Archive | Adoption

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Guest: Adoption Story – Parents With Special Needs + Adopting Special Needs Children

Posted on 08 February 2013 by Kari Gibson

My Life Is Crazy Too is a series of reader submissions. Your life is a story … this is your opportunity to share your stories about life, love, and mommyhood to provide understanding, hope, and compassion in the unique situations each of us face every day. “Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it! I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I’ll never quit telling the STORY of your love.” Ps 89:1 If you would like to submit a story to this series, Today’s crazy guest is Brian Snow.

This is Brian’s story …

Consider yourself sucked in. I hope I have grabbed your attention with the headline.  No, it is not an actual headline, but perhaps it should be.  As Melissa and I continue to wait for the call from Ethiopia to visit and meet our three new daughters for the first time, I have been considering and wrestling with adoption in how it relates to the Gospel.

In adoption lingo, saying that a potential adoptive child has “special needs” can have a wide variety of different meanings and insinuations.  It can range from an African American infant in a certain part of the U.S. being “hard to place”, to a child with fetal alcohol syndrome on the other side of the world.  It could be a little boy with down-syndrome, or a three sibling set from Ethiopia who might be split up if a family doesn’t emerge to adopt all three.  The truth is that all adopted children have their own gamut of “special needs.”  The simple fact that they are without a family is a huge “special need”.

A couple of weeks ago a friend (whose family has also adopted) mentioned to me that adoption is “not as much about the children, as it is about the Gospel.”  This caught me off guard and caused me to think about what adoption is and what it isn’t.  When an adoption takes place, the children do not initiate the process.  Very rarely, if ever, does the adopted child have any say in who chooses them.  Similarly, when spiritual adoption takes place, the recipient has very little to do with the transaction.  They are not even able take the spiritual initiative.  How could we?  The Word is very clear about our own “special needs” before we were claimed.  We had a certificate of debt against us (Col 2:14), we were dead in our sins (Eph 2:1), we were children of wrath (Col 2:3), separated and cut off from God (Col 1:21), and completely blinded from the things of God (Romans 1:21-23).  In that state we had no means of initiating a relationship with God.  Moreover, we were hostile towards God (James 4:1-4), slaves to our sin (John 8:34), and lovers of darkness (John 3:19-20).  Genesis 8:21 says we were evil from our youth, which I believe means from our very first breath.

However, there is good news.  God saw our “special needs” and He initiated our adoption.  He saw us unable on our own to leave the confines of where we were.  He saw us as humanly unlovable, and yet He loved us completely.  He rescued us and gave us new life.But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:4-10

He brought us into His household (Eph 2:19), and now we have a share in the inheritance of that household (Col 1:12-14).  Understanding the immensity of our spiritual adoption is the only way we can have a proper motivation for adopting others.  We love because we were loved.  We forgive because we are forgiven.  We adopt and support adoption because we were adopted.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us inthe Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. Ephesians 1:3-10

I will admit, when we first began down the road of adoption my thinking was skewed.  It is very easy these days to romanticize adoption; to think about future family photos, Christmases, and adorable, very grateful adopted children who are so thankful for what their super-parents did for them.  I am guilty of that kind of thinking.  However, I now realize those sentimentalized ideas, while not inherently wrong, will not sustain us in the near future.  Sure, we are going to have great and fun times ahead with our six children, but it is also beginning to sink in that things are getting ready to get very tough.  What can we count on to get us through?  It can only be the Gospel.

I found the following on an adoption blog.  It is an excerpt from a book by Dr. Russell Moore entitled “Adopted for Life”.  I have not read it, but I certainly plan to soon.“Imagine for a moment that you’re adopting a child. As you meet with the social worker in the last stage of the process, you’re told that this 12-year-old has been in and out of psychotherapy since he was three. He persists in burning things, and attempting repeatedly to skin animals alive. He “acts out sexually,” the social worker says, although she doesn’t really fill you in on what that means. She continues with a little family history. This boy’s father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather all had histories of violence, ranging from spousal abuse to serial murder. Each of them ended their own lives. Think for a minute. Would you want this child? If you did adopt him, wouldn’t you watch nervously as he played with your other children? Would you watch him nervously as he looks at the knife on the kitchen table? Would you leave the room as he watched a movie on TV with your daughter, with the lights out?”

Then Dr. Moore writes:“Well he’s you. And he’s me. That’s what the Gospel is telling us.”The distance between where we were, and where God is, was much greater than an ocean or a disease.  It was sin.  The distance between us and God that sin caused cannot be traveled by plane or by boat.  And the debt that sin costs cannot be paid with $20,000-$80,000.

Let me finish with a cost comparison……adoption is costly.  Earthly adoption can be very, very expensive.  But compared to the cost of my own spiritual adoption, $20,000-$80,000 is…nothing.  My adoption cost the Father His very Son; His firstborn.  If you have children, try to imagine for a moment paying for an earthly adoption with your oldest child.  It is inconceivable to me to do that.  Yet that is what God did for me.  The following is from the same blog I mentioned earlier…..I can’t write it any better.

“It’s important to realize, then, that we adopt not because we are rescuers.  No, we adopt because we are the rescued.  And in this way, the Gospel uniquely portrays, compels, and ultimately sustains adoption.”

Friends and family, when things get hard for The Snow Bunch, please remind me over and over about the Gospel.  It alone is what will hold our family together through the tough times ahead. (Adoptive Daddy, Brian Snow)

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Guest: Adoption Story – Bleeding Heart

Posted on 01 February 2013 by Kari Gibson

My Life Is Crazy Too is a series of reader submissions. Your life is a story … this is your opportunity to share your stories about life, love, and mommyhood to provide understanding, hope, and compassion in the unique situations each of us face every day. “Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it! I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I’ll never quit telling the STORY of your love.” Ps 89:1 If you would like to submit a story to this series, Today’s crazy guest is Tiffany Bluhm.

My name is Tiffany Bluhm. My husband and I are adopting from Uganda and waiting in eager anticipation to bring our sweet Jericho home. This is my story …

Adoption is a wild ride, we knew that going into this, but what we never knew was just how much we would discover the bleeding heart of God.

We’ve been in pursuit of a little boy named Derek, off in Uganda, for over a year. On September 14th we received an email that broke our hearts,only for Christ to mend them together again, and teach us his ways all the more. Sadly, Derek’s biological father refused to sign away his rights, therefore robbing us of any chance to make him our son. As hard as it was to stomach we knew the past year of prayers for Derek have not been in vain. We’ve learned how to love and believe for an orphan, an orphan with a name and face that is forever burned in our hearts. So often we hear the statistic that there are 147 million orphans and we are overwhelmed by the sheer mass of the orphan issue. For Derek and I, we’ve learned how to love an orphan, like a son. As of right now, Derek stands as un-adoptable in the physical but we know our prayers are heard by Father God for him to provide a way for a family, however that may happen.

