Tag Archive | "Adoption"

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My Hubby Shares: Compassion. From The Grinch To Mother Theresa

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Kari Gibson

In June 2012, Kari and I started our mission-adventure. Dedicating the next twelve months in Ethiopia, Haiti, and Nicaragua to Simply Love on the mission field. I didn’t set any measurable objectives. I’m not building churches or homes or orphanages. I’m not setting up a sponsorship program or trying to get sponsors for an area. I’m not researching any programs. Kari and I just simply wanted to live Out Loud for Jesus! But, what does that look on the mission field? I imagine Mark 12:30-31 gives us a good snapshot … Love God, Love People!

Honestly, it’s not easy. I mess up a lot. Actually, it’s more like every day and many times throughout the day! Unfortunately, I don’t exactly fall into the Mother Theresa category in compassion. In fact, when Kari and I were first married we took a “marriage test” to find areas of compatibility and areas of potential conflict in our relationship. After we took the test, the counselor met with us and highlighted how extremely compatible we were according to the test. But, he went on by asking me a question, “Roger, when you see a cat in the middle of the road in front of you, do you slam on the brakes or push the pedal to the metal?” At first, I was like uh … uh … uh and then I heard Kari laughing. After she caught her breath, she blurted out to the counselor, “Well, he just ran over a bird on the way over here.” There were a bunch of birds in the middle of the road and I figured, as the car got closer they would fly away, but one didn’t make it. All I saw in my rear-view mirror was a poof of feathers. The counselor laughed and proceeded to say that Kari and I were as opposite as a couple could be in our levels of compassion. Kari scored in the “Mother Teresa” range. Me … “The Grinch.”

After that, I kind of just accepted that was the way God designed me. Yet, I’m called to be a follower of Jesus (Eph. 5:1) and in His ministry here on earth He demonstrated compassion daily. His first miracle, he demonstrated compassion by refilling the wine jars. He didn’t want the wedding party to be embarrassed, so He filled the jars back up with the best wine any lips had ever tasted and He saved the day for the bridegroom from shame (Not to mention that would be a horrible way to start off your honeymoon first night.) Christ demonstrated compassion everywhere He went: weddings, in the city, out in the countryside, and even at His own death.  He took the burden of our sins even though He was without sin and paid the ultimate price. He knew the path that was before Him – PAIN! But, He cared enough to take those punches to the face, being spat upon by many, lashes from a whip, a crown of thorns pressed deep into his scalp, and a gruesome death on a cross. Why? Just because He loves you and I.

It wasn’t until I experience the brokenness in my heart, that I grew in compassion for others. My first experience in Ethiopia was for our adoption of Zoie. Immediately, when I came off the plane in Addis Ababa and smelled the air, I was ready to go get Zoie and get out, but God had different plans. Shortly after we had our “gotcha moment” with Zoie, I learned that we would have to stay longer in Ethiopia because I passed court as “Robert Gibson”, not Roger Gibson. We were told, “If the courts cooperated and all went well, we would be on a plane quickly.” I asked, “How long is quickly?” Three weeks.” If not, we would be there long enough to become fluent in Amharic. (Read our adoption Gotcha Day experience here and here.)

Gibson Family // Adoption Blog

During those three weeks on the ground in Ethiopia, God peeled back the layers of my heart. He uncovered a lot of embarrassing things in my heart: selfishness, pride, comfort level, etc. It was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had. To have my heart fully exposed; to have all my “junk” rare its ugly head, at a time I should have been compassionate, loving, and protecting the fatherless. You can read the full story here. To love BIG, God will often bring us to a place of brokenness. James 1:2-4 is a popular passage for us to grab onto when we are going through tough times. But, for me the beauty is in verse 4 “ … that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” The Greek word for “perfect” is teleios, which translates to being “fully equipped.” I didn’t know it at the time, but God was getting me ready for missions. I needed compassion. I needed to raise my score from the Grinch range to at least Father Murphy range. I may never attain Mother Theresa level, but I know God is always at work in me to grow in maturity for who He wants me to be. Not in knowledge, but in my heart. Just like the Grinch.

Today, as I look back on that “repulsive” moment in my life, I’m grateful because that was the catalyst for Man Up & Go. God uses people just like you and I, but we need our heart to be ready. If not, here is the formula to get your “heart” ready: brokenness + humbleness + loving God + loving people = compassion. Without compassion, it’s really hard to just Simply Love.

Brokenness is the beginning.

How has God re-shaped your heart?

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Guest: Mission’s Story – Just Obey

Posted on 07 March 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 Rachel Rodgers and her blog is called Walk By Faith.

Coming from a family with two adopted sisters, one special needs sister, one little brother, and two precious parents, I have NO Simply Lovedoubt God purposely knit our family together to bring glory to His name. I continually thank Him for my family and how they each show me how to be the hands and feet of Jesus everyday.

Throughout life God gives us tasks to fulfill. Some of these tasks may be simple like doing chores, others my be slightly harder like babysitting your siblings, and some may be extremely difficult like adoption and require more faith and trust in His will than you thought you had. No matter the level of difficulty, each task is important to God because they each require us to OBEY. Quite often it’s harder to obey when He asks small things of us. Maybe we feel the small tasks are not as special or are an inconvenience. However, we have all heard the saying, “It’s the small things that count.” I LOVE what Kari recently said in her blog. She said, “ I’m learning what might look like through my eyes, as an inconvenience,…it’s really an opportunity to love big.” So true.


