The Garrisons

Follow our journey on adoption #3 for child #8!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I am so excited to tell you about an orphan care and adoption ministry I am a part of launching at our church. Chosen is a ministry whose purpose and passion it is to walk alongside God's people as we seek to fulfill God's mandate to care for the orphan together. We hope to start our ministry simply by making people aware of the incredible need for us to step up and be a part of the solution of the orphan crisis. In keeping with this idea, we are so excited to be hosting a dinner event on November 6 with speaker Tom Davis. We are thrilled that Tom has agreed to come speak and know that he will be both a blessing and an inspiration to all who attend this special evening.

For those of you who don't know who Tom is, there is a brief bio included on the invite below. If you live near us, please plan on attending this event. We are very fortunate Tom agreed to come, and we have a fabulous musical guest and a great dinner planned as well. Help us pass the word on as well! See you there!!

(Click on the invite to enlarge and see all the details!!)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dear Elijah.....

Dear Elijah,

My heart is full of things I want you to know....about my love for you and your Father's sweet grace that brought you to us. You were planted in my heart by God, before I even knew who you were, what you looked like, or how it would all work out. I loved you before I knew you and I will always be grateful that we were blessed with the gift of you.

You were not born of my natural body as your older siblings were, but you were brought into our family with no less desire, joy, or purpose than they were. Adoption was not our second choice, and neither were you. It was only that we discovered the blessing of adoption later in life. Little one, we are so glad we did because it led us to you. We simply cannot imagine our lives without you.

As you get older, you may have some questions. I want you to know that it's OK....your dad and I are strong enough to handle them and we expect them. You will wonder about your birth family and why they let you go, and about your birth country and it's people. You may even feel lonely and sad for them. It's OK. We will love you through the questions and do our best to help you process the grief that accompanies adoption. We will hurt for your hurts and are already praying that our God will heal those empty places in your heart where your questions linger. You may not look like us, but you are no less part of our family because of it. You belong here.

I continue to be amazed at this incredible gift we have received. I pray we will be the parents you need us to be and you will always know of our love for you. There is nothing you could ever do to change that....nothing. We will never give up on you, leave you or turn our backs on you. You are ours forever...and our hearts are full because of it.

I love you,

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

An Update on Us

We have been home for 3 1/2 weeks now.....tomorrow (the 17th) it will be exactly a month since we laid eyes on Elijah for the first time.
Time is a confusing thing, isn't it? How can it seem like just yesterday that we were in Ethiopia and meeting Elijah, and yet seem like he's always been here...? It's hard to believe. Of course I remember the waiting, wanting to receive a referral, and then anxiously awaiting to pass court. I remember the travel plans, the lists of things to do, and the preparations we made. But, I also feel that I have known Elijah forever. I have said it before, but I am amazed at a God who places a child in your family from across oceans and yet they fit just perfectly. I know that everyone who adopts does not feel the instant connection and bond, but we have been fortunate to. We love this kid more every day.

Our "big" kids have transitioned well. They are all eager to help and love their brother. Their assistance has been invaluable...we are so proud of the way they have welcomed their brother into their family and embraced him. (It was just 5 of us for 10 years, remember!) They seem to really "get" why we started this adoption journey. They know he WAS an orphan, but also really embrace the concept that he is no longer. It has been an amazing thing to watch. I pray that God will use this experience in their lives to open their hearts up to whatever He has for them.

Elijah has had an amazing transition as well. He has just begun to become wary of people he doesn't know so well. He looks for Nathan and I if we are in the room and while he doesn't (usually) cry if someone else picks him up, he is definitely checking them out and wants to be able to see us. This is a great sign to show that he is bonding to us and recognizing us as his care givers. So, while he doesn't smile as readily for strangers, it's actually a good thing. Elijah's blood tests came back confirming that he is a healthy little guy and we are so thankful for that. He is delightful to be around - easy, happy, laid back and yet full of personality. We think he's charming! :)

How about mom and dad? Well, except for the early morning feedings, we've adjusted well. Many people have asked us how it is to have a baby again, and while it takes us longer to get out of the house, it really hasn't seemed much different. You just do what you have to do - it's your child! Nathan and I love being parents and enjoy having a little one around again - especially one this cute. There are, of course, times when a couple of them need me at the same time and I can feel pulled in more than one direction, but our oldest three have been awesome about being patient in those situations.

So, we are settling in and finding our new normal. We feel blessed x4 and wouldn't have it any other way!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The first time ever I saw your face.....

"Every good and perfect gift is from above...." James 1:17