presented by cj

family, friends, and strangers we’ve never met, thank you is not enough to express our gratefulness for support our waiting family and making this fundraiser a success. Adopt My Run Stats: $6,373.90 of pledged donations, 1,150.11 miles walked, ran, and biked in November. pure awesomeness. when Adopt My Run is fully over post marathon, i’ll do a longer thank you-follow-up post. for now though, we get to the next fun part, Adopt My Raffle!
we told you there would be a raffle with some GREAT prizes, and we delivered. we heard from several marathoners that some people who were meaning to pledge didn’t get to (cough cough-procrastinators-cough cough), so we’re opening up the raffle this week! if you pledged, you were automatically entered each time you pledged (so you pledged 5 times, you’re in the raffle 5 times)-hooray! everyone else, you may now buy a raffle ticket for $5.00 by going to our website.  without further ado though, here are the raffle prizes! 

“Smurf’s Art” by Gerard Baldwin

Ya’ll, this drawing is so cool we seriously considered keeping it to put in Baby J’s room. This original, beautiful, hand drawing was done by Gerard Baldwin, the Emmy-winning Director/Co-director of the classic television show that we all know and love, “The Smurfs.” This man is incredibly talented and was so generous to donate this to us. Please check out his website here, and if you don’t win this prize, consider buying one of his one of a kind, drawings, montages, or paintings. The walls on your house will be enhanced and your friends will be jealous. We’re thankful for the sweet friendship we have with his daughter and son-in-law, Alison and Ghahre Pascale, who have supported us every step of the way. 
Bearded Brother Bars
We are active, on the go people, Jonathan (clearly) is a runner, and before BB Bars, there just wasn’t a truly organic, nutritious, and delicious energy bar on shelves anywhere. These bars are raw, vegan, soy-free, gluten free, and made with all organic ingredients in the great Austin, Texas. You won’t be able to come to our house and not see our pantry stocked with them (our favorite flavors are blueberry vanilla, coconut mango, and ginger peach), and while Jonathan runs the marathon you can see him snacking on one along the way. We hope to convert the lucky winner to these bars rather than nutri-grain, lara bars, or others that just don’t have the same kind of taste and quality as Bearded Brothers. You can check out their website here, and also find them in multiple Whole Foods, HEB’s, and other stores all over Texas. We’re glad to call Co-Owner/Creator Caleb Simpson and his wife Kristy dear friends of ours. And don’t worry, they wear beard nets when making these bars 🙂 