The treasure in this past year has been the heart we’ve cultivated, one that deeply loves the ignored and destitute. We are prioritizing our lives, day by day, to find new ways to love and serve the hungry and hurting. This past year has been a gift, although difficult at times to receive, but a gift nonetheless. Again and again, Derek and I are reminded of the mysterious, unending, and sovereign love of God. It’s almost too much to take in. His love for us, his precious love for us, whether we live in left coast suburbia or a hut in the jungle of Africa, runs right through our veins and changes every part of us, reflecting more and more of his glory.

With the love of God pulsing through our hearts we do whatever it takes, short of sin, to take his love and lavish it on those around us and those afar. We can’t help ourselves, it’s our call, our mandate, and we won’t stop.

Although we aren’t able to adopt the sweet baby boy we’ve been pursuing, by God’s grace, we are pursuing a second child for adoption into our family. His name is Luke. His eyes are deep brown, his eyelashes longer than you’d expect, and his smile will make you melt. If it’s the Lord’s time we will adopt him before this year ends. We trust the Lord knows who our son is, not us.

So many have commented, “this must exhaust you, I bet you’ll be so glad when this is over. It’s so stressful to adopt.” Of course I’ll be over the moon when my son snuggles up in my lap and not 8,000 miles away. However, this has been a journey, a bittersweet journey, that I would happily do again, quicker than you can imagine. To give you perspective, right now baby Luke has typhoid, which typically provides a 104 degree fever, dehydration, and intestinal hemorrhaging. Yes, I’ll be glad when that’s over, but every ounce of stress is worth witnessing restoration and health for an orphan. Bring on stress if it means seeing orphans restored all for the glory of God.

I know we can’t change the orphan epidemic overnight, but we can do something, YOU can do something. Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone. Sponsor a kid, help fund an orphanage, foster, or dare I say… adopt.



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Adoption Story: Adoption Completed Our Family

Posted on 14 December 2012 by Kari Gibson

My Life Is Crazy Too is a series of reader submissions. This is your opportunity to share stories about life, love, and mommyhood to provide understanding, hope, and compassion in the unique situations each of us face every day. If you would like to submit a story to this series, Today’s crazy guest is Mandy Campbell. Mandy is a freelance writer, editor and adoptive mother. Recognized as one of the youngest adoptive mothers in the US, Mandy provides support throughout the adoption community via blogging and other means of social networking.

On May 10, 2001 my boyfriend of almost one year got down on one knee and ask me to marry him. I was a junior in high school he had graduated the May before and was already out in the work field. We started planning our wedding which would happen 7 days after I graduated high school the next May. With plans of a wedding came dreams of our life together which included babies. We wanted to start a family pretty fast even though everyone warned us we should wait and enjoy life with just the two of us for awhile. We knew every since the day we meet that we wanted nothing more than to be parents. Fast forward one year and on May 31, 2002 we were married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony with all our family and friends. As soon as we were married I had visions of what our nursery would look like, what we would name our unborn children and how I would tell my husband that I was pregnant. As we were getting ready to celebrate our one year Anniversary we were both surprised that I wasn’t pregnant yet. All the doctors told us to give it awhile longer after all we were at the young age of twenty-one. The whole month of May I researched infertility and was starting to fear the worse when I decided that we should pursue adoption. I meet my husband at the door one night as he walked in from a day at work and told him “we have to adopt!” Of course he thought I was crazy but I had a fire down deep in me that was telling me we had to do this and we had to do it now. I had never been impacted by adoption or ever really knew anything about it. I knew that I wasn’t getting pregnant but yet I felt like I needed to turn to adoption now and not later. After talking to my husband I did some research and found out that we weren’t even legal to adopt in our home state. At the time you had to be twenty one and married for at least 3 years. Instead of getting upset or down about this I just said that’s okay we will just go to another state. I knew that we had to do this now and not later. I decided to do a little research at the local library and online and I came across a dear birthmother letter and went ahead and typed one up for us that included family pictures, how important holidays are to us and how much we couldn’t wait to become parents. A couple weeks later we decided to tell our families that we were hoping to adopt. We got mixed responses and mostly the “you guys are to young just enjoy life and babies will come.” As we chugged along with research I also emailed everyone we knew and told them we were hoping to adopt. This was before social media had exploded so email and phone calls was the only way to go. Much to our surprise one month later we received a call about a birthmother that wanted to place with us. That call would make us parents to a beautiful baby girl that would be born in less than 30 days. Talk about a crash course in adoption. We had a rushed home study, made numerous calls to find out what the quickest way to get our fingerprints and FBI background checks done and back to us was. Our dreams of becoming parents was coming true and with that came chaos of getting ready for a baby in 30 days. As we were getting the nursery ready it was surreal, I packed the diaper bag and repacked it at least 25 times. I had no idea what all we would need to take care of a newborn in a hotel so I just took everything. I researched adoption in any spare time I had and prayed for the best. After all I was 21 years old and getting ready to drive half way across the USA to meet my daughter. In the midst of all the rushing we had mixed reactions from family and friends. We even had one friend tell us they knew a couple in their church that had been trying to adopt for over 2 years and we should pass the birthmother information on to them because they were older and deserved the baby more than us. We knew this was our baby girl and continued with everything we needed to do before her birthmother called and said it was time. On August 6th, 2003 just three months after we celebrated our one year anniversary we packed our car down and headed on our journey. We were in New Mexico when we got the call that she had been born. I remember the nurse telling us how she had beautiful skin and hair. We heard that her birthmother was doing great and all we wanted to do was drive faster to get to the hospital. The most beautiful baby girl was born the next day and her amazing birthmother placed her in our arms when she was 18 hours old. We fell in love with her at first sight and she has been the center of our world since. I will never forget the moment the nurse handed her to me, I sunk down in the chair and time stood still, and I was a mother. I was everything I ever wanted to be. As we spent our first week as a family of three in the local holiday inn express we were in awe at this beautiful child that was placed with us. We spent our days waiting for the ICPC to clear by loving on a newborn baby girl, getting many questions as to why in the world we were staying in a hotel with a 3 day old infant and emailing pictures back to our family in Oklahoma. Once we got the call that we were cleared to leave we packed up and couldn’t wait to get home. As we turned on our road for the first time as a family of three I seen balloons and signs and people were standing outside just waiting to get their hands on the baby girl they had all prayed for. We settled into life back home and waited for the call to tell us when we would return to finalize her adoption. On the day she turned 9 months old she became officially our child. I walked into that court room with so much love in my heart for her that I couldn’t hold the tears back as we made it official. Standing next to the judge with our lawyer to take pictures was one of my favorite memories! Watching her grow up is the most beautiful experience in my life and I am blessed by not only her but her birthmother who choose us. Over the last 9 years we have became adoption advocates, meet several lifelong friends through adoption and continue to share our story. We love to give people hope that it’s okay to adopt as a young couple we are proof that it happens. We celebrate our daughter’s gotcha day every year with a dinner in her honor and at 9 years old she is a lover of adoption and has several friends she has made due to adoption. Last year she decided to raise money for her adoption day and donate the money to family that was hoping to adopt to help out with expenses. She raised 300.00 selling candy bars and had the time of her life explaining to people why adoption was so near and dear to her heart. In the end we became a family just the way we were supposed to and when we supposed to. Adoption completed our family!

