Fast Breaks and Outtakes

It is safe to say that the Shelton family is now basketball crazed - especially the twelve and under crew!  If the big boys aren't practicing or playing an actual game, they're getting their virtual fix with NBA 2k, watching a game on TV, or keeping up with the stats on my phone.  We are now just over halfway through the basketball season and any given weekend you'll find Steve and I warming the bleachers somewhere, cheering for someone, and keeping the concession stand in business. 
Don't ask me how it happened, but I somehow have turned into a basketball mom - purely by accident, I assure you!  As much as I would like to deny this, I did show up to work on a Monday morning a couple weeks ago with a Gatorade and a kid's jersey in my purse - and no make-up.  Oh the humanity!

This is the first time we have had all three boys playing a sport at the same time - and in two different leagues at that.  Two are very competitive and great contributors to their teams.  They block shots, hit free throws, run plays, intercept passes, and engage in all kinds of offensive and defensive strategies.  They can set a pick, box out, and rebound with the best of them.  As for the little one....well.....after the first game he very happily announced to me, "I think we were the Tigers the whole time."(!!!)    
The difference between pre-K, fourth grade, and seventh grade basketball is astounding!  One of our children does windmills with his arms as his method of intimidating the other team (on offense or defense);one prides himself on being a defensive menace; and the other just flat-out plays a hard, fundamentally sound game.  We've had some great victories, some really painful defeats, and some moments of shear hilarity.  For instance, only when your grandpa is your coach can you shadow box  the opposing player for most of a period, completely unaware of the game going on around you and at the other end of the court, and then be given the sportsmanship star at the end of the game.  (In Grandpa's  defense, he couldn't really give him best offense, defense, or the Christlikeness award for that either - although I challenged that "effort" might have been a better choice 

Even with this vast array of basketball experience, I must confess that my favorite part of beginner basketball is the mini cheerleaders.  They are so cute!  I'm the parent on the bench who claps and responds when they try to rev up the crowd, and I might be able to recite all of their cheers. When we bring home our daughter, I intend to enroll her in Upward cheerleading immediately - that is assuming Grandpa doesn't recruit her to be a baller first!
And speaking of that - you knew I had to bring this around to adoption eventually - we are coming out of our halftime locker room strategizing and entering the back half of our journey with a new game plan.  With the clock ticking to a referral, we are keenly aware of the numbers and the amount of dollars that still need to be raised.  While we played it safe in the first half, taking easy layups with smaller fundraisers, we'll be putting on a full-court press now as the stakes are high and we need to start bringing in the bulk of our funding with a bit more intensity.  We'll be doing that by first and foremost applying for grants.  But as grants are not guaranteed, and the grant application process also includes explaining what we're currently doing to raise funds, we're going to be launching a couple of fundraisers as well.

To that end, we are kicking off the back half of our fundraising with a big idea and a big goal!  We have purchased a 1,000-piece puzzle.  We are asking our friends and family to help cheer us on to victory by sponsoring a piece (or more) of the puzzle.  For every $5.00 donated, we will add one more piece to the puzzle - with the donor's name on the back.  Eventually, we will have put together a super cool keepsake to hang on our daughter's wall, with the puzzle picture on the front, and the names of the people who helped us bring her home on the back.  I can't wait to go over those names with her when she's big enough to want to hear her adoption story.  And we want as many people as possible to be a part of it!

If you would like to sponsor a piece of our puzzle, you can give electronically  through the Pay Pal link If you'd prefer to donate by check or cash, message me or Steve and we'll give you our address.  Once your donation has been received, we'll send you a picture of the pieces you've sponsored.  As the puzzle begins to take shape, we'll post pictures to keep you up to date on our progress.  When it's all said and done, we will have raised $5,000.00 toward our adoption expenses, and we'll have a story to treasure along with it!  

Please join us and be part of Team Bring Baby Shelton Home!  Whether you fancy yourself a player, a cheerleader, or a bench warming supporter, we need your help! Thanks in advance for joining in!  Go team!
"Give thanks to the Lord.  His love endures forever." 


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