Tag Archive | "adoption advice"

Crazy Adoption Month: Who Picks Who?

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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 (awaa.org) 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

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Marriage and Adoption LIVE Talk

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Marriage and Adoption LIVE Talk

Posted on 03 August 2011 by Kari Gibson

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What Happens When The Adoption Dream Is Not Happy?

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What Happens When The Adoption Dream Is Not Happy?

Posted on 05 June 2011 by Kari Gibson

I wanted to send a post in for your guest blogger opportunity.  Excited for you and your trip!!  Can’t wait to hear all that God does!  Below is a blog post that I had written after we brought our daughter home from Ethiopia.  We were in the midst of incredible life change and after we’d been home 6 months, we had a major move.  She regressed horribly.  It was SO painful and scary to watch.  Through that time God taught me SO much about Him.  I think often newly adopted families go into the journey thinking somehow that after they adopt it’s the end of the journey, but in reality the journey is ONLY beginning.  Even for the most prepared families, these kind of setbacks can be terribly frightening.  I reworded this post a bit to flow better for readers that don’t know our family’s story.

We had been home from Ethiopia about six months with our youngest, Arsema.  We had read all the books … taken all the classes … but nothing could quite prepare this momma’s heart for the pain I’d have to face seeing my sweet daughter have her world shaken once again.   God still had much to teach me on our adoption journey … not just about caring for orphans alone, but about HIM.

Our mostly carefree little girl has temporarily transformed once again into a frightened wee-one with her guard way up. She looks at me as though I’ve let her down. We worked so long and hard to build trust with her and this set-back has hit me hard emotionally. And while I would not choose for her to go through this, the Lord is definitely working through it and teaching me even greater lessons about Him.

When I look into her eyes and see that stare of confusion I have to ask myself ….. is this what I look like when looking to my heavenly Father during times of difficulty and unknown. Does my guard go up when I don’t know what’s coming next? Does my anxiety level rise when my routine is broken? Oh you betcha! I sense the Lord whispering to my spirit these last weeks and months …. “My child, don’t you know that you can TRUST ME?! Haven’t I proven to you over and over again that I WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU?! My word says that I WILL NEVER leave you or forsake you! …. Do you really believe me? I have been there with you every step of this journey, none of that has changed!” But my flesh and my weakness seep out at times and I give in to fear and I’m tempted to believe the lies of the enemy.

The Lord is so KIND and MERCIFUL. He does not hold office hours. He is readily available to us every single moment, if we’ll just look to HIM and embrace Him with arms open wide. I’ve had to ask myself a lot this last year what is it that keeps me from embracing Him! Often it is the fear of the unknown. At those times I’m challenged to take a look at His character. What I am coming to realize is that He is worthy of our absolute trust!!! He longs for His children to be completely, whole-heartily surrendered to Him.

I find myself doing lots and lots of reassuring with Arsema these days. Doing my best to meet her where she is, which is a bit regressed from where she was. I’ve been working to connect with her, seeking frequent eye-contact, maintaining limits so she feels safe and secure. Over and over again the Lord gently reminds me ….. this is what I’m doing with you, my child! I long for your COMPLETE trust. I want you to look to me, not with eyes of fear, but eyes full of vibrancy because you are SO familiar with me and my ways that you just trust me no matter where I take you!
I find myself trying to prove to my daughter that she can really trust me!, that I have her very BEST in mind, that I work to meet her needs. But you see, with the Lord it’s all been proven long, long ago. Unlike me with all my sin and selfish desires and inadequacies, the Lord has NO limits. He is the perfect example of a parent. He proved it all when He chose to die for me so that I might enjoy eternity with Him. Thinking about what He’s done for me, spurs me on to surrender, obedience and walking in truth. Oh that He would take out the yuck in my heart and life so that I can better serve Him and my family.

I look forward to the days to come, knowing with some extra work, patience and time, our precious Arsema will let her guard down and flourish once again. Soon her anger will give way to laughter more frequently and she’ll have figured out that we’re all still here and while her life got shook up yet again, she’s gonna be okay. How I long for her to grow up to know and understand her Heavenly Father’s love. What a privilege it is to walk this journey of life with her, even during her very grumpy moments.

