Sunday, April 01, 2012

Adoption Auction...Participation Needed!

My friend K and I have been close for over a decade. Living continents apart has made it difficult to keep in touch with the same frequency that we once had, but in spite of the distance, our friendship hasn’t withered. We met in college, first class of freshman year, where we were both music majors. We did a lot of goofy things together. We cried on each others’ shoulders. We were best friends and nearly inseparable.

We sang our senior recital together.

We were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings.

And not only K, but her whole family is close to my heart (her dad even officiated at our wedding!)

So it’s thrilling to discover that we’re going to be new mothers (her second child, my first) in 2012! K and her husband have been praying about adopting a child for some time now, and I’m so thrilled to announce that they’ve been placed with a baby girl from Ethiopia. Her name? Naomi Hiwot. Now they are in the midst of fundraising to help with the costs of flying there for court dates and all the other stuff that goes along with the adoption process. I wish I could be there to help with the garage sale they’re having and other things, but I’m here and they’re there and no one is letting me on a plane at this stage of pregnancy! So...

I am hosting a virtual auction. The links with each description will send you to eBay, where I listed the items today (the auction runs for 7 days). I’ll ship these items anywhere in the world that the USPS delivers (I’ll send it back to the States with my mother to be shipped, as there’s a better chance of it arriving!) If you win and want your stuff immediately, I’ll do my best to ship from Brazil, but I really don’t trust the postal system. If you prefer to wait, the items will ship at the end of June. Of course, if you live in Rio de Janeiro, I’d be happy to hand-deliver!

First up, a signed copy of my poetry book, “The Lonely Tourist’s Guide to Urban War Zones.” Retail price and starting bid: $10.95

Secondly, these earrings, designed especially for this auction.
With rose quartz, amethyst and 12k gold-filled components, they are approximately 1 ¼ inches long.

Retail price would be $18.00, bidding starts at: $15.00

Thirdly, a necklace, also a special design in honor of little Naomi Hiwot.

Hiwot is an Ethiopian name that means “life” and Naomi, a Biblical name, means sweet or blessed. Sweet life. Isn’t that beautiful? But the poet in me sees more than just a sweet name. Naomi is a wonderfully complex female character. You can read a little of her story in the book of Ruth. Naomi knew intimately the pain of loss and sorrow, bitterness and injustice. And yet…not all was wrong in Naomi’s life, though she even went so far as to briefly change her name to “Bitterness.” She is “adopted” by her widowed daughter-in-law and together they change cultures and countries, even though extreme poverty and vulnerability appear to be their only future. In spite of these daunting circumstances, Naomi found strength to keep her faith alive (along with a canny, creative mischieviousness) and in the end, is instrumental in bringing together a new, thriving family whose names are forever recorded as part of the lineage of Jesus.

I thought about this as I started playing with my jewelry supplies. I knew I wanted to use something to symbolize loss but also hope, symbolizing how the dark bits of our lives can be transformed through love. Adoption is such a beautiful thing…yet it usually comes about through tragic or unfortunate circumstances. Death or neglect opens the way for a new family, a family that has yearned and loved and prayed and cried and struggled for this child that they may not meet for months or years. I wanted to capture that tension in the necklace I designed for this auction.

The main stones in the necklace are sunstone, a man-made material. The sparkling gold flecks trapped within the deep blue nuggets and beads are flashing glimpses of hope and joy. The bronze-dyed freshwater pearls complement the color scheme, but pearls too, are a symbol of victory over odds, beauty from pain. A pearl is only created when something jagged and uncomfortable irritates the flesh of a mollusk...and look what results! Rose quartz, pale and delicate, reminds me of peace, of purity and of the delicacy of a baby. It is the color of new love, and okay, is also sappily traditional as the color of baby girls. Not that I’m in favor of gender stereotyping! Four tiny rubies surround the focal stone. Rubies are precious, July’s birthstone (fingers crossed she’s with her family by July!), and are one of the hardest stones on the planet (second only to diamonds).

And finally, these pieces utilize gold (a little, anyhow!). Gold was the obvious choice; a precious metal for a precious child, a reminder of our value before God and those who love us. I hope that with the love and support Naomi Hiwot receives from her new family, she will grow up to be a strong, resilient, creative woman who lives up to her name, bringing life to those around her and living her own out with conviction and beauty.

The necklace is 20” long and uses 12k gold-filled components, along with Beadalon wire and crimps, freshwater pearls, rose quartz, rubies and blue sunstone. This necklace has a retail value of $50.00 but bidding will start at $40.00.

Please consider bidding on these items. All the funds raised will be used for adoption needs; I’m donating time, materials and shipping costs so every penny from the winning bids will be sent on to them. The winning bidder should contact me with information on whether they would prefer that I ship from Brazil or if they prefer to wait for US shipping.

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