Author Unknown

Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it. But I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.

Mother Teresa

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why Ethiopia?

Guess what!?! It was almost 5:00 on Friday afternoon and I did one last check to the IAN website before the weekend started. We moved up again! That's FIVE times in one month!

When we tell people we are adopting, many ask us "Why Ethiopia?"

When we decided to adopt, we had a few goals in mind. We wanted a program that had young children, would only take a year or so, and was something we could afford without getting a loan. And most importantly, we wanted to adopt a child and give it a happy future. Some countries have very loving foster systems and the children have good health care. There are other countries where orphans come from very heartbreaking situations and their future doesn't look good. Some would starve, contract HIV, become prostitutes or childhood wives, or have no possible school or job opportunities. This is the child we wanted to adopt. We aren't rich and she will probably wear hand-me-downs. But, we can offer food, a warm bed, and goodnight kisses. And, we hope to teach her how much God loves her.

When you start looking at countries to adopt from, there aren't as many as you would think. Many countries are self-sufficient to take care of their own children. Others do not have the government set up to handle all the investigations and court procedures. Here are some of the countries we looked at and why they didn't work out for us:

China - Beautiful children! I would love to visit China because I work for a jewelry company and our factory is here. I love the people and would love to learn more about their country. But right now the wait is SEVEN years! Nuf said.

Russia - This was the original country I wanted to adopt from. We have some friends that adopted four children from here. They are adorable. But you have to spend up to four weeks in the country, possibly two trips, and lots of moolah!

Mexico - This is a very confusing country to adopt from. Each state has their own rules and you could be there for 2-3 weeks or 3-8 weeks. It all depends of if the judge waives the wait period.

Haiti - Haiti is easy to get a referral but uncertain how long after that until you can get custody of your child. After the earthquake, they are expediting some of the cases that were already in process. This might be a good opportunity in the future when they determine which children are true orphans and the ones that are just displaced.

India - must be married for 5 years.

Vietnam - Country has suspended adoptions until a new agreement can be reached.

Liberia - the children are four years and older.

Kazakhstan - This country actually lets you travel and choose which kid you would like to adopt. But this requires two trips and lots of money. Plus, I picked out our last dog, and she is a MESS. I'd be afraid to pick a child. I'll leave this to the agencies with some help from God :)

Guatemala - This country closed due to corruption. We know somebody who has a sweet little girl who's paperwork was not processed before the closing. Very sad that she can't find a way to get that pushed through. Also, my boss's husband has gone there to work with the orphans. There is sooo many in need. There are many families that live at the city dump and try to survive on what they find. I sure hope this country can open again soon. Keep them in your prayers.

Ethiopia is a farely new program, but growing with leaps and bounds. It is stable program that adds new rules all the time to prevent corruption. The children can be under a year, you can choose which gender you would like, there is no limitation to the number of children in your family or how much you make. (As long as you are over poverty level). There is only one week of travel required. And, you could get an escort if you wanted to, but that takes longer. Did I mention, the children are beautiful?!!

I do not know anybody who has adopted from Ethiopia, so this is a big leap of faith for us. But it just feels perfect for our family. We are very blessed with a good agency, a wonderful coordinator (who is meeting her second adopted Ethiopian girl today) and lots of support from other families. We have some friends that have switched from domestic adoption to adopting from Ethiopia. They are using a different agency, so we are hoping we get to travel around the same time. Our girls should be close in age. It will be so much fun to have Ethiopian meals together or get their picture taken in the beautiful Ethiopian dresses!

As we patiently wait on the list, I keep thinking of the hymn "In His Time." I worry a lot about our future daughter and how healthy she will be and how well she will fit in our family. Another adoptive parent reminded us "you will get the child that God wants you to have." This gives me peace.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another change

We are now number 8! Somebody received a referral for a 5 week-old baby boy! How exciting. However, I am predicting it will start to move slower after this. This was the last, of what I like to call, our freebies. Freebies are people that are on multiple lists and jump off our list when they receive a boy or older child. I think all the families ahead of us are waiting for baby girls now. The good news is there shouldn't be a problem anymore with space at the orphanage and care center. A huge group of families are in Ethiopia right now picking up their kids :) They sound like they are having a blast since they all stay in the same guest houses. I hope we have several other families travelling with us too. The more I learn about other adoptive families in our agency, the more I am impressed. They all have great big hearts and good family values. It never hurts to have more freinds like that.

