bursting bubbles

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28 Responses

  1. bobsyeruncle says:

    Valor is such a wonder-dude. Hang in there, Abby. Loves my Gjertsens.

  2. Gugmommy says:

    I loved the video! and all the news.

    A friend of mine lent me the Hunger Games trilogy. She highly recommended it. I highly recommend the Assassin trilogy. I have to finish that before starting the Hunger Games.

  3. Ironygirl says:

    I am so glad you wrote. I am also so glad you shared your frustrations. It’s good to hear I’m not alone in my efforts to become more Christlike! And can Valor GET any cuter? He is so adorable. I loved the pictures and video.

  4. Tonya says:

    Love the video. Boys and bubbles are so much fun! ๐Ÿ™‚ Evan has read book 1 of The Hunger Games. I have heard that Book 3 is much more violent than the first 2. Thanks for sharing your “muckiness”. I can see myself having those same feelings if I were considering adoption (even though I am adopted myself). Love to you all.

    • John says:

      Oh good. Because when there’s too big a break in the violence, the author seems to get carried away describing dresses and makeup.

  5. Carrie says:

    Thanks for the update! Those “pit” feelings are hard to deal with sometimes, but I try to remind myself that when they surface God is along side me with the pruning shears helping me to tame them. Sometimes it takes longer to tame, but I know that whatever discomfort comes with dealing with the issues will make me stronger in Christ.

    Valor is certainly turning into a brilliant adorable boy — just don’t tell him too often so that it doesn’t go to his head! Josiah (our 17 mo) has a similar green minky blanket (“blah” as he calls it) and wants to take it everywhere. Must be a boy thing, because our 5yo daughter never latched on to a lovey of any kind.

    We’re praying for good answers from the testing — looking forward to your future post about the findings.

  6. Cherilee says:

    The video and pictures are priceless! And even more valuable are the truths you’ve shared with us and the world. Your candor and honesty mean so much and your testimony makes much of God and His goodness. Thanks, with love.

  7. Deborah says:

    What a cutie!! He blows me away with his smarts! Can’t wait to see you guys in person!

  8. Kathy H says:

    I appreciated your honest sharing with regard to adoption. Looking forward to hearing the test results. I really enjoyed the photos/video and update about Valor. Miss & love you guys!

  9. cathy dewitt says:

    THanks for the update. Valor is precious. I’m sure ya’ll look good, too, I just didn’t see any pics of you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not sure if you are focusing on adopting a baby or an older child, but if its an older one, we’d love to talk to you first. There are issues I wish I’d been aware of BEFORE we adopted Wade. We felt specifically called to adopt, so I would have still done it, but my expecations would have been much different. Its completely different from adopting a baby. PRaying for you guys in all your decisions.

    • Abby says:

      Thanks Cathy. We thought of you guys often when discussing adoption plans. We were thinking of a toddler rather than an older child, but that might change as time goes on. We want to keep Valor the oldest sibling.

  10. Kristin says:

    Re: Hunger Games

    Team Peeta or Team Gale? I think Katniss and Gale are too akin to siblings, which, ewww. Plus Peeta is so sweet, even if he makes me crave hummus every time I see his name.

    Also, the trilogy has been compared to Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale, which had a similar theme. Suzanne Collins swears up, down and sideways that she was inspired by the story to Theseus and not Battle Royale, but I seriously side-eye that notion…

    Good to see yall are doing well! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Abby says:

      Hmmm. I don’t think I’ve chosen a “Team” (although at the moment Peeta’s working harder for my vote), I’m just enjoying Katniss. I love the characterization, pacing, and dialogue. As a lit teacher I am a tough critic, and have quit (in exasperation) as many books as I’ve finished, but the plot feels fresh to me and K’s self-realizations feel very realistic. I don’t know the Takami work, but the reaping def stood on the shoulders of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” I take it more as an homage than a theft of that classic allegory.

      Yes, John thinks it’s funny that a baker named his son Peeta.

      • Kristin says:

        Katniss is wonderful, isn’t she? Did you know they’re already starting on the film adaptation? I’m looking forward to seeing Cinna’s work on screen. It should be interesting…and done with stunt doubles in some cases.

        I’m not saying Suzanne stole the idea from Takami, but more that…she had to have at least heard of his book. There are too many similarities. Hers is actually a bit more imaginative in the challenges and eliminations, to be honest. Especially later in the series. (I read the first two the week before the third came out, so I kind of have them run together in my head.)

  11. SalannB says:

    Hi Abby (and John and Valor, too!):

    We all have those “dark mucky” places in our hearts. That is just fear and doubt clouding our reason.

    A co-worker of mine adopted a “special needs” child from China. Miss Ruthie Mei had a heart issue – a hole in the heart, which has since closed…no surgery needed. She is evaluated yearly by a cardiologist, but is cleared for things like dance and gymnastics. She’s 6 and an absolute delight.

    Please don’t let that “special needs” label scare you. I believe that you can specify what issues you’d be willing to accept. In Ruthie’s case, her mother works at a heart hospital, so there was help with her care, should she have needed it.

    Yes, they look at everything with a microscope. But, you and John already have a child, so that’s one in your favor. Do not be afraid. Go boldly and know that God is on your side.

    Valor is sure a handsome fellow. In the video, when he is shown in the car seat, his eyes and forehead are so like James.

    Be strong. Be sure.

    Sally

  12. Stephanie Rex says:

    i loved the video and also getting glimpse’s into yall’s life :)…we will get that book on adoption!! we are praying as well about the possibility of adoption! and I do realize how quickly God can cut to the core of who I really am and how much I need Him to do anything! Love to you all!!

  13. Shereen says:

    More video!

