Thursday, June 30, 2011

Royal Daughters

I had planned on posting something totally different...but that's for another day.

Because today,  these girls are weighing heavy on my heart.


I don't know why these three.


It doesn't matter.


Can you see these faces in an institution?

Absolutely not.

My heart breaks.  I can't stand it.

When I first started following Reece's Rainbow blogs, I didn't understand how people could be so grieved about a child they never met.

Now I get it.  

I've prayed for these girls.  I've cried over them.  They're a part of me in some small way.

One of them has already been transferred.

I just don't understand it.  Who is this girls mommy?

Who is supposed to be taking care of her?  And why is she not here?  This girl needs her mama.  Unfortunately, it can't be me.  Believe me, I've asked.  It's not me.  I want it to be me, some days.

I've always wanted to put this quote in a little girls room.  It would be so perfect on a wall, surrounded by pink tutu's and baby dolls.  Right now it's on my desktop at home....


....lest I ever forget that these girls are princesses.  No - queens.  Royal daughters of the Most High God. Lest I ever, EVER forget that they have a story to be written.  A 'once upon a time' of a lifetime, just waiting in the wings.

Oh these mommies.  And call the daddies.  Call them up & out into the beautiful reality that is special needs adoption.  Lord...move - work - speak - and chase down these girls' mommas.  No room for Satan to speak lies - only room for you, Lord.

Because every little girl needs her mommy to kiss her, and her daddy to be wrapped around her finger.

Oh how I'd love to see these girls hug their mommies.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice?   No, no, no.  These girls are made of courage, strength, and determination....where is their mommy?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Water = Life, apparently....

So this is what happens when the flowers get watered every night.......

My flowers have never looked like this.  Ever.  Perhaps because I've never taken the time to water them.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Due to the lack of adoption updates (because of Carter's country being temporarily closed)...prepare yourself for lots of 'creative' (not-worth-reading...!?) blog posts....

Monday, June 27, 2011

Big Baby Blues

Well, well, well...our boy sure gets his photo taken a lot.  This is good - because Lord knows that once he gets home, my big old lens will be aimed at him all day long...!!

I got a phone call last night from a friend, who said she found some photos of Carter.  When I asked where, she said it was on a Eastern European website.  In Russian.  Yea.  She's crazy.

I found the same website a week or two ago...and after about 4 seconds of trying to navigate my way through the cyrillic alphabet, I totally gave up.  "What are the odds that I'll find photos of Carter, anyway?!".

Well...this friend did not give up.  Like I said, she's crazy.

She found 3 photos of Carter - and yes, it's definately Carter.  It's his hair that gives him away.

We think these photos were taken sometime between January & March of this year.

No, that's not a goat in the background...
Yes, he's playing with a doll...
No, Jake's not mad...he thinks it's stinkin' cute...

The tights are common for boys to wear in his culture.
Actually - I'm shocked that we don't have a single photo of him wearing pink.
Yes - I said pink.
In the orphanages, boys wear girl clothes, girls wear boy clothes -
as long as they're dressed, they're good to go.

Notice the drool mark on his sweatshirt?!
I think almost every photo we have of him has drool - on his face or his shirt.
Love it :)

One Thing I Know For Sure:  Love those big baby blues :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Big Catch Up :)

If you've been following for a while, you'll maybe remember this post about Carter's birthday.  Well...that was weeks ago - but in this house, his birthday is still being celebrated.  He even got a gift in the mail yesterday :)  Remember this story?  If not - you must read it.  I still get emotional every time I click back to it.

Now that you're caught up - I'll get back to the birthday story.  I knew this gift was coming, because the giver told me so!  But we were still surprised and a bit giddy when we opened it :)  The family that has had Carter's photo on their Christmas tree & in their hearts for years sent Carter a birthday gift.....



Really - what a sweet gift.  Totally thoughtful, and from a family that we've never met, heck - I've never even heard that sweet mama's voice!  But boy do we love the Griffith family.


Onto other, less exciting news - we replaced our crashed computer.  I'm so glad to have a computer again, but am completely hating that we had to spend money to make it happen!  Especially considering we spent about the same amount of money just weeks ago to process our i600a document...I can't believe we spent that much just to process a document...apparently I'm still not over the shock of how much it costs to process a few pieces of paper.  Anyhow...moving right along.....

