June 25, 2012

Something you may lose.

written by the most fabulous person you will ever meet or not meet: Rebekah Mae, the favorite daughter of Charisa.

“Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

Sooo. This year, I am a senior, not like an old person, but like in highschool.

“haha, but you’re homeschooled so technically you’re not in highschool.”


But I look younger (and maybe act sometimes), so it’s always awkward when people are like, shocked that I’m graduating this year.


This isn’t immaturity. This is just good fun.

This means it’s decision time, and everyone’s always like, “ohh you have time, don’t worry about it.” Dude. I am going to worry about it. This is one of the most defining choices in my life and I mean, I’d rather get this done sooner, rather than later.

But this is STRESSFUL. Seriously, my brain isn’t even fully developed, and my life’s path is basically in my hands?

But I have decided. Or probably, most likely decided. It could change. As of now, I’m planning on double majoring in Social Sciences and International Studies.

I dread people asking me what I’m planning on doing. People tell me all the time that I’m not going to make good money doing that.

Oh, I’m sorry, but I personally think that doing something you’re passionate about is more important than the money. I hope you enjoy your fulfilling life working in a job you hate making ‘good’ money.

“Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose” –C.S. Lewis


People tell me I’ve got to “be careful over there.” International studies doesn’t necessarily mean going overseas. But guess what, for me, I sure hope it does.


“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand, to have someone understand, I want so much more than they’ve got planned.”

Risks are a part of life. You have to take them. Don’t be stupid, but take risks occasionally.

I guess I just expected people to be less critical of what I want to do, who I want to be. I’m sure everyone gets people telling them why they shouldn’t go into whatever field they want to go into…but I feel like I’m getting more than my friends who want to work more “usual” (and probably more well-paid) jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is ANYTHING wrong with wanting to do something well-paid or common. It’s just not what I want to do and I’m sick of people telling me I shouldn’t. I’ve been told I’m “too smart” for social sciences. My guess is that was supposed to be an encouragement to do something else. I’m not one to usually take the easy way out. I tend to be an overachiever. I’m not trying to do something easy.

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody”   -Bill Cosby

I was at work a few days ago and later in the afternoon it was really slow. This older man was waiting for his wife, and started talking to me. He asked me if I had graduated yet, I told him that I was a senior this upcoming school year. He asked me what I planned on doing afterwards. I said I was planning on majoring in Social Sciences (cringing on the inside, hoping this man doesn’t say anything rude—especially since I’m not allowed to be rude back…). He said, “really? that’s great!” and told me about his niece who had gone to school for that. I wanted to give that cute little man a hug, but not really, because that would be weird, and I don’t like to hug people.

Maybe that man was just being nice, but it’s just funny to me, that a complete stranger, who I had never seen before is more encouraging than people who have known me for forever.

I’m not saying I expect every person to jump up and down for me…but instead of telling me all the reasons I shouldn’t do something, please, just don’t say anything, because honestly, I’ve gotten to the point where, I don’t care. At all.



So this is my public service announcement:

I don’t care about the money, I’ll be okay. I’d rather have a job I can enjoy, than make loads of cash. I sure hope you’re not encouraging your kids to go into a field for the money. This is my life, not yours, stop telling me how I should live it. I want to travel, I want to see the world, there’s risks involved, but I'm okay with that. I want to make a difference, make changes, impact people’s lives.

“Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” –Mark Twain


and then there’s still my indecisiveness telling me I want to be a photographer.

June 22, 2012

More about the 4 and 9 yr old brothers! STILL waiting!

Remember these brothers? I first told you about them here:


These little guys are still waiting!

Hear from a dad who was recently there about them:

AH is a nine-year-old boy who made me feel a father’s pride the moment I saw him. For a child who has been through the wringer of being an orphan there is a light in his eyes, a comfort and confidence that is incredibly rare. He is old enough that he knows what’s happening in the orphanage, but outgoing and happy enough to not let the constant flow of forever families coming to see their kids get him down. As soon as we got out of the van, he came up to me and decided to be my tour guide. As my wife held our daughter, he asked “Baba” or “daddy”? It broke my heart to tell him we weren’t taking him, but instead our little girl.

AH is looking for a strong father figure. He gravitates toward the men who visit, and that’s important. He belongs with a family that will provide him that father-son connection that he craves. Even when I held our daughter, he stayed with me. Like any other boy, he loves shooting basketballs or kicking the soccer ball around. I believe AH came from a strong family environment, because he knows the dynamics of family and looks to be part of a good one. AH is very connected to his little brother MH in a profound way. When AH stepped away from me for a moment, it was to introduce my wife to MH, who was playing on the slide. AH is smart, intuitive, and a leader. MH is a typical little boy. Energetic and playful, he is more reserved and quieter than his older brother. AH is definitely his little brother’s keeper.

