Tag Archive | "Africa adoption shirts"

Merry Christmas Simply Love Tees

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Merry Christmas Simply Love Tees

Posted on 29 November 2010 by Kari Gibson

Merry Christmas Simply Love Blitz (1 week only!)

Today is Cyber Monday and I would love to offer tees today without shipping costs.  Store closes on 12/5 and I will re-open in March after my missions trip to Ethiopia!!  It has been my honor to share new Simply Love tees with you- I can’t wait for God to give me another dream & project!!

Buy your tees here!!

If you have a special Christmas order for 25 tees or more- email me and I can have them printed and shipped to you before Santa comes to your house!!  All 4 new designs are available for purchase in big bulk orders.  You & your friends can come together and be walking billboards for simply loving orphans!!  Discounted rate + plus shipping (my printing company will individually wrap your tees!!)

Simply Love Kit.

You can fundraise with Simply Love tees for your adoption, mission trips, etc… just email me for introduction packet.

Special Happy in the mail:

I received this email and [with permission] wanted to share it with you, too.  What a blessing!!


I just wanted to shoot you an email and tell you a story. I have been reading your blog since the beginning of our adoption journey (March 2009). It has been a blessing to me in more ways than I can count. Anyway…

We brought home twin 6 year old boys from Ethiopia in May 2010 and Ethiopia has been heavy on my heart ever since. As you know, even after you leave Africa, it keeps a piece of your heart. When you were doing your missions giveaway I wanted so badly to purchase a t-shirt and enter, but we got into quite a bit of debt during our adoption and we are trying to be very faithful to our budget. Anyway, a shirt was out of the question for me.

Today we got out our Christmas decorations and that is a very stressful time of year for me. This year it was more than usual because my new twins were so overstimulated by all of the activity and it was taking every ounce of my energy to keep them contained. I finally snuck away to my bedroom to sit and pray for a bit and my body was literally shaking inside I was having so much anxiety…

Then the doorbell rang. I thought to myself…really, God? Right now, I just need some quiet time with YOU! Little did I know He was showing up at my front door!

I answered the door to the mailman who handed me a white envelope…you guessed it, one of your shirts!!! I have NO idea who bought it for me, but someone did, and I couldn’t have been more excited! I just wanted to share with you, that God knew in advance that my shirt would be delivered on this day, at the exact time that I needed reassurance of His never failing faithfulness and love.

God has once again, worked through you (and a mystery friend), in my life.

God bless,
Ashley Redburn

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Visiting My Crazy Printing Company + tee update

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Visiting My Crazy Printing Company + tee update

Posted on 24 November 2010 by Kari Gibson


My family and friends helped roll and stuff 575 Simply Love Mission Project tees and they are heading to the PO today!!!  Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery, unless you have a super hero mailman!

I want to thank Roger, Sarah, Amelia, Michael, Jessica, Kim, Dawn, Marki, Kelly, Hannah, and Dad for helping me with all the orders and craziness!!  xoxo

If you would like to FUNdraise with Simply Love Kit – please email me for the Introduction to preview.  You can purchase the Kit for $49 and have exclusive rights to the designs.

My Crazy Store will stay OPEN till December 1st and won’t re-open until March 2011.  You can purchase any of the 4 new designs for Christmas presents- delivered before Santa makes it to your house!!

What is your favorite new simply love tee and why?

My CRAZY Printing Company rocks simply love !!

It was so much fun visiting my printing company and see firsthand how graphic tee shirts are born.  I had no idea how much team work went into printing shirts and the gifts, talents and passion it takes to create a beautiful design.  I am blessed to call Creator Designs my friends and the dedication they pour into every simply love tee!! They have helped hundreds of families fundraise for adoption or mission projects- celebrating 19 countries!

I have four new designs and wanted to head to Boliver, MO to personally pick out new ink colors.  We met my tee rock star, Jeremy [manager] and he gave us the printing tour and introduced us to the team.  The owner blessed me with a screen print of my original Simply Love artwork- what a treasure!  They have spent a busy week printing our 575 tees for the simply love missions project.  Thank you  for all your hard work, support and cheers!!

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Crazy November Adoption Family – Pattersons Rock Taiwan

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Crazy November Adoption Family – Pattersons Rock Taiwan

Posted on 05 November 2010 by Kari Gibson

Hi!!!  The Patterson family really needs our help- they are fervently raising $2000 for their adoption travel expenses to bring home Bella- click here to purchase a Simply Love adoption tee and support this family!!

Tammy’s Story:

Blog- click here

It is almost unbelievable to me that I am actually writing the story of our family to share with you all. While I am filled with such happiness and excitement that our 7th child is on her way home, there were many days that I would have told you this would never happen!! It truly has been a miraculous 4 months that only God could have brought us to and through. But let me back up a little and give you just a glimpse of how the Lord has formed and designed our family. We are a big family so this might be just a tad long winded!!

As a very young child, about 3 or 4 yrs old, I began dreaming of being a wife and mother. Now I know that this is, or at least used to be a very common dream for young girls. As far back as I can remember I told my mother that I wanted to have 7 children. I remember vividly her smiling and saying “Really, that sure is a lot of children”. Now ironically I was the youngest of 5!! As the years would come and go, my passion for children grew stronger and stronger. Most Sundays at church I could be found in the nursery, volunteering to help with the babies in any way possible. Even if they had more help than they needed, I would beg to stay just so I could hold, feed, play with and take care of those precious little babies. I actually used to get in trouble at times because my parents couldn’t find me!! :) After many years of fighting the battle, they just gave up, or at least I think they did, trying to convince me that I did not have to be in the nursery every single Sunday!!

In June 1986, I met and fell in love with my husband( I was 17, he was 18). It was love at first sight for both of us!! It only took a few months for us to realize that this was a gift and for me especially, the dream I had all of my life. I had not dated much growing up as I tried to focused on and believed that God had a plan for my life and the most important calling for me was to be a wife first, then a mom!  It also didn’t hurt, or maybe I should say it helped, that I had a wonderfully protective father as well as 2 older brothers to take care of me!! That wasn’t always something that was easy growing up with all of my friends dating constantly. While I struggled with wanting a boyfriend sometimes as I was waiting, I can see now how God had His hand of protection on me as He was designing my life, future and family.

