Friday, November 30, 2012

Adoption--My Thoughts

I wrote about the biblical basis for adoption and then was blessed to have three contributors who also wrote about their adoption experience. I thought I would share my personal thoughts as well.

For as long as I remember, I have wanted to adopt. Of course, my thoughts on adoption are different now than when I was younger. Long before Chad and I ever met, I always figured I would have four children of my own and then I would adopt a child. When thinking about that child, I always figured I would adopt an older child. The reason I felt this way was because so many parents want babies and/or young children and older children are often stuck in the system until they age out. My heart was for those who needed a family just as much as a baby.

When Chad and I began our own family, I still figured we would adopt one day as long as Chad's heart was open to it, but it wasn't something I was thinking about often. Chad first mentioned adoption after we had three of our own and there was a little girl we met that didn't come from the best home life and he said that he would adopt her in a heartbeat if needed. My heart was glad!

Now that we have 9 of our own, we still talk about adoption someday. We know that it will have to be in God's timing and with God's provision, but it isn't something that we've ruled out. We continue to pray that God will use us in some way. We often talk about how it would be nice if adoption was still done the way it was back in the 1800's. It would be so much easier not only for those families who want to adopt, but don't have the financial funds, but also easier for children to find homes. I truly believe that people would be much more willing to open their homes to orphans if there wasn't so much "red tape" and hoops to jump through.

For now, we make sure we pray for those who are in the process of adoption and/or have already adopted and we do what we can to help out financially as well.

I hope eyes have been opened about God's call for adoption whether you welcome a child into your home or you support someone else who has (or is trying). We are called to take care of "the least of these" so take a moment today and pray for those you know who are somewhere along the journey of adoption.

Friday, November 23, 2012

My adoption story--A Guest Post

I was adopted at a moderate age for 1968 I was 4 months old.  Due to chronic illness that followed me through into early adulthood I was not released immediately as a newborn.  I was the child bore of a relationship that was between a 15yr old girl and an 18yr old boy.  I don’t know much more than that and probably never will.  I was chronically ill as a child and had 17 documented hospitalizations between the ages of 1-4 due to pneumonia and or croup.  I think my birth mother was not overjoyed about her young pregnancy and did not care well for herself as a result.  I was adopted by a Christian couple who raised me in a Lutheran Church.  I am their 2nd child their only birth child is a boy who is 10 years older than me so in a sense we both were like only children and our family experiences were completely different as well.  My brother had our father until he was 11.  I had him only until 2 weeks past my 1st birthday when he died. 

I tell this so you can understand where we are today.  I am a conservative Christian woman.  I do not believe that teens should engage in relations prior to marriage but when I was asked to write this I thought  if you erase me then you erase my children all 5 of them.  They are precious to God and each has a purpose as do I.  God ordained the family that was to receive me.  He knew my father would pass.  He watched over and protected my mother until I was 17 and graduated at which time she passed.  He put me exactly where and when I needed to be. 