Because my parents have strived to obey the Lord and trusted Him through raising my siblings and me, through marriage, through adoption, and through a myriad of other small and life altering tasks, I’ve grown up learning to obey and follow His call. God started breaking my heart into a million pieces for the orphan when my parents began the process of adoption of my now two adopted sisters, 6 years ago. My parents saying yes to this very life altering request from God is what first stirred my heart.

After years of struggling to obey and go visit orphans, I finally said yes. I went on my first mission trip this past October. Haiti is where God took me and now my heart beautifully aches everyday for the people of this country. Because of my trip, God has stirred my heart and started something in me. Something I can NOT just brush aside. Something I can NOT simply ignore. Something I do NOT wish to ignore. The Lord calling me to serve in Haiti ignited a desire in me that is so unending, yet welcoming and full of opportunities to draw others closer to Him. I must share this desire with others by JUST OBEYING AND SIMPLY LOVING. Jesus will not leave me to sort this beautiful knot of desires out on my own. He will not quite me. I’ve seen His eyes staring back at me in the orphans of Haiti. I have witnessed the hurt, pain, and beauty of His precious ones. I must devote my life to serving others in any way I can and anywhere I can. Because of Haiti I see easier where Jesus lacks around me.


I love the orphan, my heart breaks for them. I also love photography. God, in His perfect timing, fused these two loves together. I now have a fulfilling little photography business. God allows me to use this business to share His gospel and serve the least of these. The name of my business is One Twenty Seven Photography which was discovered through my love for the orphan. This love led me to James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” I feel so blessed to be able to give back by donating a percentage of each photo shoot to a non-profit organization or ministry that serves foster children, orphans, widows, & the desolate. I am grateful for God allowing me to use my passion for photography to serve. Every photo shoot is an opportunity or “task” God has given me to share His gospel and heart for the least of these. When we love the least of these, we LOVE Jesus. Through One Twenty Seven Photography God has blessed me to serve the following non-profits with donations, blog features, and advocating for their causes: Simply Love, Ordinary Hero, Visiting Orphans, 147 Million Orphans, Focus on the Family, Wiphan and local charities in my hometown. I would love one day for One Twenty Seven Photography to grow and add a non-profit ministry that is strictly devoted to serving the least of these. A ministry similar to Simply Love, Ordinary Hero and all of the others I listed above. A ministry that fundraises for food, water, and medicine for orphans and widows. A ministry that advocates for sponsoring and adoption. A ministry that takes ordinary people from my hometown to serve in Haiti, Africa and other countries needing His love. A ministry that serves locally at homeless shelters, hospitals, and soup kitchens. A ministry that holds events and gatherings and a ministry that becomes a vehicle for others to hop on and serve. A ministry that changes peoples’ hearts. If God sees it fit these things will happen. Ask and you shall receive.


…a mission trip to Haiti, a crushed heart from sweet orphans hugging and kissing me, a beautiful humble little photography business and more ideas and desires of how to serve than I know what to do with them…all of this from simply saying “yes” and just obeying!

You can find me on FB: (personal)
& (Business)
Instagram: RLEIGH86
If you would like to read all about my trip to Haiti and other tid bits of my life and how God shows up visit my blog.
If you would like to see my work visit: www.onetwentysevenphotography.blogspot.com


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Guest: Mission’s Story – Family In The Gap

Posted on 21 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 Charisa Knight.

This is Charisa’s story …

In working with Project HOPEFUL’s Fig program we have begun a sponsorship style program that provides the following for sponsored children- some of which live at an orphanage in Awassa while others live alone or with family in the community in and around Awassa.
FIG stands for “family in the gap”. We desire our sponsor families to develop a relationship as much as possible with their sponsored children. We would like them to commit to praying for their children and advocating for them. We would love for families to take trips over and see their sponsored child and their families. We want to extend hope and encouragement to children and families.

  • clothing and shoes two times a year
  • medical checkup twice a year and medication in the case of sickness
  • basic hygiene materials three times a year
  • food support (formula/milk for children in the center and wheat for children in the community)
  • all the necessary school supplies twice a year with school uniform and back bag once a year
  • annual recreational trip around Awassa
  • annual get together at Ajuuja Center
  • sporting goods like balls, soccer shoe and jerseys
  • regular prayer with men of God invited from different churches at Awassa
  • Christmas and Easter celebrations with staff at Ajuuja and invited guests from the community

God has grown this program in ways that we never would have dreamed or imagined! (just like God isn’t it!!)  We currently have over 60 children with FIG families, have purchased over 30 goats for families (with a bunch more waiting to go over!) and are currently fundraising for a surgery for a sweet mom so that she can walk again.
To learn more about our initiatives and see children who still need a FIG family go here: http://forsuchasthese.blogspot.com/2012/11/why-project-hopeful-awassa.html
You can also email us at
While Greg, my husband, was there this past October he met this woman:

Who is a loving a grandmother to her orphaned granddaughters.

This grandmother came to us after we met the sponsored kids and families and said that she had a word from the Lord for us. She spoke a tribal language so it took quite a bit of translating from one person to another to another to hear her message. She quoted scripture verses and was very animated and very passionate about her message.

She told us how grateful she was for us coming, all of the people involved, how we were doing the Lord’s work, and how God had sent us (all of the people working with Project HOPEFUL Awassa)
She gave Him all the praise and at one point had her face to the ground thanking and worshipping Him.