My husband, Stokes, proposed to me in Nov. 1986,  5 months after we started dating. We were so incredibly in love and incredibly young!! It was a moment I had dreamed of my entire life and it couldn’t have been more beautiful or perfect. The only hitch in the situation was that he attended The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina and was not allowed to be married until after graduation!! He was a sophomore at that time. Another hitch was that my father, being very old fashioned yet very wise, told me that he wouldn’t allow us to marry until I completed college as well!! I was a 17 year old college freshman and at this time you still had to have a parent sign for the marriage license if you were under 21!! WOW, I really just made myself feel incredibly old!! I decided to finish my degree in elementary education as fast as possible and graduated in 3 years.  In June of 1989, 3 weeks after college graduation, we were married in a beautiful ceremony that I spent a lifetime dreaming about.
We moved to Memphis, TN where my husband began studying to become an Optometrist. While we both wanted children, I can honestly tell you that planning them wasn’t something we did. While we were not trying to get pregnant right away, 6 months later we found out our first child was on his way!! Ecstatic does not touch where I was floating during my pregnancy. I was literally as close to heaven as I thought I would ever get without actually going!! :)  Our son, Jonathan was born on my father’s birthday in September 1990. He brought so much joy to our lives. Time flew by as we were loving being a family and in April 1993 our daughter, Amanda was born. I don’t think we ever thought our lives could be blessed more than we did at that moment. There were a few scary moments during her delivery in which my blood pressure rose to stroke level and I lost consciousness. They believed I had suffered a small issue with pre eclampsia but monitored me closely and within a few weeks everything was back to normal. Life was amazing and we were so happy and blessed.
After completing Optometry school, my husband went on active duty with the Army. During this time, we found out we were pregnant once again!! While I was healthier and more active during this pregnancy, problems began to creep up very early on. I ended up spending 15 weeks on bed rest along with 5 hospital stays, multiple trips to major medical centers for 3D ultrasounds, which were not common back then. We were told that our son’s life was in danger and I was losing fluid on a daily basis. If I did not stay in bed 24 hours a day, we would lose him. My blood pressure began to rise to uncontrollable levels. Toward the end of the pregnancy the doctors and nurses began to prepare us that there could be severe developmental affects on our son if he did make it through. My water broke at 36 weeks and we immediately went into delivery. Benjamin was born on our daughter’s 4th birthday in April 1997. The doctors told us at that time it would be very dangerous for us to have anymore children. This was a devastating blow to me as my heart was breaking at the thought of not being able to have more children. I felt guilty many times for my emotions. We were so blessed to have 3 beautiful, healthy (YES, Benjamin was perfectly healthy) children and yet my heart was breaking silently. It wasn’t a hurt I felt I could share with anyone because I thought it would seem very petty and selfish with so many people we knew trying to have children and struggling to get pregnant. So I kept it to myself.
A few weeks before Benjamin was born I had a dream that while we were in the hospital delivering our son, another baby was born but the mother ran away.She was a beautiful dark haired little angel,although I never could see her face!  I asked the hospital if I could hold and love on the baby just so it could have some bonding time with someone. They allowed it and I fell in love. In my dream, we left the hospital with both babies. It was a strange dream that I chalked up to pregnancy hormones. HAHA
A few days later our daughter, who was 3 at the time. Began to tell me of her dream of a little sister? We kept telling her gently that she was having a little brother. She always responded the same…..”I prayed and Jesus is going to bring me a little sister!” This kept coming up every time we talked about the new baby. We figured once he was born, this would subside!! It did not. She was crazy about him and was a great, protective big sister but she still constantly talked about her little sister. I tried many times to explain to her that I could not have any more babies. She was always very sweet and said “Mommy I know but Jesus is still bringing me a baby sister!” Eventually her little sweet voice became somewhat concerned at my inability to understand and she would try desperately to get me to believe her. After several years her tone would sound as if she was saying ……”Dear sweet woman…..I know that you just can’t seem to grasp what I am telling you but trust me…..Jesus is bringing me a little sister” LOL!!