God’s intervention started when I was young.  I remember being in the hospital in oxygen tents crying because I wanted to go home.  I remember clearly feeling the presence of God.  .  You see my mother never treated me differently from my brother.  It was equal billing all the way.  I did not get a special out because I was adopted and I did not get it harder either.  God in his loving grace forgives all of us.  If we ask he forgives and not disproportionally.  It is equal.  My sin may be greater but our forgiveness is the same.  He forgives  us all equally. His grace and divine intervention is for all his children and in his home we are all adopted.  When salvation comes to us we are accepted into a great big family.  Maybe we would not choose all the members but God chose them.  He chased after their heart and wooed them until they became his.   Just like my mom and dad and brother chose me literally.  Back when I was adopted my family went to the home and walked down rows of babies and picked one out. They picked me.  God picked me.  He picked me to be raised by a single Christian mother.  He picked me to be the wife of my husband of 22 years .  He picked me to be the mother of 5 children.  He picked me to be the mother of a daughter who only lived 26 days but needed me for those 26 days. 
Being adopted can be easy or hard.  Many people think it is hard because they feel rejection.   I say Thank You God for guiding every step for putting me where I need to be.  I am very level headed about this and I cannot tell you exactly what my mother may or may not have done to make me feel this way.  But God has obviously given me peace and contentment about my situation.  He makes me feel whole and complete.  I don’t feel like I was rejected by my parents as much as I feel accepted by a family who poured all their love into me like they did all my cousins as well.  I think that is what being a Christian is like as well you are adopted by God , you are forgiven, reprimanded when needed with loads of grace and infinite love.  There are times my earthly brother and I disagree and times I disagree with the Christian brothers and sisters as well.  In the end we all were chosen and we must view each other from Gods viewpoint and not our human one.  He loves us with a never ending love even when we do wrong just like my mother did right up until the day she died.
I can do nothing short of praise and Thank God for the opportunities afforded to me.  Adoption is a wonderful thing.  It should be considered not only in the realm of infant adoption but older children as well.  Many kids are languishing in a broken system because everyone would understandably like a baby.  Pray, meditate, fast and consider has God placed adoption of any kind on your heart, if he has be obedient.  He will provide everything needed and so much more, even when it seems difficult.  You are making an impact that you will never realize on someone’s life. Someone like me who needed a family to call their very own. Know up front the road with your adopted child may not be easy.  My parents did not know when they brought me home in March that in November my father would be called home to be with the Lord.  It is far from what my mother thought she was getting into without a doubt. Are you called?  Are you ready?  Can you be obedient in this tough, exciting, thrilling and blessed journey?  I bet you can.  Because as you know all things are possible through Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Jennifer Chrispell is a SAHM who home schools her children.  She has been blessed to be a help-mate to Michael Chrispell for 22 years.  Ever learning and seeking.  She runs a home business called Sew Cute Doll Clothes ( and does a large variety of activities from working on their 5 acres to provide a portion of their food needs to being blessed enough to have landed some contracts to professionally tweet for some large companies.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Called to Adopt--A Guest Post

Adoption. One of the biggest decisions one could ever make. A decision that will impact many precious lives for eternity. A decision to follow a God-given calling that is exciting, terrifying and amazing all at the same time. A call to give, to serve, to love… Adoption.

My husband and I are currently planning for our future adoption of our first child. To be quite frank, the thought of the adoption process can be quite daunting. Five years ago, adoption was merely a passing thought…
“Honey, I think we should adopt a child. Regardless of whether we are able to have biological children or not… I just feel like that is something we should do, like we were called adopt.” 

Little did we know that we would be down this road so soon.  After four years of infertility struggles, we resolved to give our desires to grow our family to the Lord.  And in that he has given birth to a new desire to not just become parents, but to glorify him is his command in James 1:27. To have our hearts and home open to a precious life, one we will teach about the goodness of the Lord.

With these new desires comes a slew of new concerns… Like how will we pay for this and what if no one chooses us and other thoughts that come with this uncharted territory for us. In Isaiah 55:8-9, the Lord says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Sometimes it is hard to know what the Lord’s plans are, but I know one thing for sure… we are so excited to be in his perfect will!

So far our adoption journey have been one of a LOT of prayer, learning, researching and saving. Oh, did I mention prayer? :)

God is so good! See… we are a one income household. My husband works very hard to make sure our needs are met and that I can stay home to be a wife and soon a mother. If you are already aware… adoption consists of a lot of money. A lot. And we have chosen to go about this journey is a debt-free way that honors the Lord. So, that is where creative juices have to flow!

During the summer, I couldn't sell my herbal products (which was a way I was going to try to save up money) so I had to come up with a few ideas that would allow me to stay at home but still sock money away for our adoption savings. First, we had an extremely successful yard sale which really jump started our savings fund. But once that was done, it was done. And then I did a few face painting jobs that brought in some money, but there wasn't consistency.