In getting a new computer, I had no idea how much time it would take to switch over and then organize all our files!  1,000+ photos later...I'm almost done.  Almost.  Computer crashes stink.  Really stink.  


Our church had our Vacation Bible School this week - I lead this fun event...and as fun as it was, I'm okay with it being over :)  Because while going to Vacation Bible School each night, I also was setting up for a 'fundraiser rummage sale' at our house.  

What a flop :)

    2 days of vacation taken 
   A whole Saturday morning used up 
+ A measly amount of money 
           Waste of time.  

Oh well.  It is what it is :)


Adoption News.  Well...actually - there is absolutely nothing to share.  With Carter's country being closed from July 11th until who-knows-when (we're praying it will be open in less than 3 months!!) we really have nothing to do.  Our dossier is practically finished, our i600a is sent off and we should be getting a fingerprinting appointment anytime now, and our fundraiser is just around the corner!  So...we wait.  And pray.  And have dreams about Carter, like the ones I've been having lately.  I'm pretty sure that some nights I can feel him in my arms.  Then I realize it's Moses...but that's another problem altogether.  


This guy.  

We've been spending a greater amount of time with him, since his mama & papa are in his former country, adopting their 7th child - Jonathan.  

This is Elijah's sign for 'Jake'  :)

Somehow...we love Carter more through Elijah.  Does that sound crazy?  I know it does.  

Spending time with this honey has made us even more antsy to get to Carter.....


You're now officially caught up on the Gibson's :)  

One Thing I Know For Sure: Instead of blogging, I should be sorting photos.....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One Thing I Know For Sure: I've been listening to the American dream for way too long...

**Updated on 6/23...after being posted for 24 hours or so, someone is already offended :)  Let me say - I know that adoption is not meant for everyone.  Obviously.  But I also know that there are people - probably MANY people who have been called to adopt, but won't because they're seeking out the 'American Dream'.  No matter where you stand on adoption - this video should speak to all of us about listening to the Lord's voice over the world.  I think we can all stand to listen to the Lord a bit more - right?  Let's not be so quick to take our stances in opposition....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


forgive me for the super short blog post. 

computer crashed.

totally cooked.

new one soon?!

using teeny-tiny laptop.

ridiculously small. 


tshirts still available...until thursday.

tshirt files were on cooked computer.

of course.

if you ordered, you'll still get yours within 2  weeks.


One Thing I Know For Sure:  seriously?!  ugh....

Friday, June 17, 2011

28 Days...

In 28 days...Carter's country will be temporarily closed for adoptions...

We knew this was probably going to happen - and we know that it will make adoptions in his country better in the future.

But what a stinkin' bummer.

Our i600a just got delivered to immigration a few days ago....and it's generally two and a half months before receiving approval from them.

Hopefully, Carter's country will be open 'approximately' 3 months from when it closes. 

Hopefully, that means that they'll re-open by mid-October.
Hopefully, we'll be able to submit our dossier to his country shortly thereafter. 
Hopefully that means we'll be traveling by November. 

What a stinkin' bummer. 

It is what it is.  No amount of whining can change anything.

And it's okay.  We knew going into this that there would be hiccups - and we've been so very blessed that there have hardly been ANY for us.  We know God will work out the details.

Carter has no (known) health issues.  But do you know something?  There are kids that are in dire need of medical attention, and will now have to wait even longer for their family.  There are kids that should already be in an institution because of their age, that could very well get transferred while they wait out the extra 'approximately' 3 months. 

Now that's a bummer. 

So - the wait stinks.  Totally stinks.  But it's okay.  Let's just pray for those other families, and that their kids can hold on a bit longer.....

One Thing I Know For Sure:  I hate waiting. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Why's" Answered :)

People have been so sweet asking questions about our adoption, and we really love answering them!  Here are the most commonly asked questions (and maybe a few that you're too afraid to ask!).

This question wins the award for "Most Frequently Asked"

When will you go get your boy?!

