Monday, November 9, 2015

Adoption Garage Sale: A Story of Blessings and Surprises

We have been so lucky and blessed to be encouraged to raise the money to adopt instead of going into debt.  We decided to start this process with a garage sale.

Really it started when Alana read two books. You Can Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption by Julie Gumm and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Originally, Alana just wanted to get the house cleaned up and get rid of the clutter, but then the idea came to her of having a garage sale and the money could all go towards adoption. From there Matt sorted through his stuff as well and Alana advertised on Facebook that we would take donations. The response was overwhelming! 

Ready for our customers!

We had donations from so many people. Our friends Nina, Dimitiri, Jen and Steve donated clothes and toys their kids didn't need anymore. Church members Kelly and Shanin also donated tons of stuff. Our family support was also out of this world! Alana's cousins Shannon, Dave and Haley brought clothing and toys, while future grandparents (Matt's Mom and Dad) let us borrow tables as well as sent items to donate.  Alana's sister Daniele and her boyfriend Rino brought clothing and her Etsy crafts to sell.  Matt's siblings Jackie and John, and John's girlfriend Shannon, donated clothing and purses.
Alana's former student and mommy of two came to shop till she dropped!
Everyone stuck around to help out and keep us company.  We had a few rain drops several times but it was helpful at cooling off so we welcomed the rain, but boy did it get crowded in our garage when people still kept coming even with the bad weather.  We were so happy with the results.
Kids seriously love Matt!

We were so happy with the success of the first garage sale we had one more single day sale two weekends later and raised even more funds.  Everything else was then sold at the local resale shops or donated. When all was said and done we raised $2000 from the garage sale and some of that was just from people stopping by to donate and not buy anything. Many who came shared their own stories of adoption and gave both of us confidence that we could start our family.

We are well on our way to being able to fund our adoption without debt.  We are so incredibly thankful for all those who helped us start our adoption fund with our garage sale. Stay tuned for more updates on our adoption journey.

We were so beat, but the hard work was worth it!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Meet Matt

Hello. I am Matt Mitrovich. I am of Serbian, Irish, German and Austrian descent and grew up on the south side of Chicago. Although baptized in the Serbian Orthodox church, I am a practicing Catholic, but have always had a passion about learning from other religions and cultures. Part of this is because of my own diverse family, who I enjoy spending time with. The importance of family is something my parents and grandparents have worked hard to instill in me and I hope I can teach the same values to my children.

As a child and teenager I attended Annunciata Elementary School and Marian Catholic High School. During that time I participated on various sports team and was a member of the local Boy Scout troop, where I earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Later I majored in history at Bradley University and minored in business administration and political science. After deciding teaching wasn't for me, I studied the law at The John Marshall Law School and became a licensed attorney in 2010. Currently I work as a Conflict Attorney at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, an international law firm based in Chicago.

I met my wife Alana during my freshman year at Bradley University. Although I am not a believer in "love at first sight", I nevertheless felt that Alana was someone special. She was smart, pretty and passionate about her beliefs. I never met anyone who I felt so comfortable with or someone who I enjoyed having an argument about politics, religion or pop culture. I have known Alana for eleven years and I have never regretted a single moment.

When not working or spending time with my wife and family, I ride my bike, write, blog, make videos for YouTube, record podcasts with friends and study alternate history, the literary genre where authors create settings based on scenarios where history as we know it takes a different path. It has been a passion of mine and just this year I traveled to Britain to present a paper on the topic at the University of Liverpool.

I have experienced a lot in my short life, but there is one more thing I want try out: being a dad. I want to share experiences with someone who is new to our world. I want to watch my favorite movies with someone who is seeing them for the first time. I want to bring back the magic of holidays and name the stars of the night sky. I want to read stories to someone as they drift off to sleep. I am not a perfect person, but I would like the chance to at least try to be a good father.

Meet Alana

My name is Alana Mitrovich.  I am Italian, Irish, German and Swedish, but I am mostly Italian so I enjoy all things Italy.  I grew up in Addison, IL. I attended Stone School, Indian Trail Jr. High and Addison Trail High School.  I have fond memories of my neighborhood and friends.  My best friend Nina lived behind me since 2nd grade.  We were each others maid of honors in our weddings and we are still best of friends. Her second daughter Sofia is my God daughter.  When I was a kid I enjoyed playing in the park, riding my bike and playing baseball and Ghost in the Graveyard with the neighborhood kids.  We went to the pool a lot.  All us kids had tons of sleep overs and had such a great time.  As we grew into high school my friends and I were very involved in school.  I was on the dance team and played varsity tennis.  I was a member of a variety of clubs.  As I grew up I learned what I loved the most was family.  I love being part of a family and I love contributing to my family.

One of my passions is cooking and baking.  In fact, I am a Family and Consumer Science (aka Home Economics) Teacher.  I maintain a preschool classroom inside Thornridge High School and train students to become teachers and childcare workers.  I also run two clubs at the school: Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and National Technical Honor Society (NTHS).  I really enjoy my job and being with students of all ages.

Another important thing about me is that I am a devout Catholic.  I love my faith and the Church.  I have an active prayer life, attend Mass weekly and I am very active in the Young Adult community.  I have many hobbies and interests including crafts, scrap-booking, sewing, reading both fiction and non-fiction, listening to music, and seeing movies.  I am also a huge Disney fan and my sister and I never miss seeing Disney movies together.

I also love to travel and have been out of the country several times including Canada, Mexico, England and Italy.  Lately I have been traveling a lot of cities in the country including San Antonio, Nashville, Las Vegas and Washington D.C. I hold a lot of love in my heart for my alma mater Bradley University.  I am full of BU pride and enjoy going back for visits.  I am also a member of the Kappa Delta sorority and I am still active in the alumni community.

Probably my greatest love of all is for my husband Matt.  I could not imagine a world without him.  He is my best friend and there is no one else I'd rather share this life with.  God truly made sure He created the right guy for me. I was so lucky to meet him in college.  We clicked right away and fell right into each other's rhythms. It is like we were always meant to be.  Everything just flows with Matt when we are together.  Without Matt my life would be empty.

You have probably noticed by now that family is very important to me.  I love my neighborhood family, my high school family, my sorority and college family. Now as a married woman I am lucky to belong to a great new family.  I desire to keep my family growing.  My desire to adopt comes from all this.  I want to share the love I have by adding to our family.  I want to be a mom so bad and give every child the love he or she deserves.  I don't think I could imagine a life where I am not a mom.