Archive | January, 2011

Noro Noro – Follow Your Dreams!


Noro Noro – Follow Your Dreams!

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

This is Noro Noro … a gifted Ethiopian singer performing with her adopted brother in a video celebrating family – “Don’t live your life looking back!”

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I Dig Pirates


I Dig Pirates

Posted on 28 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

Have you ever committed to doing something out of your comfort zone and then wished you could back out?  My son, Michael asked me to speak at the Pirates Dig A Well Silent Auction gala this month and I accepted.  I made a promise that even though my hands sweat, my heart pounds, my tummy flip flops… I would start sharing my passion to help orphans anywhere, anytime, anyplace.   But, actually having to get up in front of a crowd and do it is another thing.  Well, I wrote my little speech and when the host, Tony Orlando (yep, the real one) introduced “Roger and Carl Gibson” I froze.  Wait, my name is not Carl, but before ducking out the back door to search for Carl, I went up to the stage on my shaking legs.

For the next few minutes I shared about why digging a well in Ethiopia is so personal to me… here’s my actual speech (minus the crying I did when I talked about Korah)

I’m so honored to be ONE of the moms of a High School Pirate digging a well in Ethiopia.  Three years ago, we adopted our beautiful princess, Zoie Senait from Addis Ababa, the capitol city of Ethiopia.  She was 6 months old and weighed only 7 pounds.  She was sick and malnourished and her tiny body was starving for clean water.  She was born in a community that lives on a massive dump called Korah.  There is no water source there… only the run off from the dump.  The water is infested, diseased, filthy, toxic and is not meant for human consumption.

The problem of not having clean water is all over the world…

BUT, tonight THIS is about bringing clean water to Chucko, Ethiopia where Pirates Dig a Well is helping build a water well in a tiny village who has never had this luxury.

I’m traveling in 19 days to Ethiopia and will have the incredible opportunity to hold children in my arms that are desperate for clean water.  Because of your generosity tonight, I will be able to give them HOPE that they will have the gift of water from Branson, MO.

You can make a difference tonight!!  Every penny you donate is going to change the life of all the little Zoie’s living without clean water in Chucko.  This is YOUR well being dug… We are all in this together. Pirates Dig a well and the Branson High School students are changing the life of a baby, mom, dad, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, grandma, grandpa… a family.”

Whew… I did it without passing out!  The event was so much fun and they sold every single item they had to bid.  Their total as of today, for the well project: $9,125.00!  My crazy readers, if you want to donate to their well project (partners with Dig Deep project) every penny will make a difference.  Donate Here and check out their awesome campaign page- Pirates Dig Deep!  You can buy the super chic tees on my friend, Julie Pitt Neal’s blog.

I want to personally thank April Fiesler, who rocked this event with style and organization!!  To all the High School students that participated in the event… you made a huge difference in Chucko!!

I want to know what your most nerve-wracking moment was you did for a purpose?

Pirates Dig A Well Blog- run by teens!!

