Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ethiopian Fellowship Night

On Saturday, February 27, twelve families in the Seattle/Tacoma area, who either have adopted children from Ethiopia or are in the process of adopting, gathered at Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant in Seattle to celebrate their children and their culture. Parents and kids alike were encouraged to wear their traditional Ethiopian dress. It was a really wonderful evening and a great chance for these families to meet each other. Most were families adopting through Adoption Ministry of YWAM Ethiopia.

For me, to see those beautiful Ethiopian faces enveloped in their forever families was a tremendous blessing! Both of my college-aged daughters, who have each been to Ethiopia and visited many of these children at the orphanages, were able to be with us that night. My family has closely followed each child's story - from the time they were taken in to our program to the time they were brought home. We've prayed for them, anxiously received news about their placements and rejoiced when they met their new families. I can't describe the feeling of seeing them all together on that night!

For those families who haven't yet brought their children home, it was an opportunity to meet other families at various stages of the adoption process and imagine what they will one day be experiencing. I have to brag on our families for just a minute - both those locally and from all over the United States. We are working with some of the most faith-filled, rock-solid people I've ever met. Many have persevered through very difficult waiting. Yet we often find that they encourage us with their stand of faith and commitment to prayer. We're so honored to serve this wonderful group of believers!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Free Book Download

**This download is no longer available but I really encourage you to buy, borrow or check this book out from your library!

If you haven't already read this great novel by Tom Davis, founder of Children's Hopechest, now is your chance! In Tom's own words:

Scared is a work of fiction, but the world and life stories described in the book are very real. I’ve experienced them up close in my work as CEO of Children’s HopeChest.
I’ve met hundreds of kids who’ve lost parents, or whole communities of adults, to AIDS. I’ve held a starving child, and I’ve put my arms around a young girl the age of one of my daughters who’d been abused by a family member. I’ll never forget the five-year-old boy, coming from his empty hut miles away, carrying his two-year-old sister on his back to get food at a carepoint.
There aren’t words to describe your emotions in the face of these circumstances.
I write this, like Scared, not to shock, but to give voice to these children – to make them heard. And to bring them help.

The publisher, David C. Cook, is offering a free download of the book from now until Friday, February 26th - only three days left so don't put it off! Click here to go to the webpage for your free download (registration required).

Please watch the trailer and get the book!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How do you instill compassion in your kids?

We want our kids to 'get' the importance of God's command to love their neighbors. But how do we help make that a reality?

I think you'd agree that first and foremost, we instill compassion in our kids by living lives of compassionate love. Nothing speaks more clearly than example. Nothing discounts our words more than lives that don't back them up.

Second, giving kids opportunities to extend compassion to others etches those lessons deep into their hearts as they experience the joy of sacrificial love.

But what about ways to give them a glimpse into the lives of children on the other side of the planet? While most of us can't afford to take our children across the globe to witness third world poverty firsthand, Compassion International has created a really neat online resource:

Quest for Compassion was created “to educate your children about global poverty and help them develop a heart for the poor around the world.” Kids choose a “travel buddy” avatar and journey around the world learning about life in other countries in this interactive game featuring graphics, animation, and audio. Registering for the site is optional, but if you sign up for an account, your child can save his or her progress and keep a virtual travel journal.

Let's share some other ideas for effectively instilling compassion in our kids! Leave a comment below and tell us some things your family does to love 'the least of these' in Jesus' name - raising money to give, sponsoring a child, adopting an orphanage and _______________??

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blog Links You'll Love

Rough Day - Long Road to Healing
Written by the sister of one of our adopting families who have taken in a refugee family until they can find housing. Be sure to scroll down the blog and read about this amazing story. And please pray for these families who are living out their love for Christ.

Choosing Life in Ethiopia
A great post on some sobering statistics about the reality
many pregnant women in Ethiopia face.

I Don't Want My Children to be Happy
From a favorite blogger on why they've chosen to prioritize their
adoption from Ethiopia over their children's college savings plans.

Is This A Big Problem?
An experienced adoptive mom shares a tip on dealing
with her son's extreme reactions.

Two great posts on keeping your marriage strong
through the challenges of adoptive parenthood...