AH will be a perfect fit in any family. One of the most important things to know about AH came from an interaction he had with my whole family. Our daughter was being a bit fussy while I held her. My wife tried to entertain her, without much success. But AH came up, started tickling her belly, and chanting her name followed by “America”. She lit up and then started laughing uncontrollably. He knew her tendencies and what he had to do to lighten her mood. If we had been approved for a kid his age, I would have taken him just to help translate for our daughter. I’ve always wanted a boy, and AH is such an all-American boy. Both AH and MH will make some family very happy to have sons with such sunny dispositions and compassionate souls.

Would you like to know more about these brothers? Would you like to talk to this family about them? See pictures? Email me at gcknight@verizon.net and I can connect you with them.

If you’d like to talk to IAN about adopting these sweet brothers:

IAN's Waiting Children Info Email waitingkids@internationaladoptionnet.org

IAN's Phone Number

More about the 8 and 6 yr old sisters! STILL waiting!

Remember those sweet sisters who are waiting? I posted about them first here:


They are still waiting..but they are now at our agency’s care center and a family was blessed to meet them and fall in love with them!  They have new pictures and wrote this about them:

SK is a sweet eight-year-old girl who can light up a room with her smile. Her gentle nature makes her a natural care-giver to the other children. She is playful and energetic. She was immediately attracted to our 13 year old daughter on our visit to the care center. I think she found a like soul. Both girls loved looking at jewelry and dancing to pop music. One of my most cherished photos is of my daughter and SK – whose name means “Peace”. I can’t think of a more beautiful name for a more beautiful girl. My daughter gave her a much cherished bracelet when we left on our last day. They made a connection that touches my heart. SK would make an incredible, loving, compassionate, helpful addition to any family. I so hope her forever family is not far away.

BK is SK’s 6 year old sister. When I returned home and was going through our hundreds of pictures, I would always stop and laugh when I saw this little girl. She had the best smile and the silliest disposition. She always appeared to be flexing for my camera! I loved that. She seems so much older than her 6 years. One day while playfully clapping my hands she grabbed them and together we began to play a game that involved us clapping our hands in unison with one another – think patty cake. I had no idea what the rhyme was she was singing to me as we played together, but it brought us both such delight. We would play it over and over again each time we saw one another. We laughed and laughed and ultimately ended up in a hug exhausted by the activity.

These two beautiful sisters left an indelible mark on me. I was so certain some family had snatched them up! Imagine my surprise when I found both of their gorgeous faces on the waiting child list. I know their forever family is out there. And what a lucky family they are! I know many of us enter adoption thinking we need younger children or babies. We were the same. We waited on the many lists for over a year before receiving our referral. Our first trip to the care center is still fresh in our minds; as are all of the wonderful children. I left with such a strong connection to the older children. They know what it means to have a family – they remember having a mom and dad and they are so anxious and excited to be a part of a unit like that again. I would gladly talk to any family considering the adoption of these sisters. My heart honestly feels called to help find them their forever home!


Would you like to know more about these sisters? Would you like to talk to Andrea about them?  See pictures? Email me at gcknight@verizon.net and I can connect you with her.

If you’d like to talk to IAN about adopting these sweet sisters:

IAN's Waiting Children Info Email    waitingkids@internationaladoptionnet.org

IAN's Phone Number

June 21, 2012

Really? That’s really what you think?

This past week I had one of those eye opening moments reading comments on our local paper’s website.  I am hoping that they were just one person’s ramblings—but I am afraid that is not.

The story was about a 38 yr old man going to jail for having a relationship with a 14 yr old girl that started when she was 13. 13 years old, friends.

There were lots of comments doubting the parental ability of the mother, what the child was like, and bets on whether the girl was black or white (the 38 yr old man was black).

Which led me to make this comment:

Let's not make judgments unless you know the family and situation. You have no idea otherwise. This was a 13 yr old girl...who was taken advantage of by a 38 man. Real men DO NOT have sex with 13 yr olds. I am not sure why her color is even coming into it..it doesn't matter if she was white/black/hispanic/asian. It is wrong.

Which then led to this ‘gentleman’ telling me that he disagreed with many of my points. And that basically she had made a decision, and that girls this age used to have many responsibilities including getting married. And that we treat our young adults like kids way too long and that “I am not in favor of treating 13-18 year olds like innocent sheep to be cared for”


I had to step away because I was furious and was going to make dumb remarks like “remind me to keep my 12 yr old away from you”  Yea, mature debate was going to happen.