Luke Locker’s Gift Card ($25)
Christa lives in workout attire because of the business, and Jonathan wears out running shoes/gear quickly, so needless to say, our closets are filled with more workout clothes and shoes than regular ones . Luke’s Locker is by far our favorite athletic store-it’s the only place we buy our shoes from and typically our workout attire too! We like them because it’s a smaller store, they carry quality products, but most importantly we love them because the people who work there actually work out, so they really know what they are talking about when it comes to the products. If you’re looking for a running shoe, a sales rep will sit with you one-on-one, talk about why you’re buying the shoes, watch you walk and run to determine your running style/tendencies, and pick out shoes for you from there, not just let you grab a shoe, tell you a size, then stand around or try to help 10 people at one time. We know the lucky winner will enjoy this gift card, and if you’re not already active, we hope this encourages you to become active now!
Soma Massage Therapy Gift Certificate (30 minutes)
If you don’t live in the Denton-DFW area, I’m sad to say since this is a locally-owned business and not a chain, you won’t be eligible for it. The reason we went with Soma and not something like Massage Envy is because 1-we love small businesses, and 2-I would not trust anyone else with my body but the staff at Soma. Every therapist at Soma is licensed-this is a big deal and so important. The staff doesn’t have constant turnover, they’re very personable, incredibly knowledgeable, and cater to your needs. They’re all about quality people, and they deliver, anything from a hot stone to deep tissue massage and more. Owner Amber Briggle and her team just expanded to a beautiful new space, and when you walk in you feel right at home, peaceful, and ready to rejuvenate. Massage therapy isn’t just about relaxation, did you know that getting regular massages boosts your immunity and improves your overall health? It’s true, and you can read more about Soma here. This gift certificate can be used to go towards a full hour massage, and I encourage you do it. And become a regular. You’ll want to after one massage. We’re glad to know Amber and call her friend and business owner extraordinaire. 
 Chili’s Gift Certificate ($20)
The only big chain restaurant to donate to our little adoption fundraiser! Food of any kind can be found here and in this traveling season wouldn’t it be nice to pull over and stretch your legs instead of going through the drive thru? These restaurants are all over the country so there is sure to be a location near you. We would encourage you go when they donate some of their profits to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and they are also quick to help out schools and other local fundraisers in their community. Enjoy these 4, $5.00 off coupons! 
Bookish Coffee (3 bags)
Christa loves coffee. She’s become a coffee snob, it’s true. You will rarely find her at Starbucks, because she’s learned what actual, good coffee tastes like, and Bookish Coffee, my friends, is legit. It is locally roasted and freshly ground in Denton, Tx. They’re all about freshly roasted coffee, which is why you will always be able to see right on the bag when it was roasted, because coffee, just like many other things, isn’t supposed to sit on the shelf forever. Just like cookies out of the oven you want to eat right away because the smell fills up your whole house, you’ll want to drink this coffee right away as soon as you open the bag. Bookish uses Arabica beans and roasts each variety individually and differently so you get the most out of the coffee. In addition, Owners Clay and Emily Rozell love the city of Denton and their community, so they are always using Bookish as a way to give back, whether it’s partnering with Young Life or donating some coffee for this raffle because they love adoption. You can learn more about Bookish Coffee here.  3 lucky winners will get the pleasure of drinking this deliciousness, perfect in time to sip by the fire in this chilly winter weather. 
 Allie Kat Designs Product
We met the creator of this Etsy shop, Kathryn Creveling and her husband on one of our first visits to Providence Church, kind of creepily (on our end).  Fresh into our adoption process and new to our community after just moving, they were sitting in front of us in church, and we overhead them talking about the girls they had just gotten matched with from Ethiopia. We, of course, turned and looked at each other and said “I think they’re adopting!” so we introduced ourselves, confessed our eavesdropping, and they sweetly shared their story with us and wanted to hear ours. They recently adopted and brought home their two beautiful daughters, and we love seeing their family altogether at church. While they were in the process, Kathryn opened up her Etsy Shop, Allie Kat Designs (named after her biological daughter) and used her talents of making jewlrey and sewing to make beautiful, handmade products to help fund their adoption. After we launched Adopt My Run and posted on our Grafting Branches facebook page  that we were also looking for raffle items, Kathryn was quick to donate something from her shop. We love the fact that someone else who knows the fundraising for adoption struggle well joined in with us. Lucky winner, you should know this product was made with love to help bring two girls home, and is now helping bring home a third child. This is a special one indeed. 
 Wrap Bracelet and Peace and Calming Essential Oil from Sacred Arrow
Sacred Arrow creates beautiful, handmade therapeutic jewelry to be used with essential oils. If you don’t know what essential oils are, they are natural, aromatic compounds found in seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants, and are extracted through distillation. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for natural health and medicine. We started using essential oils in our home back in the summer and love them. Sacred Arrow’s bracelet like the one above, comes with little leather discs that you drop an essential oil on and it diffuses as you wear it all day. Because I’m exposed to so many germs every time I walk into a preschool, I wear a Sacred Arrow bracelet and diffuse an essential oil known for it’s high anti-bacterial properties and it smells awesome! This wrap bracelet comes with a 5 ml sample bottle of Peace and Calming, a blend that promotes relaxation and lots of people use to help them sleep well at night. You can follow and see more of Sacred Arrow’s beautiful products for both women, men, and children here. Sacred Arrow also donates profits of each item sold to purchase bottles of Sacred Frankincense to donate to patients fighting cancer. One of the owners, Callie, is a sweet friend and husband Jeremy was one of our marathoners, and Jess and her husband recently became licensed to foster. We’re so thankful for their friendship and support. Lucky winner, you’ll want to go ahead and like their facebook page because it won’t be the only product of theirs you’ll want to wear! 
Signed MercyMe CD’s
2 lucky winners will receive copies of SIGNED MercyMe CD’s, The Worship Sessions and The Hurt and The Healer! MercyMe is an award-winning Christian Rock band that has been leading thousands in worship since 1994. They have won 6 Dove Awards, 2 American Music Awards, and nominated for a Grammy and many other awards! The Hurt and The Healer was released last year, and the message of this album is clear: There is nothing you have done that the Lord can’t overcome, and He is the only One who can truly heal you and set you free. It will encourage and uplift your heart, and all the songs are so diverse. The Worship Sessions was released back in August and is exactly that, a worship session. This album is filled with beautiful hymns, contemporary christian worship songs, and a couple of MercyMe originals. As you listen, the truth of these lyrics will wash over you, and if like me you grew up singing some of these hymns, you’ll love the way they are arranged. The men of MercyMe don’t just make music, they live out what they sing and are involved with wonderful organizations like Compassion International and Imagine a Cure. They have a special place in my heart because I spent several years getting to know their wives and families well, and had the complete joy and privilege of watching many of their kiddos. Check out any of their music here, including their new single “Shake” (watch the video and laugh at their dance moves like I did). We hope you enjoy and are encouraged by these talented musicians! 
Handmade Ceramics by Amanda Cochran 

