This is the package that carried our hearts through Paris, Dubai, and on to Ethiopia :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Today we are officially one month into the waiting process! Our dossier is now in Ethiopia in the right hands, so we just pray that they find our little one soon. We are so excited to be done with what's called the "paper chase", and now in the waiting phase...although the waiting is tough! We have been busying ourselves with painting his room and getting things ready which has been fun. We are trying to pace ourselves though so that we don't run out of baby projects before we have a baby! It seems to make the waiting easier to have things to do. You may find us wandering aimlessly around Babies R US just looking at things, but I'm thinking that's probably normal, right? :)

I love to read, and I just started a new book called One Million Arrows (Raising your children to change the world) by Julie Ferwerda. I would encourage anyone who is a parent, is expecting a child, or wants to be a parent in the future to read this book! I have only read the first five chapters, but so far it talks about how it is nobody's responsibility to raise our children but our own - not the pastor, youth pastor, teacher, or sunday school teacher. We have a very short window of time to impact our children's lives for eternity, and we must be intentional about it. I want to raise a world changer! In chapter 5, the author quotes a (famous) father:

"If I could get my kids to the age of twenty-five knowing and serving God, and having character that pleases God, then I knew God would be happy and I would be happy. The only way I could do that was to do it myself - commit to God that this is my job. Our goals weren't just typical goals. I tried to give him a vision early that if he worked hard and became a successful quarterback, he would have an amazing platform for Christ." - Bob Tebow

A few of the principals that the Tebows employed in their parenting were teaching them to memorize scripture daily, encouraging them to pick heroes who modeled good character such as humility, teaching them at an early age to care about the problems and needs of others, and using smaller problems to teach them how to deal with bigger ones. I think they did a pretty good job, don't you?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Me and my mom with all the babies on New Year's Eve. Can't wait until Silas can be a part of these pictures!

"Why aren't you adopting a child from the U.S.?"

"Why aren't you adopting a child in the US?" is a question that we have been asked many times over the last seven months. Some just out of curiosity, and some out of disagreement in our choice. Maybe many of you have wondered "why Ethiopia" yourselves. First of all, I will start by saying that an orphaned child is an orphaned child no matter where they are located in the world. The issue shouldn't be the where, but instead the why [are there so many orphans]. Second, we should guard ourselves against an "us and them" mentality. We are all created and loved by God. The United States and Ethiopia are very different countries located on different continents, but we are all part of the human race and this big and wonderful world that God created! Third of all, if we all just adopted within our own countries, the children of Africa would be without hope. Most of these children are orphaned because of the AIDS crisis and poverty. They may have extended family members who they could go to live with, but most of these family members cannot afford to take care of another child, leaving them orphaned. Furthermore, God told us to adopt from Ethiopia, so we are. You don't argue with God!
God has put such a love in our hearts for Africa. My heart is burdened for Africa. On top of the millions dying of AIDS over there, there are also people dying by the hundreds of thousands of curable diseases (such as malaria and tuberculosis). They need clean drinking water, they need better medical care, they need health education and prevention, they need they need they need! Be praying about how you can be Jesus to the people of Africa. We are praying about ways that God can use us now, as well as how God can use me there once I finish getting my R.N. degree. Children get bit by mosquitos in their sleep and contract malaria - buy a mosquito net for a family for $18 and save a life, or purchase seeds so that they can grow food for their family( Ask God to show you how you can help.
"When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed. We have refused to be instruments of love in the hands of God to give the poor a piece of bread, to offer them a dress with which to ward off the cold. It has happened because we did not recognize Christ when, once more, he appeared under the guise of pain, identified with a man numb from the cold, dying of hunger; when he came in a lonely human being, in a lost child in search of a home." -Mother Teresa