I am in Ethiopia and since this is my second trip in one month, I can tell you it feels a bit like coming home. There is something here that has stolen my heart. First and foremost it is the birthplace of a little princess who sleeps next to me so sweetly and peacefully. She was born in this beautiful land of great history, beauty and friendly smiling people. She was also born into circumstances that surpass all understanding for many of us. She was born into poverty, perhaps cultural shame or maybe to unhealthy parents who would not be able to care for her. The total circumstances of her birth we may never know but we do know that God perfectly orchestrated her survival and her safety. Of course I cannot explain why her and not all the children we see who endure so much, but I find myself feeling such gratitude to God, who rescued our daughter, first adopted her, and then connected all the many dots to make her our child.
Ethiopia has also stolen my heart because there are so many children who still wait. From newborn babies through young adults, we have seen the staggering numbers who wait to find their last best hope. Maybe it is their hardship that makes me want to pray over each child and ask God to connect with each individual child’s heart. They are so innocent in there hardship. I wish I could do more for the children I have met and sometimes it feels strange to know that I return home to fresh food, running water, wonderful schools and many simple comforts. After seeing all that I have seen in such places as Korah or on several of the streets of Addis Ababa, I just know there is more we can all do. International adoption for me has brought me an awareness that I always hoped I would find. Adoption is a feeling of hope and redemption. It is a feeling of being stretched to see the needs of million of children right in front of us. It seems that we as a family have now been entrusted with this priceless little gift and all God asks in return is to pass along the knowledge we have gleaned. I feel that this path has lead me to encourage others to better understand the plight of the orphan or the call of the widow. Help the child who remains behind with sponsorship, help with an education, personal letters, prayer, a visit to he or she through a mission trip or very simply by sharing your own testimony with others.
Tomorrow we head back to a shopping area of Ethiopia called the Post Office shops and I cannot tell you how eager I am to revisit the orphaned children who sleep across the street under the bus station. They are orphans and beg to survive. Not only do they beg for money to eat but one child begged me to bring him to America. His question haunts me yet I find myself giving a wink and a nod to God every time I think of it. Helping one child at a time when there are millions is all we can do. Just BE THE CHANGE for one. Help one. Pray for one. Pay for one. Think of one. Adopt one into your hearts or perhaps your homes-JUST ONE can make all the differnece. And all the while thank God for first adopting YOU!
Here is Uncle Wass as we loved to call him with my sweet little Miss on his shoulders. Don’t cha love his t-shirt?
You can get one here
Wass is the driver for All God’s Children International but to all of us visiting Ethiopia to meet and then pick up our children, Wass was so much more. During our final day in Addis Ababa many of us were yearning to het out of the city a bit to view the beautiful countryside that everyone talks about. Wass agreed to take us and we had such a dleightful morning of celebration and fun as we navigated the streets of Ethiopia with Wass at the helm. We ended up heading south into the courtyside and stopping all along the way to bring birr and snacks to the peopleof the various villages we saw. We were reaching out with snacks, kind words, photos and of course smiles. It was such a feeling of joy as we opened the doors to our bus to stand before each child with hunger or great need. We were just giving and loving and enjoying all the beauty of the Ethiopian countryside. I was amazed just how motivated Wass is to help his own people. He loved every minute of showing off his country and he took every opportunity to jump out of the bus and deliver a snack to the little ones we would see on the side of the road. It was a priceles morning and frankly it was an amazing feeling to give everything we had in birr and food away. Wish I could do more of that every day of my life!
This little peanut below was simply a stunning child. He was standing all alone across from what appeared to be his house and he was as eager to see us as we were to see him. In our culture we would not just accept any ole snack provided by a stranger but in a land where people work so hard and generally have so little, each person or child we encountered was eager to eat and excited to accept our small gift. It was a precious exchange.