Monday, November 24, 2008

November 17th - The Day We Meet the Kids

So it is Monday morning we had coffee at their equivalent to Starbucks. Everyone loved the coffee - I opted for strawberry juice - SO GOOD!

A few of us, myself included were not feeling our best - I think it was just the anxiety, emotions, lack of sleep and the altitude that was getting to us.

After coffee - we had an orientation meeting to help us better understand what to expect on the trip. Then we headed upstairs to lunch, we waited for another couple to arrive that had their flight delayed. The next stop - to meet our children. Later that evening we went to a traditional Ethiopian restaurant and watched traditional Ethiopian dancing.

Here are some pictures.

Our Journey

We left Portland, Oregon at about 9:30 am on the 15th. We thought we had a straight flight to Washington DC, Dulles - but that got changed. We had to fly to Chicago first - no big deal - it was to be a stop only, and not a plane change.

Once we were on the airplane - we were told that we would have to have a plane change in Chicago.

When we finally did arrive to DC, we only had 45 min until it was time to board the plane for Ethiopia.

Due to all the changes, our luggage did not make it to Ethiopia on Sunday night with us. The luggage did show up on Tuesday morning.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Day We Left for Ethiopia

Early morning on the 15th of November, we took 8 18 gallon totes and 2 25 gallon totes, plus one piece of luggage each for my Mom and I.

When we got to the airport - a wonderful man helped us with all the luggage - we were so thankful for this.

No excess baggage fees were waived, but we did have one piece of luggage that was over weight - they waived that fee for us.

Here are some pictures of that day.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Today is the day

Well here it is November 15th. I leave in about an hour and a half. Bags are packed, 10 rubbermaid totes with donations are packed, kids and husband are asleep - all is well.

Yesterday we had quite a scare, Duni, our family coordinator, called me in the morning saying "I have an urgent situation with your paperwork" - I gasped - immediate mama mode took over. She said that last week everything was fine according to the consulate, but today, they were missing our addendum - without it they will not release the kids to me.

After several phone calls to different government agencies, all is fine and the proper paperwork was wired to Ethiopia by noon.

I really feel that we all need to fight for these children, it seems - to me - that the enemy does not want these babies home, even to the very last minute he is fighting to keep them from their families - those that are in process - Pray, Pray, Pray for your kids, for the paperwork, for the government agencies - both Ethiopian and US, Pray for the adoption agencies and the employees, the care takers, etc. I truly believe that this is a spiritual war. Do not loose faith or hope - in all things praise God - that is what I had to remind myself yesterday while we were running around getting yet another document notarized.

This will probably be my last post until we get settled in Ethiopia.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Donation Update - 40 hours and counting

I have to say that I am beside myself with the out pouring generosity toward these children. You are all angels!!

Here is the donation list so far:

264 cans of formula - more than 175 pounds
36 cans of tuna
baby bottles
baby blankets
baby cereal
jump ropes
rainbow parachute
baby food
MANY cans of protein drink mix
Plus six more boxes coming from my Mom's elementary school in Tillamook.

Here are the pictures - enjoy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Six days and counting

Well, Yesterday was a long and exciting day. It was shopping day. So far I have 40 cans of formula, 32 cans of tuna, 36 bottles of pediasure, a few jars of babyfood and two big bags of protein drink mix. I have more coming from other places - once we have it all in one location - I will take a picture and post it. I have had to hold back money from the donations to help pay for the totes and the baggage fee.

After talking with a United International person yeterday, I found out that the baggage fees are going to be $180 for each extra bag - Yikes! Our church gave me $1200 to help cover this - Praise God - still needing $420. If I can raise more to go toward that $420, I will spend more of what I have held aside and get more donations to pack and take with us. If you want to donate, my paypal account is

We are getting so excited. Last night at dinner we were all talking about what it was going to be like to have two new people in the house and two new faces around the table - oh - it will be so amazing, challenging, fun, confusing - and so many other marvelous things.

We also found out that one of our good friends will be joining us in Ethiopia to bring home their other daughter - so excited to have a familiar and loved face with us. Also, so glad that our kids know each other - hoping that will help them keep up their language some.

Well that is it for now - so much to do - so little time. Thank you so much to all of you who have helped or will be helping with Project Impact, painting my daughters room, helping me pack, childcare - oh the list goes on and on. You are so loved and we are so blessed to have you in our lives.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What are We Missing?

I was on my way to get groceries this morning - without the kids - a rare occurance - when I heard this song - Give me your eyes. I am sure that I have heard it before - but I hadn't listened to the words.

You see I know that God gives everyone a passion - we each just need to figure out what that passion is. I am sure if you are reading this blog you have caught on to what my passion is. However, don't misunderstand me. Not everyone has the same passion - if we all had the same one then not all of God's work would be done. It takes all of us with many different passions, skills and talents. It does however, mean that we should not be limited to just our passion - we are after all brother and sisters and need to help and support each other and each other's passions.

So this song made me ask myself the question - what am I missing - not seeing. I don't want to miss a single opportunity that God has for me - whether it has to do with orphans or something else. So my prayer is this - Lord, give me your eyes so that I can see all that you want me to see and your heart and to love the way you love.