I wish I knew!!  We're hoping to travel in the fall - but things in Carter's country are a bit uncertain right now.  We're hopeful that his country won't close indefinately (although, anything can happen - in ANY country, for that matter) - but there is a chance that his country might close for a few months to rearrange some things.  The truth is - we just don't know. 

How long with the travel be?

We will probably make 2 or even 3 trips.  From the first flight of the first trip to the last flight of the last should be no more than 6-7 weeks.  Again, this country is not predictable at all - so the timelines could be completely different when we travel.

Why can't you tell us what country he's in?

Most of our family & friends know what country Carter is in - but because this is a public blog, we just can't share that info.  For his safety, and the safety of the other kids in his orphanage - it's best that it stays a secret :)

Why does this cost so much?

I don't know!  We just know that the cost is a necessary part of bringing him home - and so we're willing to do whatever we need to.  If you click (over on the right, down just a bit) you will see a label that says "Timeline" - this will not only give you our timeline, but also how much we have spent to date.  The 'big number' that is tied to adoptions goes to so many little things (as you'll see if you click "Timeline")...passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, homestudy fees...all the way up to things like airfare, room & board in-country, translation fees (because we're not fluent in his language...!), gifts for the orphanage, etc.  So - it's not like we just show up at his orphanage with a huge check.

Is he 'yours'?

In our hearts - yes!  Oh yes!!  But legally - no.  Anybody, at any time, can come and adopt him.  Reece's Rainbow is an excellent ministry that builds a bridge (or a rainbow, if you will!) for families to 'choose' their child (among many other things).  However, being 'committed' through Reece's Raibow (as we are) does not change anything with his status in his country (or the world).  He will not be 'unadoptable' to others until we are in his country, at our SDA appointment (which is the first thing we do in his country).  He will be 'ours' after our court date in his country.  Does this make us a bit uneasy?  Sure.  But, this whole process feels a bit 'shaky' - we're just trusting (like we've never had to trust before...we did not know the meaning of trust until this process...!).

How old is he?

Carter turned 3 on May 30th.  He shares a birthday with my very-cool cousin Jacob, and Jake's also-very-cool cousin Nick (who, oddly enough- were not only born on the same day, but also the same year!  Crazy, I know!)

What other medical concerns does Carter have?

We have no idea.  We are assuming that he is healthy, but all we know about is the Down syndrome. We're prepared for him to have heart problems (as is common in children with Down syndrome) but we feel that it's highly unlikely. 

What fundraisers do you have planned?

We have some sweet people from church that have offered to plan a benefit for Carter.  We feel so blessed that they're willing to do this - and we can't wait to unveil some of our ideas for including other adopting families in this event!  Because it's not about us, people!!!

Are you adopting because you're not able to have kids?

We'll be married 5 years this July - and we've loved being D.I.N.K.'s (as our friends call us - Double Income No Kids...ha).  There have definately been times that I've wanted to start a family...but I've been okay totally blessed by waiting.  This was an area that I've had to really submit to Jake and follow his lead.  It's not always been fun - but now I'm so glad that he knew what was best.  It's been completely perfect just enjoying our time together over the past 5 years.  We've never tried to start a family the 'homegrown way'...but someday we will! 

You say you're getting approved for 2 kids - are you bringing home 2?

I wish I knew :)  Being approved for 2 doesn't mean we have to come home with 2 kids.  But it does give us the opportunity to add another child without waiting for USCIS approval (which can be a long process).  Either we can add another child between now and when we travel (from his orphanage), or we can add another child when we get to his orphanage.  Additionally, we would actually have 18 months before the approval for the 2nd child expires, so this would give us the option to go back after we get home.  I really don't think we'll bring home 2...but we're leaving this open for the Lord to work out.

Why are you adopting internationally when there are so many 'American' kids that need homes?

Well - first off, let me say that we are in no way 'against' domestic adoptions.  I am adopted domestically, after all.  This is just the path that the Lord led us down.

Will you adopt again?

Let's get through the first adoption, first :)  We may - but right now we're just so focused on today, we're not really thinking about tomorrow yet!  I wouldn't say that 'no' we won't adopt - but we will see :) One day (or one adoption...!) at a time. 

Will Carter know he was adopted?

