Building a Family {Adoption Awareness Month: Karissa and Craig …Plus 4!}

by GfG on November 12, 2014

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Every week in November I will have a guest post on adoption, to celebrate Adoption Awareness Month.  These posts will highlight different aspects and different journeys  Today, Karissa shares her story.  She shares from her heart.  

God built my family in three ways.

Marriage. Birth. Adoption.

Often we think of family as a mom, dad and kids. Familial images of the traditional foursome family seen in lots of commercials for cars, cleaning products and super markets immediately come to mind. That view of the family unit is changing as the traditional American family is changing. As a member of a family that is built a little differently, I am grateful for that

We often don’t think of just a husband and wife as a family, but they are completely and wholly a family without anyone else. That was the best piece of advice my mother gave me before I tied the knot in 2004 in sunny Florida: “You and Craig are a family now. Kids don’t make a family. Marriage makes you a family.”

We have been married for over 10 years and while we did add kids to our family, I’m glad we viewed just the two of us as a family unity.

Barbers TWH ONLINE-0560 WEB

Five year after we were married, we added a little boy. He came through an emergency c-section, but what a blessing to have the technology and expertise to keep both of us safe. Nine months later, we found out we were expecting another, this time a little girl.We attempted to VBAC, but it was unsuccessful due to a transverse baby and we opted for another c-section.

Again, we were grateful for the addition of two small people in just seventeen months and we adjusted to doubling our family in less than two years. Birth (or c-sections, really) expanded our brood from two to four and we were thrilled.

When our daughter was almost two, we started discussing the possibility of adding more children. We talked about another c-section or attempting at VBA2C, but decided we did not want to go that route. Instead, we chose to adopt.

A year after we first started to explore adoption, we were flying to the country of Uganda to meet two boys that would become our sons. Adoption became the third way we expanded our family.

Our trans-racial family of six looks a little different than the commercials I grew up watching. And four kids in four years is a big influx of people to add to any household, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Marriage, c-sections and adoption are all tools God has used to bring people into my life to create my family. It’s a beautiful thing to be knit together and become one.

Your family was probably brought together in a different way. Maybe you had all your children biologically.  Maybe you married and became a stepparent. Maybe you fostered.  All of those are beautiful things.

Remember, all you need is two people to make a family. And the rest is simply cherishing.

How has or is God building your family?  

Karissa Barber is an actress turned mother of 4 navigating life’s adventures of adoption, intentional living and the stage. Lakeland, Florida has been home for the last 10+ years after marrying her college sweet heart and starting a family. Her passion is helping other moms find who they are outside of motherhood, enabling them to be the best women, wives, and mothers they can be.  She writes about how to do that, adoption and theatre at The Acting Mom.   She would like to give photo credits to Petal & Vine Photography.

Adoption Awareness Month Karissa WEB


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