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Our Adoption Shoes

Our Adoption Shoes

Posted on 27 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

I don’t know if I’m the only person who does this but there are certain movies that I’ve probably seen 100 times and if they come on tv…..I can’t help myself but watch them again. Forrest Gump falls into this category. I love that movie. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen it but if it was on tonight and I stumbled across it, I would tell Shannon…..”I just want to watch this next scene…..give me five minutes”…..cut to three hours later, Shannon’s asleep on the couch and I’m wondering where the time went.
Forrest Gump is full of great little one-liner quotes and one of my personal favorites is him talking about shoes. It goes something like ”Momma always says there’s an awful lot you could tell about a person by their shoes. Where they’re going. Where they’ve been. I’ve worn lots of shoes. I bet if I think about it real hard I could remember my first pair of shoes.” Anyone who knows me knows that I love shoes. I have several pairs of shoes and all of them have some sort of sentimental value to me. I have a pair that Shannon bought me on our first Christmas. I have some that I bought while I lived in New York right after college. I like them all but some are definitely more special than others. If I were to sort them all out by their story, the pair I wore on Dec 19th would have a good one.
Before I tell you about that particular pair of shoes……first let me tell you a little about Shannon and I. Shannon and I were married in August 2004 and one year later we moved to Springfield, Missouri. In July 2009 we were accepted into the Ethiopia adoption program with America World and officially began the process of adopting our first child, Baby G. We always knew from the beginning of our marriage that adoption would be a part of our family, the uncertainty was in the details. We both grew up with a heart for missions and volunteering with an organization called Royal Family Kids Camp, a summer camp for foster kids. In fact, it was at these camps that the Lord planted a desire in both of our hearts to adopt. But not only that, it was at a Royal Family Kids Camp in 2003 that God brought us together and we started dating, in which a year later we were married.
Ok, back to December 19th. Shannon and I ran in a half marathon to raise money for our adoption. It was the toughest, most wonderful experience I’ve ever had. We had several friends and family participate with us which made it that much greater. Leading up to the run, was a lot of training and most of all, a lot of prayer. Endurance running is hard enough even with months of training but add the cold temps in December and it is almost impossible….so we thought. God provided us with wonderful weather. I believe the high that day was 48, which when your running and your heart rate is up feels like 68. Add in a lot of sunshine with not a cloud in the sky, that’s like running on the beach. Looking back I know God worked a miracle that day. He also continues to work miracles, up to this point we have raised $5000 towards our adoption. People have been so supportive. We are still getting contacted by people who knew about the run and want to help. It has been a total blessing.
So the shoes I wore that day were a part of a wonderful story. They played a huge role in our adoption. I will never toss those shoes. This may seem cheesy, but I remember at one point during the run when I was close to the end, I think I had about two miles left and I was thinking that this was probably the last long run I would ever have in these shoes. I had been training in them for so long that they were really starting to wear down. I know they are just shoes but a part of me was really sad about that. They were like an old friend or something. They had been there for all the early morning runs leading up to the race. They had been good.

If Forrest’s momma was indeed right, our child will learn a lot about Shannon and I by our shoes. One day I will get to pull out that pair of shoes and tell our child the story of how those old shoes helped us bring our child home. It will be a good story.

If you want to read more about our adoption story please go to On our site we are selling adoption t-shirts and if you wanted to donate to our adoption, we won’t tell you no.

Marcus Grisham

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One Orphan

Posted on 26 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

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Guest Blogger – Where Are They?

Guest Blogger – Where Are They?

Posted on 26 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

Where Are They?

Football season is wrapping up.
I don’t really like football, but Jeremiah likes it, so we listen to it in the car, and sometimes watch a game on tv.
Those guys are unbelievable. If I were forced to wear tights and run a ball in 20 degree weather while being chased by a group of huge sweaty men I would crumple up into the fetal position and cry myself to sleep.
But they are tough,brave, enthusiastic and domineering. They don’t cry when they get creamed by a 400lb linebacker. They suck it up. Because they’re men.

We’ve been watching Band of Brothers. I really like that series. It’s not just entertainment for entertainment’s sake, it’s true and real and emotional and raw. The interviews with those men make me want to cry, because they were passionate about the cause they were risking their lives for.
They didn’t complain, they carried on for the cause. They gave everything they had to give, and some gave their lives.
They knew the risks and trudged on, because they knew the reward was greater than the risks. They didn’t make excuses. Because they were men.

In America we love to celebrate manly men- men that will stand up and fight-for freedom, for the ball, for justice, for peace.

But something I’ve come to notice as these months of researching and reading and waiting pass:
In the defense of orphans, where are the men?
Historically and Biblically, it is the women who are nurturers, the care-givers. Men are protectors and providers. They hunt, we gather. They fight, we stand behind them. They go out, we keep the home fires burning. But in the war for orphans, the women seem to lead the armies. Why is that? Is it not a worthy cause?
Where are the fighting men who will do whatever it takes to rescue abandoned and abused children?
The brave men who will stand up to a society that says 2 kids is enough, that Christianity is a white religion made to comfort old ladies, and that the orphan crisis is not our problem ?
The broken-hearted men who will cry out to Christ on behalf of dying children?
The men who will ask God to show them the way, to lead them through unfamiliar territories and provide for their families against all earthly odds if they choose to obey Him?
The pastors who will preach James 1:27 and Luke 10:27?

Where are they?

