Sunday, December 5, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Would you like to donate to a few good causes at once? Do you need Christmas gifts?
I have Acacia necklaces that were made by widows and single moms from Kasana, Uganda. Your donation of $25.00 will give you a necklace and in turn support their income. A portion also goes to orphan care and to my adoption fund. Please consider donating in two ways.
1. If you are local, message me about getting a necklace. firstname.lastname@example.org
2. If you are from out of town, order one from the "buy now" button from pay pal.
Thank you so much for your support!!!!!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Christmas shopping anyone? Please take a look at these amazing scarves. They help sustain women in Africa. It's an organization that I've seen first hand. You can even find a cool video on how to style your scarf!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
So my sister Jill and I just returned from an incredible conference in Austin called Together for Adoption. It was amazing to be with people who have a God inspired passion for orphans. It was both joyful and sobering. Again, I was reminded that we can not be frozen in fear but must move forward in faith. The answer to the orphan crisis is God's church. I am praying for God to show me the part I am to play........
Here is part two of my journey to adopt story.
A year passed and I had an opportunity to return to Ethiopia for a two week mission with Mocha Club. My sister could not go with me because she had just picked up my sweet nephew Silas from Ethiopia. So, off I went to Ethiopia with a group of incredible strangers. It didn't bother me that I didn't know anyone on my team because I got to return to Ethiopia. I was so anxious to get back. Incredibly, I would be visiting the orphanage where my nephew Silas lived. My sister gave me pictures to show the nannies that cared for him. (Remember, the baby room I described in part one of my story? Well, that was the room that held my precious nephew Silas when he was in the orphanage).
At that same orphanage, I met a little girl. She seemed distant and hollow. She had a blank stare and seemed overwhelmed. I held on to her while I was there. I knew enough to know that she was well taken care of but lacked that one-on-one attention and eye contact that babies and toddlers need. For some reason, I was drawn to her and held her each time we visited the orphanage.
To this day her eyes stay with me. She is the face I think about when I hear about the "orphan crisis". Again, all I knew to do was to pray that she would find her forever home. Her eyes haunt me and they should.
While in Ethiopia, I fell in love with a town called Ambo. We were there to work with a Compassion International school and Mocha Club projects. While there we met a man who ran a ministry for the hundreds of boys who live on the street in Ambo. The boys live on the street and clean shoes to earn money for food. In order to spend time with them, we had to feed them since they were not out earning their food money. We were humbled that they would come off the streets to hang out with us. We threw them a birthday party.
While at the school in Ambo, our team leader asked if the teachers in our group would meet with the teachers from the Compassion school. I was thrilled to sit and talk to teachers that worked with these kids. What we found from our conversation was that we share common concerns. We were all concerned about kids who didn't eat before they came to school, lack of resources, and kids who were not ready for the next level of learning. I was blessed by speaking with these teachers. They had such a heart for kids and so little in terms of resources. When we asked them what they needed, they asked for prayer. Humbling. I was encouraged by meeting with them.
A kindergarten teacher in the kindergarten classroom.
All of these kids fit in this sweet school.
The two weeks went fast. The team of strangers that I went with became family. As I left Ethiopia to return to the states I knew that I would be back. What could I do to help the teachers I met? What could we do do help the boys of Ambo who lived on the street? What about the girl with the vacant eyes?
As I boarded the plane to come home I had all of those questions running through my mind. I thanked God for what I saw and experienced and I asked him to help me sort out my questions. Selfishly, I could not wait to get home because my new nephew Silas would be coming to visit. It would be the first time I would meet him. Coming off the plane in Killeen, I received the greatest surprise and blessing....
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Everyday someone comes up to me and asks about my adoption. They want to know where I am in the process and some ask what led me to here. I find it so comforting and encouraging! God uses His people for so many good things. As you know, this journey is going to be long, so I will take all the encouragement that I can get. So here I go, I am going to tell my story about why I am adopting (this will be a 3 part story).....
Three years ago, my sweet sister Jill, asked me to go on a mission trip to Ethiopia. Jill and her husband were going to adopt from Ethiopia. Jill wanted to connect with her future child's country and asked if I wanted to go along. After some prayer and consideration I concluded that I also wanted to go to Ethiopia and learn about my future niece or nephew's home country. I was 35 and had never been on a mission trip. I don't think I ever imagined that my first trip would be to Africa. I immediately felt peace about my decision and off we went on a two week mission to Ethiopia.
My life was changed each step of the way. I learned that Africa is beautiful. I learned that Ethiopia is full of beautiful people and many lives there have been touched my tragic circumstances. I learned most about Ethiopia by loving on babies in orphanages, playing soccer with street boys in the rain, and by observing how God can use one person to make a difference in another person's life. I loved watching the nannies who cared for the children. In one AIDS orphanage, some of the nannies couldn't tell where they worked because it was taboo. Believe me, I was humbled by all that I saw and experienced. I was absolutely disturbed by seeing the infant room at one orphanage. It held nine newborn babies. They were swaddled and looked like sweet tootsie rolls, three to a bed, in a room the size of my walk-in closet. Ouch.
The experience that we had left me very tender and emotional. As we boarded the plane for home, we discovered that there were going to be 30 orphans on our plane. We learned that they were coming to America for a two week camp. They would be staying with church families and they were hoping that these connections would lead to adoptions. A boy sat across the aisle next to me. He was about 12 years old. I watched this sweet boy on a plane for the first time. There was such hope and light in his eyes as we took off. He was so brave. Everything was new to him. The fifteen hour flight was full of "firsts". He experienced his first take off, weird airplane food, and TV. As the flight went on, they turned off the lights and many people went to sleep. I watched this lovely boy carefully turn on his reading light and take out his English/Amharic book and begin to study. At that moment, with tears streaming down my face, I wanted to take care of him. I even told God that I would adopt him. But I knew that I couldn't. I was single and I wasn't ready to be a mom. I did the one thing I could for him. I prayed for him. He stayed in my prayers and I learned a few months later that he was adopted by the family in Texas that he stayed with. Wow! God is good! Meeting him was when I first thought about adopting.
I am in the middle of my journey to Ethiopia to adopt a child. This is something I know God is leading me to do and a journey I am grateful to be on. This adventure started a year ago when I let the world know that I was going to adopt. The road thus far has been curvy and I hope to use this blog as a way to keep family and friends updated on my progress. Please join me in my journey to a new normal! I can't wait to see what God has in store for me!