Well 6 years, lots of prayers, birthday/Christmas list (all stating that she wanted a little sister) later, we finally got the message! God also had been bringing many people into our lives that had adopted children. A light went on in our pitifully slow brains and we began to talk with a missionary that worked in Japan.  While Japan does not have agency adoptions like most countries, this missionary had been working with the gov’t and placing needy children with families through private adoption for over 20 years. We filled out all of the paper work and waited. Our hearts were pulled strongly to Asia and we anxiously awaited a phone call. This call never came. We waited for several years but felt that we must have not completely understood where God was leading us. My heart was a little torn because I was sure that God had placed Asia in our hearts.
During that time we also put a profile in with a small adoption agency near our home in Tennessee. We did not specify anything other than wanting to adopt a baby. In Oct. 2003, Benjamin woke us up in the middle of the night and said “Momma, she is here!” I said “who is here”, he responded “our baby!” I said “I sure hope so” and took him back to bed thinking he was dreaming. 4 days later our phone rang and the case worker said “Tammy congratulations you have a beautiful daughter” I literally crumbled to the ground in a puddle of tears. I think I must have cried for 10 minutes before I could speak!! God had so overwhelmed me and at that moment I not only realized that we had a daughter but that my children’s faith had been so pure and uninhibited!! I was in awe of how God had used them to begin to bring me back to that child like faith I had as a small girl.  In Nov. 2003, we were able to bring our precious little princess Emma home forever. She is our dark haired angel!! :)
I remember the moment her foster mom walked around the corner holding her and placing her in my arms like it was yesterday. I had no words, only tears. I bent down so that our children could see her face and at that moment I experienced my heavenly Father in a way I never had. It was as if He was physically standing behind me wrapping His arms around me and engulfing me in His love. In my heart, I felt Him say……my sweet daughter, this is exactly how I love you, never forget this. I buried my head into my beautiful baby girl and wept. It was a place of completeness and healing that I had been searching for my entire life even though I had known Jesus since I was a child. It was a moment of transformation, complete submission and trust of my heart to Him.
While each of my children have changed my life in remarkable ways and helped me to grow and stretch and learn, this was the most defining moment for me spiritually!! It was after this experience that God began to show me how He had formed my passion and love for children. It was a gift from Him. He also showed me that it was He who gave me the #7 and that I needed to trust and believe in His plans for my life just as my children trusted in the plan He had to bring their little sister home forever.
It did not take long for God to begin to open our hearts and lives to another child. In Feb. 2006 we had the honor of being present at the hospital when our son, Isaiah was born. Once again such a life changing event as we met and fell in love with his precious birth mother. There were so many things that God wanted to teach us as adoptive parents by allowing us to know and experience the difficulty of a birth mothers choice and love for her child. I can tell you that leaving the hospital a few days later with our son was one of the most bittersweet moments I think I will ever experience in my life. While we were beyond excited and thankful for this precious little baby boy, we had come to know and love his amazing mom. It felt so horrific leaving her there! I honestly would have packed her up and brought her with us if I could have!! But through this time, God challenged us to understand and concentrate also on the sacrifice and pain that went along with adoption. This opened our hearts and families even more to many lessons God had for us to see through His eyes and not our own eyes!!
A very short 10 months later while I was helping another family with adoption questions, I came across the sweetest little face!! It was a 4 yr old little angel boy in Guatemala. I was smitten immediately. At this time, I was seeing several dozen children’s faces every week because God had opened the door for us to help and give back to the adoption community.  I called my husband to come look, he immediately said “NO, I KNOW THAT TONE IN YOUR VOICE!!” hahaha. Our oldest son, Jonathan came running to my room. I turned the computer screen around and without a hesitation he said “Dad come here, this is my brother!!” My husband eventually came but had already convinced himself of the answer!! This was probably the most difficult time we had as a couple because we were at very opposite ends of the spectrum!! I knew, the kids knew, and honestly Stokes knew!! He just didn’t want to know. As a husband, protector, provider……all the things God created him to be…..he couldn’t grasp how this could possibly work out financially and even simply things like rooms in our house. It didn’t take long and God brought him to a place where he did surrender to the Lord’s plan that this was our child. We began the adoption but I can assure you we had no idea or preparation as to where God was going to ask us to go for this precious child.
Shortening this story is imperative but I do not want to leave the importance of God’s miracles and protection. We began this road to Robbie in Oct 2006. The process should have taken 7-9 months. It took 2 years 1 month, 4 trips to Guatemala, 5 attorneys, 2 foster families, and more spiritual warfare and prayers than I can even began to share. The first trip to Guatemala was the most life changing. Stokes was fearful that Robbie wouldn’t like or need him. LOL……if you could only see this little boy with his daddy!! He was a daddy’s boy from the 1st second they met. God was so protective of his little heart and had already began to place him with people that were introducing him to Jesus!! As we often say today, it was just a God Thing!!
Throughout this entire horrific situation God took care of our little man in ways we could have never dreamed of!! During the last year of our process, Guatemala shut down all adoptions and we were caught in the midst of a huge mess although we were almost completely finished. Things became dangerous in many ways because of the people associated with our agency but specifically for our son. His life was threatened by someone that was demanding thousands of dollars. Although he was legally our son, they held all of his papers hostage and said they would not let us have the papers and would not guarantee him being there when we came back if this money wasn’t exchanged!! We immediately flew to Guatemala and took custody of our son in order to protect him. We began filing papers in court and with the Embassy to get him out of the country asap. I had to stay there with him for over a month without anyone knowing we were there in order to get him home safely!! There are not words effective enough to share the emotions that I felt when the wheels of that plane lifted of the ground in Guatemala. All I know is that for every second that time, we were covered by the prayers his people who were faithfully interceding for our child. When we touched ground in Chattanooga TN at midnight that November, the airport was full of people shouting, clapping, crying, and praising God for the miraculous life that was walking down the airport to meet them!! I believe this was truly just a taste of what happens in heaven every time someone’s is saved as they come to know the Lord.