I’ve seen wonderful, Godly men raise their hands in worship of our Savior during church, men who lead their families in love and reverence of God, then say they could never afford to adopt.
I’m not judging them, because I used to feel the same way, but the God we worship is the same One who CREATED THE UNIVERSE! He made everything from nothing!!

He parted the sea, and turned water into wine, and raised the dead!!

When someone says that to me, I want to jump up and down and scream:

He can provide! He can provide! He WILL provide!

If we will just.let.Him.
If we will just.obey.
If we will

Fear of the financial costs of adoption is the #1 reason Christian families don’t adopt.
Satan’s lies are working.
When we say that we can’t afford adoption, what we are really saying is that we believe God is insufficient, powerless, and uncaring. And He is none of those things!

“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” Ps. 54:4

“But I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning, and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me.” Ps. 55:17-18

“So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” Heb 13:6

“There should be no poor among you, for in the land the Lord you God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you…” Dt 15:4

“Perfect love drives out fear…” 1 Jn 4:18

Our lives are not our own.
We Christians like to say that.
It’s not about me.

What if Jesus would have made the same {lame} excuses we do?
What if He had not chosen to adopt us as sons and heirs?
What if He had sat back and decided we weren’t worth the trouble?
What if He had said:
“Oh, gosh, I just don’t know. I mean, we don’t really have the room for all of them here, and we could never afford it. What would it do to our savings? And what would our retirement look like? And they look nothing like us-what would everyone think? We may not get invited to parties anymore. We might have to move to make room, and that’s not really in our schedule right now. It’s just too much work, I mean, they don’t even speak the same language, and they are so dirty! They’ve done some pretty bad things, and that’s a lot of baggage to deal with. I’m just not ready for that kind of commitment.Some of them are sick- some even have HIV and AIDS and man, that’s just too sad to deal with, so we should just leave it to someone else, because surely someone else will come along and save them all. It’s not really our problem, I mean, they’ve done it to themselves. ”

Think about this:
If you are a believer, you have been trans-racially adopted!
Where are the Godly men who will lead the armies and fight for the souls of 147 million lost children who will never know the Savior they love and claim to live for if they don’t show Him to them?

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions were his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them.” Acts 4:32-34

For a man’s perspective, read this

Bricker Blog

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My Birthday Wish {Belated}

My Birthday Wish {Belated}

Posted on 25 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

I loved turning 44 and letting you know a few days late!  My birthday came with the snow and my kids had a free day home to play.  I have thought a lot about the amazing things I got to do last year.  God gave me the opportunity to travel back to Ethiopia and Uganda and Haiti to love orphans.  I’ve dreamed since I was a little girl that I could grow up and be a missionary.  I finally feel like I’m growing into the woman God created me to be.  I confessed to my hubby on the way to church, Sunday that I’m secretly praying we can serve full time on the mission field.  I laughed when he said, “how about part time?”  Can we really serve missions part time?

I want to challenge myself this year to serve full time for orphans in ministry minded projects right here on my blog.  I’m going to keep praying that God allows me to serve full time… will you join me?  I want this to be the best year of my life.  That’s my birthday wish.  I have no idea what God has planned, but I’m really hoping for an adventure.  The verse I’m clinging to this year is 1 Cor. 13:13  Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

I’m praying everyday for my 365 Day adoption miracle, but due to my incredible list of guest bloggers… I’m sharing it on my facebook this month.  I want to make sure you are taking the time to read each guest post and leave them a comment.  I want to hear what you think about my guests.

OK- I want to know what your wish is for 2011 (share with me)

My bday get together with VO MO team!

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Guest Blogger – Awake and Alive

Guest Blogger – Awake and Alive

Posted on 24 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

For several years now really God has been stirring my heart. He’s telling me that, as my blog friend Heidi says, my life is not my own. Well, I guess Jesus actually said it first (sorry, Heidi). For a long time after this began, I was educating myself: reading amazing books, inspiring blogs, having meaningful conversations…immersing myself in the topic of social justice–a topic that was close to God’s heart. How do you know that, you may ask? Well, God mentions it over 2,100 in His Main Book, for one. For another, even when it’s not mentioned specifically, His character REEKS of it. So, I can say with confidence that God cares about justice. And compassion. And generosity. And so this is where I stayed for a long time. In some ways, I would say far too long. But I trust God. I trust that he knew me. He knew that I still needed to be broken a lot more in order to better understand broken people. I needed to understand desperation and not making it on my own. I needed to understand the hope and love that comes from the Body of Christ stepping in and providing for my family’s needs when we couldn’t. So even though I feel a little sad and ashamed about time lost, I know that this is better. His plan is always better.