But seriously…Yes.. a 13 yr old should have responsibilities..and yes, they used to have a lot more and were married and had children younger ‘back then’ but I am not really in favor of going back to that—just because that’s how it ‘used to be done’ doesn’t mean that it was best or that it was right. Do I believe we baby kids sometimes and that they should have more responsibility—Yes, but this does not make what this man did right.  We used to do a lot of things. I don’t think that’s an valid argument.

A 13 yr old cannot get their ears pierced on their own. They can’t get an immunization at my doctor’s office without my permission. Why? Because they are not an adult. Can they make decisions? yes, of course they can. But they do not always have the experience and judgment to make GOOD ones. Add in some hurt and lots of other things and you have a CHILD that is easily taken advantage of.

One person commented that he was being treated more harshly because of his age. Um. Yes. HE. KNEW. BETTER. 

Even if there is some physical attraction..you walk away---because she is a child.

It just really saddened me that this was thought to be okay. That it was thought to be just as much the girl’s fault as his. and that the mom was being drug over the coals without the commenters even knowing who she was or her story. They had NO IDEA.

What happened to looking after those who are younger and more inexperienced? What happened to protecting vulnerable girls? Maybe that is treating them like ‘innocent sheep’ but what else should we do? throw them to the wolves?

I still stand and say..IT IS WRONG. Real men do not have sex with 13 yr old girls.

June 19, 2012

Lifesong India

We invite you to listen in with Bob and Siromani Stoll, Lifesong India, as they share their hearts on "Continuing the Work" in India...

Bob and Siromani praise their "kids" in India...
It is always a rewarding experience to interact with children who are obedient, respectful of authority and wonderfully outgoing. They are studious and have a strong, active faith in prayer.
Lifesong for Orphans is blessed to serve these children and plan to 'continue the work' that has been started so faithfully in India thanks to our many supporters.  We are praying that it will continue to bring glory and honor to our Father God!

To hear more from Bob and Siromani Stoll and their testimony of faithfulness in Indiaclick here

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

June 14, 2012

The new thing: Village of Hope-Guatemala

The new thing!

A couple of weeks ago we had a detour in our mission trip planned for September and we are so excited to now be going and helping Amy and Todd Block and Dan and Christi Ucherek get Village of Hope ready for children!!

(click on their names to head to their blogs!)

What’s Village of Hope about?

Photo: New logo for Village of Hope-Guatemala! https://www.facebook.com/VillageOfHopeGuatemala http://instagr.am/p/LmMDXXRQbp/

From Amy’s blog:

The vision of Village of Hope is to provide family, faith and a future to the least of these- to give them a place where HOPE can enter their world. We will do this by providing holistic orphan care to special needs orphans, primarily focused on those living with HIV/AIDS in a family style setting. Each family style unit will consist of house parents as well as 6-8 children in the home. Our hope is to create a family unit as God intended- a family to provide life- long support as well as teach the children to have life values. The goal is to avoid institutional living and prevent children from being thrown out on the streets when they are 18. We will do this by equipping them with family- as well as life skills that meet their physical, emotional, spiritual, and educational care. Because adoptions are closed in Guatemala there is little hope of the children ever begin adopted into families of their own. One part of our vision is to develop relationship in the Guatemalan Evangelical churches, to come along side of them, educating them on God’s heart for the orphan, HIV/AIDS, as well as adoption.

I think God is doing BIG things with this..and I can’t wait.  I have signed up to be a state rep for Village of Hope and I can’t wait to be a part!! God is on the move—I feel it.  When I was in Guatemala several years ago I was so moved by our time in the HIV home. The reality of these children’s lives was so heavy on my heart and it was the most impacting thing on Rebekah.


Here are a few of the pictures from our visit. I think they speak for themselves.






These children touched my heart so much…

So..I am SO VERY EXCITED about Village of Hope!!

To see more about Village of Hope..go here http://lifesongfororphans.org/orpCare/guat.html

And you can help support the families making sacrifices to be there!! the Ucherek’s leave in about a week!! and still need your support!

You can also buy something to support Village of Hope:

VOH Hope Fundraiser


$18 from each necklace sales will do directly to help Village of Hope impact orphan care for the most vulnerable!!

June 12, 2012

A New Thing

I almost wrote this post a bunch of times…and just never did because I just didn’t have the words.

Most of you who have followed my blog for a while know that we were once very connected with Grassroots Heroes International.  Zambia is where Greg’s heart was first moved to the plight of the orphan. What first led him to be open to adoption.

He came home and we prayed and dreamt with 2 other couples….Grassroots Heroes International began.