Of course!  We plan to speak very positively about his adoption, and adoptions in general.  He will know (if he somehow forgets the 3+ years spent in an orphanage....) that he grew in our hearts, and the Lord blessed us with him in a unique way.  He will also have a scrapbook filled with things from his country, and photos from his orphanage. 

What if you get to Carter's country and find out he is unadoptable?

Well - then we grieve....and move forward.  Yes, this does happen (in fact, it happend just recently to a Reece's Rainbow family).  If it does happen - it's not anybody's fault, and usually not the result of human error - these things just happen.  This would not mean that we would come home childless.  Remember, it's not official in his country until we are there, at the SDA.  So - as strange as it sounds, we would very prayerfully choose another child.  Yes - this would be hard.  But if it's necessary, then we will just do it.  Before we were able to commit to Carter via Reece's Rainbow, we were very worried that (because he's so cute!) somebody else would commit to him before we could.  We agreed that it would be okay if the Lord saw fit to put him in a different family - knowing that he was used as a bridge to our child, whoever that may be.

You have a crib in his room - if he's 3, why will he be in a crib?

We're pretty certain that he is in a crib now.  Once he comes home, he will sleep in our room for a while - just to make sure he's sleeping through the nights, not having nightmares/night terrors, and to be sure that when he wakes up he will know that we are there.  Once he moves from our room (upstairs) to his room (downstairs) we want him to stay in a crib for a while, just to be sure that he's staying in bed, not sneaking out.  Remember that developmentally, he will not be a typical 3 year old. 

Any glitches in the process so far?

Not really - our homestudy went very quickly (our first visit was May 9th, our last visit was May 19th!).  We did have a small issue (that could have turned into a big one) with our homestudy agency, but what a surprise - God totally worked it out.  Go God!

What does your family think about this?

Well...they are ALL so ridiculously supportive.  We are incredibly blessed.  It breaks my heart to hear about other adoptive couples who get criticized by - and even ostricized from - their families because of their adoption (special needs or not).  Our families are thrilled - sometimes I think even more than we are!!  Both sets of parents will be first time grandparents with Carter - and let me tell you, the spoiling has already begun!  Also - all sets of grandparents will be first time GREAT grandparents with Carter.  Amazing.  He is going to be one loved-on little boy. 

But really - what do they think about the 'Down syndrome' piece?

Yes - I do get this question - I think that people don't really believe how awesome our families are.  Really - seriously - they are thrilled.  The only comment we received that could have been taken as negative was "You know you could be caring for this child your whole life...?" - and it was completely spoken in love, with our best interests in mind.  So on to THAT question...

What if you're caring for him your whole life?

Yea - because you all stopped caring for your kids the day they turned 18.  Right.  We know that Carter will require more care than the average adult.  But we also know that adults with Ds are capable of so much - working in jobs, contributing to their community, going to college - seriously!  We have great big dreams for our Carter.  But - we're also prepared to love him like crazy, even if it means that we'll never be empty nesters.  It's okay.  Because it's not about us.

When will you have 'kids of your own'?

First off - Carter is 'kids of our own' - he will be 'ours' - and no different from our biological children.  As far as having more kids - the limit in this house has always been '2 kids - NO more!' (I won't tell you whose rule that was...!).  But the '2 kid limit' is slowly changing to the '3 kid limit'.  And who knows - maybe someday it will be the '5 kid limit'.  Ha.  Even I laugh at that.  Because I'm a planner.  A ridiculous planner.  My life has been meticulously planned - every detail.  And sometimes God just waltzes in and changes all of that.  And that's okay.  So will we have kids of our own?  I hope so :)  But God knows...we'll just let Him work it out :)

You talk about teaching Carter sign language.  Why?  Is he deaf?

Sign language is a super way to help non-verbal (or not-yet verbal) kids communicate.  It is becoming more & more common to teach babies and toddlers sign language to eliminate all the pointing and whining.  If they want milk, they can sign milk - want a cracker?  Then sign cracker.  When Carter comes home, he will obviously not be able to speak English (he probably isn't even speaking his own language) and so sign language will allow him to communicate with us before he has the words to do so.  These kids pick up sign language incredibly fast - we're sure that within weeks of being with him, he'll be signing 'mama' and 'papa'. 