Fast forward to about a month ago. My precious friend Jolene and I were talking and brainstorming about what we could actually do to start living out our heart and passion for people in need (while our Ethiopian cuties played all around us). That quickly developed into a meeting with our husbands to talk about starting a non-profit to better fulfill that dream. Being that Jolene’s husband does this kind of stuff for his job, he volunteered to start the paperwork process….and Awake and Alive was born!
Another meeting and several conversations later things are beginning to crystallize. While we don’t have an official mission statement yet, we know that our deepest desire is two-fold. First, we desire to help African families (and orphans) both here and abroad. Stateside, we desire to help ease the transition for families (or individuals) coming over from various African nations by plugging them in to services available, driving them around, helping kids enroll in school, connecting them to other Africans in the area, and offering friendship and love by welcoming them into our families. Abroad, we are exploring possibilities with existing NGOs and churches as well as thinking through “adopting a village” by providing various kinds of support to Africans in need. Second, we desire to help educate and provide experiences (see above) to wake up the church to God’s heart towards the “orphan, widow, and foreigner.” Realizing that we have been blessed to bless, we want to encourage Christ followers to stop learning and start doing. Stop hoarding and start giving. For it is when we refresh others that we will be truly refreshed. And more than that–LIVES ARE AT STAKE!!!
We would love to have conversations with you about this vision that is moving from our hearts to our hands. We would love to begin raising up a team of people who have a heart of generosity towards the people of Africa. We are passionate and excited! Let’s dream about it together.
What if everyone cared?

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Guest Blogger – {DIY} Africa to your heart Craft

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Guest Blogger – {DIY} Africa to your heart Craft

Posted on 20 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

Our family is on that long roller coaster ride that I’m sure many of you have been on.  You know I’m not talking Disney World!  It’s called ADOPTION.  Currently we are buckled in and coasting on that part of the roller coaster that is not so bad.  We are in the process of adopting a 4-5 year old boy from Ethiopia. We have been waiting almost 6 months now on the Gladney waiting list.  My husband and I have two daughters, ages 13 and 9 and are so excited to be adding to our family through international adoption.  The average wait time for the age and gender we are requesting is 9 months so hopefully this roller coaster ride will make a turn soon and we’ll all start shouting “Wheeee” when we get to the next stage!

I am a stay-at-home mom that loves being creative.  You may know me from my Africa ornaments.  I have an Etsy shop called From Africa to Your Heart where I sell all things Africa related. It’s been a busy fall making ornaments!  You may have even visited our blog before:

I thought I would share a fun project with you that is inexpensive and fairly easy…a Journal.  The ladies in our Sunday School class had a gathering a few years ago and we all made these.  The one I’m going to create below is an adoption journal. Think of what a great gift this would make for someone.  Save all the photos that people send you this year in their Christmas cards and if you’d like to give them a gift at some point in the year, pull out that photo because you can use it in this craft!

Supply List

  • Composition Notebook (you’ll see an example in the photos below)
  • 2-3 Pieces of coordinating Scrapbook Paper
  • Rubber Cement
  • Ribbon
  • Photograph
  • Embellishments of Choice
  • Scissors
  • Glue Dots
  • Mod Podge (Optional)


1. Lay out your first piece of scrapbook paper and with a ruler, cut out a portion that fits size of the notebook.

2. After you cut off the bottom portion of the paper so the paper now fits the size of the notebook, you’ll glue it starting on the back as seen in the next photo. I highly suggest rubber cement as it won’t curl your paper.  The paper should wrap around onto half of the front of the notebook.

3.  Now cut another piece of coordinating scrapbook paper in the same way you cut the first piece. This one will be glued to the front and wrapped around onto the inside of the cover.

4. Your notebook should now look like this.  For extra durability, you can optionally add a thin coat of Mod Podge to the front and back.