Change does not come without pain. Even good change causes stress and anxiety. But as I’m learning day by day, the Lord can be trusted with every detail. Selling a house, securing a job, and raising support for a new ministry …. The Lord is in control of all of it. HE is the one who will make it all come to be, we need to focus on surrender and obedience each day, moment by moment.

Our sweet Arsema is now an amazing, thriving little four year old.  She has not only learned that she has a Momma and Daddy, three amazing big brothers an a spunky big sister who adore her; but also that she has a Heavenly Father who treasures her!

Shelly Roberts

Blog: http://encouragingfamily.blogspot.com/

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What Do You Really Want?

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What Do You Really Want?

Posted on 12 May 2011 by Kari Gibson

I want to continue to go crazy big for you as a mom blogger and advocate for adoption and orphan care. Thank you for helping me grow, even if I have gained 10 pounds blogging for you every week! It was YOU who helped raise over $60,000 last year for Simply Love orphan projects all over the world! (yep- you are incredible!) One of the things I’m working on is writing more about my personal life as a mom and wife. I have an unique triple combination of kid craziness- seventeen, fourteen, and three years old!  There are days when I feel seasoned and wise as a mom, but other days I can’t seem to figure anything out. That’s where you come in…

I’d love to know what you want to read about (right here) on My Crazy Adoption Blog.  For example, do you still want my favorite recipe ideas in Wednesday WOW series or should I skip it and move on?  I’d love for you to leave me a comment today and share with me fresh, crazy topics you want from my blog.  I want your post suggestions!

What MOM topics do you want?

  • parenting stories?
  • sharing struggles in my marriage or as a mom?
  • lighter, funnier topics?
  • update adoption “One Stop Shop” or add new information?
  • Be a guest blogger and share ideas with new readers.
  • Balancing family/work/writing/household tasks
  • ?

What kind of LIVE video topics?

Roger and I are working on some new adoption LIVE videos to help support you during your adoption process.  We want to know what you need?  We want to share topics that will help you at any stage of your adoption.  We are not professionals, but we are parents who have adopted and want to offer you hope, encouragement, and support!  Please leave a comment if you have suggestions or topic picks- we’ll pick the top 5 LIVE ideas for the month of April.

Top 11 Blogging Tips from Simple Mom.

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Crazy Guest Blogger #8 – Storing Up Treasures

Posted on 25 July 2010 by Kari Gibson

Storing Up Treasures
By Vanessa

My husband and I do not presently own a house. We live on one income because we feel God has called me to stay at home in order to invest in and raise our children. Therefore we do not have a ton of money. By American standards, we are not wealthy. However, by the world’s standards, we are filthy, unbelievably rich.

However, this seems to be a hang up when people hear that we are not only adding another child to our family, but adopting. Presently we are waiting at #11 on our agency’s waitlist for a infant boy, and we have a 2 year old biological boy.

Shouldn’t we not have any more children until we own a home? Shouldn’t we not spend the money we have on an adoption until we have a lot of money in savings? Until we have a nice little nest egg? As well as “emergency” funds that are filled to the brim…just in case?

It makes me sad….overwhelmingly sad.

What has happened to the state of the Christian mindset when the possibility of needing an “emergency fund” of money in the bank is more pressing than the life of a child, abandoned and alone? That a lonely and scared child should wait until we store up our treasures in a bank?

As Christians, we have stripped down Christ and what he stood for into some self-help Guru. Your Best Life Now! 10 Steps to Prosperity!

Many quickly turn the page when Christ talks about how hard it is for a rich man to enter heaven, that we are called to live selflessly, to meet the needs of the poor and orphaned, to follow him with all we are and all we have… because isn’t it so much more enjoyable to focus on the parts of scripture where it talks about Christ being our comfort, meeting our needs, and being our helper?

The reality is that like the rest of the country, Christians have become so obsessed with comfort and stability that we are terrified for Christ to stretch us, to refine us, to push us, to make us uncomfortable. To live radically for Him. But this is exactly what we are called to do.

In Matthew 6 Christ calls us to store up treasures in heaven:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Our treasure? Christ and the children he has created. I do not see a greater emergency in this world than a child without a home. A child who most likely will die alone from poverty or Aids. Our money can sit in a bank waiting for some emergency or it can become life in in the form of a laughing, cuddling, child.

Is it even a choice? Really think about that…when everything is stripped away it comes down to Life or Money…how is that even a choice?

