Adoptive families know the ins and outs of adoption intimately. That’s why they are some of the biggest supporters of other adoptive families—they know the challenges, the joys, and the community that is needed to surround families before and after a new child comes home. Those who have been in the trenches often find themselves wanting to care for vulnerable children and families even more than they did prior to their own experience. Listen to how one family decided to make a huge impact on others:
During 2014, Derek and Rushton Waltchack were in the midst of their second adoption from China. They were feeling the weight of the money needed to complete the adoption. Then, they had a fun idea: they would grow pumpkins on their family farm and then sell them in a “pumpkin patch” in their front yard in suburban Birmingham, Alabama. “Everyone buys at least one pumpkin in the fall, so we figured why not give people the chance to shop with a purpose, rather than trying to get them to buy something they do not need,” Rushton explained. They thought that “if” they made any money on that first pumpkin sale they would use it to help fund their adoption. Well, that first sale was so much of a success that they were able to complete the funding for their own adoption and give a donation to another family! “We’ve been surprised at how much people love the pumpkins and love knowing their money does so much more than simply decorate their house for the fall,” Rushton reflects.
While planning the second year of the sale, the Waltchacks picked families to receive financial help, and everyone worked together with their kids planting pumpkin seeds, harvesting, setting up for the sale, spreading the word, and then working at the sale. Sales doubled from the first year, and they allowed local vendors Steel City Pops and The Salsa Lady to come and sell their goods if they would make a donation toward the sale. Each year over 1,000 pumpkins have sold out! So far, there have been four “pumpkin babies,” three of which are home, and one will be coming home soon. “We love our China babies and would never want finances to be the reason for a family to say they couldn’t adopt. We know adoption is super expensive. So this is our way of continuing to help children find their homes. Plus, its really fun,” says Rushton. “It is a lot of work but it is mind-blowing how much God has blessed this venture,” Rushton says with a smile.
And word travels fast about pumpkin patches! Rushton has heard from a family in Tennessee that they will be trying their hand at a pumpkin sale this coming fall, also to raise money for more families.
The Waltchacks are not alone in their mission to help other families. Read about others who have used their special gifts or unique ideas to help others in our 2016 Spring edition of Journey. What special gifts, skills, or opportunities do you have to help families?
You can be a part of this year’s Pumpkin Sale this weekend, September 30th – October 2nd! Click HERE for the details.