5. Now,  take a photo and glue it onto the front. You can embellish the front any way you’d like.

6. If you’d like to add a ribbon, use glue dots to attach the ribbon around the front and back of the notebook and the finished product will look something like this:

You can cover the inside front and back cover completely as well.  Really, the way you design this is up to you.  I have made these in the past as gifts and you can use themed paper for the person you’re giving it to.  Here’s a few ideas.

1. Use scrapbook paper featuring music notes and make a notebook for your child’s music teacher.

2. Use teaching themed scrapbook paper and make a notebook for your child’s teacher.

3. Use sports themed scrapbook paper and make a notebook for your child’s coach.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. If you have any questions about the instructions, feel free to email me at and I will be glad to help!

Debi Jenkins

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Guest Blogger – Adventures to Latvia!!

Guest Blogger – Adventures to Latvia!!

Posted on 19 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

My ministry started on a July 2009 missions trip to Jelgava, Latvija (say: Lot-vee-ah) through Mission:Hope, my church’s orphan care ministry in Hartland, Wisconsin ( I will tell you that I have promised myself that I would never get on an airplane, for my fear of heights. Obviously God had other plans, and I am so grateful for that!

Latvija is a country in eastern-europe, sharing borders with Russia, Estonia, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea. They were occupied for many years by the USSR and re-gained independence in 1991. Alcoholism, split families, poverty, prostitution, and hunger are huge problems in Latvija. It is estimated that 50% of girls who age out of orphanages will turn to prostitution, 40% of boys will become incarcerated, and 40% of kids will commit suicide within two years, mostly young men. It is a hurting country. The children in the orphanages are mostly “social orphans”, which means that they may have one or more living parents or relatives, but these people cannot take care of them. Many parents are too poor to care for their kids, while others are removed from the home due to drinking or abuse. Other single-moms leave the country looking for work elsewhere in the EU, and do not want the burden of a child to bring with them. Children who would go into foster care in the US are placed in orphanages in Latvija. There are also “true orphans”, meaning that the kids have no living parent and are available for adoption.

I have now been to Jelgava, Latvija twice (July 2009, June 2010) and I will be leaving for my third trip on December 25th. This trip will focus on connecting with kids at five more orphanages in different areas, as well as talking with the directors or caregivers. It is also a chance for me to see more of the country, as well as experience their winter to give me an idea of what living there will be like in winter time!

Currently I have one year of highschool left to complete, and then I will be attending a 2-year Bible school and training programme. I feel called to full time missions in Latvija, working with girls who “age-out” of the orphanage, as well as young mothers. I cannot wait until I am living full time in Latvija. I have the opportunity of a third trip to Jelgava, in June/July 2011. Would you please pray for me? Please pray for all the children who I know and love in Latvija, and those that I will continue to meet. Please pray that they have open hearts to hear about Jesus. Please pray for the girls who I will be working with in the future, God knows each and every one of them. I cannot wait for the day I get to meet them! Please also pray for my ministry supporters. As many of us know, with the current economy, my support has dropped off and it is essential to find people who will continue to support my ministry.

God has put me on a wonderful journey and I look forward to seeing where all He is going to take me. If you would like to know more about my ministry, please check out my blog at, or email me at:

Jenn Anderson

Follow my adventures to Latvia!
Luke 1:37 “For NOTHING is impossible with God”

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Yep – We Have A Crazy New Look

Yep – We Have A Crazy New Look

Posted on 18 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

It’s 2011 and I have been giddy to launch the new look for my favorite crazy bloggers!  I spent hours searching blog themes that would best serve you.  Do you like it too?  I want to continue to make My Crazy Adoption Blog your #1 spot to celebrate the craziness of mommyhood, adoption, and orphan care all over the whole wide world!  I want to thank my guru bloggy brother, Michael for allowing me to wake up and see the new site debut…. what a surprise!  I’m so grateful for you and your crazy support!

The new look will read just like a magazine.  Start at the top and look all around at the tabs you want to read.  The new “Featured” box is my favorite spot on top.  I have 5 featured posts that I will hand pick with variety for moms, adoption and orphan care.  Just click on the thumbnails and it will take you to the original post.  Each tiny thumbnail is a favorite featured post collection.