Believe me, I am so far from perfect in this area. To be brutally honest, for a very long time I was obsessed with putting money into our savings account. It was just my thing. It brought me pleasure to see the numbers rise. It made me feel comfort. Now, as more and more money goes towards the adoption and other outreach efforts and I see those bank account numbers get lower and lower…fear sets in. My heart races and all the what-ifs start pounding away at my resolve. I have even sat there crying like a big baby because following God’s call is so uncomfortable sometimes. But it is in those moments where I feel a whisper in my heart:

Do you trust Me? Do you trust My call and provision in your life? Do you trust my Word?

Yes God, yes.

Then put it into action. Let your life reflect Me. Faith without deeds is dead.

So I go back to the scripture, back to God’s word, back to the truth…over and over again, and learn to truly rely on and trust in God.

Like a tightrope walker across two high buildings, we have to focus our eyes on Him and his Word. If we look down, if we take our eyes off Him, we are going to fall.

I will leave you with the beginning of Chapt 4 in Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love. Be challenged with me today- be uncomfortable.

Chapt 4 is about this scripture found in Revelations:

14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” -Rev 3

Chapter Four: Profile of the lukewarm

Crazy Love, by Francis Chan

“It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity.[ii]

“Lukewarm people give money to charity and the church… as long as it doesn’t impinge on their standard of living. If they have a little extra and it is easy and safe to give, they do so. After all, God loves a cheerful giver, right?[i]

“Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for the “extreme” Christians, not average ones. Lukewarm people call “radical” what Jesus expected of all His followers.”

“Lukewarm people will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go, or how much time, money, and energy they are willing to give.”

“Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts and rarely try and give as much as possible to the poor. They are quick to point out, “Jesus never said money is the root of all evil, only that the love of money is.” Untold numbers of lukewarm people feel ‘called’ to minister to the rich; very few feel ‘called’ to minister to the poor.”

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Adoption 101: Setting Crazy Boundries

Posted on 16 July 2010 by Kari Gibson

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Adoption 101: Owies in the Heart Part 2

Posted on 12 July 2010 by Kari Gibson

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Owies in the Heart Part 1

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Owies in the Heart Part 1

Posted on 06 July 2010 by Kari Gibson

Owies in the Heart Part 1

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Adoption 101: Marriage and Adoption Mini-Series

Posted on 05 July 2010 by Kari Gibson

Roger and I love sharing adoption advice to help support and encourage you on your adoption adventure.  We are not professionals, just two crazy parents who love being a mom and dad.  We had so much fun going to a little studio with our Flip and making the adoption series just for you!  The next two weeks, please take the time to watch our short videos and leave any additional advice to share with readers.  Your interaction is valuable and helps to make our Adoption Life LIVE a collaboration of many adoption families!!  We are all in this together.  I want to hear what you are thinking… [enjoy!!]

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Adoption 101: Ready or Not?

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Adoption 101: Ready or Not?

Posted on 28 May 2010 by Kari Gibson

Crazy adoption friends, I want to thank you for supporting Adoption 101 and the amazing comments and emails you leave for me to read and inspiring others to look into the crazy adventure of adoption.  The advice I offer you in 101 are my own personal opinions and want to keep the door open for critique, advice, or guidance from you, too.  I’m just a mom and I learn so much from your adoption journeys!

As you already know from my crazy T shirt blitz… we are starting our 2nd adoption to Ethiopia.  We are completing our homestudy, (hopefully in the next couple weeks) so the subject I wanted to discuss on Adoption 101: Ready or Not is coming straight from my heart.  This has been a subject that my hubby and I have prayed and talked about for weeks.  Are we ready or not to start the next adoption?  Our hearts are ready to go forward 1000%!  We are prepared to work hard to complete the paperwork and fundraise for the cost of adoption.  We love being a mom and dad… there is no question that we want to open our home and hearts for another child through the miracle of adoption.

I feel like I’m starting an adventurous hike and my backpack is packed with most of the necessary tools I need to start the journey:  water bottle, snacks, extra socks, journal, band aids and flashlight.  I have friends who are ready to cheer and pray and support me to the finish line.  I’m a little out of shape, but I know I don’t have to run up the mountain… I can take my time and enjoy the beauty around me.  However, I don’t have a new map and I understand from others the trails have changed.  I see two roads ahead and I don’t know what path to take.  The signs are not clear to me yet.  I’m ready to start bouncing ahead full speed, but I’m starting to see warning signs pop up.