Through all of this we had to stay focused on one thing, our Heavenly Father. Although we experienced the victory in the end with our son’s adoption, we suffered a loss that I can still not accurately put into words. We also had a precious baby girl that we were adopting in Guatemala. Gabriela was 8 months old when we took her referral. Her case seemed to be moving with lightening speed and we were hopeful that we could, by some miracle, complete both cases and bring them home at the same time. Within 6 weeks of accepting her referral all of the paperwork was completed, sent to Guatemala, entered into the embassy and we were ready to head to court!! But we never got to court…….what we were not told for 3 months was that at the 6 wk mark someone broke into her foster families home, beat up her foster mother and took her away. These people were associated with her birth mom and this was something that had been going on multiple times with this family in order to scam money. I still am not able emotionally to share all of the details, they are just to difficult for me to relive. Over the next year we found our precious little angel twice only to lose her twice. We were told personally by her birth mom that she never wanted her, she only got pregnant and gave birth in order to sell her. It was more than I could handle. She was eventually arrested and the children placed in an orphanage. We fought for 8 months only to find out that the court decided to let the mother go and give her back all 3 children. Adoptions had been completely stopped at this time and there was nothing left to do. This is not the entire story but it is all I can muster up the emotions to share. I was broken in a way that I still cant put into words. I questioned everything I knew to be good, right and honestly from God? But I had to push all of that aside because we had a little boy to protect and get home.
After Robbie came home, I lived in denial for over a year. It wasn’t until around Jan 2010 that I began to feel like myself again and be able to truly rest in the love, joy, and grace that God had shown us. Just as I was beginning to truly feel somewhat normal, my husband and I began to find completeness in where we were as a family. I was asked to speak at a mother daughter banquet for Mother’s Day. The opportunity to share about our family is something that God has been opening in our lives over the past few years.  It is always such a blessing to us to go share the miracles that God has so graciously given us.  I gave my testimony and told the stories of how God brought each of the children home and changed our lives completely. Afterwards I received many questions about the fact that I felt we had 7 children. Most ended up with “will you adopt again?” My immediate answer was always “No we are finished!”  I have a precious lady in my life. She is one of my spiritual momma’s, she is known as Grandma Sandy in our home. She and her husband are also adoptive parents and God knitted our hearts together many years ago before we began any of our adoption journeys!! They are our adoptive grandparents!
Sandy was with me at this banquet. She would come behind me when those questions were asked and say “HER DAUGHTER IS IN ASIA” Several times I looked at her and said “SHHHH….we are done”. It became somewhat of a comical thing at this particular banquet. But I was sure, more than every before that we were not adopting again!! This is the place in this post that I will share with you one bit of wisdom (it maybe a simple one but it is important) NEVER SAY NEVER TO GOD!!!!!!!!!!
2 weeks later I received an email from a friend at an agency near our home. I am on their prayer/support list so nothing unusual about the email except that the face that popped up on the screen was “MY DAUGHTER IN ASIA”!! While I knew this immediately, I slammed the computer screen down and began to cry uncontrollably. The strange thing was I had no idea why I was crying? All I could do was literally weep and say “NO GOD PLEASE DON’T ASK ME TO DO THIS AGAIN”  Several hours later after  wrestling with God but still knowing exactly what He was showing me. I basically shook my fist at Him and said I can fix this….I will send this to Stokes and he will say NO immediately. Then it will all be over and done with!!
You guessed it……that did not happen. He called me minutes later and said “Oh my goodness Tammy, that is my daughter” I SCREAMED at him “NNNNNNNOOOOOOOO you can’t do this to me” Startled and confused he wasn’t sure what to say except, “well ok why don’t we talk about his when I get home?”
For several weeks I was angrier than I have ever been in my entire life. Angry at everyone, everything that I could think of. Eventually God allowed me to work through this anger and then he showed me that I had shoved  all of my grief of losing Gabriela so deeply inside of my heart that it was affecting everything He had created me to be and to do.  At the time we lost her I had to push it aside because we had to focus on getting our son home safely but I never allowed myself anytime to grieve or heal after coming home.  God lovingly took me to places that I needed to go in order to grieve and to desire His healing for that loss. It is still an ongoing process but part of that healing has been allowing myself to open my heart to another precious little angel. God once again spoke to my heart and said “Don’t miss what I have for you, have faith in Me and let me complete the plans I have for your life”!
Isabella Faith “Bella” is our 4 year old angel waiting to come home from Taiwan.  For almost 2 months I could not look at her picture. I couldn’t risk wrapping my heart around her and then losing her.  I set boundaries with the agency, with my husband, with God…..not that any of them really mattered they just made me feel better I guess??? But God still loved me enough to allow me to work through each step of this and also loved me enough to show off a little. Every time line that the agency/country gave us, HE busted wide open. What was suppose to take 7-8 months, took 2 months. Now our daughters papers are in court awaiting the judges signature. This is not an easy place for me right now. This week has been particularly difficult because of the fear I still struggle with after our experience in court in Guatemala. Her court time could take 4-7 months this is much longer than we initially thought it would take. That is also a tough one for me to walk through. But I am just trying to take one step at a time, still walking through a healing process and yet having God asking me if I am going to completely trust Him, even if it means losing again!!
He so graciously has taken me through and answered all of the questions I have had about why one child and not the other? What about the one left behind? What are we suppose to do for her? He has allowed me to scream at Him, cry to Him, run into His arms for comfort and protection.
As it has been with each of our adoptions, He has allowed me to learn so much about His heart, His love, and most of all what His desires/purpose are for us? He keeps reminding me that my passion/love is a gift from Him and that I am still His child. All I need to do is to keep trusting, believing and having faith that His will and plans for my life are perfect but I have to be willing to walk the roads, no matter how difficult or joyful they may be.
In the process of all of this, I am the one who continues to be blessed by each amazing, precious child that God has promised to bring into our lives. People asked us all the time, how do you do this? How can you support them? How will you pay for college? Don’t you need a bigger house? Why would you want that many kids?
I can’t always answer others questions to their satisfaction but I try to make sure that they at least have a glimpse, a taste of how we strive to live our life and that is through complete and utter faith!! Truly being able to take a step, to say yes Lord before we even know what the question is He is asking! It certainly is not always easy, actually sometimes just the opposite, but it is a choice.  Let me assure you, it is not usually the popular choice but it is the right one for our family. We wouldn’t take a thing for the life changing experiences that God has given us through adoption. It truly has made us closer to Him and to each other. It has allowed us just a glimpse of who He is, how majestic He is, and how He loves us so much that He would die for us. I pray each of you are blessed to experience and know Him as deeply as possible.
In Christ,
Tammy Patterson