It was very humbling to be sure–
seeing how lives can be impacted with such a small amount from us.
People that months ago we didn’t know existed or even know their name.

But God knew their name.
And He was faithful to a grandmother’s prayers.
All for His glory, Charisa


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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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We. Are. Family.

Posted on 22 August 2012 by Kari Gibson

I honestly thought I would blog every single day in Africa. I promise there has been action packed mission adventure and miracles every day, but not enough free time to write. I spent the first 2 weeks with an incredible Visiting Orphans Simply Love team in Uganda and Ethiopia … the rest of our days have been full of activity in Korah, Fistula Hospital, exploring Addis Ababa’s delicious restaurants, and spending time relaxing at our wonderful guest house (EGH) The other day, one of the staff asked us if we ever sit down. Honestly, we have enjoyed every single second here loving and serving in Ethiopia. I’m sure you want a honest reflection of our time and that is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We. Love. Ethiopia.

We love the ministries who have graciously allowed us to show up every day and be happy helpers. Thank you Ethiopia Guest Home and Mission Ethiopia and Project 61 and Great Hope Ministry and and Fistula Hospital. You have welcomed our family as part of your big family. Can you imagine the joy in my heart when we drive down the streets of Korah and kids scream out my name … “Mama Kiki!!!!!!!!” They have no idea what they do to my heart! They have trusted and loved our family unconditionally. Most of the kids have stopped asking me for, “Kiki Candy?” because I ran out of yummy candy a long time ago. We have the honor of handing out hugs and kisses to the community children and most of all, spending quality time with our “adopted-from-the-heart” P61 kids. Today, I took a van full of 8 teens, Zoie, a new friend, Eric from EGH, and our driver, Dougu to the Fistula Hopsital. I had a meeting with social worker, Hannah about Senait and baby Benaiah… who were former patients at Fistula. One of the staff looked at all the boys and looked back at me with a big question mark in her eyes. I introduced them and told her they had all adopted ME… I was their mom. I loved the big smile and understanding she gave back to us.

One of the sweetest blessings the past 3 months has been the daily fellowship with our dear friend, Wynne Elder. She is an adoptive mom who has been courageous and fearless living here solo in Addis Ababa waiting fervently for their US Embassy appointment… loving and bonding with her babies. She and her hubby, Stephen are adopting 2 beautiful children and due to some paperwork issues, will be leaving us on Tuesday to return back to the states to wait a little longer for a new appointment. She has taught me soooo many amazing things like: photography tips, wonder-woman patience, wearing cool headbands, mission-fashion-layering-hair-nail-southern-talking-magic. She’s 28 and I’m 40 ish … she makes me feel so young just hanging around her. She loved our super-nanny and adopted my 2 daughters … loving us all like family. Tonight when she told me the news that she would be leaving, we both put our heads on poor Sentayehu’s shoulder and bawled. He had to hug 2 really sad friends stuck in the middle, but what a sweetheart. Wynne-Baby, you have been a JOY to our family and we will miss being with you every single day. You have not only grown as a new mommy, but you rocked as a missionary too! (Wynne took the stunning pic of Zoie & me with my best friend)

We have been in Africa for 80 days and leave for the states to take care of Mercy’s medical needs in 11 days. It will be a bittersweet journey until we can come back to our beloved Ethiopia… prayerfully, returning in February, living in Addis Ababa through summer 2013. We are VERY excited about our 2 month mission adventure in Haiti starting in November. But today, I’m holding on to the promise that God will take care of all the family we love in Korah and take care of all their needs… after we are gone. I have to entrust my loved ones to Jesus, releasing them into His protective care. They are much safer with Him than in my clinging hands. (Jesus Calling)

We. Are. Family.

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Are Short Term Mission Trips Wasteful?

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Kari Gibson

One of my favorite things (as a mom blogger) is when men speak up and want to share on my blog. I appreciated this post from my friend, Caleb David-  Machine Gun Camera here and thought this would be another cool perspective on short term mission trip. My guest, Ben Singleton, really challenged me to look deeply in the heart of what Jesus considers “wasteful.” I want you to feel like your growing and gaining greater understanding when you have the opportunity to go and share the gospel with the world’s unreached people groups- there IS a place for long or short term missionaries- mission-hearted people that want to simply love and live James 1:27 in a crazy way. I want to know your thoughts after you read this new post. This is a crazy reason to encourage your hubbys, brothers, uncles, and friends to Man Up and Go. Don’t forget to come over bright and early on March 5th to My Crazy Adoption and enter to WIN a mission trip with Tom Davis’ Children’s HopeChest ministry!!!! Mark your calendars!

I just read your post and the last couple from Tom Davis. There seemed to be a common theme so I thought I would weigh in…

First of all, I think the conversation about short-term mission trips vs. long-term holistic solutions should be started in scripture.  Matthew 25 provides crystal clear support for meeting urgent (short-term) needs.  Jesus recognizes his own by their response to hunger, thirst, nakedness, imprisonment, etc.  It is important to note the response that Christ affirms as “knowing Him” is embodied in giving a drink, a meal, a shirt, or a visit.  He doesn’t necessarily ask for holistic solutions, economic development, not even (interestingly) any preaching, teaching, or theology lessons.  What lessons can we take from this?  First, the obvious message is that if we truly indwelt by the Spirit of God, we will see people (especially “the least of these”) with love & compassion in a way that make’s their needs more important to us than our own agendas.  Second, the gospel can be clearly and effectively communicated to the lost and hurting by our attitudes and actions if we truly love God and love others as ourselves.  Third, each of us is not called to solve every problem under the sun, rather we are called to respond with love and compassion to needs that God puts in front of us.

