story time

do you like surprise endings? well, read on, because this story has a good one.

this is a true story. 

its the 80's: boy meets girl. they both love jesus. they are cute (well, 80's cute) and charming and they fall in love.

who ate sushi in the 80's!?!?! only the coolest of cats, yall (look at all the differnt button styles on that ONE shirt!)

they get married.

a tiny-waisted stevie nicks lookalike and her bearded groom!

two years after graduating college they have their first child--a boy-- in 1987. a little girl comes along two years later followed by a surprise baby boy 18 months after that.

necklaces are worn outside of turtlenecks and there are un-ironic mustaches. it was a different time.

a four year old rocking the turtleneck/blazer combo. swagger.

in the next 22 years this family raises these 3 kids. they model a christ-centered marriage and a kingdom life. they serve, they go, they give, they do, they serve some more, THEY LOVE. 

and then the kids all turn blonde spontaneously.

the family has their struggles but they all come out on the other side loving jesus and each other more.

yikes. awkward tween years are a perfect example of what this family has overcome (no worries- they all end up quite handsome)

told ya.

the oldest son graduates from college, marries a perfect ballerina and they have a little girl, the first grandchild, 2 years later.

this little branched-off family loves jesus madly.

i mean...

um, hi, are you kidding me? grandparents are NOT allowed to look like this.

the middle child, the girl, grows into a beautiful, magnetic, passionate young woman. she graduates college and decides to become children's minister. she meets the boy of her dreams. he is handsome and funny (and mind-bogglingly good at Ruzzle, dangit) and he loves jesus. they get married.

more proof that awkward teens make GORGEOUS adults.

at this couple's wedding, their parents get a spontaneous STANDING OVATION upon leaving the ceremony from all of the wedding guests because it is so clear the model they have laid down for this couple and how deeply rooted the new bride and groom are in christ already. (has that ever happened before in the history of the world!?!? )

this january, the surprise baby boy that our couple had back in 1991 turns 22. he is graduating from college and becoming a teacher. oh yeah, he loves jesus too.

still looking for that special lady...any takers? (hahaha sorry nick, this was the most representative picture)

these parents have raised their flock to adulthood. 

they have stewarded the hearts of the children that jesus entrusted to them and they have done a beautiful job. 

their kids' faiths have strong, independent legs that will stand wherever they go.  this family is rock solid and is one that we can all look up to and learn from.

on their recent 28th wedding anniversary.  and they lived happily ever after. their hard work of parenting is over...right?

by almost any standards of "good parenting", our couple should get a "great work! you did it. now go enjoy YOUR time!"

the end...
roll credits

except--bonus footage TWIST!--this couple gave their entire lives to jesus a long time ago, not just their 20's, 30's and 40's. so as long as they are living they are listening for his voice and following him. 

turns out when you follow jesus, he leads you straight to his children.

right around new years, this couple began to understand the next chapter jesus was leading them towards and they obeyed.

are you ready for this?

jesus told them that they had 3 more kids. 3 teenage kids currently living in an orphanage in the Ukraine.

these three kids:

sophia, natasha and ura

they are now deep into the process of adopting all three kids and becoming their forever parents.

do you get that? at 50, with 3 amazing adult children freshly raised, they are expecting again! 3 kidsteenagers! who dont speak any english!!

you may be tempted (by the minions of lord voldemort himself) to think, "so what? they already did 3 kids, what's 3 more?"

to you, dear lunatic, i say *face slap* because you are clearly a hysterical drunk who doesnt realize how hard parenting even ONE child is, and the relief that comes with getting each child to a new level of independence and the sheer terror of going BACK and giving up a single fingernail of freedom that you have fought for (do you sense my personal feelings coming through?).

these two people, ann and greg creighton, are mentors to me and jesse. they are ministers, caretakers and idols to our kids. they are our close friends and they are our brother and sister in christ.

yall, they are my heroes (despite their unfortunate collegiate affiliations).

so here's where we get to be a part of this story. 

as probably everyone knows, any adoption (or parenting venture!) is expensive and scary. it can be overwhelming and filled with pitfalls and brokenness.

now multiply that by three.