Blog- click here

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I Double Dog Dare You To Dream!!

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I Double Dog Dare You To Dream!!

Posted on 28 October 2010 by Kari Gibson

Let’s end this crazy party with a bang, pop, toot, and blast!!

8:30am tee update- 165 tees!!!!!!!!!  I’m speechless!!

I double dog dare you to dream big today and purchase TWO tee shirts to double your chances winning the Missions Trip Project!!  This is your LAST DAY to enter the contest – the Simply Love Store closes tonight at midnight!  I don’t think I will be sleeping tonight- too giddy!!

I can’t wait to see WHO God has picked to join us on a 10 day life changing adventure to Ethiopia to serve & visit orphans!!

Thank you for your love, support, cheers, excitement, shopping and prayers!!!  I love you!!

Missions Trip Project ENDS tonight- click here to purchase your tees!

My Crazy Adoption Store Closes at midnight!!

Comments (6)

Q- When will I receive my Simply Love Tees?

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Q- When will I receive my Simply Love Tees?

Posted on 27 October 2010 by Kari Gibson

I’m sooo glad you asked!!


This was a special 3 week missions project and to save every penny, I will order 575 tees AFTER the blitz is over.  The project ends on 10/28, so it will take me a few days to organize the BIG ORDER with my amazing printing company.  On November 2nd, I will make the official bulk order for ALL the tee shirts for the Missions Trip Project!!  Allow 4-6 weeks.

I will hand roll, stuff, and package them for you with love.  I’m just ONE crazy blogger and will get all packages in the mail as soon as I can!!   Thank you so much for your understanding and patience.  Together we made mission dreams come true!!

Special Note: All tees have been ordered!!!!  Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.  You will not receive notification from me when your tee has been mailed.

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#3 Mini Giveaway – 1 Tee + 1 Free Missions Entry

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#3 Mini Giveaway – 1 Tee + 1 Free Missions Entry

Posted on 25 October 2010 by Kari Gibson

#3 Mini Giveaway is officially over!!

The Mini Giveaway WINNER is …. True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 95 Result: #16 #16 chrissynoelle : October 25, 2010 at 9:23 AM…

Congrats Chrissy!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Email me and let me know your tee pick and size!!!

I dared to dream the Missions Trip Giveaway … I dared you to dream and join me in Ethiopia.  Together, we made dreams come true!!  I’m giving YOU the chance to go to Ethiopia and love orphans.

This is the last ONE DAY ONLY mini giveaway!!  I’m giving away 1 new tee shirt (you pick) and 1 Free Missions Trip entry.  This is huge… someone could win a trip to Ethiopia just participating in the mini giveaway fun today!!!  Please leave only 1 comment.

Here’s what you need to do to enter: (you pick 2)

No purchase necessary!!

1.  Add my Crazy Adoption Blog on your permanent blog roll.  https://mycrazyadoption.org/

2.  Shout out on FB, Twitter, or an email blast and share the Missions Trip Project to your friends.

3.  Write a blog post about the Missions Trip Projet and inspire your readers to enter the contest.  You can use any posts or pics from my blog.

4.  Share with me why you want to go on the missions trip to Ethiopia.

5.  Add my My Crazy Adoption button on your blog or website.

Now, share with me in the comments how you entered to play the Mini Giveaway today.  I will randomly pick a winner from the comments on this post and announce here tonight at 9PM (CT)  Get ready, get set, goooooo!!  Please leave only 1 comment.

Q- Can I play the mini?

Yes, anyone can play the mini today.  Pick 2 of the choices and enter a comment on this post.

Q- What do I win?

You win 1 new tee shirt and 1 FREE entry to win the grand prize mission trip!  If you are not interested in joining me to Ethiopia and only want the tee shirt- just let me know.  You can give away your entry to someone you love.

Thanks for all your cheers, support and prayers for the missions project!!  You can continue purchasing ANY Simply Love tee shirts at My Crazy Store.

Comments (104)

#2 Mini Giveaway – 1 Tee + 1 Free Entry!

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#2 Mini Giveaway – 1 Tee + 1 Free Entry!

Posted on 19 October 2010 by Kari Gibson

Hello Crazy Readers, if you are new to my crazy adoption blog, I want to welcome you!!  In case you’re wondering if you heard the rumors correctly – YES YES YES I’m giving away 2 trips to Ethiopia!!  This has never happened before in blog land.

This is #2 ONE DAY ONLY mini giveaway!!  I’m giving away 1 new tee shirt (you pick) + 1 Free Missions Trip entry.  This is huge… someone could win a trip to Ethiopia just participating in the mini giveaway fun today!!!

Here’s what you need to do to enter: (you pick 2)

No purchase necessary!!

1.  Add My Crazy Adoption blog on your permanent blog roll.  https://mycrazyadoption.org/

2.  Shout out on FB, Twitter, or an email blast and share the Missions Trip Giveaway to your friends!

3.  Add one of my adorable Giveaway buttons on your blog or website during the Missions Blitz- ends 10/28/10.

4.  Write a blog post about the Missions Trip Giveaway and inspire your readers to enter the contest!!  You can use any post or pic on my blog.

5.  Share with me why you want to go on the missions trip to Ethiopia.

Now, leave me a comment right here on the blog post (no emails) on how you entered the Mini Giveaway today.  I will randomly select a winner from the blog comments.   Please leave only 1 comment.

Q- Who can enter the mini giveaway?

Everybody- short, tall, fluffy, thin, dorks or gifted (ha) If you have already purchased a tee and entered the BIG giveaway, you can still win the mini!  I will randomly pick a winner Random.org and post here tonight at 9PM (CT)  Get ready, get set, goooooo!!

Q- What do I win?

You win 1 new simply love tee shirt and 1 FREE entry to win the grand prize.  If you are not interested in the mission trip prize, you can still enter to win the tee shirt.  Just let me know!

Thanks for all your cheers, support and prayers for the missions project!!

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My Big Crazy Missions Dream

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My Big Crazy Missions Dream

Posted on 15 October 2010 by Kari Gibson

I dreamed a big dream.

I was in Florida in August with my two awesome girls spending time with them after my mission trip to Uganda and Ethiopia.  I fell asleep on the couch with Lion King blasting in the background and had a sweet, wild, crazy dream. I woke up literally smiling saying, “OK, Lord… I will do this if if if you help me!!” I dreamed vividly of a CRAZY project on my blog from start to finish. I didn’t actually see the “winner’s” face, but the prize was something so incredible and dear to my heart!! I dreamed hundreds of bloggers participated and the anticipation of the drawing was massive in blog land. Everyone wanted to be a part of a movement to simply love.

I will be completely honest with you. I have resisted for weeks launching this project on my blog due to fear of failure, rejection, craziness, and loss.  I attended a three day mega women’s conference “Dare To Dream” at my church this weekend and celebrated with over 3,000 women why we need to dream big God dreams.  God wants to launch us in the darkness and go and share His Love to the lost.  I was starting to feel VERY inspired to jump in faith and follow (literally) my dream.

