OELWEIN, Ia. — Someday, Tyler and Miki Granberg can tell their future kiddo that RAGBRAI helped bring them together.
The young Cedar Falls couple decided in April that they wanted to adopt a child, so they set up a stand to sell goodies on Tyler’s grandmother’s acreage just west of town. They said the adoption fees for an American newborn could total up to $45,000 — which is a lot of $1 cookies and $3 mini pies.
“We won’t make it all today, that’s for sure,” said Miki, a high-school math teacher.
But the couple is already off to a decent start. They raised more than $3,000 from a garage sale in June, thanks in part to donated items and baked goods. They’ve printed up bright blue “Adoption Support Team” T-shirts (for $20) and assembled blank, card-sized jigsaw puzzles (for $10), which supporters can decorate with markers. The puzzles will eventually hang like a quilt on a wall in the baby’s nursery. (Visit the Facebook page for “The Growing Granberg Family” to support the cause.)
The couple hadn’t tallied their RAGBRAI sales throughout the day, because they wanted to save the sum as a surprise for the day’s end. But they were counting visitors — 243 by 4:30 p.m. — including many who shared their own stories of adoption.
“We’ve met so many cool people,” said Tyler, a correctional officer.
He explained that part of the credit for their decision to adopt goes to TV reporter Shelley Russell of KWWL in Waterloo, who kept a blog of her own steps toward adoptive motherhood. The Granbergs contacted her, and she helped them untangle — or at least understand — some of the red tape.
“We’ve already been pre-approved, so right now we’re in the waiting game,” Miki said. “We could get a call any day now” about a match — and a sudden pile of bills.
Let’s hope that a few years from now, their kid will set up another RAGBRAI stand of his or her own, maybe to pay for a car or college tuition.
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