Lilypie - Waiting to Adopt

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Journey to Adopt Part 2

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....