While looking for other means of earning money, I came across a lovely business opportunity with Lilla Rose! I was blessed to be fully sponsored, so I started at almost no cost. What a blessing Lilla Rose has turned out to be! I can do all my work from home and each month I have been able to put a nice check right into our savings fund. (If you are interested in learning more about Lilla Rose, you can click here)

We have also been tremendously blessed by so many people’s generosity. Fundraisers, gifts, time, blog posts, and many, many prayers. I am truly, truly blown away by the giving hearts that have touched us more than they could ever imagine. If is SO amazing to see the father’s work at hand, especially with complete strangers. I just don’t think we could ever thank each of them enough.

So far this journey has been full of adventure, prayer, community and love. As we keep plugging along, we grow more and more excited to see what God will do. To follow our adoption journey, visit our blog Prayerfully consider getting involved with adoption... there are so many ways to help whether you decide to adopt yourself, or help support an adopting family (prayer, fundraising, your time or even just talking and being interested in their journey). 

Blessings, Jasmine Bass

Jasmine is a God-fearing, always-learning, stay-at-home-wife to the best husband in the world! In the past couple of years, her new found loves have become herbal fix ‘ems and things “all natural”! She is continually learning to slow down, enjoying the important, simple things in life…like naturally taking care of her home, husband and health. She really enjoys creating things “home-made” and showing others how to do the same! You can find her at Like A Mustard Seed blog!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Adoption--A Guest Post

Definition of ADOPT
Transitive verb
1. :to take by choice into a relationship; especially; to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one's own child.

I love this definition, especially the first part:  taking by choice into a relationship.  My husband and I made a choice to adopt, but in a way that some might not see as a true adoption.  So I thank Mr. Webster for his wording.  It makes my story that much easier to write.

My husband and I had difficulty conceiving a child.  After trying fertility medications, my doctor sent us to a specialist.  We spoke to the doctor and found we had two choices, we could walk away from trying to carry our own child and choose to adopt, or we could "adopt" someone else's embryos.  With lots of prayer along with God given logic, we decided to do both.  

We found an amazing adoption consultant who got us into an adoption support group.  We went through the home study and we waited to get matched with a birth family.  It was with our consultant and in the group that we gained a wealth of knowledge about adoption and made some lifelong friends in the process.  While we were waiting, we found a "perfect" match for embryo adoption.  

There were nine left over embryos from someone who had gone through ivf (in vetro fertilization) and she had decided donate the rest of her embryos to people like us, people, who could not have biological children of our own.  We finally had hope for having children.  Unfortunately, we quickly learned that hope and reality don't always see eye to eye.  The morning of our transfer, I got a call telling us that I didn't need to show up for the procedure. They had attempted to thaw seven of the embryos, but none of them survived.  A month later, we transferred the remaining two, and we got pregnant, but tragedy struck again at seven and a half weeks when we miscarried our little baby.  

After two heartaches we talked to our specialist and asked what other options were available to us.  He introduced us to a concept quite foreign to us: donor egg with donor sperm.  We would use a sperm bank and then choose an egg donor from the egg donor bank 
at our clinic.  We found the sperm donor after looking at dozens of profiles.  Our wonderful nurse helped us choose our egg donor.  She was the nurse for the patients as well as the donors and she recommended a donor based on personalities.  She told us this donor was a lot like me.  Once the donors were chosen, the process began.  We ended up with five strong and beautiful embryos!  Once again, we found out the hard way, we would never hold any of these babies in our arms here on earth.  

Before starting the process again, we fell to our knees asking God for guidance in our decision making.  It became crystal clear to both my husband and me that we needed to change fertility clinics and try again.  Our sperm donor had available vials at just the right time, but we needed to find another egg donor through our new clinic.  This clinic had very detailed profiles for their donors which included photos of the donors as children.  We had narrowed our search down to two.  My husband asked me to listen as he began to read one of the profiles.  Without looking at photos and without seeing what he was reading, the description sounded like me!  With the Lord's guidance we made our choice.