Why are there so many Eastern European kids with special needs in orphanages?

I'm really not an expert - but I think it largely has to do with their culture.  There is no schooling available for kids with special needs, and most families cannot afford to hire a full time nanny, or have 1 parent quit work.  There are just no options.  We're talking about a place where doctors are paid the same as teachers (and it's really not much...).  So - we can all sit back and criticize, or we can just accept that - as sad as the situation is, that is just how their culture works.  But really - who are we, as Americans, to criticize?  Do you know that in the US, over 90% of mothers who find out their baby has Down syndrome will choose to terminate their pregnancy?  I'd say that's even more repulsive. 

Do you know that what you're doing is so 'radical'?  So 'crazy'?

Ha...Jake and I just talked about this last night, and then someone said this to me at work today.  We thought this was crazy, too, when we first started the process.  Now - we think "what's the big deal?"...this is just our life.  God has totally been preparing us for this - we have no doubt about it.  Now adding another child....that would be crazy :)

One Thing I Know For Sure: We love informing people about adoption, down syndrome, and orphans - have a question that didn't get answered?  Email me :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Well...a promise is a promise :)  We said that if we sold 24 shirts, Carter's newest photo would be revealed.  Today in church, we sold 44 shirts - plus the 8 we've sold on our blog....for a total of

52 Tshirts!!

We are so grateful for everyone who purchased a tshirt - and there is still time to purchase one, if you haven't already! 

So - here is the newest picture of our beautiful boy, taken just a few days ago (summer buzz cut & all!)....

The ladies who spotted him here said that he was making wonderful eye contact, smiling, laughing, and was all-around happy. They also said that they saw him again the day after this photo was taken.  We're so glad that he is able to be outside, moving around. 

Sorry for the quality of this one - we just love to see his little friend peeking around from behind him.  And we wonder - does HE have a mommy & daddy coming for him?  Probably not.  Breaks my heart.

One Thing I Know For Sure: I'm praying for this nanny - and that she would just love on our little Carter...

**Adoption News**
My passport finally came - that means that within a week or so, we will be DONE with our dossier!  Phew :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

GETTING CLOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8 T-Shirts Purchased Only 16 More To Go!!!!!!!

One Thing I know For Sure: I have no doubt our friends and family will help us out and meet the challenge by the end of the weekend!!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

NEW PHOTO OF CARTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi Folks, its Jake.  Thats right, its been a bit since I have posted so I thought I would give it another go around.  We were so excited today to receive an "oh so recent" photo of our little man Carter.  We were so pumped with the news that there had been a "Carter sighting!"  A few families are in country right now and alerted us that they had seen him and he was smiling, bubbly, adorable, alert, making eye contact and much more. 

I was so so pumped to know this little guy was outside enjoying the day and was alert and happy.  I couldn't contain my joy and then tears began to come. Tears! What! I dont even know this kid.....we have never met!  But then, I realized something so important.  God has been creating in me an unconditional love for this boy, my son.  I cant believe how strong these fatherly feelings are becoming.  Even when there is thousands of miles in distance between me and my boy.  Only God.  Only, God, has the ability to create such a bond.  I know as each day passes and as my love grows deeper that God is ordaining every step of this journey.

Now, onto the picture....

As all of you know we are doing a T-Shirt fundraiser right now.....

Some of you may also know that I am some what of a jokester/prankster/happy-go-lucky kinda guy.....


We are holding the picture HOSTAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thats right. HOSTAGE.  Below you will see the "picture" of Carter, but there is one problem:  It is completely covered by colored patchwork (24 to be exact).  For each T-Shirt we sell we will remove a square from the picture and in time will reveal the picture of our little guy!  This should be a lot of fun so spread the word that the challenge is on!!

We are praying to sell all 24 this weekend!  We know God can do it for us!

Follow this link to view and purchase our T-Shirts

UPDATE!!!!  8 T-Shirts Purchased 16 To Go!!!

One Thing I Know For Sure: This is going to be fun!  Can't wait until you see how much our little guy resembles uncle Benny!

The End of an Era...

Today was my last day, of my last school year as a preschool teacher.  I woke up this morning like any other morning.  I didn't really think it was a big deal.