This is a talented, multi-tasking woman! She is wife to MercyMe band member, Nathan, mom to 4 beautiful and precious kids, she home schools, can cut/style hair, and somehow in her “spare” time makes beautiful ceramic items like the ones shown above. Amanda has been selling jewelry, plates, vases, and more for a few years now. All of her stuff is gorgeous, original, and made with lots of love and care by her. For those of you who came to our wedding and commented on our cake toppers that looked exactly like our wedding invitations, those were made by Amanda (and she did my hair, and that cute boy that was handing out programs, that was her son William). I am proud to call her friend and spent many wonderful hours playing with her oldest two kids (let it be known I was William’s first “date”) and love her family to pieces. We’re happy to have her creativity as a way to support our Baby J! 3 lucky winners, I know you will enjoy these pieces in your home, and be prepared when friends and family come over, they will ask you where you got it and want one themselves.

Earrings from Archer + Hare

Are you sighing over the beauty of these yet? Katie Korom, Owner & Creator of this shop, does a beautiful job making jewelry from natural gemstones and crystals. You can see from the picture above that though the colors aren’t the exact same, you can see how they compliment each other and bring out the similarities in one another. I agree with her that in these natural beauties, they are a subtle reminder that we are all God’s creation and no matter what color, we still fit together! She started her shop a few months ago, and inspiration comes from the imagery in the book of Revelation of gemstones crystal and agate. These earrings in particular are 1/2″ long and set on surgical stainless steel posts. If you have sensitive ears like me and are allergic to things like nickel, then you need to check out Archer + Hare, none of that stuff there! Plus, every piece is different because every stone is different, so you are always going to be getting one of a kind, gorgeous, natural, pieces from Katie. A mutual friend of ours posted on her instagram page not that long ago after getting a necklace from Archer + Hare that she could sit and look at it all day. I’d agree with that statement. I met Katie a few years ago when she started cutting my hair, and I’m privileged to call her my friend. I love going to get my hair cut because I always walk away encouraged by our conversations (and she makes me look good). She is wife to Lou, and mommy to sweet Nola. I’m so thankful she wanted to join this raffle, because I know how much she loves Baby J too! Men, if you really want to wow your wives, girlfriends, sisters, moms, or any other female in your life, buy a piece from Archer + Hare here. Lucky winner, I’m jealous of you. And all your friends will be too. 

So there you have it! I don’t know how you could look at all this awesomeness and not have already gone to buy a raffle ticket. A HUGE thank you to all of these guys for donating their time and products and talents to us. And I know what you are thinking, yeah-we have incredibly talented friends. It’s true, and we hope you support them the way they have supported us. Enjoy and “may the odds be ever in your favor” (sorry I just had to). 
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