Monday, November 30, 2009

An email from Joy!

Joy has arrived safely in Ethiopia and spent her first full day in the capital of Addis Ababa. And it was a full day! She had a lovely lunch with Pastor Abdissa, who runs Children's House International's program in Ethiopia. He is a man of God with great integrity.

Abdissa Benti Leye

Seven of our children who have already 'passed court' and are living at the transitional house, The Thomas Center, that CHI has in Addis got to spend time with Joy today. She showed them pictures of their families here in the U.S. and helped them try on the new clothes their families sent. She said, "My heart swelled as they excitedly pointed to 'Papa!' and 'Mama!' and their new brothers and sisters, trying to remember their names that must sound so strange to them. They were all so patient waiting their turn. I guess I am a little prejudiced and will sound like the doting grandma I am, but I am thankful beyond words that God assigned these precious children to our orphanage and brought the perfect family for each one of them. Not only are every one of these children beautiful to look at (and they are that!), but they are exceptionally bright as well as loving and affectionate. I could eat them up with a spoon!"

Joy has asked for prayer for divine wisdom and ability to communicate clearly to those she is meeting with. Her plan is to try to get daily emails sent while she is in Addis - electricity permitting!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Our Fearless Leader travels to Ethiopia!

Joy Casey, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of meeting her, is the director of Adoption Ministry of Youth With A Mission. Joy not only heads up the domestic side of the ministry, but in 2007 she answered God's call to begin an international adoption ministry in Ethiopia. Joy had no idea what God had in mind but it has been immeasurably more than she could have asked or imagined!

Today Joy begins a three week working visit to Ethiopia. She will do quite a bit of traveling as she visits YWAM works in Addis Ababa, Adama, T'ede, Gimbie and Nekemte - all cities where Adoption Ministry is helping to meet the physical and spiritual needs of widows and orphans. As she is able (electricity being extremely unreliable), she'll be emailing me with updates.

Please join with me in praying for Joy for the following:

  • physical strength and protection
  • ability to meet with every contact she needs to make
  • favor with those in leadership positions
  • insight into what is needed in each location
  • wisdom in decision-making
  • opportunity for taking pictures and video of new and current children for our 'Waiting Children' list and those already matched with families
  • fellowship and encouragement between Joy and our staff in Ethiopia
  • good sleep and rest - then energy for each day's work!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

For these gifts we give You thanks!

From them will come songs of thanksgiving
and the sound of rejoicing.
I will add to their numbers
and they will not be decreased.
Jeremiah 30:19

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Beat the Drum - see this movie!

With his father's last gift - a tribal drum - in hand, a young boy orphaned by a "mysterious plague" travels to Johannesburg to find his uncle who he hopes will help him and what's left of his rural village, which is being wiped out by the same "plague." But instead his journey leads him to new friends, the truth about the plague and unexpected hope. He returns to his village to teach his people about what is killing their loved ones.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Africa Adoption Necklaces

Aren't these just beautiful??

Tracy at Junk Posse donates some of the proceeds of her necklace sales to help families who are adopting. Be sure to check out her website - you'll love it!

If you visit the blog Ethiopia or Bust you'll find all the details for ordering! And Amy is even giving away a free necklace...

It's this one:

Did you ever notice that Ethiopia is shaped just like an angel wing? Me either!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Links You'll Love

We'll start off linking you up with two different sites about African hair! Be sure to browse around on both as they have several other links you'll find really helpful. These will need to be added to your 'Favorites' for sure!

Happy Girl Hair: Here is a wonderful site for hair styling tips, products, the 'politics' of African hair, links to other haircare blogs, and more - all written by the mom of twin girls adopted from Ethiopia.

Beautiful African Hair: This blog, written by the biological mother of three and adoptive mother of seven, shares a wonderful post with tons of pictures and great suggestions for books and videos on caring for and styling your child's hair! Awesome!

Meet Abarash, a mother of two who tells why having safe drinking water is important to her and her daughters. This video clip is a peek into the daily lives of so many in Ethiopia, who must trek many miles to find and carry water back to their homes. Adoption Ministry is working to provide water filters and clean water to many in villages near our orphanages. One way you can be part of this vital and life-saving work is by purchasing a bio-sand water filter for a family in Ethiopia. Please visit the gift catalog page of our website to find out how!

Growing In My Heart, Not Under It: Adoptive moms experience many of the stages of pregnancy while they wait for their child's arrival. Thanks, Rachel, for sharing this wonderful article written by Andrea Kidd.

Celebrating Gotcha Day: One family's joyful celebration of the day they 'got' their little girl from Ethiopia! Love these ideas!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pass It Forward Adoption Fund

I found this wonderful idea over at Amy's blog - Building The Blocks. It's called the "Pass It Forward Adoption Fund." Amy and her husband have 4 biological children, 2 adopted from Guatamala and 1 adopted through the foster system. So you know their hearts are tender towards adoption. Now they are adopting a child (or children) from Africa.

As you know, international adoption is not cheap. For a family of any size, the prospect of funding an adoption can seem overwhelming. So when someone anonymously donated the money to completely fund their latest adoption, the Blocks decided to "Pass It Forward."

Please go here to read their incredible story. I'm not sure what you'll do with this or how you might make it happen in your sphere of influence but I think this is God's desire. In Amy's words:

It’s about living for a purpose greater than ourselves, our needs, far greater than something we can accomplish on our own - but knowing that through us, Christ can. It's about seeing someone else in need- and meeting that need, even when it’s hard, even when it hurts, even when it makes us uncomfortable, even when it’s work - because when we follow Jesus our life is no longer our own. There are 147 million orphans in this world - NONE OF US CAN DO THIS ALONE, but together I truly believe we can start to be the change.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Some Links You'll Love

Do You Treat Them Different? Joy Portis answers the Target cashier.

Destiny: From the journal of an adopting mom-to-be.

Tension: Living in the interim.

Christmas in Ethiopia: In case you're thinking it's the same as here!

The Joy of Shoes! Such a simple gift - such a happy boy!

Jeremiah Comes Home: A sweet story in pictures of one family bringing their son home from Ethiopia.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Orphan Sunday

"Defend the cause of the fatherless..." Isaiah 1:17

Today is Orphan Sunday. All over the nation churches, small groups and prayer gatherings are meeting with one goal: that God's great love for the orphan will find echo in our lives as well.

You can be a part of a live webcast today from 4 - 6 pm central standard time. Steven Curtis Chapman, Geoff Moore, the Children of the World Choir and several speakers will "give a megaphone to the cries of the millions of orphans around the world."

Millions of orphans.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

National Adoption Awareness Month

November is National Adoption Awareness Month! The main focus is on the adoption of children currently in our foster care system, while increasing awareness of adoption in general.

All during the month of November, states, communities, public and private organizations, businesses, families and individuals celebrate adoption as a positive way to build families. There are so many opportunities to educate ourselves and those around us about adoption. Every time a family adopts, it's a loud-and-clear message to their community that adoption is a wonderful way to complete a family. Just this morning in my church, a young couple dedicated their three children to God - all adopted through the foster-care system. I wanted to lead a standing ovation!

Adoption was God's idea and He showed us by example the great value He places on it.

"God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." Eph 1:5 NLT

In a recent adoption attitudes survey, the majority of people stated that their primary source of information about adoption comes from friends and family and the media. What has been your experience with people's perception of adoption? How have you been able to share God's wonderful plan for your own family through adoption? Your comments posted below will be a great kick-off to our month of Adoption Awareness. Just click on "Post A Comment."

Be sure to check out for some resources to help and encourage you!
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