A Shawl for Adoption








UPDATE:  Congratulations to Ginny Foreman for winning the raffle!

Well over a year ago now, my brother Peter and his wife AllieMarie announced that they would be adopting a child to grow their family.  We have been so excited to support them in the journey however we can!  Immediately the idea came to mind to knit an item to donate.  Knitting for someone is one way I pour love out on that person.  It was really special to knit on this shawl and be mindful + prayerful the whole time of this baby that is being prepared for my brother’s family and for us all to love on.  It was also special to knit on it and wonder who will be wrapped in the warmth of this gift.  I hope many of you are excited for the opportunity to donate toward Peter + AllieMarie’s adoption and also possibly win a beautiful shawl!

Most people know it is a challenging and lengthy process to adopt, and cost is so prohibitive for many.  However, Peter and AllieMarie’s plans have been interrupted by various hardships including the pandemic which has also caused a strain on their employment.  The setbacks are discouraging and frustrating, and I would love to encourage them in this season with a reminder that there is a community of folks standing alongside them and behind them, cheering them on.  You can read more about their heart for adoption on their GoFundMe page.

Now, let’s talk about the prize!  This shawl is knit in one of my favorite yarns to work with.  It is a special blend of merino wool, llama, silk and linen.  The shawl is very soft and lightweight, and all the eyelets of the shawl make it breathable and light also, as well as lend an elegance to the piece.  I have knitted this shawl once before for myself and it is a good layer for the in-between seasons of spring and shawl when a light accessory is needed.  I like to wear mine draped over my shoulders in the mornings and evenings often to warm against the chill of the day, or wear it wrapped around my neck as a scarf when going out.   The color of this yarn is called “lady slipper” and I think the soft mauve brown is one of my favorite colors lately.  It is very wearable in my opinion and pairs well with many things!


As for cost, I spent about $30 on the yarn alone and many hours knitting the shawl.  It is quite difficult to price a hand knitted item because the cost of good materials plus all the time involved knitting is hard to place a value on.  All of that to say, your donation will be well worth the cost of the item!

So here’s how you can enter for a chance to win the shawl:

  1.  Donate at least $10 to Peter + AllieMarie’s GoFundMe.  Make your donation HERE.  Every $10 donated will be worth one entry toward winning the shawl.  Once you donate you will be emailed with a receipt.  Hang onto that email,  because if you win I will need you to email that receipt to me as verification of your donation.
  2. Come back to the this page to use the Rafflecopter link below, enter the amount you donated to enter the raffle for the shawl.  First you login with either your email address or your Facebook profile.  The options within the widget after you login are Donate $10 for one chance, Donate $20 for two chances, Donate $30 for three chances, Donate $40 for four chances, and Donate $50 for five chances.  You can select a combination of entry options if you need to.  So for instance if you were to donate $60, you would choose the “Donate $10” option along with the “Donate $50” option.  Each option can only be selected once per day, so if you donate more than the total options available ($150 per day), you will need to come back the following day(s) and select the options necessary to add up to your total donation.  If you have any issues or questions please email me at marthahkimball(at)gmail(dot)com.

**Because of the current pandemic and subsequent strain on the postal service, the raffle is open to US + Canada only.



Please feel free to share this post to spread the word so we can raise as much as we can for the adoption.  Also, feel free to visit Peter and AllieMarie’s adoption instagram account as well as their GoFundMe.



Good luck and thank you so much!  I’m so excited to send this shawl off to one of you lovely folks soon!


Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter & Me

Fall is upon us here in the North Carolina mountains, and few things feel more appropriate than watching the Anne of Green Gables series all over again.  I love to slowly work my way through them, doing a little needlework as I go (insert old lady emoji here).


Anne has always felt like a kindred spirit.  That’s why when I saw Lorilee Craker‘s memoir recently, I knew it was a must-read for me.  This sweet and happy book looks at what it means to be an orphan and what it means to be found, and maybe no one is as fit to tell us about that as Lorilee Craker.  An accomplished writer, a lover of the Anne of Green Gables stories, an adopted orphan herself, and an adopter of a little ray of light, Phoebe, from Korea.  (Yes, of course I had to read this, being that my oldest daughter is also named Phoebe!)