We ended up with eight embryos from which they transferred the "best" two.  I would have to agree, but I also believe that they were hand picked by God because they both implanted!  I am now the mommy to two beautiful ten month old daughters.  Daily, I talk to my girls about these amazing donors who gave gifts so that I could be a mommy.  In our nightly prayers, we thank God for people who gave so that we could be parents by choice, by "adoption" and still experience carrying a baby and giving birth to my girls.  

I was praying on the morning that I went into labor.  I was ten weeks before my due date and was explaining to God why I needed to go full term.  The Holy Spirit placed a verse on my heart in the midst of that prayer, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you.  My power is made perfect in weakness."  2 Corinthians 12:9. When the girls were born, I thought I understood  what the Lord was saying to me.  There is not much weaker than two 3 1/2  pound preemie babies.  But as the weeks passed, the verse continued to come back to my mind.  It became clear to me that my babies were not the weakness.  My infertility is my weakness!  God's power is made perfect in the fact that I cannot have biological children of my own!  "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me!"

Adoption: to take by choice into a relationship

I firmly believe just as Christ chose to adopt me, he also chose the exact little girls He wanted for me, and I gladly and thankfully accept them as my children.

Shannon Faust is a former elementary school teacher turned full time mom to her miracle twin daughters.  Although she grew up in Western Michigan, she currently resides in Alpharetta, GA with her husband, her girls, and her beagles, Baxter and Charlie.  She is active in her church where she volunteers with the middle school students.  She enjoys reading Nicolas Sparks novels, listening to Jim Brickman's piano music, writing short stories, and blogging.  You can read her whole fertility journey at

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Following Him to Haiti: My True Needs

Following Him to Haiti: My True Needs: 11.03.12 Happy Birthday, Leah Grace!!! I wanted to share some blurbs from my devotions from the past few days, and just what God has bee...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Adoption—Is it Our Calling?

I learned that November is National Adoption Awareness Month and wanted to do a series on adoption. I wanted to not only talk about the Biblical aspect of adoption, but also share adoption stories from those who are just starting the journey, to those who are on the journey and those who have already adopted.

Let's start by looking to the Bible and see what God has to say about adoption.

The Greek word for adoption is huiothesia. It is made up of two words—huios which means son and thesis which means placement. In essence, adoption is when a son (or daughter) is placed in a home.

God created each and every person. We are all His creation. We are not called His children until we come to know Christ as our Lord and Savior and then God adopts us into His family.

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.’” ~ Romans 8:15

“to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” ~ Galatians 4:5

God also calls all of His children to take care of orphans.

“to visit orphans and widows in their trouble” ~ James 1:27

“He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger giving him food and clothing.” ~ Deuteronomy 10:18

“To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.” ~ Psalm 10:18

He specifically tells us not to bring any hardship to orphans and I take that as a call to help.

“You will not afflict any widow or fatherless child.” ~ Exodus 22:22

“Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless.” ~ Zechariah 7:10

We also read about how He protects and cares for orphans. If we are called to live like Christ, then we are called to do God’s will. To receive a good idea of what God’s will is, would be to figure out what He is already doing and join Him.

“You are the helper to the fatherless.” ~Psalm 10:14

“A father of the fatherless” ~Psalm 68:5

“The Lord watches over the strangers, He relieves the fatherless and the widow” ~ Psalm 146:9

He even goes so far as to tell us that by not taking care of orphans, we are being rebellious.

“Your princes are rebellious. . . .They do not defend the fatherless” ~ Isaiah 1:23

I’m not saying that we are all called to bring a child into our home through adoption (although I believe more of us are called than those who are being obedient), but we are all called to help care for orphans and help other families bring children home through adoption. We can help by giving financially, giving of our time to fundraisers or helping in the home, praying, and more. I am sure everyone at least knows of someone who has been adopted or of a family that has adopted. I’m also sure that if you have questions about adoption or how you can help, those people would be more than willing to share with you. I also hope to share some stories with you from people who are somehow affected by adoption. Please check back each Friday of November to read about adoption!