Well, if you know US, you know that we have a heart for international missions. We LOVE other countries, cultures, races & languages. God is SO CREATIVE, isn’t He? The thought of being in an old dirty bus, traveling down bumpy roads, smelling new smells and surrounded by the sounds of the unfamiliar excite me to my core. I love Jesus. I love what He did for me and I want to show His love to the world. I’m NOT a preacher, evangelist or an amazing public speaker. BUT…I CAN LOVE. I am capable of loving others…weather it be in traveling to their homeland, wearing their custom clothing, eating local foods, holding a precious baby, trying to speak their language, making custom dishes with the mamas, lots and lots of hugs & laughs or any other seemingly insignificant thing….I can LOVE the people that Christ died for without knowing them. I can share with them His story and LOVE them for no other reason than because HE did first.
We also have a heart for kids. All kids. My brother’s kids, our friends kid’s and a special part of our heart beats for orphaned kids. This all started because we struggled to have a family !!! We just wanted to be parents and still do!! We want this without going through the ups and downs of uncertain fertility treatments and throwing thousands upon thousands of dollars away on the chance of something – when there are children everywhere in need of loving homes. We said we wanted to adopt before we even got married. It was in our plan. Before we even had a plan. We just thought it would be later. We literally cried out to the Lord in 2009 and asked him to please let us be able to give a child from Vanuatu our home. And it worked out marvelously. I didn’t rescue my daughter, she in fact rescued me. She made me a mommy and made all my dreams come true. I didn’t do something for God that He needed, He did something that I needed. I’m not a hero. I am so undeserving of the blessing He gave me in her. But I am grateful everyday for it.
Children are the same everywhere. But orphaned children are alone. Not knowing whats happening. Not old enough to comprehend their circumstance. They are abandoned. With no one to fight for their cause, or give them a voice. Not even able to know how to articulate their circumstances, they are hungry with no one feeding them. This breaks our heart and causes us to want to do something about it. What you do unto the least of these is how you are ultimately treating your God.
We researched different types of adoption. International adoption is just US. When we looked at tons of different countries and prayed… the more certain doors were closed and other doors were opened. There are restrictions and requirements for each country. We had kinda narrowed it down to Thailand and Ethiopia. We prayed that God would make it clear which way to go. We really had a lean toward Ethiopia and went with it. But then with contacting different agencies and trying to get started, we felt a halt! There was about a 2 month period where we felt that the doors closed, and decided to let it go, not wanting to push something and have it be ‘us’ rather than God. So we waited and prayed. We had almost no intention of continuing down this road because we thought it was God saying ‘No’ But looking back we see that He was just saying ‘not yet’. Through the short ‘wait’, we KNOW now we are on the right track.
I can’t even tell you in words how EXCITED and PRIVILEDGED we feel to be able to set out on this adventure again. GOD IS SO GOOD.
This go round with adoption will be SO VERY DIFFERENT than that our Beautiful Island Girl’s story. Amazing and full of adventure still, but different nonetheless. First of all… we are working with an agency this time! A REAL, LEGITIMATE AGENCY. Ha ha ha … not like paving the road in Vanuatu when things had never really been done that way before. Although the cost is a huge amount more, we will actually have the support system of our beloved YWAM. Youth With A Mission Ethiopia partners with a small adoption agency called Children’s House International. It’s so AMAZING to know we will adopt again, much less have YWAM be along side us the whole way. Can I say again, God is GOOD?
Here are some staggering facts that I had read from our friend’s blog about Ethiopia:
- An entire generation of parents are no longer; there are 4.4 million + orphans
- One in six children in Ethiopia die before their fifth birthday
- 44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old
- 1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world)
- Drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals)
- Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school.
- Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.
- In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports.
This makes me sad.