It saddens me deeply to see people who are deeply committed to the ideas of compassion and justice diminish the value of short-term responses to deep, urgent, legitimate needs.  While we are all called to be good stewards of the abundant riches God has poured out on us, it is just as important not to lose sight of what God considers good stewardship.  For example, Judas chastised Mary for “wasting” expensive perfume anointing Jesus’ feet instead of giving it to the poor, but Christ sided with Mary’s action.  By all worldly standards, Judas was correct that it would be more prudent to sell the perfume for the benefit of the poor, but this was not God’s purpose for the perfume.  This account rings in my ears every time I hear believers criticize the “effectiveness” of Spirit-led acts of compassion.  Other examples that God’s accounting systems don’t work like the world’s are found in the Good Shepard leaving the ninety-nine just to find the one, or the poor widow whose two small coins were “more” than large bags given by rich people.

I have also heard people criticize the “wastefulness” of the thousands of dollars required for each participant to undertake a short-term mission trip; the common sentiment being that funds could be more effectively used in other ways to benefit the least of these.  Again, an empty bottle of perfume pops into my mind.  But so does the fact that almost all of us spend money to take a vacation every year, an act that is probably just as expensive and yet roundly accepted and even encouraged.  Why is a trip to Africa condemned as wasteful when a trip to the Bahamas is much needed break from our demanding lives?  The answer, I believe, is that the source of attacks on the prudence of short-term trips mission is the father of lies himself.  Let’s look at this another way.  Imagine that your best friend lives on the other side of the country and is diagnosed and hospitalized with advanced pancreatic cancer.  What would you do?  Your first response wouldn’t be to work overtime so you could send money to help with his medical bills, to make a donation to the American Cancer Society, or to start doing your own research in a desperate attempt to find a cure.  Obviously you would go see him, even if the trip cost a lot of money, required you be away from your family for a short time, take time off work, etc.  The same is true with short-term missions.  It is an entirely appropriate response to the love and compassion that Spirit gives us for orphans in Africa, for example, to go and be with them.

There are even camps of people who criticize adoption because it doesn’t solve the root causes of the orphan crisis.  Again, the enemy must surely be the source of these ideas because ADOPTION IS THE GOSPEL as clearly demonstrated in Ephesians 1.  There could have been no more holistic solution to the suffering of three of “the least of these” who now call me Dad.

On the other hand, Isaiah 58 instructs us to loose the chains of injustice, set the oppressed free, to spend ourselves on behalf of the hungry, to satisfy the needs of the oppressed, and to be repairers and restorers.  None of these directive can be accomplished in the short-term.  Accomplishing these Kingdom purposes requires time, wisdom, resources, and commitment in addition to the love and compassion required in Matthew 25.  The problem with focusing solely holistic solutions to fixing broken nations is two-fold.  First without the simple, compassionate love of Matthew 25, Christ-followers will not have the staying power to affect long-term change, and without first going, seeing, listening and living the pain of the least of these, Christ-followers will have the wisdom to understand the problems. Second, some of the least of these simply cannot wait for a long-term solution (revisiting again the wisdom of leaving the ninety-nine just to find the one).  Christ conquered BIG problems like sin and death, and he told us to solve big problems like poverty, oppression, suffering, hunger, thirst, and injustice.  I think it is worth while to note that before Jesus conjured the grave, he fed thousands, hugged lepers, ate supper with prostitutes and thieves, celebrated with friends, wept with the mourning, loved children, spoke the truth, and offered the Kingdom of God to all.  There is nothing wrong with his children doing the same smaller things before accomplishing the bigger ones.  

Ben Singleton
Adoptive Dad, Orphan Advocate and One Child Campaign Advisory Board Member

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My 2012 Craziness (What’s Coming Up?)

Posted on 04 January 2012 by Kari Gibson

I survived our 14 day Christmas road trip with my 18, 15, and 3 year old kids (that’s another post) and took advantage of the 20 hour drive home to write down a few things that are coming up in my life. My hubby and I got so excited about the new year, we both agreed that it most definitely will be a crazy adventure. It’s really only been the past 3 years that I’ve had the courage to pray for God-Adventures. Do you pray for adventure? He has shown my little family His faithfulness in 2011 and continues to grow us through pain, mistakes, and miracles.

We are still waiting for our home to sell. It’s been over 5 years since we put it on the market without a single nibble. We continue to have faith that it will sell, but reminded everyday how grateful we are to live in a beautiful home, when so many people I love throughout the world struggle just to live.

We have started the process to bring Mercy here for medical treatment. I want to ask you to commit to praying for Mercy and her mother, Mulu, who is a widow, that God will expedite the paperwork needed to process her passport and medical visa quickly. I will keep you updated here on my blog  and together let’s help Mercy have a second chance on living a healthy life. We will start our new project, OPERATION: MERCY this month. Our goal is to raise $5,000 for all Mercy’s needs in Addis Ababa and in the US.