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Adoption Guest Blogger: The Wonder of God’s Plan

Posted on 06 December 2012 by Kari Gibson

My Life Is Crazy Too is a new series of reader submissions. This is your opportunity to share stories about life, love, and mommyhood to provide understanding, hope, and compassion in the unique situations each of us face every day. If you would like to submit a story to this series, Today’s crazy guest is Katie Daniels. Her blog is private for family and friends.

The “Wonder of God.”  What exactly does wonder mean?  According to Google, wonder is:

  • a feeling of surprise
  • mingled with admiration
  • caused by something beautiful,
  • unexpected,
  • unfamiliar
  • or inexplicable

That definition has some very strong words and it fits with our adoption story perfectly.  The wonder of God’s plan for our family.If you would have talked with me four years ago I would have told you that we were done having kids. . . well, I was done.  We had three beautiful children and I felt that we were good.  Three was enough, right? Then in the wonder of God’s plan, inexplicably, I began to have feelings well up inside me from seeds that were planted years ago.

See, when I was around eight, I saw this baby doll at a craft show and I just had to have her.  Not because of some childish want. . . no, it was as if she were mine already.

Unexpectedly, hundreds of miles away a little boy, also about eight, happened to be on a family vacation with cousins from out of town who had recently adopted.  During this time God planted seeds in his heart as well.  Of course this little boy was my now husband, Dave.  If you were to ask him today, he would tell you that at this young age he knew without a doubt that he would adopt one day.

Isn’t it beautiful how God lays things on the hearts of children and they have the faith to not question? Now, jump ahead to middle school and high school where research projects and opinion papers gave voice to those seeds that God planted.  I would have told you then that I wanted to adopt from EVERY country.  My own little United Nations as my mom recalls it.

Dave and I met some years later on the campus of GVSU both very much certain that God was calling us to adopt one day. As our relationship grew we talked of adopting as well as having biological children of our own.  Well, we were married and did have children. . . 3 beautiful biological children.

What many don’t know about my story is that after our first child, Korah Beth, was born I questioned God’s plan to grow our family through adoption.  I tried to bury the desires I once had.  Why, I’m not entirely sure, but I know it had a lot to do with fear. Those of you who have had children know the love a mother has for a child.  It is unlike any other.  I feared that I could not love a child that I did not carry in my womb for nine months as much as I loved the child I had.  I voiced that concern to Dave.  Talk of adoption ceased.

We had Nathan Ezra twenty months later, then Silas a few years after that.  With each child I was amazed at how one  person can love so much, so deeply.

After we had Silas I felt as if we should be done.  I was able to tell myself this for a while but soon I was overwhelmed with the feeling  that we needed one more….after all our house wasn’t full, something. . someone, was missing.  So, we went about trying to conceive another child.  But, to be honest, something just wasn’t right.  I didn’t know why and I felt somewhat guilty but I realized that I did NOT want to carry or birth another baby.  We took a break from it all and tried to determine if indeed, our family was complete after all.

Time passed.  Then, one Sunday morning, some families who had fostered and adopted spoke at church.  I had feelings of admiration for these families and it was as if those seeds, planted years ago, were bursting up desiring the sun. I couldn’t deny that they were there.  I pondered these thoughts and feelings privately and began doing some “secret” research on adoption. . agencies, countries. . Although this world of adoption was unfamiliar to me, I knew I belonged in it.

Finally, after a few weeks of research and prayer I posed the question to  Dave.  We had gone to bed late but I could no longer hold inside what I felt God was whispering in my ear.  I quietly asked, “Do you ever still think about adopting?”  His response, “I’ve never stopped.”

There was a long pause and I replied, “I think I might be kinda ready.”

You might have expected Dave to be caught off guard – not prepared for what I had asked.  It had been about six years since the two of us had seriously discussed adoption. However, just the opposite was true.  While I had tried, and partially succeeded  in burying what I knew was God’s plan for our family. . . He simply couldn’t.  His daily prayer had been for God to take the desire of adoption from him or to bring the desire back to me.

From that moment until now our adoption journey has contained many moments and feelings of surprise mingled with admiration caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar or inexplicable…. wonder.
And yes, I did find that I could deeply love a child that didn’t grow under my heart . . .  for she grew in it.

I could go on and on about God’s presence throughout our  adoption.  I guess that as they say is another story.

So, my question for you, as children who were adopted into God’s family is. . . What seeds are you carrying that need the light of the SON, God’s Wonder, to shine on?

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Introducing The Twins … What To Expect When You’re Expecting!!!!!!!

Posted on 06 June 2012 by Kari Gibson

My Life Is Crazy Too is a new series of reader submissions. This is your opportunity to share stories about life, love, and mommyhood to provide understanding, hope, and compassion in the unique situations each of us face every day. If you would like to submit a story to this series, email me. Today’s crazy guest is  Meredith Howard.

Sometimes LIFE is Bizarre.  That is the best way I can sum up our story…..Just Bizarre.  Just God!

In 2010, after the Haitian Earthquake, my husband and I decided it was time to pursue our long time desire to adopt.  We had talked about it for years, but decided it was time to actually DO something…not just keep talking about it.  We spoke with our 3 children (at the time ages 2,4,6) about wanting to adopt.  As best as they could understand, they were supportive.  We began pursuing an adoption from Ethiopia.  Our “plan” was to adopt a little toddler age girl.   No more diapers, we thought, and no babies.  Been there, done that 3 times.

During the process- at my husband’s insistence- we got certified as foster parents as well.  He just really believed that if there were children in the US who needed homes, we should start there.  Long story short, we got a call about our sweet foster daughter- Nancy- and had to make a decision in about 5 minutes (before meeting her) if we would want to be her parents.  Birth parent rights were just about terminated.  This was going to be a “done deal.”  We said yes, and piled our 3 kiddos into the minivan to drive an hour north to meet her.  She was precious.   Our 3 bio children fell in love with her immediately.  I ran out and rented Chris Rock’s movie “Good Hair” so I could learn to do African American hair.

After 3 months with us, and her calling my husband “Daddy!  Daddy!” she ended up being taken away from us (that is a whole other blog post in and of itself!).  We were heartbroken.  BUT, in our heart ache we knew this was the confirmation we needed to pursue international adoption. Continue Reading

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[NEW ETHIOPIA REFERRALS] We Have Miracle News For Forever Families!!!!!!!!