  14. Meghan says:

    Dear Abby (and the other residents of the House of Gjersen),

    Though I’ve been a lurker for some time, and often inspired by your words and your life, this post really struck my heart. I am inspired by your fidelity to Christ, especially amidst the muckiness. Your honesty and search for God’s truth among the darkness of this world is a beacon on my path to God. Thank you.

    Ironically, I just recently found a church–it too is an hour away from me. I was having a discussion with a friend about church, and she couldn’t understand why I would drive an hour just to go to church! I tried to explain to her that the peace I find in that place (an elusive peace that has been absent for such a long time) is worth any drive! I’m glad to hear that the search for God, for peace is a universal “drive”!

    Thanks again, Gjertsens. Your influence reaches farther than you can imagine.

  15. jessie says:

    Hi! Loved the video! Valor is such a doll! Praying for you guys as always! Good to hear you found a church home! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Patty M says:

    Neat video John!

    Surely God gave each human being unique fingerprints to remind us how He has also given us unique lives. Of course that includes how our family and it’s various characteristics are to work out…and how it comes into being etc..
    Happy for you in your happiness with your new church!
    Love
    Patty for Dennis too

  17. Kelli says:

    Hello Gjertsen Family!

    I feel a little odd writing a post as I don’t really know you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have enjoyed reading your blog for a couple years now (through CakeWrecks). When I started reading your blog I was just starting my path of living a Christ-centered life. I am thankful that you have shared your many hurdles and on-going devotion to the Lord throughout it all. So with that I just need to say thanks for sharing your beautiful and inspiring story.

    My main point for writing is to share a little on adoption. I previously was an adoption social worker focusing on children with special needs in foster care. I admire that you guys are being very cautious, thoughtful, and in prayer regarding this decision.

    I would like to offer a little piece of hope in regard to this decision. I don’t know if you would consider domestic foster to adopt cases, but if that is the case here are some positive things on that. For one, the process is lengthy. It can take 6 months to complete the home study and from my experience it is entirely OK to continue to plan on having birth children concurrently with making an adoption plan. (In most instances that long wait may seem like a negative – but in your case it may enable the time needed to sort things out). In addition, I really feel if you explain the situation to an adoption agency they will fully see where you are coming from and be willing to work with you – and if not then maybe they aren’t the best match. Foster to adopt is virtually free (there may be some costs if you chose an out of state placement). If any issues do arrise you do have the added support of child welfare post adoption that you may not get in private or international adoption cases. (In my state children adopted through foster care are automatically eligible for Medicaid until 18 – but can’t say for sure in your state).

    I am not from your area so can’t speak specifically on your state’s policies. If you feel called to explore this further though I’d suggest looking into a Christian Adoption agency in your area. There may be some wait in being placed with an infant, but that may also provide the time to prayerfully decide on what God has in store for your family. Another similar option is “abandoned babies” which again is a state by state policy (when a mother leaves their child at a hospital, police station, right after birth). This can be a lower-cost option over international or private adoption.

    I realize I am writing a novel here, but one last area that may be of interest is becoming a “Safe Family” http://www.safe-families.org/ This is a program that is used as respite foster care for when a birth family may be going through a crisis and need a week-month respite. It is a wonderful program and a Christian organization.

    I will keep praying for you and admire your strength, thought, honesty, and faith throughout this process.

    -Kelli

    • m says:

      Christian organizations really don’t have any role in NC foster adoptions.

      If they pursue that path, Children’s Home Society is the largest group in the state that manages foster/adoption.

  18. Stephanie says:

    First off, I love the pics and video of Valor! He is simply adorable (but of course you already knew that). ๐Ÿ™‚

    Secondly, I just wanted you to know I’m praying that God smoothes the way for you to have another child, whether it be “naturally” or through adoption.

    Also, yay for finding a new church! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Angela says:

    Hello all, I’ve been following since sweetbabyjames website and may have commented once before. My colleague pursued an international adoption and did get pregnant in the process. They questioned the pair to ascertain they were prepared to receive two new ones in their home at the same time, and proceeded as normal. Baby was born about one month before the toddler’s arrival. I don’t want too much more info posted online without their consent, but please let me know if you’d like me to put you in touch with them, find out their agency, or just offer you their blog.

    Blessings.

  20. Susan says:

    John, Abby and Valor: I always read your posts with interest because of my own daughter’s situation. She has a Down syndrome daughter and has had 2 miscarriages this year(16 weeks, 9 weeks). All 3 were different chromosomal abnormalities. Because she has ONLY had 2 miscarriages, 2 geneticists and her OB have discouraged them from going to a fertility specialist or from further testing. The two pregnancy losses would not normally have been tested except for her first child. They so desperately want a sibling for their DS child (and want a sibling to have E) and have made an appointment anyway.
    I have always admired your honesty as you struggle with growing your family. I will certainly recommend the book on adoption (the quote was enough for me to know it’s the right one!)to my daughter and her friend, who is having trouble conceiving.
    I know two couples who have recently adopted siblings (1 and 2 years old each). Also, Tammy and Russell Cotton in Tallahassee were pregnant with Tyler while adopting a Chinese girl. However, I know Chinese adoptions have changed alot in the past few years.
    Good luck in your testing. So happy you have found a church that fits. And, Valor could not be more handsome. JD and Lamons could not be more perfect grandparents!

  21. m says:

    There are so many children in NC waiting for homes. You guys have so much love and care to give a child – PLEASE don’t look outside the communities you live in for children who need parents if you do pursue adoption. If you go the adoption route, contact Children’s Home Society. they are based in Gboro but have lots of other offices from the beach to the mountains.

    It was the best decision we ever made. Look past the paperwork and see the child.

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