By Stori Long
Every year, millions of children all over the world lose their parents, either from disease, hunger, disaster or abandonment. In the book of James 1:27, one of the hallmarks of “pure and undefiled” religion is to care for the orphans and to take up their cause.
One George W. Truett Theological Seminary couple has felt and responded to this call.
Now they are seeking to involve their friends, family and community by holding a garage sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the University Baptist Church parking lot to raise money for the process.
When Brett and Christina Gibson first married eight years ago, they felt a strong calling to pursue international adoption.
Since then, Brett and Christina have served as chaplains in the Honors Residential College. Christina is currently studying at Truett while working at the Spiritual Life Center, and Brett is serving as international missions pastor at First Woodway Baptist Church.
The couple has two biological children, Ellia, 3, and Olive, 16 months. Despite being busy with all of this, the couple has not lost sight of their dream or belief in the importance of adoption.
“Every year the number of orphans, both domestically and internationally, compounds,” Christina said. “These children are ignored or institutionalized. When we first got married we started to see our place in the international scene of adoption. We can be a family for a kid who needs a family.”
The process, however, is not a simple one.
“Adoption is unbelievably expensive, especially international,” Christina said. “People don’t usually have $27,000 they are sitting on. Were we going to sell a kidney? No. So we had to come up with some different ways to raise money.”
This was when the couple decided to have a garage sale.
“It’s not really a huge money-maker,” Christina said. “But we really wanted a way to include people in what God was doing. Everyone is not called to adopt, but everyone is called to care. And this is a way for those who aren’t called to adopt to be involved.”
Brett and Christina are adopting a little boy from Uganda, to be named Simon. They expect to wait another six to 10 months before the process is complete. The anticipation they feel is similar to the feeling of any new parent.
“I’m scared of the same things I am with the kids I have now,” Christina said. “I’m scared I won’t be good enough. But that is what parenting is, and I have learned a lot about that through my own kids, just being able to say ‘I’m sorry,’ taking responsibility and learning from my mistakes.”
Despite these reservations, the Gibsons are excited.
“Ellia is thrilled about it,” Christina said. “She keeps going around telling people that Simon is coming soon. We told her that we are getting a gift
from another mommy.”
Those who know them are also excited for them and have the utmost faith in their abilities as parents.
“Brett and Chris were my chaplains, so I lived next door to them for a couple of years and watched their family grow from when Ellia was little bitty,” Gig Harbor senior Alyssa DeMoss said. “I am lucky enough to still see them occasionally and continue to be led by their example of how Christians should encounter life and handle hardships. They so obviously cherish each other and treasure their girls.”
Former Baylor student and family friend Julianne Davis also expresses a strong admiration for the Gibsons.
“I am inspired by their dedication to the Lord in being able to accomplish this for His kingdom,” Davis said. “I am jealous of little Simon because I know he will grow up in a home of love, encouragement and a family that is unfathomably faithful to God. I am excited to meet him and see how this family grows and changes because of this great blessing.”
The Gibsons said they do not just see this as a chance to give a child a home but a chance for them to be blessed by Simon as well.
“I used to think about adoption like we were going to go and rescue all of these babies,” Christina said. “Now I more see it as a gift to us, as a little voice we get the chance to shepherd and help encounter God.”
For more information on the garage sale, contact Christina at Chris_Gibson@baylor.edu.