Stories that Matter

Blog Swap with Katie Ganshert!

Today we’re doing something a little different! My friend and super amazing author Katie Ganshert, is here to talk to you, and I’m over on her blog! Cool,huh?

Why are we doing this? Good question!

Well, as you know, I’m an adoptee and I love talking about adoption. Katie and her husband Ryan are in the process of adopting a child, so we thought it’d be fun to interview each other about adoption!

AND – We’re both going to giveaway a copy of our books, so be sure to leave a comment for us on the respective blogs!! 

So, here we go!

Welcome to This Is A Blog About Books…And Life, again, Katie! Tell us about yourself!

I’m a slightly-frazzled, ever-inquisitive Midwest gal who loves Jesus, my family, writing, adoption, and grace. I’ve been married to my delivery-guy-turned husband for eight wonderful years. We have a four-year old son and a goofy black lab named Bubba. My debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, released from Waterbrook Press this past May and my second novel, Wishing on Willows, releases this March. We are in the process of adopting a little boy or girl from the Congo.

How long did it take you to know for sure adoption was God’s plan for you?

Even though God had been working on our hearts for quite some time, it took us awhile to officially say Yes to adoption. To be honest, the whole thing scared us. We didn’t have the money, and like you mention on my blog today, adoption is very rarely a fairy tale, which is something Ryan and I both knew ahead of time because of several friends who were journeying through it.

Life was comfortable with the three of us. Why mess with that?

But one day, when I was reading the book of Esther, I felt in the depths of my spirit, God saying, “Katie, I have a blessing out there for you and you are going to miss it if you don’t step out in faith.”

Later, after a lot of prayer and even more research, I remember getting on my knees and telling God over and over again, “Lord, this is way over our heads. If this is from you, if you really want us to do this, you need to be clear. Because this is Way. Over. Our. Heads.”

A couple hours later, we went to church and kid you not, our pastor said these exact words during the sermon, “If you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, then get in over your heads.” During the car ride home, Ryan looked at me and said, “Kate, we can’t let money stop us from doing this.”

God couldn’t have spoken any more loudly or clearly.

 That’s a very cool testimony of how God confirms the desires he puts on our hearts! What excites you most about this journey?

Getting to know and be a mother to this little person.

 You’ll be a great one, I’m sure! So what scares you most?

Having nothing to give our child in regards to his/her history. This past September, we received a referral (this is adoption-speak for being matched with an orphan). We received a picture, a name, and as much information on health and history as was available.

This little boy was two years old and his entire life was summed up in a measly, heart-breaking sentence. Not only did we know nothing about his birth parents, we didn’t even have a birthday.

A few weeks later, we lost that referral (a heartbreaking experience). Chances are, the next referral we get won’t be that much more detailed.

I’m afraid of a pair of beautiful brown eyes looking up at me someday and asking, “What’s my story?” And I won’t know the answer. I won’t have anything to give.

As an adoptee who’s lived through the ‘wanting to know’, I can imagine that will be difficult, but I have no doubt God will give you the wisdom and strength to deal with it when the time comes. It’s an exciting journey! What preparations have you had to make to finally get to that day where you meet your new son or daughter? Will you travel to the country of his or her birth?  

Lots! And we’re still more than a year out from traveling. We’ve done a massive amount of education—from seminars to online courses to reading books to researching Congolese culture. We put on a very time-consuming fundraiser to help offset the insane cost. We’ve connected with several families in our area who have all adopted internationally. We continue to talk to our son about his brother or sister. And we pray—for our child and for God to provide—financially and emotionally.

We join you in prayer and look forward to your updates as you get closer to bringing home the newest Ganshert! Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us today, Katie! 

Katie says:

Even though my debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, doesn’t deal with adoption, it does explore a common theme in many adoption stories. And that’s this idea that God can use the broken, barren seasons in our lives to make something beautiful. If this sounds like a story you’d like to check out, you can read the first three chapters for free here. I’d also love to give away a copy to one person who leaves a comment!

About Katie

Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels. She and her husband are in the process of adopting from the Congo. You can find her online at her blog and on Facebook.

(And don’t forget to check out her books, Wildflowers from Winter, available now, and Wishing on Willows, coming in March!)

Bethany Quinn was happy to leave her small town ten years ago to create a new, successful life. But when tragedies strike at home, she is forced to return and face the pain of her childhood. Out of options, Bethany tries to find a place where love and faith make sense again.  