Have you noticed anything different about the blog? I'm learning how to create a blog from scratch. I'm even playing with all the HTML code and all that techy stuff. I have a LOT to learn and a LOT more to tweak, but it'll get there eventually. I even found an African kit that I might change to later.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cup of Cold Water In Jesus' Name

I need some ideas!

I have done a lot of thinking about our trip to Ethiopia. I think God has given us a HUGE opportunity to help other people over there in need. Even though we will only be there for a week, I do not want to be the Americans that pick up our baby, hide in the hotel, and fly away to our big homes and food-filled refrigerators. We will see poverty, and will see A LOT
of poverty. These people are not hungry because they are lazy and sit on the couch all day. They are hungry because there are few jobs - I read up to 50% unemployment rate! Millions are homeless and scrap for food. Imagine what it would feel like to have starving children. I don't want to "look the other way" - I want to be able to help! My wheels are turning. I already have some great ideas from our agency of people we can help, including a list of things the orphanage needs. If you have any ideas of raising money or know of good ways to distribute anything collected, please post any comments or email me at I'd love to hear any ideas!

There will be lots more to follow on this idea as we get closer to travel!

Trying to keep up!

Our list has been moving so quickly, I can't blog fast enough! We moved up AGAIN today and are now in the single digits!

This is starting to sink in. It seemed like a dream when we first signed up. Now, there is this reality that we will get a referral in a few months and I'm not prepared. We need to pick out a name, start collecting items for travel and decorate the kids room. I wouldn't normally worry about this, but I have decided to sew everything. I'm going to make Cole and the new one matching quilts and then all the accessories. Have I made a quilt before? naaaa... this should be very interesting. If I never post a picture, you'll know it went BAD :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010



This Russian goat has brought you a special message....we are now #10!

I did read this goat was born with that number on his coat and they were looking for somebody that was #10 on a team to pay lots of money for this guy.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Baby steps

We are #11! Somebody accepted a referral for a six month baby girl! There is also buzz about more referrals this month. Sooo wonderful!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Merry Christmas Ethiopia!

Today is Ganna and millions of Ethiopians are celebrating! At 4am, they will dress in the traditional white shamma and go to church services at either the ancient churches carved from volcanic rock or the modern ones made of concentric circles. Here the choir will sing, you walk around the church three times with a candle, and stand for the mass which can last up to three hours.

Afterwards, the day is filled with spending time with the family. Since many fasted the day before, they have purchased their cow or goat and will have a big Christmas meal. It is very popular to play a game also called ganna, which is like field hockey with a wooden ball. They do not exchange gifts, unless it is a simple gift of clothes. I love this! I wish we could go back to a simple Christmas of worshipping God and playing games with family. I'd love to ditch the two months of shopping and trying to find a perfect gift for Aunt Freda.

Melkin Yelidet Beaal!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Can I live on this?

On Sunday, we had our first Ethiopian food experience. It was very ummm...good and strange. Mike's family was in town and they took us to a restaurant in Dallas that was nearly in a basement. His uncle is a well travelled man, so he ordered five different dishes
for us to share. Instead of utensils, they passed out injera bread. It was described as a sour bread that looks like a big, floppy dish rag. And that was sooo right! The food was brought on a big tray and placed in the middle of the table. This is a tradition in Ethiopia and emphasizes unity and friendship. You pull off a piece of the spongy bread and scoop up some of the mystery meat and vegetables. I say mystery meat because some of that stuff didn't look like anything I've eaten before. I heard one was lamb and another had a chicken leg beside an egg. I'm not sure if they were joking, but they said it answered the age old question of which came first. I believe one of the meats was called Kitfo. You have to be careful and ask for this cooked, or they will bring it out raw. Ew. I'm definitely going to remember that helpful hint! It's good to know that even though their food is very different than ours, I believe I can survive for a week. I've also read that there is a strong Italian influence in the country and you can even find pizza. Probably not stuffed crust, but it would be fun to try. They do not serve desserts at a meal, so I might have to stuff some oreos in my luggage too.