Posted on 04 June 2012 by Kari Gibson


This is a special announcement for all adoptive families, at ALL stages of their adoption, even those of you wanting to start from the beginning!!!!!!!

Last Friday, we received confirmation for MANY MANY Ethiopia referrals with International Family Services (IFS) and My Crazy Adoption wants to help the fatherless find their forever families!!!!! This is truly a miraculous event and I want to encourage you to contact the Ethiopia Program director, Randi Shetley for more information and let her know “Mama Kiki” sent you or My Crazy Adoption blog. I have partnered with IFS to inform YOU via my social media when there are referrals available and ready for adoption. I am not able to show you photos, but we do have several of the older sibling groups you can view here on Rainbow Kids site.

What you need to do:

  1. Contact Randi Shetley, IFS Ethiopia Program Director
  2. Let Randi know where you are in the adoption process. She will work with you at any stage of your adoption journey.
  3. If you have heard about the new referrals from My Crazy Adoption blog or or … please let Randi know Mama Kiki (Kari Gibson) has sent you for additional information on the referrals.
  4. We also have several older sibling groups available to view now on Search: International Family Services.

If you are ready to embark on an adoption adventure … I highly recommend you taking that first courageous step and contact Randi Sheltey. Do it afraid!!!! Continue Reading

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Crazy Links I Love [Fundraiser Shout Out]

Posted on 21 April 2012 by Kari Gibson

I love helping you “shout out” your fundraisers- adoption, mission trips, or orphan care projects. If you are FUNdraising for a purpose, please use the linky tool. This will take readers directly to your site. You can also leave a short “blurb” about your project in the comments! I know many of you are here looking for ways to bless a family or help make a difference living James 1:27 – this is your chance, pick a link and donate to their project! Crazy Links I Love is a collection of incredible projects my readers are doing to simply love. Email me if you have a project you want to shout out here in the post. Let me be your cheerleader!

Do you have any specific questions about fundraising?

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What Is the Simply Love Kit?

Posted on 10 April 2012 by Kari Gibson

The #1 question I receive from you is … What is the Simply Love Kit? For the past four years, I’ve been helping you fundraise with Simply Love and Man Up products. I partnered with an outstanding Christian based printing company and together we built a unique fundraising tool for anyone who needs to spread the Simply Love message to protect and love the fatherless. The graphic designs are trademarked and exclusive for use with the purchase of the Simply Love Kit. We now have over 25 country shapes and 15 unique graphics, as well as customizing the products to meet your fundraising needs. This kit is available to anyone that is …

  • Fundraising for their adoption
  • Fundraising for their mission trip
  • Fundraising for humanitarian projects
  • Fundraising for orphan care

If you are reading this post, you are most likely feeling completely overwhelmed with fundraising A LOT of money to pay for your adoption, mission trips, and projects. Believe me, I totally understand. I want to help eliminate your stress. The Simply Love Kit is only 3 simple steps. Once you purchase the Kit, you will Continue Reading

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Fundraise with Simply Love Products

Posted on 05 March 2012 by Kari Gibson

What Makes Simply Love Fundraising Kit So Unique?

After answering hundreds of emails on My Crazy Adoption Blog about fundraising for adoption, 5 years ago, I created the Simply Love Kit to help adoptive families raise their costs. Now, anyone can use the Kit for fundraising needs: adoption, missions, and orphan care projects. The products will create buzz and momentum for your fundraising by involving your friends, workplace, youth group, family, and church.  It is proven to raise hundreds and even thousands of dollars. We offer 25 exclusive ‘country shapes’ and 20 unique designs! Simply Love is featured in two documentary films and showing up all over the world! Films: Spreading Hope and Man Up and Go the movie.

What is Simply Love?

To bless women & orphans heart, soul, mind, & strength by partnering with bloggers, adoptive families, and organizations to be a part of the solution of living James 1:27 by trusting steadily in God, hoping unswervingly, & loving extravagantly.

We have developed a program that allows you to purchase exclusive products from our Simply Love & Man Up collection at wholesale prices. In turn, you can sell the products at full retail price with 100% of profits being used to raise your costs.

Please read the program overview information below and follow the 3 simple steps to join my fundraising program.

What is Simply Love Kit?

Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is LOVE. (1Cor. 13:13)  When we adopted our beautiful, Zoie Senait from Ethiopia three years ago, we created a special tee shirt to raise our adoption costs.  Well, my fundraiser was a total disaster and failed miserably.  We ended up with boxes of unsold tees stacked in our garage.  I felt discouraged, stressed, and uncertain how to raise money for our adoption. I was determined to help other families learn from my mistakes how to FUNdraise successfully!  The past three years, I have had the honor of supporting and helping hundreds of families fundraise for their adoptions using our exclusive designs.  This year, My Crazy Adoption Blog has raised over $60,000 for missions projects and caring for orphans with Simply Love products.  God had a different plan for Simply Love and now it’s my gift to you.

I want to help eliminate any additional stress during your adoption process and fundraising projects.  Therefore, I have done all the groundwork for you!  My Simply Love designs were created by a gifted graphic artist with layers of artwork that are beautifully printed on shirts and gear available! All you have to do is sell your products!  There is no middle man, so you are in the driver’s seat customizing the program to best meet your fundraising needs.

The Simply Love Kit includes:

  • 20 exclusive graphic designs!
  • 25 Country shapes to pick- USA, China, Africa, Nepal, Haiti, Russia, India, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Philippians, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Sierra Leone [and more]
  • Exceptional printing company- our Simply Love Department is ready to go!
  • Unique products available (you pick) to print designs- Tote Bags, tee shirts, hoodies, umbrellas, blankets, distressed baseball hats, aprons, mugs, pens, journals, water bottles, koozies, rubber wrist bands, stuffed animals, and many more!
  • My step by step fundraising ideas designed to help you sell products successfully on blogs, FB, email blasts, giving letters and events.

Which Simply Love Designs are Included in the
Fundraising Program?

You can print all of our 20 exclusive graphic designs on any of the products available with my printing company partners. You pick: COUNTRY, PRODUCTS, INK COLORS, AND DESIGNS!! It’s all up to you!

You can view [selected] black and white graphics here.

Protect and Love the Fatherless Logo

Man Up and Go

How Do I Start Using the Simply Love Fundraising Program?

  1. Purchase the Simply Love Kit $79 to have exclusive rights to print our 20 stunning graphic designs.
  2. Once your account is setup, you will receive an email from me with your online packet attachment including: printing company’s contact information, wholesale prices of products, and fundraising ideas.  This package is effective for as long as you are raising funds to advocate for orphans.
  3. Your adoption blog can be listed on My Crazy Adoption Blog as an authorized Simply Love fundraiser if you would like to share your experience with others.

Purchase the Kit Here:

This is a one time only payment of $79.00 for exclusive rights to sell Simply Love.