Here is the chorus to the song that spoke to me today.

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

And the blessings keep coming

Currently the situation in Ethiopia is making it very difficult to obtain formula for infants. Not just because the cost is insanely high - but is it difficult to even acquire. In our adoption group alone - there have been two deaths of baby girls before their parents could come and get them. This should never happen. Additionally, older children do not get the much needed protein in their diet.

Earlier in October, some dear friends hosted an auction called Project Impact to help with the future costs of formula, food, electricity, etc, of the orphanages and transition house that our adoption agency supports. However, because the cost is not so much the issue in getting formula, families are taking as much formula as they can over with them as donations, when they travel to pick up their children.

Currently I have been sent more than $800 to buy formula to take with me. I am so honored to do this. I am hoping to get some funds donated to help pay for the cost of excess baggage. The excess baggage will cost somewhere between $130 and $180 per bag - depending on whether I need to pay the domestic airline fee or the international airline fee. I am hoping to have 6-8 extra bags between my Mom and I. I will take as many as the airline allows and as many as it takes to get the formula and other donations over there.

Additionally, God was able to orchestrate a donation from Gymboree for new clothes for 350 children! This is wonderful - so many people take clothes for babies - but not for the older children - the clothes will be for children ages 2 and up. I will need to find a way to get this to Ethiopia as well. All donations need to be taken with someone as baggage, as shipping it there will have an expense in tax about 4 times the value of the goods being shipped. We are trying to be as financially efficient as possible.

I want to thank all of you who are donating! You are touching little lives across the world! I will continue to post as I have more info on this.

What the Lord spoke to me about adoption

One night I was woke up around 2ish - completely unable to sleep, but I had all of this information repeating through my mind. You see I had been struggling with the lack of participation in various adoption and orphan care seminars that I had recently hosted. I believe God gave me these words to keep the fire in me going - because, to be honest, I was burning out.

I will warn you - it is preachy - but this is what God said to me and I know it is meant for someone to read and/or hear.

So here it is:

James 1:27 NLT
Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans.

To care for orphans:

What is the definition of care?
to watch over; be responsible for
protection; charge
to make provision or look out
To be concerned or interested
To provide needed assistance or watchful supervision
Watchful oversight; charge or supervision
Close attention
An object or source of worry, attention
feel concern or interest

You see, God is not here in the flesh to hold, feed, burp these babies, help the children with their math and grammar. If we are the hands and feet of God, then we must do these things for these children. These are God's children - the fatherless - if he were here in the flesh to hold and nurture these kids, he would - but he isn't and that is why he has asked us to care for them.

Here is an example.

If you and your spouse needed to go away and couldn't bring your children - wouldn't you ask someone to care for them - not just anyone - but someone you trust?

If I asked my friends and relatives to care for my children until I send for them - that does not mean to write a check and pay for a nanny or babysitter - No - it means to care for them personally - to take care of them.

Likewise, God has asked us, someone he trusts - Yes, God trusts us and he has told us to care for his children until he sends for them. That means until they go to be with him. - what an honor! To care for them when they are sick or scared, to celebrate their victories with them, guide them through their trials, give them support as they become adult children of God.

This is so much more than writing a check to support an orphanage somewhere - that is essentially a nanny or a babysitter. Now don't get me wrong - I am not saying not to give financially. There are millions of children who will never be adopted for many reasons - country policy, illness, mother still alive, etc. Indeed, we need to support them and support the ones that will someday be adopted, but need food and shelter until their family can come and get them. We need to financially support them, pray for them, go to them and minister to and hold them - be the hands and feet of God. But those that the world says are eligible for adoption - we must care for them in the way in which we would expect a friend to care for our current children - in the way in which God would care for them.

Here is another example:

If you have adult children and under age children and you and your spouse were to pass away - wouldn't your adult children care for those younger children - bring them into their own home, raising and guiding them in the same way you would have done?

God is not here in the flesh to do all of those things mentioned before - but not only are we the hands and feet of God, we are his adult children and we must take care of our younger brothers and sisters - What a disappointment to our Father if we don't.

Ephesians 6:1-3 NIV Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2"Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." - I believe these verses apply to not only young children and earthly parents, but to us as adult children to our heavenly Father. Do I do everything the Bible says? I am sure that I don't - but I want to know what I need to do so I can obey - just as any child wants to please their parents.

Luke 10:2 NIV The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

A dear friend of mine presented this verse to me in a way that really struck me, and then God added to it - here it is.

If you look into your neighborhood, church and the world you will see pockets of harvest ready - but if you look at an orphanage, at street children - you will see fields ready and waiting to be harvested.

Corn that is not harvested will rot, whither and die as the bugs, worms and birds destroy it.

In the same way children who are not cared for and taught about the Lord - will also be destroyed. Their spirit will whither and die, their bodies will follow suit as the enemy attacks through illness, starvation, abuse, drugs, prostitution, worthlessness and death.

Why are the workers so few if the Lord instructs us to take care of these children? It is not meant for just a few of His adult children to obey his words. The few cannot do the work of the many.

Something to consider.