Apparently it was a big deal - because my mind was filled with sweet memories all day. 

There's something special about a preschool room.  It's a place where scribbled smiley faces are okay after each sentence of my parent letters, and dirty, sticky hands are proof of a productive day.  It's where kisses are tolerated, and even requested by kids who accidentally sometimes call me 'mommy'.  Preschool rooms are truly 'no judgement zones', because preschoolers just haven't learned how to judge others yet.  Phrases like "I love you, friend - and I love pickles, too" are commonly heard, and there is never a shortage of hugs for a friend in need (or a teacher in need, for that matter). 

It's even a place where it's okay for boys to still play with baby dolls :)

It's a place where you're never not usually laughed at for trying new things :)

A place where baby dolls must be read to - regardless of whether their face is being smushed...

A place where water is valued as gold :)

And silliness is encouraged :)

Yes - being a preschool teacher is a tough job.  It can be backbreaking, emotionally draining, and absolutely exhausting.  Ten 3-4 year olds, by myself, for the past seven and a half years.  I'm telling you - exhausting.  But so rewarding.  So worth it

Sometimes at the beginning of the school year, I get a parent or two who fully expects that by the end of the year, their 4 year old should be reading novels.  My response is usually something like 'lets learn letter sounds, first....'.  So from September to May, we learn our letters, how to write them, what sounds they make, how to recognize them, how to rhyme words, making patterns, sorting objects, matching items, cutting on the line, making graphs, recognizing numbers....and the list goes on.  These are all important things - but what I love to see at the end of the year is not how neatly they can write their name, or how high they can count - no.  What really counts is what they've learned about being a friend.  What really counts is that now they know how to work out their problems, instead of throwing themself on the floor in an emotional breakdown.  I love to see kids 'getting it'.  Like yesterday, when one of my 4 year olds said "You know you just pushed me down?  Well, I forgive you - because that's what the Bible says to do.  So I'll do it.". Or - after a whole year of trying to teach them how to pray, one of them says "Dear Lord - please - help me to love you mucher.".  That's learning at its finest.  Those are life skills.  Yes, they're only 4 - and they've go so much learning ahead of them.  But this stuff - well, I hope that it won't fade away. 

The lessons I've learned over the past 7 years will follow me wherever I go.  Patience (wow...patience...), forgiveness, understanding, kindness (it really goes a long way with a 4 year old...), and the ability to get on the floor, at someone elses level, and just be.  Just do.  Just sit.  It's a beautiful thing.  Something I plan on doing a lot of once Carter is home. 

So - as the school year wraps up - I'm reminded of all the things I've taught, and more importantly - all the things I've learned. 

Like saying "that's what the Bible says to do - so I'll do it..."

And "Lord - help me to love you more..."

The things we can learn from our children.  Amazing. 

I'm grateful that I'll still be with this class until August, because I just love them all so much.  And with summer comes sunglasses, swimsuits, and sprinklers.  I know we'll have our fair share of fun. 

One Thing I Know For Sure:  Becoming a preschool teacher was one of the best choices I've made...and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to love on so many littles!

***A few bits of adoption info***

We finally got our homestudy notorized and sent to us!  So now we're ready to sent out our i600a to get imigration approval!  We're REALLY praying that this doesn't take the 'typical' 8 to 10 weeks.  Pray with us, please!

AND - I got an email today saying that my passport is done and has been sent out! 

LASTLY - don't forget to buy your adoption tshirts - time is ticking away, as we'll be ordering on June 20th!  So - help bring Carter home, AND score a cute (or 'cool'...depending on your gender...!) tshirt!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

What a Family :)

Today, some dear, sweet, amazing friends of ours are heading to Eastern Europe.....

No - they won't see Carter....but they ARE going to meet their little boy, Jonathan.  Jonathan, like his big brother Elijah (also adopted from Eastern Europe), has Down syndrome. 

Elijah is only 3 - but I can't even tell you the impact he has had on us.  Unbelievable.

