I often wonder when the pains began. She must have felt her swollen belly and wondered how she would manage to give birth to a child with no hospital bed and no doctor. I wonder if she labored in someones arms inside a mud hut or did she squat in the bush all alone hoping to muffle her cries so nobody would know that she was delivering life into the world.
We have never met our daughter’s birth mother. It is possible we never will, yet there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of her. Perhaps it is not knowing our daughter’s birth family that makes knowing her country so special to me. We know that the land who gave us our daughter is a place we long for. I long for the Ethiopian smile and the diverse culture. I long to help so many I saw living in desperate conditions. I long to touch the hearts of those children who like Ava were left due to poverty, disease religious or cultural differences and/or a variety of other reasons. I long for the simple and sweet African ways that can teach us all so much about what seems to sometimes be very mixed up here in our American culture. I long for the music and the zesty food. There is so much about the country that continues to grow in and speak to my heart. I have seen first hand the orphan crisis and I am so grateful for the opportunity to act with kindness, humility, outstretched hands and a prayerful heart.
One of the places I look so forward to visiting is the Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa. I remember learning about the plight of many African women who give birth at such a young age and with no help from a physician. It stunned me to think of all that woman endure throughout the developing world as they give birth to their children. The girls living in the Ethiopian countryside are the workers in the villages. They begin working at very young ages and this hard labor and lack of nutrition often leads to stunted growth which means those who are married off and become pregnant are not fully developed to pass a child through their birth canal. Many woman end up wtih broken bodies and or a medical condition known as a fistula which causes urine to continually leak from their frail bodies. These woman are quickly shunned and forced to live out their days as outcasts in their village. They are treated like animals or perhaps treated worse than animals. The Fistula Hospital is a great place of refuge for those who can make their way to Addis Ababa and receive treatment. Click here to learn more about the hospital we will be visiting. Many of the woman never return back to their respective villages after enduring years of abuse for the condition that was caused by giving birth. I look so forward to just being in such a place of hope and restoration and I look forward to showering the women with adoration and God’s grace. The documentary below is amazing!
The other morning I pulled the globe off the shelf and began to spin it to make Ava giggle. It became a magical moment as I realized that soon I will travel back to the country where Ava was born. I will be on Africa soil witnessing to and loving on Ava’s birth people. Someday when she is old enough I cannot wait to share with her the miracle that God has shown us in inviting us to return to Ethiopia so soon after bringing our daughter home. I wish I could better articulate all that I know to be right about this journey to GO and SERVE. I simply cannot wait to touch the soil from where our daughter lie waiting for the miracle of rescue and adoption. Thank you God for first adopting me.