Just below my featured videos, will be 10 daily posts ready for you to read.  If you get busy like me with your crazy kids, you can catch up on all posts in the archives and catagories.  In March, I will start collecting your advertisements.  Last but not least, on the right side column you can find the Simply Love Kit, my new button to share, and links I support.  I’ll keep sharing new things on the side to inspire you to continue partnering with My Crazy Adoption projects.

Also, I will continue blogging six days a week- crazy, inspiring, challenging, uplifting posts to offer you encouragement, support and cheers!  I want to get to know you, bloggers, so please continue to share in the comments.  Your comments are like little “happies” to me personally.

Now, I want to know what you want to read on my blog to make 2011 the best bloggy year ever?  We are growing strong together. My Crazy Adoption Blog has about 17,000 regular monthly readers.  We are making a difference together as moms and bloggers!  Thank you for raising over $50K in 2010 for Simply Love Projects…. YOU did this extraordinary craziness (my heart loves you!)  You gave shoes and shirts to Tom Davis’ Children’s Hopechest Ministry, Visiting Orphans Ministry, Project 61, tee projects, 4 mission trip giveaways, adoption fundraisers, orphan care, sponsorship, and mission donations!

What does God have planned for us this year?

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Funky Fish {Giveaway} 1.5 Day Only!


Funky Fish {Giveaway} 1.5 Day Only!

Posted on 17 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

We have a winner!!  Congrats Rebecca!!!

email me your mailing address!!  {Winner # selected on}

  1. Rebecca Says:
    January 18th, 2011 at 1:46 AM 

I’m throwing a Funky Fish Giveaway today- 1.5 day only to win this stunning bracelet.   I will randomly select the winner tomorrow morning (since I was late posting) and announce your name here on the post.  Dawn Patterson is the founder of Funky Fish and ALL the cool kids on the block are wearing them!  She travels Friday to Africa and continues her mission to train women how to make Funky Fish jewelry.  I’m so proud to call Dawn my friend and fellow advocator for women in crisis all over the world.

Charm bracelets are Funky Fish newest addition to her Tesfa jewelry collection.  The profits from Tesfa jewelry collection benefit the orphans in Zeway, Ethiopia as part of the Hope in Ethiopia partnership.  One bracelet will feed a child for one month.  One necklace will feed, clothe, house & educate a child for one month.  Our new charm bracelets will do all of that plus provide medical care for one month.

How do I win?

It’s easy, just leave me a comment on my blog and let me know why you want this Funky Fish bracelet.  Also- pick 1 of the following:

  1. Go to Funky Fish Blog and be a new follower. (don’t forget to say hi to Dawn)
  2. Add the new Funky Fish button on your blog.
  3. Shout out about Funky Fish on your blog or Facebook.

How this Funky Fish journey began…..
In 2003, as a brand new Christian, Funky Fish was born.  I knew two things…I loved making jewelry and I loved my God.  I had no idea the adventures that would be in store for my little business.  Many times I thought it was time to hang up the beading pliers but God always said “No”.
It wasn’t until May of 2009 that I really began to see what God would have me do with the gift He had given me.  He wanted me to give back.  It started with making jewelry for causes…cancer awareness, autism awareness, etc.  Then I found out about a village in Zeway, Ethiopia.  I asked God if there was anything I could do with the hands he had given me to help the sweet orphans in Zeway.  Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to paper beads by my dear friends mom.  The wheels started to spin.  I envisioned a necklace with paper beads and a pendant with Africa on it.
People talk about humble beginnings.  It’s safe to say that we started on our knees.  Literally.  We crawled around on the floor and picked up scraps of sterling silver from my jewelry business (yes, I am that messy) to sell on Ebay to get supplies. In November 2009, I sat down with my dear friend Cathy and we played with these beads.  We priced the items to meet “needs”…one bracelet would feed a child for a month, a necklace would feed, clothe, house & educate a child for a month.  We sold our first necklace on December 31st, 2009 and were beyond thrilled.  We scheduled beading days.  We joked and said we would “bead till we bleed” for these orphans.  We fantasized about how if we made and sold 50 bracelets a week, we could raise $25,000.  We were dreaming big.
As of last week, we have sold $23,685 worth of “The Hope in Ethiopia” jewelry.  I believe God will take us past $25,000.  There are no words to describe this journey God has allowed us to be on.
There are few joys in this life greater than giving.  He gave me these hands and as long as He will allow me to use them, I will continue to give.  Some of my favorite ministries are Project Hopeful & Because Every Mother Matters.  I’ve been blessed to be able to make jewelry for them to help raise money & awareness.
To God be the Glory….always!

