Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Gumm Family ~ 31 Families of HOPE: Day 27

Meet the Gumm Family!: Mark & Julie Gumm, Luke, Noah, Beza and Natalie

Julie, what first tugged on your heart about the Fatherless?

I worked for an adoption attorney in high school - my first exposure to the needs of children in the U.S. foster care system. Continued “tugs” when we’d read news stories, meet people, etc. Our financial freedom journey led us to be more generous givers which opened our eyes to all the needs of the world around us. Read James 1:27 and realized we didn’t know a single orphan. Final kick in the pants was seeing our best friends adopt. 

Tell us one unique thing about your family/ministry.
We did our adoption debt-free. I wrote about our experience in “Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption” in hopes of encouraging other families that adoption is possible without huge loans. {You have a chance to win a copy below!} We both worked for World Orphans for a time. Mark is currently searching for the right position where he can use his calling to care for orphans and his passion for discipleship and compassion.

What was one challenge either before, during or after your child(ren) came home?

FOOD. One child was a VERY picky eater and it took six months or more before meal time wouldn’t put me on the verge of tears. Today, almost 4 years later, still deal with some trust and control issues. Overall though we have been very fortunate and had a fairly easy transition.

If you could tell a family that was considering adoption one bit of advice what would it be?

Give it to God. ALL of it. The process, the children, your family. Stop trying to control it and give it to him.

What verse was especially encouraging to you during your adoption journey?

Isaiah 40:28-31
New International Version (NIV)
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Share one blessing that has happened because you said YES and followed God on this journey.

We discovered a passion for orphan care that has radically transformed our futures and our careers.

If you could share one other thing that is meaningful to you on the topic of adoption/orphan care, what would it be?

If you think adoption is financially out of reach, it isn’t. God is a miracle-worker and our great provider. I can give you numerous examples of families who have raised $30,000 to cover the cost of their adoption. If you have questions about how you can do it, check out my blog or email me. I would love to chat.

Thank you, Gumm Family, for sharing HOPE with us here at Reaching Hearts!  Be sure to check out Julie's website to learn more about their family. You can also find info for her book there!  It's a great resource for families considering adoption!

You have a chance to win a copy today!  Comment below one way that adoption has touched your life.  We'll draw a winner tomorrow morning!

You can link up to this series by using the code below.


You can also find info about a new devotional for adoptive/fostering mommas at 31nuggetsofhope.com.

Be sure not to miss the rest of the "31 Families of HOPE" series:


  1. Adoption has touched our lives a a double blessing. :) Fifteen months ago we started the adoption process for a young boy in a special needs orphanage in Russia. We had all the funds needed for his adoption, but along the way we found out that he has a brother fifteen months younger than him-our surprise package! Exactly a week ago today we were in St Petersburg meeting the boys!! We are totally smitten with these two cuties and we continue to trust the Lord for full provision for their adoptions.

  2. Last year, my daughter needed a community service project. We decided to advocate and raise money for the adoption grant of a special needs orphan in Eastern Europe. I prayed then that God would open my eyes, and let me see the world as He does. The blessings that followed were incredible and awe-inspiring. After her service project was over, I couldn't let go, and have been advocating for special needs children who need families around the world. In a couple of months, we're going to start our own home study, and will be adopting our newest blessings!

  3. Adoption has brought me my two youngest sons, one via a domestic adoption, one via Ethiopia. I can't imagine my life without either one of them in it. They make my family more full of life, love, laughter and joy!

  4. Adoption has taught me and my husband that God does not leave or forsake those with out birth parents. We have been called to adopt as "plan A" despite our families disagreement with us. We adopted Elijah from Ethiopia over 5 years ago now. God is still calling us to adopt but are convicted not to take on more debt with it and to completely pay off our current debt ($16,000). Even with my husband's job set backs (first, two years ago $400 less per month due to insurance costs, second, this past year an increase in insurance premiums of $1,000).
    We press on, cutting corners, driving beater cars, going without new things, knowing that God has a bigger plan than we could ever dream of. God has not taken the desire to adopt siblings away from us (even after praying He would!). We seek His kingdom first, knowing what makes sense to us, does not to this world. :)

  5. One of the most impacting ways God has touched our lives with adoption is through a friend at church. She has fostered over 60 newborn babies during her "career" and she loves each one fiercely. I still can't imagine the sacrifice she makes every time she hands her babies over to their forever families. She has been such an inspiration to me!

  6. Adoption has truly been a marvelous yet trying adventure. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for almost 9 yrs now. Adoption came up years ago in the process. We finally were able to go through classes last year and get certified early this year. We are going through the state to help those in foster care to be adopted. Plus it doesn't cost anything (we have no funds). I would love to learn how to adopt other children without needing to have tons of money! We are currently foster parents and love the children who come in our home! We pray for faith, hope and that God's plan will bring children into our home permanently!

  7. We are currently in the process of adopting, we are waiting to be matched. However, the process so far has really stretched us and made us grow. At first we thought one way, but as time has gone on, our hearts have expanded and opened and left us with an entirely new perspective. We are very excited to grow our family, we have started talking about adopting a second child. :) I think what has touched me the most though is the sincere unconditional love I have gotten to witness between adoptive parents and their child. It is just so beautiful.

  8. We have embarked on the journey of adopting an 11 yr old FAS little girl. We, too, are trying to maintain doing this debt free. So far we have, but the process of raising funds is extremely difficult. God steps in at the right time. Funds always seem to make their appearance when its needed.

  9. We have embarked on our adoption journey starting in late July. We are in the process of adopting an 11 yr old little girl from Latvia who has FAS. We struggle daily with how the funds are going to come in to bring her home. There have been so many road blocks and frustrating moments. Money is always "just" enough but my stress level is out of control.

  10. Adoption brought us our sweet Avie J :-)

  11. Kristen T!!!!! ---- you are the WINNER of the book! Please email me your address and a copy will be on it's way. :) Thanks everyone for sharing here! nuggetsofhope@yahoo.com