I have 2 upcoming mission trips scheduled for 2012. It was YOU that filled up the “Simply Love” trips to Haiti (Jan) and Ethiopia/Uganda (June) in record time. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you, the mission-hearted who has committed to live dead. I’ve started the 30 day Live Dead Challenge and hope you will buy the journal and join me learning how to live dead and love the lost, unreached and unengaged people groups around the world.

I want to personally thank (you) readers of this blog, who stuck with me during our adoption to Zoie and all the new readers who have jumped in with both feet to radically live James 1:27. For those of you who are adopting, fostering, caring for orphans, going on a mission trip … we are all in this together. My crazy bloggers, we made our point clear- we are not focused on individual successes, but diligent on working together making a difference in the life of a child desperate for love. Your generosity and kindness have made it possible to crown over 7,000 princesses in Ethiopia and Uganda, as well as mission-minded projects throughout 2011! I can’t wait to see what adventures God has planned for us in 2012!

Adoption Fundraising Families: check out here- Simply Love Kit for all your fundraising needs. What makes fundraising with Simply Love products so unique and different: you pick your designs and products to fit all your fundraising needs. I truly want to eliminate your stress and offer you exceptional services to help you raise funds to adopt.

Mission-Hearted Fundraising: you can use Simply Love Kit for all your mission trip/orphan care fundraising needs, too!!

Guest Bloggers: I want to continue to share your adoption stories. Email me if you are adopting or fostering and want to encourage, challenge, inspire, support or make us laugh at any stage of the adoption process. I also want to encourage you, the reader, to leave a comment when you read their stories. It means so much for the families to read your words of support.

Mommyhood: I have major changes coming soon- my son will graduate in May, my daughter turns sweet 16, and my 4 year old keeps me striving to stay young & healthy. I want to have a family that is free to be different, free to make mistakes, free to be vulnerable, and free to be candid. I’m reading the best parenting book, Grace Based Parenting and want to share at a deeper level what I’m learning as a mom, with my own family. I want to learn from you, too. I’ll keep up posting yummy recipes and family craft ideas. Come follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Is there anything NEW you want me to write about or share here on the blog this year? Let me know in the comments.

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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 (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

Click here to buy your GIVEAWAY tee!!

1 tee = 1 entry to win a mission trip!

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Crazy Links I Love

Posted on 10 September 2011 by Kari Gibson

This is your personal shout out for your adoption or missions projects!  My Crazy Adoption Blog is dedicated to bringing the craziness straight to you- sending readers to check out your links every Saturday.

If you have a special project, fundraiser, or blog post you want to share with my crazy readers click on the “Inlinkz” at the end of this post and include your link with an eye catching title for your project.

You can also leave a comment including all your project information and permalink (example http://tinyurl.com/3t4fxbo: ) to take readers directly to your site.

Please feel free to email me during the week and personally request to share your projects on Crazy Links I Love post content. Please limit to adoption, missions, or orphan care fundraisers. I want to help you get the word out there!



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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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Crazy Links I Love [New Inlinkz]

Posted on 27 August 2011 by Kari Gibson

You Inspire Me!

If you are raising funds for adoption or orphan care … I want to help!  Click on the Inlinkz at the bottom of the post and add your information.  If you need Inlinkz 101- take a peek at the description below.  Also, feel free to leave a comment and share your story and project.  This is YOUR shout out!!

PS: If you are selling Simply Love gear … please leave your blogs and links in the comments with a description of your project.

What is your main fear about raising money for adoption or a mission trip? I want to know …

What in the world is the “Inlinkz” at the bottom of this post?  Well, I want to continue to shout out for your adoption and mission trip projects and fundraisers.  This new tool will help YOU spread the word to other bloggers that want to help make a difference in the life of an orphan.  All you need to do is leave your “permalink” with an eye catching title for your projects every Saturday- open to share for 48 hrs. What this means … you have two days to add your link with the Inlinkz tool, but readers can click on your images [here] to view for months to come.

My Crazy Adoption Blog receives over 10,000 monthly readers.  The new InLinkz tool will help bring readers to your site, but it won’t work unless you share!

What is the InLinkz link tool?
  • It is a widget that is inserted in your blog and allows you to receive link submissions from your readers
  • The links can even include a picture and a small description
  • You are in total control of when the widget is available, how it is displayed and who is notified in the event of a submission
  • You can run it as a common link up, as a giveaway, as a contest where users get to vote or even as a product display or an image menu
  • It helps you edit your links, contact the participants, check your page views, check which links get the most clicks
  • It can be displayed on your blog or site and works on wordpress.com sites and RSS feeds
  • It is more powerful and flexible than any “linky tool” you may have used
  • …and you can read more about it here

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Marriage and Adoption LIVE Talk

Posted on 03 August 2011 by Kari Gibson

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My ‘Motion Of Mercy’ Journey

Posted on 29 July 2011 by Kari Gibson

Francesca Battistelli has a beautiful song called Motion of Mercy and every time I hear it, I feel like she is singing to me.  About 10 years ago I was completely poor, weak, and bankrupt spiritually.  I was selfish and unsatisfied with my life.  I loved being a wife and mother, but there was no purpose or passion for ministry.  It was important for me to keep my life simple and comfortable- really only choosing to do things that were convenient to my needs.  I had no idea what it meant to give myself away. In all honestly, I wasted so much time, energy and money on things that have no purpose or meaning.  It makes me [sniff] right now thinking about the lost years.