Funky Fish Blog- click here

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Crazy Links I Love


Crazy Links I Love

Posted on 15 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

My crazy bloggers, I want to thank you personally for reading and supporting all the guest bloggers I have featured this month.  I asked for 10 guests, but was blown away by receiving over 50 guests posts from you!!  I couldn’t just pick a few and leave the rest out, so due to how crazy my life will be the next 30 days getting ready for my mission trip to Ethiopia… I will continue to share each and every guest post.  Here’s how you can make a difference… leave ‘em a comment.  Enjoy their stories, projects, bloggy ramblings and then share with the guest what you think.  I promise you will make their day!!

I have a few personal, blog posts I will sprinkle this month, so don’t miss a single day at one of your craziest favorite blogs on your roll.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your CRAZY support with my Headbands for Korah project.  Together we have collected over 345 headbands, scarves and bows to date.  I have a 50 pound case I can fill to the brim, so as many as you can make me or donate … I’ll take them all!!

If you have a link or project you want to share here on My Crazy Adoption Blog, please leave your information on the Linky Tool or at the comments with your links attached.  If you love shopping online, I encourage you to click on the crazy links I love and start shopping with a purpose!!

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Pepsi Refresh Project -Ride Nature Challenge


Pepsi Refresh Project -Ride Nature Challenge

Posted on 14 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

Guest Blogger-

Shortly after October 3rd, 2010 (aka the greatest day of our lives) my wife and I began working on non-profit organization that would share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ through a whole new light. With both of us feeling a strong desire to use our passions to share the TRUTH, the organization “Ride Nature” was formed. The mission of our organization is to give children living in extreme poverty the one of a kind, unique opportunities to Surf and Skateboard. Our purpose is to take those opportunities and share with them a greater gift, that being the truth of Jesus Christ.

It is incredible how the Lord has blessed this ministry in the past year alone. With international trips to San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, Lima and Chiclayo, Peru, and four international trips planned for 2011, it is evident that God has great plans for this ministry. With partnerships with Christian Skaters, Christian Surfers, FCA International, and Untitled Skateboards, featured stories in the Eastern Surf Magazine, the Walking on Water newsletter, the Naples Daily News, and on several other websites we are far exceeding our expectations.

We have recently been blessed with some very big donations of boards. Skimboards, Skateboards, and a brand new board that is just about to come out, the “Shore Surfer.” All tools that we will be able to use to share the message of Jesus Christ. As is the case with many non-profit organizations, raising support seems to be the toughest struggle and the biggest obstacle to overcome. Although we have recently been blessed with these huge donations, we are still far from our overall goal to accomplish everything we have dreamed and financial support continues to be one of the major needs for the organization. As we have drastically grown in the last year so has our operating budget. The cost to transport boards, clothes, school supplies continues to be one of our largest expenses. As a huge answer to prayer, we were recently accepted as one of the finalists for the Pepsi Refresh Project $50,000 grant. The grant is entirely based off of votes and the top 10 in the end will receive the cash. This grant will allow us to purchase even more boards, deliver those boards, and bless the lives of hundreds children all around the world. BUT, we NEED your help. Your VOTE. Your SUPPORT. The voting is only open until Jan 31st. But you can vote EVERYDAY. So we ask that you would consider doing so. You can vote by texting 105224 to PEPSI (73774). It’s free. It’s easy. Please do it. You can also vote by If you would like to visit our site and learn more about the Ride Nature organization and the impact we are making around the world you can visit us at If you have any questions or if you would like to find out how you can get involved send us a message at .

Thank you so much for your help, your support, and your efforts to help us make a difference.