I drove home the first night of the conference and was singing, praying out loud, thanking the Lord for the inspiring night. I was praying for you!!!!!!!! I was praying for the blog giveaway and asking for God’s special blessings on the project! All of a sudden, I noticed flashing lights behind me. I pulled over and a state trooper came around to my side of the car with a blinding flashlight pointed in my face.  I was really scared… what did I do?? He calmly asked me if I had been drinking. (my mouth dropped open) He told me that he noticed my car weaving in the lane.  I looked at him bewildered and said, “Noooo Sir, I have been partying with 3,000 women at my church, but definitely NO drinking!! I did have 2 cupcakes, though.”  I smiled and he laughed, reminding me to make it home safely.  As I started driving home, straighter this time, that’s when it hit me… God would equip me with everything I needed for my blog project.  Why in the world was I afraid?  The next day, God sent me a “prayer mama” to support my dream.  She gave me a beautiful necklace with the Chinese symbol DREAM on it and committed praying for me and the project. During the conference lunch break, I sat with some of my close friends and cautiously shared my crazy dream with them.  They went crazy!!  Not only were they excited to be a part of my dream, but they wanted to help spread the word.  They have been sworn to secrecy until the big day.  I’m going to trust in the Lord with all my heart and launch the BIGGEST PARTY EVER!!!

Please stop by here tomorrow at My Crazy Adoption blog and lets get this party started!!

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14 MSG)

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{Mini Giveaway} 1 Tee + 1 Free Mission Trip Entry

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{Mini Giveaway} 1 Tee + 1 Free Mission Trip Entry

Posted on 14 October 2010 by Kari Gibson

Hello crazy bloggers, if you are new to My Crazy Adoption blog, I want to welcome you!  In case you’re wondering if you heard the rumors correctly – YES YES YES I’m giving away a mission trip with Visiting Orphans Ministry. Well, in honor of my son’s 18th birthday TODAY I’m throwing a mini-giveaway party!

This is a 2-day Mini Giveaway!! I want to give away 1 Simply Love tee shirt (you pick) and 1 Free Mission Trip entry.  This is huge… someone could WIN a mission trip just participating in the mini giveaway fun!!!  Even if you have already purchased a Simply Love/Man Up tee, you can still play the mini!!  Please limit to 1 comment only!!

Here’s what you need to do to enter the mini: (you pick 2)

1.  Add MY CRAZY ADOPTION button on your blog located on the right side column. Just copy & past code.

2.  Shout out on FB, Twitter, or an email blast and share the Mission Trip Giveaway to your friends!

3.  Write a blog post about the Mission Trip Giveaway craziness and inspire your readers to enter the contest!! (you can use any of my posts & pics)

4.  Share with me why you want to win this mission trip giveaway.

Now, leave in the comments how you entered to play the Mini Giveaway today.  I will randomly pick a winner and update post [here] on Monday, November 14th. Get ready, get set, goooooo!! Please limit to only 1 comment.

What do I win?

You win 1 mission trip giveaway tee shirt and 1 FREE entry!

You can purchase mission trip tees here.

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See These Beautiful Faces

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See These Beautiful Faces

Posted on 10 October 2010 by Kari Gibson

If you are a new visitor on my blog… welcome to My Crazy Adoption!!

You may have dreamed of going on a missions trip, but raising money, resources, time, and maybe a little fear have kept you from stepping out in faith and living the God dream.  This is YOUR opportunity to travel to Africa and make a difference in the life of an orphan.  I’m jumping for joy for you… I don’t want you to miss out on this incredible opportunity.  You can travel to Ethiopia and visit these beautiful faces … watch the video and pray about joining us on a life-changing adventure!!  My Crazy Adoption Blog is giving away 1 Missions Trip to Ethiopia, but realllly wants to give 2 trips!!

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Simply Love Challenge – All New Stuff!!

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Simply Love Challenge – All New Stuff!!

Posted on 01 October 2010 by Kari Gibson

Simply Love Challenge

If you are fundraising … I want to dare you to take the Simply Love Challenge- you pick the shirt design, ink color, shirt color and any article of clothing or products you want to print customizing Simply Love for your projects!!!  The big challenge- come up with the most creative products to print Simply Love on to spread the word about adoption and orphan care.  My amazing printing company is ready for the challenge, too!!  Pick Your Country Kit has helped families raise thousands of dollars to make adoption dreams come true.

I have prayed for the past year for a way to help families FUNdraise for their own adoptions, as well as mission trips and special projects that are geared to love orphans.  Simply Love is growing strong and showing up all around the world.  You already know I’m a big fan of tee shirts, so I came up with the idea to share my 4 designs and created 18 new countries. Email me if you have any questions.

“Pick Your Country” Kit is designed exclusively to help families adopting domestic to international or anyone advocating for orphans. Download “Pick Your Country” Adoption Kit Introduction. Everything is set up and ready to go.  You can start fundraising with Simply Love today!

Ginger took the crazy Simply Love Challenge today and picked sweatshirts, sweatpants, and baseball hats to print the Simply Love logo.  She is fundraising for three family members to travel to Uganda with Visiting Orphans in June!!!  She picked out-of-the-box products and I’m so excited to cheer her on as she raises funds for missions!!

My crazy adoption is launching new hats for men and women this week, as well as a variety of products from bags to outdoor gear that celebrate Simply Love.  You pick and take the challenge.  Click on the Simply Love “Pick Your Country” Kit button on the right side of the blog to start your FUNdraising adventure.  The rest is up to you!!

Bloggy friends, I’d love to hear your ideas on new products for Simply Love.  Please share in the comments.


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3 Crazy Reasons To Visit Orphans!!

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3 Crazy Reasons To Visit Orphans!!