Hubby & I started talking about the reality of adoption and asking each other some really tough questions.  The financial cost is enormous, but we have the faith to know God will provide all our needs.  Here’s the tricky part of the journey… waiting for validation or confirmation from the Lord on His timing not our timing.  We are ready to move forward with our next adoption, but is God ready for us to move forward?   I read stories every day on blogs and adoption websites of the supernatural miracles for families fundraising.  I weep every time I read a new miracle of how God provides the finances for adoption.  We are struggling with moving forward with the process, not because of lack of faith, but responsibility.  We are praying fervently for direction.

I think the question comes down to – do we stop the paperwork and concentrate on raising the funds… all of it?  If we complete the dossier for an older child, most likely the referral will come quickly.  Are we being responsible to surge full speed ahead with the dossier, knowing we would be lost without a paddle if we did not complete our fundraising?  I trust in the Lord that He will provide in His perfect timing.  I believe if He wants us to adopt, He will open doors for us financially.

I’m working so hard (you are too!) coming up with ideas and creative projects, but now facing the reality of the costs of each stage.  We want to be responsible to our family, adoption agency and child waiting.   I really want to know your thoughts… will you share with me any advice, wisdom and guidance?  Are we ready or not?

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Adoption 101: Coming Home to Craziness

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Adoption 101: Coming Home to Craziness

Posted on 22 April 2010 by Kari Gibson

Roger and I want to offer some practical advice today LIVE on adoption homecoming.  Adoption bloggy friends, please share with readers in the comments some ideas that helped you or things that were challenging when you came home with your new adoptive child.  BTW- if you are interested in purchasing the Simply Love T shirt I’m wearing on the videos…. blue T with Simply Love on the front.  My BF is fundraising with them on her blog for Africa Mission trip.  Go on over and take a peek- Randi’s Adventure in Wonderland.

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Adoption 101: Super Size It

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Adoption 101: Super Size It

Posted on 14 April 2010 by Kari Gibson

I love going through McDonalds and super sizing my drink to an XXL!!  Well, Roger and I talk today on LIVE about the importance of flexibility and super sizing your patience, love, joy, courage, endurance when you travel to bring home your child.  We look back now and realize the moments we thought we would we “lose it” were the expectations we made crashing down on the floor and over the balcany of our hotel in Addis Ababa.  We started super sizing and it made the adventure crazy and unforgettable.

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Adoption 101: Joy Opportunity Lost

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Adoption 101: Joy Opportunity Lost

Posted on 13 April 2010 by Kari Gibson

This week, will be dedicated to adoption.  Roger and I tackle a few of our favorite adoption topics on video.  Each video segment- Adoption Life LIVE will cover some of the struggles, challenges and joys we have experienced the past two years having Zoie in our family.  Adoption is crazy and we want to offer practical advice from our life that can encourage you in your own adoption adventure.  We are not professionals – just a mom and dad that are passionate about adoption and loving our children.

My awesome hubby Flips his passion about adoption and shares Joy Opportunity Lost, the sequel to Adoption 101: Who Picks Who post.  I really want this week to encourage adoption bloggers.  Please leave your comments and contribute to the 5 Adoption Life LIVE videos and participate in giving adoption support.  Share how adoption has changed YOUR life.

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Crazy April Adoption Family + The Maas’

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Crazy April Adoption Family + The Maas’

Posted on 05 April 2010 by Kari Gibson

Introducing the Maas Family “Blog.“  I met Rebecca (mom) in adoption bloggy land.  I’m thrilled to feature this beautiful colorful family this April!!  Please take the time to leave the Maas’ a special comment to spread some crazy love!

Four years ago God began impressing upon us the frugality of trying to live the “American Dream”.  We had built a large home and filled it with nice furniture.  We were a two income family with two children and a dog.  While I was pregnant with our second child we began to think about our future and what that would look like.  Honestly, we did not like what we saw.  I never wanted to work full time but I would need to work to pay for our comfortable lifestyle.  So we began to make drastic changes in our lifestyles.  We sold our large home and bought a smaller one that we could afford on one income.  After our son was born I did not return to work but stayed home to raise our family.  A few months after our son was born we began the adoption process in China.