I love that God pours His mercy on the most hungry and thirsty of His children.  He created a purpose for me and I just needed to open my heart and listen to His calling.  His mercies saved my life.  I had no idea what God had in store when we made the decision to adopt Zoie.  He had a plan already made and was waiting [ever so patiently] for us to set things in motion.  He knew our speed would be super slow, but He never stopped pouring mercy on our family.  Adoption changed our lives, but the next part of His plan – caring for the fatherless was the missing link in my life.  I will be forever grateful to Him for connecting me with Visiting Orphans ministry.  The ministry He has waiting for me has radically changed my life.  The words … I was empty before now I’m drawn to compassion now take on a whole new meaning.  God give me strength to give something for nothing
I wanna be a glimpse of the Kingdom that’s coming soonThat’s the motion of mercy … Changing the way and the why we are. That’s the motion of mercy … Moving my heart.  I went on my first mission trip when I was 41 years old and I pray I can dedicate the next 41+ years to serving and living for the lost and loving ‘til it hurts … No matter what the cost.

I’d really love to hear how God has started the “Motion of Mercy” in your life?  I pray we can continue to support and encourage each other in blog land to keep loving Him big!!

This is a personal video I took sitting next to the Nile River in Uganda alone- just me and God.  It’s emotional for me to listen again to my prayer and thankfulness how God changed the way and why in my life.


“Motion Of Mercy”

I was poor I was weak
I was the definition of the spiritually
Bankrupt condition
So in need of help

I was unsatisfied
Hungry and thirsty
When You rushed to my side
So unworthy
Still You gave yourself away…

That’s the motion of mercy
Changing the way and the why we are
That’s the motion of mercy
Moving my heart

Now I’m filled by a love
That calls me to action
I was empty before now I’m drawn to compassion
And to give myself away

Living for the lost
Loving ‘til it hurts
No matter what the cost
Like You loved me first
That’s the motion of mercy

God give me strength to give something for nothing
I wanna be a glimpse of the Kingdom that’s coming soon

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A Match Made In Heaven

Posted on 22 June 2011 by Kari Gibson

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, I thought the time was right to reflect on the perfect nature of our living God.  Last year for Mother’s Day, I celebrated with my husband and two wonderful boys.  Actually, my wonderful husband took care of our boisterous boys so that mama could have a few hours of peace and quiet. (Something my own mother said she wanted for nearly every occasion, but we insisted on perfume, earrings, or the like.  Now I know…all she really did want was peace and quiet!)

Last year, our Dossier was in Ethiopia and we were waiting for our referral.  Initially (before God’s nudging and us realizing the plan He had in store for our family), we had requested a little girl between 0-36 months.  On Mother’s Day, we would have been waiting approximately two months.  On Mother’s Day, our daughter was alive, most likely with her birth family and our son was waiting in the orphanage with older children, wondering who his new family would be and when they would arrive.  I remember praying hard for our children last year, children 8000 miles away whom we had never met.  I prayed that God would somehow unite us in spirit, in ways our eyes may never physically see, and give us peace and wisdom that only He could provide.  I also remember praying that our daughter was with her birth mother, being nursed, and was able to form a loving attachment.  (Because of the age range we were requesting, we felt we would be matched with a toddler, not an infant.)

How truly amazing God is and how perfectly he matches children with their forever families!

Behind the scenes, His plan was unfolding.  Someone on the other side of the earth was either sick and dying or planning to give up their daughter.  A grandmother caring for her grandson has died suddenly, leaving no one able to care for him.  In a perfect world, no one would ever have to decide whether or not to abandon their child.  In a perfect world, medication would have been accessible so that birth parents would not have died.  In a perfect world, God’s love would move people to care for one another and put others before self.  However, we live in a fallen world, a world fraught with injustice, social inequity, poverty, epidemics, and self-serving behavior.  How sad the state of our world; yet how our God continues to love us and work through the mess we create.

Last year, as we continued to wait for our referral, God opened our eyes to the countless older children waiting for homes.  While we never thought in a million years He would ask us (whose oldest child at the time was only three years of age) to adopt an older child, He insisted on waking me up every night around 3:00 a.m. until I got the message.  ”Ummm…do you know that boy you have been praying about for months?  Yes, it is you…you are his family.  Yes, you.  Why not you?  Just because you don’t know anything about parenting a pre-adolescent doesn’t mean you can’t learn.  Be willing.  Trust me.”  It was the voice of truth! The other voices I was hearing up until God quietly got His point across went something like this: “Surely you cannot do this. What do you know about older kids, anyway?  Don’t you have enough on your plate?  Three preschoolers and a non-English speaking eleven year old.  Good luck with that!  Be scared…be very, very scared.  Older kids could kill you…burn your house down, stab you in your sleep!  Come on, don’t you read the news.”  One thing I have learned over the years is anything that elicits fear as opposed to love does not come from God.  Period.  I told those voices to take a hike and the rest is history.

Well, not quite.  When I first told my husband that we, in fact, were supposed to be the family of ‘that boy we had been praying for daily’, he about fell over.  Then, to my amazement, he got up from the ground and said, “OK, let’s do it!”  Then…the rest is history.