Posted on 28 September 2010 by Kari Gibson

BIG CRAZY NEWS- We have limited spots left for my February trip to Ethiopia & June trip to Uganda... don’t miss out!!  Bloggy friends, if you are feeling a passion about joining me on a trip, please continue to pray and fill out the application when the time is right!!! Spots are filling up fast!!

Please share with me in the comments your personal journey that God is leading you on.

My personal journey to missions-

I want to challenge you to come with me on the upcoming mission trips to Africa!  I waited 42 years before I went on my first missions trip.  I had yearned, and dreamed, and prayed for years, but never had the courage to really go!  I LOVE kids and love traveling… why did it take me so long to go on a missions trip.  I hate to admit this, but I was intimidated and it was never convenient for me to go.  I’m a stay at home mom and the timing just never seemed right for me.
My hubby was supportive, but not in a “do it now” kind of way.  I always had an excuse.  The money was usually my down fall.  I had no idea you could fundraise for a mission trip.  I assumed I needed to do it all on my own.  I felt responsible to raise the money or not go.  Why would anyone want to help me go on a “vacation.”  I never dreamed my family and friends would rally together and help me make my mission trip dreams come true.  Last summer, I was asked to go to Haiti with my church family.  I begged asked Roger to let me go.  This was it… I was determined to make it work.  Zoie was only 1 years old and my kids were starting school several days after the trip started.  I could feel the guilt seeping up in my heart, but I moved forward.  I knew I needed to go, but I had to raise $1,500 in two weeks.  I prayed and prayed that God would give me a creative idea.  I pushed my old fears down and moved forward with a plan.
Family and friends embraced my project and I raised $2,200 for Haiti!  I was able to purchase donations with the overflow and hand deliver the items personally.  It was a lot of work organizing the fundraiser, but once things got rolling, it was so much fun!  Please don’t make the same excuses I made for so many years…. pray, move forward and allow God to do the rest.  If the door is slammed shut in your face, well that’s OK.  Stand in line again, and move forward in a different direction.  I challenge you to call or email Visiting Orphans today and request an application. If your heart is stirring, don’t wait – start the ball rolling, especially if you feel excitement and joy and yearning when you read our itinerary.
Here’s 3 Crazy Reasons why you should come with me to Ethiopia & Uganda:
  1. Orphans desperately need you to come and simply love them- BASICALLY Haiti is happening to children all over this world….the media is just not covering it.  They lose their parents suddenly to HIV, malaria, malnutrition, starvation and other horrific ends to a life.  Or, they are traumatized as they are just abandoned and left with a feeling of worthlessness, feeling forgotten and not knowing the consistent love of a parent or anyone else.  Some orphans never even get to see outside of the building of their orphanage.  Orphans in this world, unless visited by God’s people, will not know their Savior as their Abba Daddy.  He is their Father and He is the only one who in our absence can give them the consistent love they were created to receive.  If we don’t go…who will go for us?  (thank you Amanda)
  2. Lose some weight with me- Are you loaded down with the weight of mommyhood?  The busyness of your life as a mom- the comfortable, conveniences of structure, playdates, Target runs, carpools, sports events… well, mission trips do a great job at shaking things up and forcing you to let go and serve out of your comfort zone.  Traveling to a foreign country can be really scary, but being immersed in a different culture allows you to see and smell and touch and taste and hear things that will literally change your life.  Leave your busyness at home (it will be there when you return) and open your hearts wide to crazy love orphans.
  3. Be part of a God-Inspired Adventure- this means doing something radical, out of the normal, daily routine we get stuck in as moms.  You get to see God work in others lives and in your own life on a mission trip.  Plan on something going really crazy- this is all part of the adventure.  I encourage you to super-size your joy and patience and understanding and compassion and affection on a mission trip.  If you have set expectations, I guarantee you will be turned upside down.  Leave your expectations at home and allow God to guide your steps through Uganda and Ethiopia.

Here’s what one mom shared- “as an adopting Mom I first thought, I’m already doing my part, I’m adopting an orphan! While talking to my husband, I couldn’t stop crying because I was thinking about our baby. I kept asking, what if an American Mom was able to be in the orphanages everyday? What if we knew there were always volunteers through Visiting Orphans there to hold, feed and love our baby E? I know that my 14 days in Uganda and Ethiopia isn’t going to change the world BUT if Mom’s across our country would go and be present 365 days a year, it would change the lives of all the orphaned children.
July 19th isn’t really a “good time” for me to go on a Mission Trip. Who knows where we will be in the adoption, if we will have the money, or if I can emotionally handle it.  However, we pray, someone is there right now, regardless of the “right time” to hold our baby.” (Ashlie, mom to be)

If you are on the fence, trying to make every mommy detail perfect before you make the decision to go, I challenge you to jump down and pray forward.  Most of my readers are crazy moms, life will never be perfect for us to go on a mission trip, but I promise you that this trip will change your life.  Your family will benefit from you doing something soooo radical… you’ll be a crazier mom!

UPDATE- If you are sending out donation letters or asking for donations, please have all donations be written: Paid to the order of “Visiting Orphans”. In the memo section you may have the sponsor put your name. You will then turn in the these checks and Visiting Orphans will send the tax write off to the individual at the end of the year. If you have any questions please email me.  Also, I have created two new trip blogs full with missions information.
My Crazy Africa Trip Blogs:
More Crazy Talk…

Sisters, I want to know what you’re thinking?  Does anyone else have a story to encourage each other to go on a mission trip… please share in comments.  Next week, I’ll share some crazy ideas to help you fundraise for a mission trip.


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Can I Afford Missions?

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Can I Afford Missions?

Posted on 27 September 2010 by Kari Gibson

Yes Yes Yes!!

Yes, you can afford missions!!  The number one excuse reason I hear from people considering NOT going on a missions trip is the cost.  Mission trips cost money.  If you travel overseas, a trip can cost up to $3,400.  I understand that the amount makes most of us gulp and cringe, but I promise you God will provide the means for you to afford missions.  I want to share 3 crazy stories from people that desired to go on a missions trip and trusted God 100% to provide the money.