The Birschbachs went to Eastern Europe to get Elijah in December of 2010.  We had only known them 8 months or so.  They had just started coming to our church.  Instantly, we were drawn to their family.  They just seemed so 'together'...and so normal.  When they first started coming, we didn't know anything about their upcoming adoption, but there just seemed to be something different about them.  Something special.  I'm sure Jill would tell you 'yea - we're different alright!' - but this family really is amazing.  Their oldest Sarah, has several blogs - all with the intent to raise funds for orphans.  What middle schooler do you know that devotes most (all?!) of her time crocheting for orphans?  The next Birschbach, Anna, is a total gem.  She has donated money to Carter's fund, and it so blesses us that she finds joy in helping others.  The oldest boy, Isaac, is a hoot.  He is all boy - 100%...BUT - he also LOVES to crochet (and help orphans, like the rest of his siblings!), and can usually be found at church with a huge ball of yarn in his pocket, crocheting away :)  Next comes Rebekah - what can I even say about her?!  She is the most expressive, sweet, huggable 4 year old that I've ever met (and that's saying alot, since I've worked with preschoolers for 7 years!).  Every single Sunday, she greets us with the biggest, best hug - and even a kiss on the cheek.  Elijah is next - what a guy.  He really is amazing.  The things he's learning each day, the way he loves others....incredible.  Then there's sweet little Rachel.  She is just a little dolly - a year old, and such a honey.  And soon - VERY soon, there will be Jonathan.  If he only knew all the love he's about to be surrounded with. 

But - back to Elijah.  Remember how I said he's impacted us?  Well, back in December when the Birschbach family traveled to Eastern Europe to bring him home, we were 'moved'.  However, being 'moved' by their act of love was not really 'moving' us into action.  It was a 'nice thing' they were doing.  And they were such 'good people' for doing this.  Being 'moved' in our emotions was about the extent of it for us. 

Until we met Elijah. 

Then everything changed.  When we saw him for the first time, we realized he was a boy, not a photograph,  not a 'cause'.  A real person.  A growing, moving, learning CHILD - well, that really moved us.  Right into action. 

Meeting Elijah opened up a conversation between Jake and I.  He made something 'real nice' become something incredible - beautiful - amazing - and for us, necessary

With the risk of sounding dramatic, I guess you could say that sweet Elijah has changed our lives.  And we are so, so glad.   

We often wonder how different our lives would be right now if Pat & Jill Birschbach had not stepped out in obedience.  Or, if they never made the switch to our church.  Things would be very different, I suspect.  Isn't God amazing? 

I'm totally overwhelmed by how good He really is. 

One Thing I Know For Sure:  As Rebekah Birschbach always says "I hope Cawtow and Ewijah awe best fwiends...."  :)

Follow the Birschbach's Journey to bring home Jonathan HERE...

Follow Sarah's crocheting/fundraising blog HERE....

Sarah's blog to raise funds, specifically for Jonathan is HERE...

Finally, Sarah's orphan advocacy blog is HERE...

**Adoption Tshirts Still Available!!  Click 'ADOPTION TSHIRTS' on the right!**

Monday, June 06, 2011

Adoption T*Shirts HERE!!

Our first little blog fundraiser...!  Take a look at these adorable tshirts (designed by yours truly...ideas not 100% original, though!)...

You can have one (or ten!) of these tshirts, AND help bring Carter home! 

Tshirts are screen printed on high quality "Gildan Ultra" tshirts.

Sizes run 'normally' - not big, not small.

1. Choose your tshirt design(s) (colors cannot be changed/substituted)

2. Choose your size(s):
Kids: XS     S     M     L     XL
Adults (unisex): XS     S     M     L     XL     2XL     3XL     4XL

3. Email me at gibsons15 @ sbcglobal . net with your order & mailing address

4. Make your donation payment below (sorry, this is not tax deductible) where it says 'chip-in'.  We're asking that you donate $20 per adult tshirt, and $15 per kids tshirt.  If you're not someone that we see on a regular basis (like church friends or family, co-workers, etc.) then please kindly include a few dollars for shipping :)

5. Tshirts will be ordered on Monday, June 20th - you should receive your order within 2 weeks of that!

6. Questions?  Email me!

We thank you for your sweetness...and so does Carter!!

One Thing I Know For Sure:  Can't WAIT to be able to wear the pink 'Hope' tshirt :)

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