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17 Comments

  1. Maxie Lloyd-Hamilton Anderson on October 24, 2012 at 2:31 am

    I really enjoyed this interview. Interesting that you want to adopt. It’s just sad to me that we have so many children in our orphanages and I hear they are so much red tape that too many live there until they are 18 and have to get out. Why do they think people have to have so much money, and every child has to have their own room. I was raised in a family with 8 kids, and, believe me we always shared rooms.None of us ever felt deprived of anything, tho we were rich in nothing but LOVE. Isn’t that the most important thing with those children want? That and a place to call home? Then too, so many just want babies. Wishing you GOD’s blessings with finding your child. Maxie

    • Katie Ganshert on October 24, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Hi Maxie! Love your questions. You know what’s sad? In most countries, kids don’t even get to stay at the orphanages until they are 18. Most are left to fend for themselves at 14 or 15, sometimes even younger, years old. With not family. They are forever an orphan. This breaks my heart!!

      And you are right. There are SO many kids living in orphanages and even more on the streets. Complete evidence that we live in such a broken, broken world.

      Thankfully, many countries don’t require families to be rich to adopt (we are proof!! Trust me!) But there are a lot of hoops to jump through. Ultimately though, it’s for the children’s good. If it were too easy, child trafficking would be even more of a problem. It’s just sad that so many kids have to suffer and wait for the sins of a few (people who traffic innocent children)

  2. Katie Ganshert on October 24, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Thanks for having me, Cathy! It’s fun to swap with you today. 🙂

    • Cathy West on October 24, 2012 at 10:09 am

      Great to have your perspective here, Katie!

  3. bethkvogt on October 24, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Two of my favorite writers — and people — swapping blogs. This is great!
    And I love that sentence:“If you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, then get in over your heads.”
    It’s scary-good, you know?
    Well, yes, yes, you do.
    🙂

    • Cathy West on October 24, 2012 at 10:54 am

      LOL, Beth! I think we both/all know about that one!! That could apply to pretty much everything we do. 🙂 Love Katie’s story, don’t you? Can’t wait to see what God has in store.

    • Katie Ganshert on October 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Aw! Right back at you Beth!

  4. Lindsay Harrel on October 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I’ve loved seeing God use you in this, Katie, both through your book and through your journey of faith toward adoption. He will bless you for this. I love that He’s a God who lets us get in over our heads…so in the end, when it all works out, we know that we know that we know…that HE did it.

  5. Cherie Kasper on October 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I love that your real life seeps into your writing. It makes your books so much more real to all who read them. Thank you for the chance to win one to read during the time of focusing on Christ’s birth.

    • Katie Ganshert on October 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      I hope the story blesses you if you get your hands on it!

  6. Sonia Meeter on October 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I am an adoptive mom Katie. It is definitely a “in over your head” experience. But here’s the good part: you will feel so close to Him, you will get to experience many miracles, and you will have no doubt that He is the one who is giving you all the gifts and skills you need in order to pull this off. You will appreciate the little things in life like never before. (I wrote a blog post on this topic for Cathy’s Adoption Awareness Month series. You can read more about this on November 28th!) Yes, it is as if you are going through the Refiner’s Fire, but always remember, you are being molded into the image of Christ and you are doing a better job than you feel you are because you have God on your team. You have His Holy Spirit living within you and you will be relying on His strength daily! I can think of no better way to live life to the fullest!

    • Katie Ganshert on October 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      Sonia – I believe I need to print this comment out and reread it many times in the future!

      • Sonia Meeter on October 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm

        I talk more about this in my blog post next month. It really is so amazing to witness so many miracles in my girls and in me. I pray that you keep that perspective in mind as you go through this journey.

        By the way, I loved Wildflowers from Winter. I went to college in Iowa so I felt as if I went back for a visit.

  7. Katie Ganshert on October 24, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Oh – that’s so encouraging to hear, Sonia! Can’t wait to read your blog post1

  8. Melody Durant on October 25, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Our first 3 kids we adopted were 1 1/2 yr, 2 1/2 yr and then 3 yr. . We adopted Beth at age 14 yrs. who took over the lineup. It was a wild ride getting kids in order again!

  9. Janet Estridge on October 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Although I have never adopted a child I know quite a few couples who have. We also have books in the church library that are about adoptions. Thanks for entering me in the contest.

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