We have now been home for three months with Sporty (11 years old) and Sassy (now 20 months old).  Let me just tell you how perfectly God matched us.  All of our children are strong-willed, independent, spunky, athletic, loud, and eager to learn.  I am amazed at how quickly (even though the days and nights have been very long, exhausting, and challenging) our family has created a ‘new normal’ and how quickly everyone has adjusted to their new roles.  How the children have formed new relationships with each sibling separately and also collectively as a new family unit.  How my husband and I have recreated our daily routines to account for the soccer practices, homework, and caring for four children.  Sporty, social yet shy, has jumped right into the mix at school, in our neighborhood, and on the soccer field.  He is neither a sociopath nor arson.  Yet, sensitive, caring, intuitive, and is full of life.  Sassy, our little princess, dons her helmet and gets right in the mix with boys.  (Like her mommy, she doesn’t realize how small she actually is!)  She mirrors my words, actions, and gestures and attempts to mother the rest of the house.  She is full of energy, curiosity, and spunk.  The three little ones are best friends and typical siblings.  While only 10% of the world’s population is left-handed, currently 50% of our household right-brained.  (I’m not sure what this means, but thought it was an interested fact.)

Oh, and just this morning Sassy did the (seemingly) strangest thing.  She pulled at my shirt and said, “Mommy, milk.”  She has never done this before but in the past week I have sensed that memories of her past life are blurring and will eventually fade. She looked at me, her mommy and blended together her old and new life.  I was not the mommy who nursed her, but in a nod from God spoken through two words from our daughter, He answered my prayer.  Sassy was indeed nursed and had formed a healthy attachment with her first mom.  God is faithful.

In adoption circles, we often speak of how perfectly God matches children and families.  While this used to be a statement conveying blind faith and trust, it is now something I have witnessed through faith and with my own eyes.  Proverbs 3:5-6 states, “Trust in the Lord God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will direct your paths.”  I only wished I could have embraced this truth so fully from the beginning, as it would have taken away so much of the stress that surrounds adoption.

Thank you, God for trusting us in our imperfect and flawed ways.  Thank you for teaching us to trust in you always and lean not on our own understanding.  Thank you for working out all of the countless details to bring together and unite our entire family.  Adoption truly is a match made in heaven.

Monica’s Blog.

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Good Doesn’t Mean Easy

Posted on 07 June 2011 by Kari Gibson

Rachel Vander Wall

“Good Doesn’t Mean Easy”

Often people ask me how things are going.  I can honestly answer, “good.”  I am pretty sure that most people translate that to mean “easy peasy.”  Truth is, this is hard work.  Relentless, non stop, and requiring more patience and energy than I have on my own.  Sometimes I feel like there is no way that I can do the same thing all over again.
Get up, shower, try to have devotions, get “interrupted,” oversee breakfast, clean up the mess, teach, go outside to make sure nobody goes in the street while they play, make lunch, clean up the mess, teach, go outside again, make supper, clean up the mess, get kids ready for bed, crash, sleep, repeat.
Sometimes I CRAVE a few minutes of QUIET, uninterrupted time.  I get up at 5:30 am everyday so that I can shower and have some time in the Word before the children get up.  Technically they aren’t allowed up until 7 am, but there’s a new kid in the house and he happens to be an early riser.  I let him sit by me and look at a book- it’s good one on one time for us, but it gets super tricky when one of the girls gets up to go potty and discovers that Teshome is up.  Then the “not fair” talking starts and I suddenly find myself surrounded by messy blonde heads and the whole idea of goes out the window.
Sometimes I feel like it’s a vacation to walk to the mailbox by myself.
Sometimes I am pretty sure I’ll go crazy if I don’t get to go somewhere without anyone else.
At those times I have to think big picture.  Stop feeling sorry for myself and think about my God and King and all He sacrificed to adopt me.  I deserve nothing more than eternal death and punishment, but by His GRACE I am free, I am a child of God, I have life, I have 6 beautiful children who need me everyday.  Yes, it’s messy and there’s lots of poop and laundry and fighting and I can usually think of a million things I’d rather do than push kids on swings for an hour.  Yes, the house is crowded and cluttered and I can barely keep up to make sure people have clean underwear, and we always run out of spoons, and there’s toothpaste all over the girls’ bathroom counter all the time and gas costs too much for me to go anywhere even if I could hire a babysitter.  BUT, do I really have any right to complain?  Not so much.  God is good and continues to supply my needs and enable me to get out of bed each morning.
Still, I don’t want people to think that in my answer of “good” I’m painting a rosy picture of the adjustment a family goes through after an adoption.  I wouldn’t want you to be inspired to adopt because of how easy it is.  It isn’t easy.  It is a blessing and it is wonderful and there are beautiful moments.  There is laughter and fun.  But there’s also the grief of a little boy who has left behind everything normal and comfortable to start a new life in a foreign land with no language skills.  There’s the challenge of five children who have to give up the level of activity and attention they are used to and sacrifice for a brother they don’t really know.  There’s the fact that we don’t feel comfortable with the idea of leaving him with any other care giver until we believe he confidently knows that we are his parents and family forever.  So, when I say good, please know that’s the short answer to an essay question. I’m just usually not sure if people are ready for the long answer.  If you are, I’d be glad to share more.  Otherwise, things are good.

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Why in the World Would You?

Posted on 04 June 2011 by Kari Gibson

(Scott- photos needed)


We are relatively new to adoption.  In fact, we’ve only just begun our home study and recently started telling friends and family about an incredible journey God has placed us on.  For a little over a year now we’ve been part of a ministry that shares the gospel with imprisoned children (some of whom are orphans) in Uganda.  It’s been a wonderful year and during that time God placed a desire on our hearts to adopt a child (maybe more) from one of the prisons.