How do I start selling my Simply Love Gear?

Once you purchase the Simply Love Kit for fundraising, you can begin selling your exclusive products with 3 simple steps!  Your supporters must purchase the products directly from you.  You will keep 100% of profits.  There are several ways to begin the selling process:

  1. Contact the Printing Company and pick your country, products, graphic designs and receive your customized mock ups (photos of your products) to start advertising on your personal blogs, email blasts, giving letters, fliers, and FB.  Start creating a buzz with your family & friends to support your project! (High Resolution photos are available at request.)
  2. Pre-sell the Simply Love gear for $15 more per item than the wholesale price using pictures from the printing company for your specific country.  Collect the full retail price for each item as you take orders. Then you can order exact sizes and quantities from the company at wholesale prices.
  3. Purchase the Simply Love gear outright from the printing company choosing sizes and quantities that you think you can sell (minimum of 25 of the selected product.) Then you start selling your gear for $15 more per item than the wholesale price -  You will be notified by email of any changes or additions to the fundraising items.

Fundraising Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Best Seller?

Top 11 Sellers:

  1. Simply Love & Man Up Tees
  2. Tote Bags
  3. Zip Hoodies
  4. Hats
  5. Coffee Tumblers & Mugs
  6. Polka dot Umbrellas (adorable!)
  7. Cups & Water bottles
  8. Blankets
  9. Rubber wrist bands
  10. Stuffed animals
  11. Journals

You can print any of the  Simply Love graphic designs on ANY gear we offer wholesale. We have added several new items… go a little crazy!  Any of the gear can be customized to meet your fundraising needs.  When you wear Simply Love, people will ask you questions about your stuff and want to know where to purchase one! These are just a few examples of REAL products from real customers.

Can I pick my own colors or customize my products?

Yes, you can pick your products, graphic artwork, tee colors, and ink colors from 20 exclusive designs! The best part- you can keep coming back when you sell out and pick a new design to keep up the momentum!

Can you create My Adoption Country for my Simply Love Gear?

Yes, we can custom design your own exclusive Simply Love Country. If you request a brand new country, you get to name the Simply Love design- a place of honor for your child’s name. The names are placed on the front blended into the graphic design.

Like it? Is it helpful? If so, I have two simple requests:

1) Let me know. Share your feedback in the comments or write me directly.

2) Help spread the word. Pass this along to the entire universe. OK, maybe not the whole universe, but you know… all of your crazy adoption & mission-hearted friends would be good. Feel free to start with the facebook button at the bottom.

Thanks for the opportunity to help you start the journey of a lifetime- making the difference in the life of an orphan.! I can’t wait to hear about your own fundraising success story.


Original Simply Love™ art was created by Heidi Rohr
All rights reserved. Trademark – Copyright (c) 2012-2013
Any unauthorized copying of these photos or posts or original art will constitute an infringement of copyright. No part of this blog or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author.

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Do You Want To Be A Crazy Guest?

Posted on 10 January 2012 by Kari Gibson

I’m traveling to Haiti with 16 mission-hearted people to simply LOVE big for 7 days this month with Visiting Orphans. Do you want to be a guest here on my blog? I’d really like to collect your crazy stories about mommyhood, adoption, and missions. I want to continue to use your stories to inspire readers to make a difference. There IS a place for short term missions with a purpose to go and share Him to all who are lost. I want to hear about your God-Adventure. Moms and Dads, you are making a difference every day in the life of your children. I want to hear the heartbeat of your daily craziness. If you have adopted or are in the process of adopting domestically or internationally, I want to know your adoption story at a deeper level – how did you open your heart to allow God to expand your family in a radical way. I’d also love your family crafts or favorite recipes to share.

It’s easy to be a guest blogger:

  1. Email me your story ready to post- you are the writer & editor.
  2. Share 1-3 photos of your family or subject clip art.
  3. Include your blog link to share with readers (if you want)

Please send me your guest posts before Jan. 20th. Thank you so much!!!

Happy 4th Birthday Zoie!!!! We thank God every day for you!!


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I Need Your Adoption Story – Inspire, Support, and Challenge

Posted on 12 December 2011 by Kari Gibson

The heartbeat of My Crazy Adoption is you. I love waking up every morning reading your comments, stories, questions, and cheers! One of the unique aspects of my blog is that it reads like a magazine. I want to encourage readers to come on over and read a variety of topics related directly to mommyhood, orphan care, and adoption. My ultimate goal is to provide you the tools it takes to live James 1:27 in a radical way. I receive the most amazing emails [from you] sharing how a story or video inspired you to go on a mission trip, sponsor a child, and ultimately start the journey to adoption.

Throughout the year, I partner with organizations that I can collaborate with and make a difference in the life of an orphan. You have helped make every project a life-changing blessing to literally thousands of children and women in Africa and Haiti. You helped raise over $60,000 for donations and projects that Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 1 Cor. 13:13

I need your adoption story.

Let’s end 2011 with a bang… I need your adoption stories to help inspire, support, and challenge one another to simply love. You can email me your story- edited, ready-to-post, with up to 3 photos (attached jpeg) to celebrate adoption at any chapter of the process. Include your blog link or contact information you want to share with readers…. twitter, facebook, etc. 

“As you abide in Christ, listen to His heart. It beats for lost people. Just as He died for the lost, He asks that we also die to our selfish ambitions and, with reckless abandon, share Him. Our Savior asks that we go to all who are lost.” The Live-Dead Journal


If you have enjoyed or learned from this post, please share it:


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Cyber Monday Deals – My Crazy Adoption Store!!!

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Kari Gibson

Check out the special 1 DAY ONLY Cyber Monday deals on My Crazy Adoption Store. NO SHIPPING TODAY ONLY!!!!

Crazy Deals:

Be someone’s real-life hero for Christmas this year! For a limited time, you can purchase our BEST SELLER Man Up Super-hero tee: Unisex sizes XS-3XL and receive a handmade Ugandan necklace and Whole Wide World coffee mug for only $35.95 (value $49.95) 1 Tee + 1 Necklace + 1 coffee mug = Simply Love.

This special BEST SELLER Man Up tee is perfect for the entire family. Adult sized & matching youth available. Spend $50 and get the youth super hero tee for only $10

Christmas Special ends Dec. 5th to guarantee delivery!


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Our Adoption Miracle

Posted on 14 November 2011 by Kari Gibson

This month on My Crazy Adoption we are celebrating Adoption Awareness Month. I love posting adoption stories from guest bloggers. If you are interested in sharing your adoption story at any phase of the process, please email me.

Today, I wanted to share our adoption story.