Using the story of Anne Shirley, Craker weaves in and out her own experiences growing up in an adoptive family, experiencing the beauty and tender ties of love in that home, growing older and seeking to meet her biological parents, finding unexpected glory and heart break there.  She also connects these with her own story of adopting her daughter, Phoebe, from Korea.  She connects the threads of these three orphan stories with humor, vulnerability and transparency.  Reading this book definitely woke me to things I take for granted, such as knowing my family history and roots.  Having a sister-in-law who is adopted and hearing her occasionally speak about her uncertain family roots, I realized how easily I brush these comments off without registering how huge this can be, especially as one becomes a mother.  How often you must look at your child’s face and find unfamiliar features, trying to find connections everywhere to your past enshrouded in a quiet fog.  Craker examines all the nuances of the word “orphan,” both positive and negative.  It gave me a new tenderness toward those who can call themselves orphans, those who know intimately what it feels like to be rejected, left behind, bereft.  It also warmed my heart to the beauty of what it means to be adopted, to be taken in and called blood by those are not your blood.  I don’t know what it’s like to be an orphan, but I do know what it’s like to be adopted.  The Scriptures tell us that those of who are in Christ (“Christians”) have been adopted into the family of God (Eph. 1:5).

In Craker’s book, you find yourself at one moment on the red roads of Prince Edward Island, another moment in the bustling bright streets of Korea, the misty shores of British Colombia (where she meets her birth mother) and the quaint walls of a Mennonite home in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Whimsical at times, haunting and heartbreaking at others, this is a beautiful story that traces the love between mother and daughter, a love that transcends blood and family lines, a love that ultimately finds its source and its home in Jesus.  I recommend it to you as a lovely fall read.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet

The book drew me, beckoned to me, really, from the bookshelves at Barnes + Noble. I was looking for a gift for my sister, and it wasn’t what I was searching for. But something about it spoke to me. Maybe because the title and theme speaks to something I continue to struggle with and seem to learn over and over again with God: Every Bitter Thing is Sweet.


How can every bitter thing be sweet? Truly, can we say every bitter thing? Can we really taste the goodness of God in our darkest of days and trials? Will God hold up under the weight of that, under the weight of our darkest questions and scrutiny?

Sara Hagerty is familiar with bitter trial and circumstance. In this precious book, she explains some of her story, her struggles in early marriage, her struggles for many years with infertility. Her struggle with a God who spoke to her and gave her a vision of a child toddling across her bedspread, and then closed her womb to this possiblity. The struggles through multiple foreign adoptions and the seemingly endless setbacks and disappointments. And all the way, she traces the glory of God shining brilliant in these darkest moments.

In her book she reveals how God took her, a child who believed in a God whose love was best displayed in blessing, and transformed her into a desperately hungry soul. She writes her story of encountering a God who cares to carve out spaces in the soul, empty, hungering spaces that He can fill.

“A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb,
But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”
{Proverbs 27:7}

What if our places of discontent and brokenheartedness, what if we discovered that these places are the very holy + sacred ground of God’s deepest riches, the “treasure of darkness” that Isaiah 45:3 talks about?

Here’s a little excerpt from the first chapter:

“The Bible resting on my chair showed wear–how could it not? My friend, my best friend in this hour, was the Author. The book I’d once used to plan youth ministry talks, the book I’d once used to quote pithy sayings and to confirm opinions I’d already formed, that book had found its way into my deep.

The God behind it was proving Himself to be fundamentally different than what I’d supposed for at least a decade, maybe more. But I was finding Him. In the places I had feared most and spent a lifetime avoiding, He was meeting me. My worst, my very worst moments were getting rewritten without circumstances changing. I was getting acquainted with the kind of deep satisfaction that bad news can’t shake. He was showing me Himself as strong enough. He was letting me hide in Him, letting me find a safe place.

And so I cradled my midnight questions while mamas cradled their babies, and I let God’s psalms tell me He cradled the answer in Himself. I felt forgotten, but I heard God speak that He had not left me. I felt weak, but I heard Him promise an overshadowing. I felt anxious that my constant fumblings would annoy Him, but I heard Him say He delighted in me.

And I felt hungry.

I wasn’t this hungry when God was a distant coach, forcing me to perform.
I wasn’t this hungry when I had a life easily explained, easily predicted.
I wasn’t this hungry when everyone understood me.

Pain had created space. Space to want more. Space to taste a sense of being alive. An alive that would grow to be my favorite kind of alive: secret, hidden to all eyes but mine and those nearest to me.

This had to be the hope of a lifetime, Him and Him alone.”

If you’ve ever wondered about this God, this mysterious God who both gives and takes away, and how anyone can love a God who gives the strange gifts of hardship and hunger at times, you would be helped to read Sara’s story.

If you’ve ever battled fiercely with hard circumstances and painful seasons and have wondered how to make sense of it all, you would be helped to read Sara’s story.

Essentially, if you’ve ever lived the human experience, you would find sweet company in Sara’s poetic prose.

Triumphant, encouraging, beautifully crafted. Sara Hagerty not only shares with you her journey to a deeper hunger for God, she stirs up your own hunger, too. I highly recommend it!

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Book Look Bloggers sent me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to give a favorable review and the opinions expressed are my own.