A great love story

Published 9:31 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Kristin and Andy Weatherford were developing a pretty incredible story even before the yard sale. Married just two years, they chose to set about the process of adopting a baby from a foreign country. And not just any baby — Kristin found a baby with Down syndrome in an orphanage in Eastern Europe. Realizing that the little girl faces a bleak existence there without parents and without the benefit of Western medicine, they chose to step in and help.

That’s where the blog Kristin keeps comes into the story. It’s appropriately titled “A Whim and a Prayer,” because those are pretty much all the young couple had to hold onto as they began this quest. They chose to adopt the girl, Ava, before trying for their own biological children so they’d be able to focus their attention on her. And they committed to the process knowing it would cost an estimated $40,000 and multiple trips to Eastern Europe to rescue the girl. Their blog details the journey they’ve taken so far and their efforts to raise the money.

And that’s where the yard sale comes into the story. Kristin describes in her blog the chats she’d had with friends about the recent sale and the amount of money she’d hoped to raise there. She had hoped to make $3,000, about half of the remainder she needed to fund her first trip to Europe to see the girl. Everyone who ever had held a yard sale thought she was being unrealistic. And then the morning of the sale, a new goal popped into her head — a goal she could not have imagined, yet couldn’t shake: “Fully funded first trip.” That trip would cost $10,000, and the couple had only saved $4,000. Even her “unrealistic” goal of $3,000 wouldn’t give them enough to meet the goal that now wouldn’t let go of her.

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And that’s where Ricardo Perez comes into the story. Perez was haggling over the price of a dish at the yard sale, mostly just passing the time before going to open his restaurant, Harbour View’s La Parrilla, when Kristin shared the story of what she and her husband hoped to accomplish. Perez, hearing her story, committed on the spot to help the couple, volunteering to donate $1,000 from each of his restaurant locations — $3,000 in all.

And that’s where the story becomes incredible. One woman’s faith, bolstered by the hard work she and her husband had done to raise a surprising $3,000 from a yard sale, was rewarded beyond what she imagined by another man’s generosity and kind spirit.

“Divine intervention placed an incredibly hard-working man in our path that day,” Kristin wrote on her blog. “Someone who wanted nothing more than to give back to the community and help those in need as he felt God and others throughout his life had done for him.”

What a wonderful story of love on all counts.