When we adopted Zoie Senait, and held her for the very first time, my heart fell deeply in love at first sight.  I know that this phenomenon doesn’t happen for everyone, but it did for me.  I looked into her deep brown eyes and every love song in existence hit my heart instantaneously!!  I was madly in love!!  I write often in my blog about adoption, but I have never fully shared Zoie’s adoption story.  There are some parts of Zoie’s life story that are for our family exclusively… precious things that should be saved only for our daughter.  They are her treasures to share.  However, there are some things that are meant to be shared of God’s miracles, faithfulness, grace, hope, and love.

I have prayed since returning from Ethiopia in July about sharing on my blog the miracle God gave our family.  He planned it step by step and somehow in the craziness of leading a missions trip with 30 extraordinary people, God allowed me to walk into a miraculous adventure.  Honestly, it has taken me a very long time to process the things I saw and touched and smelled and heard and tasted, but now, the time is right to share with you the story of Zoie’s adoption miracle.

On my very first day back in Ethiopia, July 26, 2010, I hired a driver and guide from my agency to help me find the three keys we had in our adoption paperwork.  I had in my hands, Zoie’s birthmother’s name, the police station where she was relinquished, and the area of employment (no address).  It really felt like a mission!!  I was prepared that day to visit the two most important places in my daughter’s life. I thought a few photos would be amazing and special to keep tucked away in her baby book. I wanted to give Zoie something tangible to touch someday if she wanted information about her life in Ethiopia.

I had no idea that my day would embark on the supernatural, cracking open secrets that were inside Zoie’s paperwork that we did not know existed.  My guide, was like an Ethiopian James Bond with the spirit and energy to match the secret spy.  The ultimate goal was to dig up enough information in the few hours I had- perhaps even finding Zoie’s birthmother.  I dreamed and longed to meet the precious woman who gave birth to our beautiful daughter.  I had no idea what I would actually do if we found her, but I had prayed to God the past two years for an adoption miracle.

The information we have on Zoie’s birthmother is limited, but enough to know that she was strong, courageous, smart, savvy, survivor, gifted, and loving at 17 years old when she relinquished her rights.  We received a letter from birthmother that was bittersweet.  She explained in great detail how much she loved her daughter, but also why she was not able to care for her.  I have NEVER doubted her reasons, but often played the scene over and over in my head about the day she had to say goodbye to her daughter, Senait.  I have actually prayed that God would show her in dreams that Zoie Senait is safe, loved, cared for, beautiful and happy.  I want her heart to be at peace.

Our James Bond guide took me and a few of my team to the first location- a clinic to check out details he had found in the paperwork.  I had noooo idea that there was a clinic on our route, but he pointed at a few words in Amharic that were very good “clues.”  At that moment, I realized it was a real possibility that we might actually find Zoie’s birthmother.

He rushed inside and we sat in the van waiting and praying.  He came back very excited about what he found out.  He again, pointed to parts of the adoption paperwork and said enthusiastically, “I think I know where your daughter was born!”  Whatttt??? You think you know where Zoie was born, I repeated loudly.  Where is that in the paperwork? We raced off in the van to a small clinic that our guide thought was the spot.  We were all giddy with anticipation and the entire time I kept thinking, Ohhhh noooo Hubby should be here seeing all this with me! The secret spy took off and we were left alone at the clinic gates.  My instincts kicked in and we decided to explore inside with our cameras!  This is what I saw:



I was speechless.  I didn’t understand why I was at this clinic… could this really have been where Zoie was born?  My heart was thumping so fast I could hardly breath.  I noticed two women sitting outside the building so I stopped and held out my hand to say hello.  They told me in broken English that this was a very special place.  The new mom shared that this was a clinic that took in very poor people in the community and helped them.  I was so moved by her words that I started to cry.  I thanked her and asked her if this was the building where she had her baby.  She smiled and nodded yes.   I decided to go inside the door marked “Delivery.”  I could barely stumble through the door- but immediately felt this calmness come over me.  I felt peace … everything just made sense in my heart.  The hallway was dimly lit, but I could hear voices.  I walked down a few doors and peeked inside a tiny room.  There was a screen up and obviously someone was having a baby.  I immediately turned to leave, but a woman asked me what I was doing.  Ahhhh the sense of being caught, flooded my face I’m sure.  She motioned for me to come inside and I was embarrassed due to the people inside helping with the delivery.  I bowed slightly and apologized for being there, but they all looked at me with puzzled faces.  I gulped and said as quickly as I could, the truth- “I adopted a beautiful baby girl two years ago from Addis Ababa and I believe she may have been born here at your clinic.”  Well, at that moment, the staff burst with excitement and started asking me many questions.  I was weeping and trying to answer all their questions when the mid-wife hugged me and thanked me for adopting a child from here and she started crying.  I was a mess!!  The hospital staff rushed me into another tiny room and opened a big, thick book of names and dates.  Was I dreaming?  Was this really happening?  They asked me the name of the mother and the date of birth.  My heart was pounding as they poured over the book.  Meanwhile, the rest of the group was trying to find our spy guide- who had completely disappeared for over an hour.


We found Zoie’s birthmother’s name and Zoie’s three dates of immunization- real, living tangible proof that she had been there.  We will never know 100% if she gave birth at this clinic, but the midwives explained to me that typically the place mothers bring their children for immunizations, is the place they delivered the child.  When I touched her name in the book, God gave me overwhelming peace that He had a reason for me being there that day.  I will never be able to thank the incredible clinic staff that day that helped me piece together a mystery of love.  They allowed me to take a photograph of a young mother holding her baby for the immunization… I was weeping (the ugly cry) knowing this was the very chair our birthmother sat in holding Zoie Senait.  This was a real place, with real people, helping others in their time of need.

My team literally had to pick me up and help me back to the van.  I was a wreck.  I could not wrap my brain around the things I had witnessed at the clinic.  Ourguide pointed at one more word in the adoption paperwork- spelled KORE.  I had looked at that word before but had no clue what it meant.  He told me that our birthmother lived in Kore and he would take us to the church to see if anyone recognized her name.  It was almost too much for my heart, but we plunged ahead to see if we could find someone who knew our birthmother.  The van bounced down the narrow streets- worst I have ever seen and finally stopped in front of a beautiful church.  He shared that if a mother was in trouble, this is where she would come for help.  He showed several locals the photo of Zoie and mother’s name, then took off running with several women and men.  There was a real excitement in the air.. they recognized something!!  We were instantly surrounded by locals… I was so nervous, but didn’t really realize that we were left alone.

The guide came back, but had disappointing news… they met two mothers who had given up their children at the same time, but they were not my birthmother. I was so happy to have found this place and had such an overwhelming sense of peace in my heart knowing the things I found out today.  It was time for us to go, but had no clue that more miracles were coming in the morning!!

You might have read blogs from people that have traveled to Addis Ababa and ministered with Project 61 at the Korah Dump.  I read those same blogs too and watched the videos, weeping over the poverty and filth that I saw in the faces of the people living on the dump.  I had no idea that God was going to give me a different view of the dump and a miracle for our daughter, Zoie.  This is a living testimony of God’s mercy and goodness and glory all wrapped up in a place called Korah.

