Walk this way…

What an adventurous week it has been. From baseball to soccer to outdoor water fights, school field trips and parties, saying goodbye to teachers and friends and so much more. We have been outdoors nonstop and Miss Ava has been out taking it all in and crawling wherever she can. Over the past few days she’s been steadying herself on the cement and doing Frankenstein footsteps. It is precious to see her try with such focus and joy.

How far she has come from her early days at Hannah’s Hope where little was known about her eventual health. As I see her reaching the major milestone of walking, I go back to the streets of Ethiopia. I go back to the birthmother who was brave enough to give Ava life. To know that if her cries had not been heard her life would be so much different keeps me so connected to God on a daily basis. I know that He intended this child to be our daughter and for her to be rescued from life in an institution or perhaps even death. What amazes me today as I see Ava making even more strides and putting one foot in front of the other to walk to her Daddy or her brothers is this…

There are 163 million more Ava’s, both babies and children who need someone to call their own.

163 million!!!!!

I want to thank each of you who loves and supports us in so many wonderful ways.  Sharing Ava’s story and pieces of her life may seem strange to some but If you are reading this blog than it is my guess that the plight of the orphan touches your heart.  All children are special and deserve to be called sons and daughters. All children are special and deserve to know that God loves them and knows that they each have unique gifts to bring to the world.

This is one of the weeks when I wish I could humbly do and say so much more to convince others that understanding the world’s orphan crisis and digging into  simple ways to alleviate their pain and horror, would actually bring them the most amazing sense of peace and hope. So many of us live day to day with this odd feeling that something is missing. I know I have lived many a day wondering that with all I have and all I am able to be a part of,  is this it? It is an awful question but I bet I am not alone in my thoughts.

What I know now is this… walking the path of adoption, missions {both global and urban}, learning about how to help those in poverty or those who are marginalized has caused me to see the eyes and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. I am no saint and I make a million mistakes daily but I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and it helps me to give more, covet less and pray often. One of my friends, Ashli, who visited Ethiopia with a missions team just like I did last February, is now living in Ethiopia and working with Project 61 in the trash dump community of Korah. She posted this line on FB recently. I love it!

“The best decision I ever made was falling in love with Jesus.”

Now Ashli sees the world through the eyes of Jesus. She walks alongside those who Jesus would visit and treasure if he were here in the flesh today. Jesus continues to beckon me to WALK THIS WAY in my attitudes and my future plans. I am hanging on tight and loving every minute of the journey. So what about you?I would love to hear from you. Do you ever feel like something is missing? What are the ways your walk with Jesus is currently helping you in your life. There is much to be learned from one another. I would love to read your comments.

Ava’s walking is precious and she brings us so much joy. Our wlalk with Jesus is precious and also brings great joy. Ava was meant to be here in our hearts and in our family and I thank God for her life every day. If you should ever feel even a slight tug at your heart towards adoption or fostering of sponsoring a child, please reach out. I would be happy to help support you or help you find someone who might better help you. We are all in this together and if your heart beats for the orphan well then you’d better explore it don’t you think? 🙂

Here is a photo of our sweet girl this week learning to trust her legs and putting one foot in front of the other to get to where she wants to go.

School is out for the summer so I’ll be sharing more about that tomorrow. That is if I can accomplish anything with all four kiddos home at once!

Lots of Love,


2 thoughts on “Walk this way…”

  1. What a beautiful post! I am so proud of my wonderful niece and I hope her story will bring that little extra push that someone anyone out there reading your blog needs to go forth another day with plans for adoption. As you know I recently visited a school for orphans here in Dar Es Salaam Tanzania and there is so much need! They have no shoes, no medical supplies very few books and resources. I am sure there are many who are worse off than even these kids are. What I noticed most was that every little treasure I brought to them they held as if it were a miracle. How many times do we as Americans experience that feeling? How many ‘things’ do we throw away each day, month, year because they look old or have a scratch? For anyone reading this, the next time you reach to throw something away, think of the orphan somewhere out in the world who might treasure it as if it gold. Find it in your heart to do something, anything to help in your own way. Love and grace live everywhere among us. We only need to open our eyes to find them.

    I love you Melanie and am so very proud to call you my sister!
    -Shanny D

  2. What great moments you are capturing!! It’s so hard to think about her life without your family but easy to see that she is the perfect compliment! I have been brainstorming an idea to raise money for the well project… I think I have a good one! My kids are pretty good artists so this weekend I’m going to have each of them draw a Father’s Day themed card and maybe a couple of generic ones and make cards… on the back it will say that it’s for raising money for a the well. I would like to have them made on snapfish or something… so basically like the Artworks project cards. They let the kids at Goodwillie take pictures of wild flowers, various outdoor things, etc. and made cards… on the back it said, “through the eyes of Rachel…” – I thought that was such a cute idea. I use them all the time. So I’ll keep ya posted and see how it turns out. Thanks for your inspiration and ideas:)

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