Thankfully we’re in a community of families who have either adopted or are in the process of adopting, so we weren’t entirely shocked by some of the comments we started receiving after we announced our desire to adopt from Uganda.  Here are just a few we’ve received from well-intentioned friends and family after making our announcement:

“Why in the world would YOU want to do this?  YOU do enough already!”

“God has blessed YOU with such a beautiful family.  Why would YOU want to mess it up?”

“Why would YOU want to ‘muddy the waters’?”
“How are YOU going to afford putting 5 children through college?”

“YOU already have to pay for 4 weddings. How are YOU going to pay for another?”

“How can YOU love them all the same?”

“Where are YOU going to put all these kids?”

“YOU can’t handle the 4 YOU have.  How are YOU going to deal with MORE children?”

We apologize if it sounds a bit harsh but after listening to this all we want to say to our well-intentioned friends and family is “Get behind me, Satan!  You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”  Matt. 16:23.

Honestly, do you think we care one ounce about how we’re going to pay for a wedding 20 years from now?  Or what the sleeping arrangements might be in our house when our son or daughter arrives, or how this might impact the college fund for our children?  Please.

Nearly all of these comments are pragmatic and focused on how OUR life might be affected.  What about God?  Not once have we received a critical comment grounded in God’s Word!  Not once.

Or what about the life of the child God has called to our family?  What about his or her life? Should we allow them to continue living in prison and oppression so that our biological children have a nicer wedding or a better sorority experience at college?

Here are a few other comments (some of which we’ve actually received and some of which would be nice to hear).  Notice the difference from the statements above:

“I’m so excited.  I can’t wait to see how GOD works through all this!”

“What a beautiful picture of GOD’S grace.  May HE bless you as you walk in obedience to HIS call.”

“I’m praying for your family.”

“Praise GOD!”

“This will be a difficult journey but GOD will sustain you.”

“We want to walk alongside you in this.  Please let us know how we can help.”

“What an incredible picture of the Gospel!”

We realize there are a number of issues to consider – financial, medical, social, etc…  Unexpected things will happen and we can’t plan for all of them, nor do we feel we need to.  We know adoption will be tough.  We’re not kidding ourselves.  But God didn’t call us to a simple life of leisure and pleasure.  He calls us to a life of sacrifice where there will be suffering, persecution and reviling.  A place where we rely on Him for everything.

And we trust and know in the deepest part of our heart that God will equip us.  We have been “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Eph. 2:10.  All we have to do is walk in them. He has already paved the way.  We’re just walking down a road He’s cleared, graded, and prepared from the foundation of time.

So why in the world would we do this?  The answer is simple.  Our hearts desire to honor and serve God through adoption.  There’s no other explanation.  It may not be pragmatic or make sense, but we feel this is how God will be exalted in our life and we will not turn to the left or right no matter what strained logic this world uses or how unconventional it may seem.

To us there’s only one comment that matters:  “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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How To Plan A [Baby] Dedication?

Posted on 10 May 2011 by Kari Gibson

No one can plan a party like my SIL Erin!!  She can whip up a batch of home made cookies or peanut butter pie before I can pre-heat the oven!  She has the gift of hostess with the mostess!  This weekend, we headed to Siloam Springs, Arkansas for my niece, Annie’s dedication service and celebration!  My brother, Mike and his family drove down from Texas, so it was a mini-reunion.  We headed to the church early, so I could save three rows up in front (that was not easy).  Annie was dressed up like a princess and the anticipation in her precious face made me giddy!  Zoie kept repeating, “Is it time for kid’s class with Annie?” loud enough for the entire congregation to answer, “Not yet!”

I sat in the front row with my camera ready to roll.  Annie came out with her family and my throat closed up.  The church lights dimmed and the special slide show started with each child being dedicated in order.  When my brother’s voice came over the loudspeaker, my [already closed] throat surrendered to the tears.  I took a few photos, but couldn’t take my eyes off beautiful Annie.  My three year old niece HOME from China almost a year.  This was the angel we prayed fervently for over two years, now up in her daddy’s arms being dedicated to the Lord.

Erin and I remind each other (almost daily) how in the world did we end up with toddlers together at 40!  God had such a special plan mapped out for our family.  It’s impossible to imagine what life would be like without our two adopted daughters, Zoie and Annie.

What Is Baby (Child) Dedication?

“Christian parents who dedicate a child are making a promise to the Lord to do everything within their power to raise the child in a godly way, prayerfully until he or she can make a decision on his or her own to follow God. Parents who make this vow of commitment are instructed to raise the child in the ways of God, and not according to their own ways. Some of the responsibilities include teaching and training the child in God’s Word, demonstrating an example of godliness, disciplining according to God’s ways, and praying earnestly for the child.” (Mary Fairchild)

And she (Hannah) made a vow, saying, “O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” 1 Samuel 1:11

When God answered Hannah’s prayer by giving her a son, she remembered her vow:

“As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:26-28

Roger and I have not “formally” dedicated Zoie yet, but for a very special reason.  We are praying for the opportunity to take Zoie (soon) back to Ethiopia and have Pastor Anteneh Ayalew of Great Hope Church in Korah dedicate our daughter in her birthplace.  Zoie was born in a trash dump community and we are committed to honoring her heritage, her country, and her Korah family.

Do you have a special “dedication” story to share with me?

The Big Party-

I love my family!!


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