The next morning, my missions team headed to Project 61… as we bounced down the streets in our big bus to the dump, I glanced out the window and thought- this place looks really familiar.  As we jostled farther down the narrow dirt streets, I kept starring outside and my mouth literally dropped open.  I was back in Kore!!  Was my daughter’s Kore- Korah???  I had no clue where we were, but everything looked familiar.  We pulled up to this little building and the sign said Project 61.  I was completely shocked that I was back where my daughter was born and the morning was a blur of activity.  I really have no idea how to express to you what was going on in my heart.  When I walked out on the dump- you can’t see where it ends.  It’s just endless hills of trash.  But, I saw Korah with different eyes- I looked at every face and tried to find Zoie’s face.  I looked at their smiles, hair, teeth, eyes… trying to find my daughter.  I saw her every place I looked.  This was her home, this was her people, this was my daughter’s community.  I fell deeply in love at first sight.  I know that this phenomenon doesn’t happen for everyone, but it did for me.  I looked into the heart of Kore and every love song in existence hit my heart instantaneously!!  I was madly in love!!

Isn’t it amazing that God CAN change our lives with one word.  For me, it was Kore.

I pray that you will look at the faces of Korah with beauty, and dignity, and respect, and love.  God has used our beautiful daughter, Zoie to grow a powerful love in our hearts for this community.  My family will give our time and effort and life to simply love the people of Kore.  I want to personally thank Sumer Yates and her family, Samuel Liben and the Great Hope staff, Alicia Jordan, and P61 for loving Kore with all your hearts.  We are thrilled to hold your hands and serve the beautiful people of Ethiopia! (special note- I can’t wait to share what our family will be doing in 2012 with the men of Korah- stay tuned!)

My Crazy Adoption is GIVING AWAY a mission trip and I want to challenge you to come with me and serve the fatherless. Please continue to spread the giveaway news on your blogs, FB, and Twitter. Together we can make a difference in the life of a child who desperately needs to hear God’s love for them.


Here are a few of my favorite Korah posts from blog friends that I love:

Melanie Strobel – My Child of Korah

Emily- Korah

Big Nanny- Love Stinks.

Sumer Yates- Project 61

Korah video:

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Crazy Adoption Month: Who Picks Who?

Posted on 07 November 2011 by Kari Gibson

November is National Adoption Month, a time to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care. In honor of Orphan Sunday and Adoption Awareness, I’m thrilled to share some amazing adoption stories from bloggers and posts to inspire you to open your hearts to adoption and orphan care. This month, you can WIN a mission trip to visit orphans here. Every single purchase of a Missions Giveaway tee will touch the life of an orphan in 13 countries all over the world. You can be a part of changing the life of a child and the winner- together!

I hope you find encouragement as you read “Who Picks Who” one of my favorite and most difficult posts to write. We are grateful to celebrate adoption and the miracle God gave us- our precious daughter Zoie Senait.

Have you ever asked yourself these questions:

  • Do I pick adoption or does adoption pick me?
  • How do I know if I’m really called to adopt?
  • Is adoption right for me?
  • Will I have an “Ah Ha” moment?

Well, how do you know if you should adopt? You might be feeling in your heart to adopt, but your head is thinking, “God, adoption? Do you know how many details I would have to work on?” I have been asked many times how does this big ‘”Ah-ha” happen… the exact moment when you knew adoption was the right thing for you to do?  Every adoption story is different and personal and unique.  We all have expectations for how we think life will play out, and we all hope those plans will become realities.  But, what happens when God calls us to do something crazy out of the ordinary?  What do we do when the “ah ha” is too big and too scary and too risky?

Adoption is not for everyone, I understand that we all have different callings, gifts, talents and passions.  James 1:27 “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”  We are all called to do something, to take care of orphans…whether it’s sponsoring a child, missions, foster care, financial, or adoption.  This is my adoption story, the one God wrote for Roger and I… a story we had no idea how it would play out or end.

It’s difficult for me to look back in time at my own personal journey to adopt Zoie, but if my story can help encourage or point you in the right direction, it’s worth it to me.  In 1999, my heart was finally healing over the loss of our son and the craziness of having a 26 week old micro-preemie, who was now a healthy three year old.  I loved being a mommy and desired to expand our family through adoption.  My biggest hurdle was convincing Roger that we should adopt.  It seemed like such an easy question, but it had taken me a long time to find the courage to ask.  I had no idea how he would respond.  I will never forget the day I asked my hubby, “Do you want to adopt?”  In 0.2 seconds, Roger said, “Nope.” Okay, perhaps he did not hear understand what I was referring to, so I asked the same question in a different way. This time I knew he heard, because his reply was even more accelerated this time, “No, I’m sorry, but adoption is just not for me!”  I asked if he would pray about it and he said he would, but I think he said that just to put an end to the conversation.  I never spoke to him about adoption again.  A simple question, turned into a dangerous surrender of my heart.

Three years later, my hubby out of the blue asked me a question that totally caught me off guard, “Do you still want to adopt?”  My mouth dropped, I was speechless.  I remember stuttering and laughing and choking out the words- “are you serious?”  I couldn’t believe that God had answered my prayers in such an extraordinary way, but it was three years later and so much had changed in my life.  My children were older and life was feeling easier and calmer and quieter- they were both in school.  I wasn’t so sure anymore if adoption was “our thing” so I told him lets give it some time and think about it.  How could it be possible that my heart wasn’t willing, and my reasons were so shallow.  I struggled constantly asking, “God, why are you bothering me with this?”  I had shared my desire to adopt several times during my “hiatus” with my mom, my best friend and others – they all said the same thing… are you crazy?!  Fear had settled into my heart.  Fear to not do something radical and unfamiliar.  I did not know a single person in my community that had adopted a child… I was clueless about the adoption process.  I believed that without the blessing from my hubby, family and friends I would never have the courage to adopt.  It was a case closed in fear.

It’s crazy I know, but God cracked opened the case files.  He urgently prompted Roger and I to move forward with adoption.  I know that sounds really strange, but I can only explain how it happened for us.   Our “Ah ha” moment came six years later after my original request.  Our breakthrough was an adorable, spunky nine year old who became our family ambassador.  She begged and prayed and pleaded and nagged and insisted we adopt a baby.  We came up with brilliant excuses, but our daughter, Hannah was relentless.  We loved being a mom and dad, wanted to expand our family, but how in the world were we going to know if we heard His voice and make the right decision for our family?  We started praying for clarification, neon signs flashing, anything to help us know what to do.  Our son pretty much thought we’d lost our marbles- even told us we were “whacked,” but we committed to prayer.  We prayed and prayed for two years, but still fear was our worst enemy.  We were scared to death and it made us feel paralyzed to make the final decision to adopt.  We finally had several friends who had adopted or were in the process of adopting, but we just couldn’t move forward.