God Bless,

Mark and Shannon Koch

(Founders of the Ride Nature Organization)

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Guest Blogger – Tips for Snow Pics

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Guest Blogger – Tips for Snow Pics

Posted on 13 January 2011 by Kari Gibson

Hello My Crazy Adoption Blog Readers! My name is Chelsey; I am a mother of soon-to-be three who has been passionate about all things photography for as long as I can remember. You can find out more about our adoption story here: and more about the business side of this mama here:
I am the owner & photographer of MachC Photography and today I am bringing you tips on photographing your children in the snow! Now, in case you have yet to click on those links, we reside in Fairbanks, Alaska. Yes, ALASKA.  So if there is one thing we know, it’s snow! *wink, wink*

Grab a cup of coffee – or hot chocolate – sit back & read up on some tips for photographing your children in the snow. No matter where you live, letting them play in the snow – and capturing those moments ‘on film‘ is a part of childhood that none of us can afford to miss!

I received a question in recent weeks that asked, “how do you get more interesting photos of your kids in the snow? I put my point and shoot camera in my pocket and go out with the kids and the only thing that seems to change from year to year is their snowsuits. I just see a whole lot of white snow!”

It’s true isn’t it! Many years, we spend up to 6 months or more in the snow! (I know our Southern friends are cringing right about now ha!) We usually get snow that sticks sometime early October and then well, it’s often ‘here‘ until sometime in April. So taking advantage of snow opportunities with your little ones is an important way to document their life. It’s a part of our everyday world.

Here I’ve compiled some tips & tricks for getting better shots of your kids this snow season. Enjoy!

1. It may seem like a simple starter but dress appropriately! That means you too mom. When I went out to capture my kids in the snow for these examples, I dressed just as they did & wore snow pants, a good winter coat, gloves, a hat and boots (these ones good for up to -30 below). Yes, it will be more cumbersome to run around & take snapshots with all your winter gear on, but it means you will be warmer & happier – which is an important element to the kids having fun as well. Happy mama = happy kids = happy shots!

2. Keep in mind that snow is very reflective. Even on overcast days, you may find yourself squinting when it’s too bright. For the professional photographers among us, snow can reflect up to 80-90% or more when it’s fresh (and wet!). Be mindful of this when you are photographing your children – give them sunglasses or (for more fun & interesting pictures!) snowboarding goggles – if you aren’t sure how or where to move them to a spot where they aren’t squinting, this is the next best thing!

3. Speaking of squinting! Pay attention to where the sun is, if your child can’t keep their eyes open because it’s too bright, move them to the shady side of the house or yard. Even behind a tree will work. If you can’t look at your kiddo without squinting, they aren’t going to be able to look at you without squinting!

4. Don’t forget to let them run & play! The best expressions come from genuine enjoyment. (Hint: choose the ‘Sports’ mode on your point & shoot to try & freeze that action shot!)

5. Think about adding in other elements. Birch trees are abundant up here – so why not plop your kids down on a fallen branch or sit next to one for perspective. Trees are great for that! Imagine if you took a picture of your child each winter, in front of that same tree – year after year you’ll see changes in both the tree & your child … some that may be so subtle you won’t even notice until they are both 18!

6. On the flip side of the coin, I do love me some wide open spaces to give the right perspective too! Nothing is better for showing ‘how little they once were’ than a snapshot that takes in the whole scene.

7. While we went out & shot these close to the noon hour, shooting earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon will work more in your favor. Make sure to pack lots of snacks (I sure did!) and take time to go inside & warm up, if need be.

8. Cold kids are cranky kids & we can’t have that! (For us, we were near a local ski spot that had an indoor ‘warm up’ room – so naturally, we took a break to use it!)

9. Think about perspective while you’re out there – shoot high, shoot low; stand on a tree stump or the bumper of your truck – it gives a whole new perspective AND often gets your kid’s attention because they are watching you do something you don’t normally do – climb on things!

10. If your own backyard is too small or too cluttered, think about taking your kids to another location where they can safely explore & enjoy the great outdoors. The key is to let them have fun, being themselves. Whether that’s playing & laughing or exploring & digging for dinosaur bones only you know what your child loves best … let them explore their passions outside in the snow too! The most enjoyable memories you’ll ever have with them are the ones you capture in your heart, while having fun.

*To see more images from this original post, please click on the link here:

Chelsey Burglin Mach
MachC Photography | Owner, Photographer
Become a part of the MachC Network |

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