The beginning: 17 years ago with a momma’s heartcry and a dad’s face to face visit with orphaned children.
The blessing: 2 crazy loved Ethiopian boys who have rocked our world and the HUGE privilege of being able to serve hand in hand with our Ethiopian brother and sisters bringing hope to children and families in Awassa, Ethiopia through Hawassa Hope.
There is so much more to these stories that I think I would have to have a 2 hour video. I am going to sum them up quickly with Things I Have Learned Through Adoption:
1) Don’t put God in a box.
My boxes that God busted open:
- We put under age 3 because I didn’t want to full with “baggage” (Ab was almost 6 when he came home to us)
- I am not traveling with Greg because I can’t handle it (terrified of planes!) (God said yes, you can )
- I don’t want to meet or have any relationship with birth family. It’s too emotionally complex. (We did and now have a beautiful relationship with them and I can’t imagine not having it! I am sooo glad God busted that one!)
- Special needs parameters. We went from “minor correctable special needs” to wishing we had opened that up more during our adoption to now if we were currently do an adoption would much broader and include HIV. Be sure to keep an open mind and heart for that decision.
2) Remember that God is faithful.
When we accepted our first referral for a little guy who was 7 months old, the whole slow down in Ethiopia happened and I was a mess thinking that the our child might wait a year or more (the thinking at the time) to come home. A friend emailed and told me this “God has told me to tell you that your son will be home by the time he is 9 months old.” Now you have to know that this friend had never told me things like this before and she is not the person to proclaim things such as this. In fact, she told me she was nervous about saying it but God clearly told her to do it. I posted her email on my fridge and read it. over and over again. Then the phone call came that this first little guy’s mother had taken him home to raise. (which was a good thing but my emotions were in a whirlwind!) and I promptly balled that paper up and through it in the trash in a fit of despair.
Fast forward to receiving Teshale’s referral and bring him home. At exactly 9. months. old. Greg reminded me that MY son would come home at 9 months old. God is faithful and true to His word. Remember that in times of doubt.
3) God did not call us to easy.
There have been many times when I have wondered about the easier path.The paperwork and governmental hoops can just about do you in sometimes. The emotional complexities of adoption are daunting. Trauma is hard. Blending a family together takes work. Sometimes exhausting and emotionally draining work. Is it worth it? As I look into the faces of my kiddos…yes. yes. yes. Is it easy? Not at all.
But in the words of my husband “God didn’t call us to easy”