We mailed our dossier to China in February 2006.  At that time, the estimated wait to be matched with a child was between six and nine months.  One day in March 2006 I was standing in the kitchen, I think I was fixing lunch.  I got cold chills and God said, “Your daughter was born today”.  Well, I thought that was really cool and starting counting the days of how old she would be when we got our referral.  As the wait got longer and longer I began to think that day in March was just wishful thinking.  If she was born on that day she would be two or older before we finally got her and we had specifically requested a child younger than nine months of age.  OK, skip forward to September 2007.  We had decided after much prayer that we felt God leading us to apply for a child with a special medical need.  Finally, on October 4, 2007 we got THE CALL from our adoption agency.  We had been matched with Faith.  I just fell to my knees and cried like a baby.  At the time I did not make the connection back to that day in March 2006.  A few days later we were on our way home from church and suddenly it all clicked.  Faith was born on March 20, 2006.  She was the little girl God told me was born in China that day in March 2006.  WOW!!!  In December 2007 we traveled to China to pick up our sweet Faith.

On the plane ride home from China I leaned over and told my husband, “you know you have a son in Africa”.    Two months after being home with our beautiful Faith we began looking for Gabriel.  We knew that we wanted to adopt a child from a waiting child list..  We looked for about 2-3 weeks when we saw Gabriel.  We immediately knew it was him and began the adoption process.

On that same list was a little boy named Jacob.  Jacob was 6 months old and his medical report said that he had Hepatitis B.  I inquired as to what my husband would think about adopting two boys.  His response was that we had just adopted a child that was considered to have special needs and that was enough for us right now.   A month or two passed and I continued to watch the children on the waiting list.  As I was reviewing the list one day I was horrified when I saw a picture of Jacob.   Jacob at nine months old had dwindled away to 10 pounds and looked very weak.  I told my husband that we had to do something or he was going to die.  So I contacted the adoption agency to inquire about Jacob.  Neither of us had any doubt that we would adopt Jacob so we added Jacob to our dossier.

The agency took Jacob in for a medical evaluation to try to figure out why he had gotten so weak.  Our adoption agency would not allow us to officially accept Jacob’s referral until a medical report was received.  It seemed like it was taking forever and our paperwork was just sitting in Ethiopia waiting for Jacob’s papers to be completed.  We begged and pleaded with our agency to please let us go ahead and adopt Jacob.  We did not care about his diagnosis and would adopt him regardless of what his medical needs turned out to be.  Finally, they allowed us to officially accept his referral but not before we signed some extra documents stating that we knew his medical information was unknown and that there was a possibility that he would pass away before the adoption was completed.  A few days later we received a medical report for Jacob.  They mentioned things like a mass on his brain, cerebral palsy, fluid on his brain, and failure to thrive.   It turns out he was not positive for Hepatitis B.

Well, we brought Gabriel and Jacob home on July 31, 2008 on Jacob’s 1st birthday.  Jacob has been diagnosed with Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy.  It is funny to think back to the day we saw a little boy that was positive for Hepatitis and we thought we could not handle another child with a health issue.   We are so glad that God knows what we can handle and what is best for us.  Jacob is such a joy and we cannot imagine not having him as a part of our family.

Our family was growing quickly but our hearts continued to ache for those children left behind.  So in March 2009 we completed our dossier to adopt two more children from Ethiopia.  This adoption was a rollercoaster of a ride and way to long of a story to tell here.  In January 2010 we finally brought home our two new daughters, Grace & Sera.  Both girls were on a waiting list, Grace because of her age and Sera has several birth defects including polydactyl of her hands & feet, and multiple issues with her eyes.

Here we are three months home with our newest family members.  Life is always busy, most of the time crazy, and sometimes scary!  Are we going to adopt again?  YES!!  As long as there is room in our hearts there will ALWAYS be room in our home.  However, we are currently at an impasse as our home study agency will not approve us until we have a larger home.  God’s provisions and timing are perfect!   Please keep our family in your prayers as we look for a home, which fits within our budget, and will fit a growing family of 9 AND that is handicap accessible.

Darren & Rebecca Maas
Miranda,Grace, Ethan, Faith, Gabriel, Jacob, & Sera

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