Fast forward to last year and we felt God saying that He had a new thing. That we needed to step back from being in leadership with GHI. This was very hard. I felt like we were giving up a child that we had helped to birth. Greg kept telling me it was time. I kept saying ‘wait’. We finally had a discussion and agreed that it was time to step back. Let others come in while we moved on. Greg resigned our positions while I was in Ethiopia picking up Teshale. I think he knew he had to do it while I was gone! :)

(Point of note..we still LOVE Grassroots Heroes and still sponsor that precious child that stole our hearts)

For the next few months we focused on our family and bonding and attaching with Teshale..but wondering…

What is next?

What is the new thing?

Things would come through and I would wonder if it was the new thing…

Was it Ethiopia? (where our hearts are forever bound to) but God didn’t lead us there..

Something came across our email a couple of weeks ago. And I heard His voice.

This is it. This is the new thing.

I will share more tomorrow!

June 8, 2012

New Waiting Children!

Below is a couple of the new waiting children that our agency has waiting right now. Please take a moment to read about them and to share this post so that their family will be found!

And don’t forget that there is still 6 and 8 yr old sisters, 10 and 13 yr old sisters, and 9 and 4 yr old brothers waiting as well!

Name: HS

Age: 6 years old

Gender: Male

Country of Origin: Ethiopia

Waiting Since: May 16, 2012

Summary: The orphanage staff describes HS as an active child. He enjoys playing outdoors, throwing and catching balls and just running around. They also say that he communicates very well (in his native language) with both children his age and adults. The orphanage staff specifically said that he ‘respects his elder people very well’.  HS can write his own name and tie his own shoes. Are you his forever family?


Name: HD & SD

Age: 8 years & 5 years

Gender: Both children are Male

Country of Origin: Ethiopia

Waiting Since: May 14th, 2012

Summary: HD and SD are from the Tigray region of Ethiopia. HD loves to play soccer with his friends and the orphanage staff says that he plays very well!  HD attends school during the day and is currently in 3rd grade. The teachers report that he has very good handwriting and can do mathematical calculations like multiplication and division. SD enjoys playing games with his friends and throwing a ball around. The orphanage staff reports that SD can communicate very well in his native language and interacts well with adults and children his own age. They also report that SD knows his colors, can tie his own shoes and dress himself every day. Now all they need is their forever family!


Name: YG

Age: 9 years old

Gender: Male

Country of Origin: Ethiopia

Waiting Since: April 16, 2012

Summary: YG is a little shy when he first meets you, but soon his bubbly personality shows through! YG attends school during the day and is in 5th grade. His teachers say that he is able to keep up with his school work and is currently performing at grade level. When YG is not in class, he likes to hang out with the other boys his age at the orphanage.

Want to find more out about any of these children? Here is the information below!!

IAN's Waiting Children Info Email


IAN's Phone Number

June 7, 2012

Project Sunshine!

This past Monday we had our first ever Project Sunshine with The Forgotten Initiative-Augusta County.

It was a great day-aside from me getting a nice shiner:

Photo: bruise is looking good today :)

Let’s just say that you should not use a hammer to get a stuck screw out of the wall while standing on a chair :)

We were so blessed by all the people who helped to make this happen…and by the social workers who came in to thank us and share their heart.

June is TFI National’s Foster Care Worker Month—How can you bless the people who have really hard jobs this month?

Check out the National Facebook Page www.facebook.com/forgotteninitiative

Or our local one: www.facebook.com/tfi.augusta 

to see an idea for each day of June!

I can promise you—you will be the one to walk away blessed. I was!

Read this post from Jessi (TFI’s Director of Operations)  on what it’s like to be a social worker (who worked 9 years in child welfare)


and a couple of pictures of my oh, so cute helpers— (in other words..big sister was working and couldn’t babysit!)



June 6, 2012

Thinking Back

I just realized that this is the week that one year ago today we were experiencing two very different emotions. Grief and Joy.

We had loved and prepared for and dreamed about Baby M for over 3 months and was prepared to leave on Friday to go to court. We then we received the call that his mother had signed him out of the care center and taken him home. We hadn’t ever even considered that because he had been at an orphanage for over 6 months. It was a very hard day where we questioned our staying the course with adoption..

You can read more about our hearts on that day here


and then a couple days later—JOY


We saw this picture for the very first time—a teeny tiny baby boy who needed a home and a family.


As I look back I am still connected to that first baby boy—I pray that he is healthy, that he is loved, that his mother is well and able to love him and take care of him. We were connected for a reason and a purpose-that much I know for sure.

We have our “better one”—the one we were supposed to have as our son and I am so thankful for him. even when he tries to bite our toes. :)

June 4, 2012

Happy 15th birthday Josh!


Rebekah was 18 months here. Phew. that was a busy time. :)


that cup? He slept with it.  We had a farm theme for his birthday and had friends bring animals. We had goats, sheep, and bunnies. That’s when we did big birthdays.

Currently I feel good if I get the cake done!


Where does the time go? He’s now taller than me. :)


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