Home For Adoption

I’ve wanted to share this for quite a long time, but never really had the words to express the change happening in my heart. It’s not easy to share regret.  It’s humbling to share failure and loss when a life depends on letting go.  I guess I should start at the very beginning.  Ten years ago, we lived in a darling country home just perfect for our little family.  It had everything I had dreamed for my kids…. white picket fence, huge farm porch, stone fireplace, acres to run and play, as well as a spectacular view of the lake.  The price was right.  We didn’t feel stretched financially and worked hard to save for family fun.

I don’t exactly know when we got bit by the bug, but we started longing to build our “dream home” closer to town and schools.  We researched the best builder, dreamed about the perfect home for our kids, and moved forward with plans to build our future.  It was a big stretch financially, but our eyes were fixed on the prize.  A 2-story French Country with all the little trimmings.  Our builder was indeed amazing, one of a kind Italian stallion.  He and his wife put their personal stamp from top to bottom.  We fell in love with every cedar beam, knob and light fixture scattered throughout our new home.  The most ironic thing, the day before we moved in a couple drove up and offered us cash to buy our home.  We declined.

We’ve had the glorious privilege of living in our dream home for almost 9 years.  We had no idea God was going to wreck our lives several years ago and ask us to expand our family with adoption.  Let me define the word “wreck”.  God calls and wrecks everything in our path we think is important and valuable.  We did not tumble accidentally into the crazy world of adoption.  It was a strong calling and we knew He had big plans for our family.  But for certain dreams to come true, sometimes we have to give up dreams.  I admit I had all 10 fingers dug in deeply.  It was a long, painful, humbling process for me personally to give up my home 4 adoption.  I would tell the Lord I would be willing to give up just about anything… just let me keep my home.  I was wrecked!  I sobbed miserably several months ago, I was so guilty of my wood floors, brass knobs, all the trimmings… how could I have been so selfish.  I felt really crushed in spirit and so embarrassed before the Lord.  I’m grateful He changed my dreams.  Adoption has been the best decision of my life.

God changed the way we wanted to spend our money.  We made the decision to sell our home to pay for our adoptions.  I will never forget the freedom I felt when the For Sale sign went in the ground.  I was free!  I just knew that in days our home would sell and we could pay for our adoption, as well as help with other adoptions.  It was the perfect miracle plan… Home 4 Adoption!  Well, its been almost 2 1/2 years and we have not had a single nibble.  The house we gave up for adoption is now the perfect candidate for HDTV’s Unsellables.  We feel confused, tired, and stretched.  I think the only thing that brings me peace is knowing God just isn’t ready for SOLD to happen.  The one thing I learned through our crazy adoption was God’s timing is perfect.  He knows what is best for our family.  We started the process for adoption #2, but will continue to lean on Him for every penny to bring home our new daughter(s).  We will creatively fundraise with boundless energy and renewed strength.  I guess in the end, the easy way out was to sell our home.

My heart knows God would not penalize a beautiful orphan due to our financial woes.  He will work through our job changes, fears, mistakes. and economy crisis.  His power will be revealed each and every time we owe a payment to AWAA. He never leads us where he will not sustain us- The manna will come!

Please share…I would love to hear your adoption struggles and how you overcame financial fears.  Please contact me at http://www.mycrazyadoption.com

Kari Gibson, crazy mom of 3

Camping + Motorcycle Gang = Priceless Family Bonding!

In my dad’s book, Keys to Your Child’s Heart, he shares how to make family memories. An inspiring how-to for parents to create amazing moments and strong bonds as a family unit. He can take no credit for our family’s closeness. It was a gift. It was years of messing up, I think that did it. My favorite stories of “messing up” are now the hilarious topics of our family get-togethers. My brothers and I tease, embellish, and make fun (in love) of ALL the attempts dad made to bond us closer. The camping stories are my very favorite. In fact, the parenting book was written on a two month camping trip. It was weeks of torture for my brothers and I jammed in a camper zipping from state park to state park. I honestly don’t know how they did it…how did my mom keep her sanity? There were bumps and crisis and bruises and adventures and laughs at every turn. My dad insists that camping will make any family close.  The #1 bonding activity.  He would bet his camper on it.

Roger and I were so excited the first time we took our son, Michael camping. He was one years old and full of life. We wanted to start him out young and start the bonding right off the bat. I remember like it was yesterday packing the car with all the camping goods and our brand new Coleman tent. We thought of everything. We interviewed several avid campers and decided on the perfect spot for our 1st trip. The drive was long and winding. I remember feeling car sick, but my joy of camping held me over through the 4 hour drive to camping paradise.

It was beautiful. The best spot. We set up our camp site in a flash. We had a few tumbles trying to figure out how to balance out the tent, despite the slight lean…we did it!! I headed to the outdoor facilities but stopped short. The not-so-clean, super nasty toilet was crawling with bugs. Dear Lord, it was disgusting! Refusing to “go” there…I insisted Rog drive us to the nearest clean restroom. There was noooo near clean spot. Where was the gas station? Where was the park restrooms with showers? I realized quickly I would really have to rough it up! 100% nature calling in the wild outdoors.

The night was long and everything went wrong. It started raining. A motorcycle gang rolled in and set up camp right next to our tent. A college group catty corner partied all night. It was cold and wet and loud and miserable. I begged Rog to go out there and tell the college kids and motorcycle gang to BE QUIET!! We have a baby trying to sleep in here! Long story short, we packed up our brand new tent and all our camping goods in the dark and headed for home. We were mad and really sleepy. I felt like a total failure. What happened? I was a camping pro. Our family bonding depended on this camping trip to be a success.

We learned a lesson. Our un-camping trip WAS a success. We bonded. We had our memories. We could laugh at the messes. Maybe we weren’t cut out to be campers, but we were cut out to be a family. A family that loves being together. We never popped that tent up again, but we did invest years later in a pop up camper. We are now the Gibson Five and I cherish our memory-making-messes deeper than ever. I guess the moral of this story…you can bond pretty much doing anything as a family. Trouble will find you where ever you go.
Make every memory count!!

Ok- I’d really love to hear your favorite memory-making-messes or bonding craziness.

You can contact me at www.mycrazyadoption.com

Kari Gibson

Adoption 101: Who Picks Who?

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 knew adoptees, but 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, we will discuss what happens when you are called to adopt and you miss the opportunity.  This is for the doubters, the stumblers, the procrastonators, the “I’m still thinkn 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.  You can contact me at www.mycrazyadoption.com

Kari Gibson

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

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