Robin Price is the main character in my newest release, Wishing on Willows. She and I? We don’t have a whole lot in common.

She’s a widow. My husband is very much alive. She’s the owner of a struggling café. I’m an author. She’s an exceptional pianist. I don’t even know how to read music. She’s all about baking from scratch. I’m all about prepackaged brownie and cake mix.

Yet despite our many differences, we do share two things:

We both know what it is to be afraid.

And we both know what it’s like when life doesn’t turn out as expected.

For Robin, it was the death of her husband.

For me, it was infertility.

When my husband and I got married, we had this plan—after five years of marriage, we’d start having kids. Two or three, a couple years apart. Five and a half years after saying I do, we had our son. Our vision was turning into a reality. We had no idea a road block called secondary infertility was waiting just around the corner.

The vision I’d created for our family disappeared amidst a slew of negative pregnancy tests. And my inability to let go of what my life was “supposed” to be kept me rooted in place. Even when God started nudging us toward adoption. Even when those nudges turned into undeniable shoves.

You see, I was afraid. Adoption is daunting and uncertain. There are no guarantees. And life was just fine with our son. We were comfortable. We had a routine. We knew how to survive. Did we really want to mess that up?

I found myself in the same place as those Israelites wandering the desert. The same place as Robin Price in Wishing on Willows. Staring at the mountain, afraid to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. Afraid to consider the possibility that perhaps God has a blessing out there for us in those uncharted territories. A blessing that would only be ours if we stepped out in faith.

So we did.

We stepped. All the way back in November, 2011.

We are in the process of adopting from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. And although this journey has, at times, been downright exhausting, His blessings in the midst of it are undeniable. He is with us in the hard. He is with us in the unknown. In fact, it’s in those very places that we experience Him most profoundly.

If you’d like to join us on this journey, you can! We are doing an adoption puzzle fundraiser and we’re so very close to completion! Just 50 more pieces left to sponsor.

Here’s how it works:

For $10, you can sponsor a piece of our Congolese cutie’s puzzle and we will write your name on the back. Every little bit gets us that much closer to bringing this precious one home. All donations are tax-deductible! To get involved, please either email Katie at ganshertadoption@gmail.com or visit my blog (paypal link button is on the right column of the blog).

LTB, here: I think this is such a creative way to tackle what must’ve seemed like an insurmountable goal–raising the last of the money needed in order to adopt. We Bergrens have bought some puzzle pieces, and I get all teary thinking about that picture on Katie’s precious child’s wall. Such a gift, family. Would you kindly donate $10 or more to help them complete the puzzle? Only 50 pieces to go!

Oh, and buying her new book would help too! Check out the description below…it’s on my Summer reading list!

 

About Wishing on Willows (released March 19th with Waterbrook Press):

Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender?

A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa,  she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.

So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.

As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.

With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances.

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.