Cassie is a college student in my town and I recently had the opportunity to talk to her class about visiting orphans.  I received an email from her the next day and was thrilled to watch the incredible journey God started in her heart.

Cassie’s story:

Hey there,
I was so inspired by your talk today in minority groups.  Missions has been on my heart for a while now, but every time I want to go the money stands in my way. I am so excited for this Uganda trip, I have wanted to go there since I found out about “Invisible Children” a couple years ago, but I have never had the chance. This trip would be an amazing trip to go on and I feel like God has really put you in my life for a reason and today you spoke to a lot of my passions. I love children and I feel like every child deserves to feel loved and to go and  visit an orphanage would be amazing. I really hope you meant it when you said you would help me with fund-raising because I already filled out the application to the Uganda trip. I still have to send in my deposit and my references, but I truly feel like this a God thing and God directed you in my life for this trip. Thanks so much for coming and talking to our class, it was truly inspiring to hear your stories. I hope this all made sense because i am so excited I just wanted to put it all out there, so sorry if some of it is jumbled, ha. I am so pumped about this opportunity, you have no idea! Love, Cassie

Look what God did 2 weeks later in Cassie’s life:

Since I heard about Invisible Children I have desired to go to Uganda, Africa. When I heard about the upcoming trip to Uganda with Visiting Orphans; I felt like God was telling me this is my chance! I was hesitant to sign up because of the money. I wasn’t even sure how I was going to come up with the money for the application process, which was $200.

My birthday was coming up and I knew that I would get some money from that. The money I received from my birthday I was going to use for the application process. I figured that I would receive about $100, but to my surprise God provided for the whole fee. When I opened one of my cards, I found the exact amount I needed for the application fee. This to me was a true sign of God’s sovereignity!  Cassie is going with me to Uganda 2011!!!!!!!!!

Joe and Carrie contacted me about traveling in July 2010 on the 14 day missions trip to Ethiopia and Uganda with Visiting Orphans.  During that time, Joe lost his job and they both felt financially it was not wise or responsible to raise $6,800 for both of them to travel.  Instead of giving up, they started praying and their story will inspire you… YES, YOU CAN AFFORD MISSIONS!!

I met Carrie on my blog.  She had nooo idea she was emailing me Part 1 of her adventure (get ready to be crazy inspired:)

Carrie’s Story- February 25, 2010
Where to start? First, let me say my husband and I would like to be a part of the trip to Africa in July. I have felt the Spirit move me toward serving God’s children in Africa get stronger and stronger and the fire within me grow stronger, and I am thrilled that my husband has agreed to share in the journey with me.  It will be a true faith trip for us, though- as God is leading us into uncharted territory even before we ever cross into a new land. As of last week, both my husband and I are without employment. He was let go from a contracting position with the company he worked for for 2 years, and I walked away from my job to put an end to a situation that was getting progressively worse. We have paid 2 months rent on the house and have a pantry and freezer full of food- and not much else in the way of provisions. We have essentially freaked his family ( non- believers) out because we are not panicking about our circumstances. WE KNOW God is in control. We KNOW He will not forsake us. I cannot even imagine how they will react when they hear that we are going to try to raise nearly $8000 to leave our 3 children behind and serve people who have far less than even us.
I share this with you not to receive kudos, but because I covet your prayers. Prayers for strength and courage to withstand the upcoming fury of doubters and naysayers and courage to be brave and be strong in my saving knowledge that I ONLY need Christ- even when things don’t go how I think they are supposed to. This is so far removed from anything either of us has EVER considered actually doing, but nothing has ever seemed so right either.
I read your post today about fundraising- literally right after talking to my hubby about going on a trip. I knew this is the one we are supposed to go on. I guess I just don’t know how to take that first step out of the boat. Honestly, I can’t even send in the applications since we will have to raise the $400 for that first. I hesitate to ask you to “hold us 2 spots”- if it is in His plan- we will be there. God bless you for what you are doing and sharing- it has blessed me, and also my family.
Sincerely, Carrie

Joe’s testimonials:


Traveling to Uganda allowed me to see another side of beauty and love that I never expected to see. God used us to minister and God used the ones we visited to minister back to us.  When we arrived in Uganda, we arrived in another world, but when we left, we left a new family behind who I long to be reunited with again some day soon.
Addis Ababa is a bustling, busy, exciting city and maybe even a little intimidating. Getting to know the people there was an amazing opportunity.  The people we sent time with changed my perceptions of what the depth of love and joy in the Lord can look like, despite poverty and sometimes squalor conditions. Ethiopia has a beauty that is unique in the world.

Joe & Carrie joined Visiting Orphans in Uganda & Ethiopia 2010 Mission Trip

Joe & Carrie are leading a trip with Visiting Orphans to Uganda in July 2011- learn more here.

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New Man Up T’s For Your Man!

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New Man Up T’s For Your Man!

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Kari Gibson

I’m so excited to launch my NEW Simply Love Man Up shirts!!!  The shirts are crazy army inspired with new, grungy font and will help men advocate for orphans all over the world!!  I have received so many photos of men sporting their Africa Man Up shirts.  Now I have a shirt that every man can wear as a bold statement for protecting and loving the fatherless, regardless of the country.  This design is exclusive to my crazy adoption blog, so join me on my two week MAN UP BLITZ and help spread the word.  100% of proceeds will go toward orphan care and donations for my upcoming mission trips with Visiting Orphans.

Please email me a photo of your man wearing his Simply Love Man Up shirt OR ANY photo of him on a mission trip, adoption gotcha day, or with his family, for a special video project I’m creating. [Man Up Project] in subject line.

The new Man Up are printed on Army heathered grey *ultra soft* V neck shirts.

The first 25 people who order a new man up shirt, will get FREE SHIPPING.  Don’t miss out!!

Purchase your shirts today at the Simply Love Store.

Pastor Rebel in Uganda with his Man Up Africa!!

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