as their friends and as fellow members of the creighton's chuch (church with a little c, as in the building we meet in) we are standing behind them and this path jesus has called them to. we are saying "you are not alone" and promising to walk the road with them.

but we the Church (capital C...as in the body of christ) can help on a way bigger scale. because jesus was pretty clear about taking care of orphans, and this is a beautiful way to be his hands and feet rightnowtoday (even if youre not sure about jesus yet...i think we can agree that a loving family and home is preferable to an orphanage).

here are 3 things you can be a part of:

1. PRAY. for the creightons, for natasha, ura (pronounced yuri) and sophia.  for the paperwork, the hearts, the communities. PRAY. you can learn more about the specific needs of everyone and updates on the creighton's adoption blog and their twitter account.

2. make a donation right now! towards the out-of-pocket-costs of the adoption (over $40,000!). no limits, no strings, and 97.1% of the donation goes to the adoption (the other 2.9% goes to paypal).

3. come out and meet the family at a special fundraiser concert that jesse is leading! it is this saturday and you can donate and buy shirts that evening.

4. buy an adoption t-shirt!  SOLD OUT! you guys, i designed these (braggy, yes) and for only the second time in my life didnt use microsoft word as my design platform. for such an idiot, i think they're kind of spiffy sweet.

the design is the word LOVE superimposed over a map of the Ukraine with its flag colors. there is also a tiny heart over the city where the kids' orphanage is (Kherson). the back is an acrostic of the word LOVE inside of a bible verse (idea stolen --in love--from this family's adoption shirt).

 modeled by the big sister to be!

the shirts are the softee cotton blend type that are all the rage (NOT the ultra thick beefy tees) and are a beautiful charcoal grey. 

i know internet stuff can be sketchy...so let me say loud and clear that i put my name, my blog and my own integrity behind the legitimacy of this adoption, this family and this fundraiser.

i have given to adoption fund raisers in the past through weird bloggy friend-of-friend connections, to strangers or even just to be entered in a giveaway. no matter how "random" the family was when i first learned of them, i still feel connected to these families and those adopted children in a really special way that i never expected-- even years later. 

i hope you will choose to support the creightons and be blessed by a similar connection!

under normal circumstances i would not advocate trusting people in a picture like this. but in this case, i can personally vouch for (and make fun of) them.

feel free to tweet, facebook, pin, share, carrier pigeon or just yell about this adoption/post/funraiser/family. the louder the better.

let's bring the rest of this family HOME!

because we were orphans too when He adopted us.  and because with jesus, happily ever after becomes happier ever after.

any further questions about this process, the shirts, etc. can be directed to me or stephanie (the kids' future big sister, our children's minister, and a BFF of mine)  at putapuredukes (at) gmail (dot) com or stephanieanndavis20 (at) gmail (dot) com.


  1. Ordered my shirt... Can't wait! Great design, and I'm excited to be able to help this family all the way from Michigan.


  2. Amazing story - check.
    AMAZING family - check.
    Shirt purchased - check.
    Goosebumps & heart flutters from knowing I'm helping this family in a teeny tiny way bring those beautiful kids home - CHECK!

  3. LOVE these! My husband has led 6 or 7 mission trips to Ukraine...we love it there! Ordered 2 shirts!

  4. They are just wonderful people. I have known all of them for 34 years. Watched all these kids grow up loving Jesus. Met the three little ones three years ago. They will get lots of love and nurturing from all the Creighton's

  5. So excited about what God is doing in their lives! Ordered my shirt! :)

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  8. Great Post. Great Family. Lots of love happening here.

  9. Hi! I am in love with the shirts you made! We have just started the adoption process ourselves (domestic adoption). We are wanting to do a t-shirt fundraiser and came across your blog in looking around at different shirt designs. I was wondering if there was anyway we could use your shirts for our fundraiser? Looking forward to hearing from you! themiksovskys@gmail.com

  10. I have the same question as the person above. We are in the process of adopting from Ukraine and your shirt would be a perfect fundraiser for us! I would love to hear from you! Lauratrent@cox.net

  11. i can definitely send anyone who wants to print their own shirts my .png files of the design!