Parenting - The Good, Bad and Ugly

First Came Love

And a quote to frame, engrave or post on the wall
from Blessings from Ethiopia:

"When we think about laying down a life for another we usually think in terms of a singular event. But it is possible for us to lay down our lives over the course of a lifetime,
minute by minute and day by day. And it is the work of
the Spirit to empower us as we seek to lose ourselves in acts of lovingkindness and sacrificial living."
- Elaine Puckett

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Little Dresses - Love this idea!

So little goes so far in Africa! Look at what a simple idea has resulted in! I love the pictures of women working on this project in their homes with their kids helping too.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book Report

Occasionally, we like to give you a little book review written by either one of our staff or one of our adopting parents. Our reviewer today is Heather Mitchell, who is adopting a toddler from Ethiopia.

Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft
by Mary Hopkins-Best

The book gives a lot of insight into the special needs of toddler adoption. The author gives many examples from her own toddler adoption as well as from other families who participated in her research. The book was written specifically to discuss and make the reader aware of common difficulties that are specific to adopting a toddler - both domestic and international. She discusses the importance of attachment: what it is, how to achieve it and when to seek professional help. She is very encouraging, but also very blunt and honest about the negative and lasting effects of loss on the toddler.

I HIGHLY recommend this book for ANYONE adopting a child between 12
and 36 months. A MUST READ.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ethiopian Worship

Your Ethiopian kids will love watching this video!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Lord Takes Care of the Innocent

As we pray for the children in our orphanages - and for all of the orphaned and abandoned children in Ethiopia - we can know that they are in God's tender care. He is their Defense, their Provider and Protector.

"But I will protect the orphans who remain among you."
Jeremiah 49:11 NLT

"The helpless put their trust in You. You defend the orphans."
Psalm 10:14 NLT

"Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent. They will receive an inheritance that will last forever."
Psalm 37:18 NLT

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Adoption is God's idea.

Before the beginning of time, God picked us to be adopted into His family. We were orphans - without a future or a hope - until He rescued us from our helpless place in life. Adoption was our only hope!

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. 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. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son.
Ephesians 1:4-6 NLT

The most natural response to being chosen and adopted into God's family? Give that same love to those who are orphaned and without hope. See them with the same love we ourselves received. It's not only a sign of compassion but it's a mark of obedience.

For some, that will mean financially supporting an orphan or orphanage. Churches, families and bible study groups can 'adopt an orphanage' and take on the monthly support for staffing and supplying a Widows and Orphans Home.

Some will go to those places around the world where widows and orphans are in great need of help. YWAM has many short-term missions opportunities.

And for many more, adopting one or more orphaned children is the Spirit-caused reply to God's great love.

Let's never forget - we are His kids by adoption. It's why we can cry 'Abba Father!' Every child needs a parent.

How does God want YOU to respond?

Orphans of God
Who here among us has not been broken?
Who here among us is without guilt or pain?
So oft’ abandoned by our transgressions
If such a thing as grace exists
Then grace was made for lives like this

There are no strangers
There are no outcasts
There are no orphans of God
So many fallen, but hallelujah
There are no orphans of God

Come ye unwanted and find affection
Come all ye weary, come and lay down your head
Come ye unworthy, you are my brother
If such a thing as grace exists
Then grace was made for lives like this

O blessed Father, look down upon us
We are Your children, we need Your love
We run before Your throne of mercy
And seek Your face to rise above
written by Mark Heard

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Glimpse

This beautifully made video shows the plight of millions of Ethiopia's children.


(Be sure to watch in full screen mode - arrows pointing out - and allow time for video to load)

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Very Happy Reunion!

It's pretty cool when children who were friends while living in an orphanage in Ethiopia are reunited after being adopted in the United States! Brothers Fraol and Behayelu came home to their forever family in Puyallup, Washington in September of last year knowing that their best friends would be coming soon. But 'soon' can seem like a very long time when it takes four months!

Beza, Cherinet, Fraol and Behayelu at YWAM's Widows and Orphans Home
April 2009

These kids were living as brothers and sister for many months!

So you can imagine the excitement these two felt when it was finally time to greet their friends at the airport...

David and Daniel with their hand-painted signs, teddy bears and balloons.

We're SO glad you're here!

David and Cherinet (Joshua)

Mom and Beza (Aliyah) - a bit overwhelmed!

And here's a short video of the airport reunion!

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