to include in our adoptive parent profile and somewhere in the back of my brain I remembered seeing wreaths with felt flowers on Pinterest. During this brainstorm I just happened to be at JoAnn Fabrics so I grabbed a wreath form and a roll of burlap ribbon (and paid for them) and headed home where I made felt flowers using mainly old felted sweaters I had leftover from previous projects. I wrapped the wreath form in the burlap and hot glued the felt flowers onto the wreath and was pretty pleased with my end product. So I snapped a photo of it and uploaded it to Facebook where people started commenting that they would like to order one. Randy and I chuckled at first - not ever having considered this as a money making venture- but then realized that wreaths could be a great product to make and sell. They don't take nearly as long as quilts or even as long as baby hats to make. They are easily customizable, and they represent home - which is a great symbol for adoption. So I threw together a graphic to post on Facebook and the orders started pouring in. People seem to be genuinely interested in supporting our adoption and the response has surprised and humbled us!

I don't think I'm surprising anyone when I say here that adoptions are expensive. Many people don't like to talk about it - it feels kind of icky talking about money in relation to family building - like you're purchasing a child. Some people think it is crass to talk about adoption costs because the process of bringing your child into your family should remain sacred. But over here in the real world I know and you know that services cost money and there are real expenses involved with all of the details that go into completing the adoption process. No one is buying a child. We are paying for legal fees, the services of counselors, therapists, adoption professionals, the costs of background checks, medical care, and travel, etc. When its all added up, the cost of a private domestic adoption in the United States ranges from about $15,000 to $45,000. It is shocking when you first see the numbers and it feels unfair - and maybe it is - on some level. But its reality and its just another challenge adoptive parents must meet on their quest to be united with their child. And its worth it.

 Before the wreath situation popped up we had tossed around the idea of doing some fundraising for the adoption but hadn't settled on anything. We had planned - and still plan - on funding the adoption mostly through our savings and through loans. But any little extra bits help, so supplemental fundraising is always a good idea. For the time being, we will stick with the wreath sale since its still going strong and since I actually really do enjoy making them! If you're interested in supporting Button's homecoming or just in the market for a modern wreath, I've listed the important details below!

1. Wreaths are all hand-made by me using burlap and felt. Some felt was purchased as felt and some was purchased as wool sweaters at thrift stores and then felted by me. So we're also saving the earth a little bit here. :)
2. Each wreath has a signature button on the back as a reminder of why the wreath was made in the first place!
3. Wreaths range from $25 - $35 depending on the style you want. The standard (and my favorite) wreaths are $25 and wrapped in burlap with a spray of felt flowers on the right hand side, like this:

If you would like a "fluffy" style wreath I can make one to your specifications and it will be about $35 (they take longer and use about twice the burlap). Here's a custom one I just finished:

4. I can customize wreaths with colors and special requests. Please comment on this post if you'd like one or "like" Hitched and Stitched on Facebook and request on there!
5. If you are outside the Cincinnati area and would like a wreath I can ship them for about $10 - $15. Let me know and we'll work it out!

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