What do you do when you are afraid?  Anxiety means, A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties. Fear was flat out keeping us from doing the work God had planned in our lives.  We started hanging up verses all over the house.  Our favorite was Philippians 4:6-7 and we claimed that verse and spoke it out loud every chance we had.  There are too many crazy stories to tell you, but when we finally wrote out a check to an adoption agency, AWAA ( and filled out the application to start our adoption to China, we were overcome with thrills, chills and slight nausea.  This was it… we knew there was no turning back.  We were surrendering our inconveniences, expectations, dreams, hopes and family to jump in faith and obey God’s voice.  We had to trust He had a plan for our lives that would lead us to a place of peace.

Do you get it?  Adoption picked us.  It picked us and it wrecked our lives for the better.  We are a part of something so much bigger and its not about us. We are crazy in love with our children, advocating for adoption, orphan ministry and encouraging other families to step into the world of adoption or foster care.  At first, we avoided God’s call and then surrendered to His plans.  He never let go of us and He will guide you, too. John 14:18 “No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.” He can and will provide for you-and for what He has called you to do.  He never leads us where he will not sustain us- The manna will come!

In an upcoming post, Adoption 101: Joy Opportunity Lost, my hubby and I discuss what happens when you are called to adopt and you miss the opportunity.  This is for the doubters, the stumblers, the procrastinators, the “I’m still think’n about it”, the excuse makers, the runners and the “God, are you talking to me?”  Roger and I tried them all out for many years and I want to help eliminate the danger of you missing out on God-breathed adoption miracles.

I’d love to hear your “Ah Ha” moments when adoption picked you.  Please share your breakthroughs in the comments with me.

Great story of a mom who struggled with the term “just adopt

Click here to buy your GIVEAWAY tee!!

1 tee = 1 entry to win a mission trip!

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I Need Your Adoption Stories- November Celebration!

Posted on 06 October 2011 by Kari Gibson

As you know,  November is National Adoption Month, and I want to celebrate in a big crazy way here all month long! Will you share YOUR adoption story- pre and post adoption and all in between? Email and submit your post “ready to go” with photo attachments.GUEST NOV. BLOGGER in the subject line. I’m so excited to celebrate adoption with my favorite bloggers! We are all in this together- living James 1:27 in a radical way! **Dads, I need you to man up and write your stories, too!

Subject: Adoption

(Our very first photo of baby Zoie)

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Wish List For Adoptive Parents {Giveaway}

Posted on 02 September 2011 by Kari Gibson

{Updated with Winner’s names!!} 

  1. Congrats to Chante: “We have adopted a nine year old son from Haiti and a nine year old daughter from Ethiopia. We would love to have this book for our family!”
  2. Congrats to Becky: “Our now 5 year old daughter, born in Ethiopia, has been home for 13 months. I would love to read this book, we have felt the effects of so many of the listed losses, feelings, etc.”

When we started our adoption process, a friend gave me the book by Sherri Eldridge. Honestly, it scared me to death! I tried to read a few pages, but it made me feel tense, weepy, and afraid.  I remember talking to Roger about my feelings and he encouraged me to wait until Zoie came home and read it when I felt more confidence with our new daughter. It really was the best advice for me … I think sometimes we can read so many books and helpful advice pre-adoption, it can cause a lot of stress. I’m not a professional, but an adoption coach/cheerleader/mom who has gone through the adoption process from start to finish.

Here is a great list (straight from the book) you can read and gain a sense of understanding about how your adoption son or daughter might be feeling. Zoie is only three years old, but I want to make sure we stay on top of her feelings and validate her unique needs. I’m confident that when challenges or issue surface with our adoption, Roger and I will have some great resources to help us through.

{Giveaway} Today only, I’m giving away 2 copies of the book for 2 special adoption families.  Leave a comment and share with me what country you adopted/or in process of adoption.  I will update this post with the winners names.

Special Mission News: Are you interested in going to Uganda & Kenya in October with Visiting Orphans- GREAT NEWS: We just found out that there is a BOGO sale on airfare for our October 12th to 24th Kenya/Uganda trip. You could save BIG (by $1K-the total trip cost now would be $2300 to $2500) and visit orphans at the same time! Sign up ASAP here:

1. I suffered a profound loss before I was adopted. You are not responsible.

2. I need to be taught that I have special needs arising from adoption loss, of which I need not be ashamed.

3. If I don’t grieve my loss, my ability to receive love from you and others will be hindered.

4. My unresolved grief may surface in anger toward you.

5. I need your help in grieving my loss. Teach me to get in touch with my feelings about my adoption and then validate them.

6. Just because I don’t talk about my birth family doesn’t mean I don’t think about them.

7. I want you to take the initiative in opening conversations about my birth family

8. I need to know the truth about my conception, birth, and family history, no matter how painful the details my be.

9. I am afraid I was given away by my birth mother because I was a bad baby. I need you to help me dump my toxic shame.

10. I am afraid you will abandon me.

11. I may appear more whole than I actually am. I need your help to uncover the parts of myself that I keep hidden, so I can integrate all the elements of my identity.

12. I need to gain a sense of personal power.

13. Please don’t say I look or act just like you. I need you to acknowledge and celebrate our differences.

14. Let me be my own person but don’t let me cut myself off from you.

15. Please respect my privacy regarding my adoption. Don’t tell other people without my consent.

16. Birthdays may be difficult for me.

17. Not knowing my full medical history can be distressing at times.

18. I am afraid I will be too much for you to handle.

19. When I act out my fears in obnoxious ways, please hang in there with me, and respond wisely

20. Even if I decide to search for my birth family, I will always want you to be my parents.

Q- Are you dealing with any of the twenty things with your adopted child?  Will you share ….

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Funky Vintage Simply Love Gear

Posted on 13 August 2011 by Kari Gibson

It’s my honor to help fellow adoption families fundraise for their adoptions with our Simply Love Kit … I wish I could keep my blog store open 24/7 all year long, but running an apparel business would be a full time job.  Thankfully, bloggy friends you keep wrapping your hearts around the many projects featured here on my blog.  YOU make a crazy difference in the lives of orphans.  Every tee shirt you buy has helped change a life on the mission field.  We are all in this together!!

I’m so excited for you to rush over and buy [here] the 1st Simply Love coffee mug… they are adorable!!  My dear friend, Autumn Kerr (Visiting Orphans) started her adoption journey and took off with a bang.  Wait till you see the funky Simply Love Vintage tees and gear she has for sale- 100% of the funds will help her bring home her new son!!

The best part, she is giving away [on her blog] an iPad 2 in a special “Simply Love” drawing on Aug. 28th- enter with the purchase of any gear.  Every item is $25.  The tees come in a ton of different colors- WOW!


Photo by Amber Beckham

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