Thursday, August 30, 2012

Telling the Truth

No one can possibly know what each family's adoption journey will look like - it is a unique experience.  Families prepare in the best way they know how by attending classes, reading books and talking to every adoptive parent they can find.  Adoption Ministry offers what we feel is a truly excellent training that covers most all of the important topics and we emphasize the potential difficulties because we know it's better to be prepared for the worst and be pleasantly surprised if you don't have to deal with those things.  
But God alone knows what will be required of you as an adoptive parent and He alone is able to give you everything you need to do this job.
I want to offer several links to blogs that do a great job of honestly sharing the experience of a few adoptive moms after they've been home with their children adopted from Ethiopia.  I appreciate their transparency and their practical wisdom and I hope you do as well.

We’ve Come A Long Way Baby
@Fun Times With The Reeves Family
No amount of adoption training in the world could've prepared me for the reality of bringing a once-orphaned child into our home… This road you said yes to is hard, and it's a day-to-day battle, but it's so worth it!  Your child is worth every tear… 

The Art of Losing Myself
@Until We Are Six
This has been, and continues to be, without a doubt the most sanctifying experience of my life. I've actually considered filing a petition to rename the process of adoption to ‘sanctification’…

The Truth About Adoption: One Year Later
I get asked all the time: “What is adoption really like?” Well, sit down, my curious friends, because I’m going to walk you through the first year of adoption with absolutely no only a moderate amount of hyperbole...

One Year Home
@My Outside Voice
At times it feels as if E has always been here, giggling and hugging, yelling and running, dancing and singing in our midst. It seems like we must not have really lived before she was a part of us.
There were times, in the last 12 months, that I was convinced we wouldn't make it. Or at least, we all wouldn't make it together. But, God is good, His grace is sufficient, and we have arrived at this point together. Happy, exhausted, inspired, in love, and ready to tackle many years to come…

Feelings and Grace
@We’re All Yours
Some of the feelings I have listed below were short-lived and faded within days of getting home. Others are still part of my daily emotional life. All of them came as a surprise…

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Today is Buhe - an Ethopian children's holiday. “Hoya Hoye” comes from a children’s song chanted during the holiday. Kids travel door to door in groups singing this traditional call and response. They pound walking sticks to the beat and take turns singing praises in rhyme to earn coins and dough. Every Ethiopian knows this song regardless of tribe. Normally, people also celebrate it with lighting a few wooden torches commonly known as "Chibo" in their houses after returning from the church ceremony that is held, that is much larger.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Grab a cup


Pour yourself a cup of bunna (iced might be a good idea!) and enjoy some good blog posts about adoption and love for those God loves…

When You Realize You’re Living In A Bubble
@Michael Hyatt Intentional Leadership
“Wosne, if you could have anything else, what would it be? How can we help you?”  Her answer stunned us.  “Nothing,” she declared. “Nothing at all. I have everything I need. I am the happiest woman in the world.” And she meant it.
Interview: An Adoptive Mom to Adoptive Moms
@Together for Adoption
It’s different reading a book and living it out day after day.  Your marriage faces new stressors, your friendships often change, at times you can question if you truly have lost your mind.  There is GOOD NEWS, though.  NONE of this takes the Father by surprise!

The Fundraising Manifesto {An Adoptive Parent’s Guide}
@The Farmer’s Wife Tells All
I want to encourage those of you in the fundraising process. Fundraising is HARD. Sometimes it doesn’t bring out the best in us (myself included!) My hope is that this will provide some perspective and refreshment for the weary.

Adoption and Parenting: What I Wish I Had Known
@Urban Servant
What I didn't know when I started this journey as a bio mom 16 years ago and as an adoptive mom four years later…


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Those Beautiful Faces

If you’ve been in a car or van in Ethiopia, you’ve experienced the stares, joyous waves and smiles - both shy and exuberant -  of many children along the roadside.  






The further you get from the capital of Addis Ababa, the greater you’ll notice the excitement (or complete shock) to see a ‘ferengi’ or foreigner.






These little faces of Ethiopia’s children, often dirty but always beautiful, will be forever etched in your mind.





Thanks to Jeff Burns for these great photos!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Dad Who Said 'Yes'

by Joy Casey

BettyBetty is around 8-10 years old (nobody knows for sure).  and her parents are dead.  She has nobody else in the world to care for her… nobody, until a deaf man who cannot speak adopted her.  Her adopted father is an older gentleman and is so poor that his days were spent scavenging on the garbage dump near his home.  Still, he knew that Betty needed family and he also knew that God would provide one more meal a day if he said yes to the call of adoption.    For the first time Betty is enrolled in school and is #1 in her first grade class!  Dad is so proud of her!

Betty and dad e

Betty and her dad have been “adopted” by a great couple in the U.S. and now they don’t have to worry about their food making them sick; every month Adoption Ministry 1:27 makes sure they have enough to eat. But last month Betty broke her wrist and there was no money to pay to get it fixed. Dad wrote a note to the case manager asking if Adoption Ministry 1:27 could pay the hospital bill for Betty. He said they would do without help with food* for a month and the case manager agreed.
I have never had to choose between getting my child “fixed” or eating. Never.  Have you?
*Because of some generous people who have donated to our benevolence fund, food was purchased for this family. Thank you!

If you would like more information about our ministry to preserve families and prevent orphans, please visit our Adoption Ministry 1:27 website.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Love for Ethiopia

by Julie Steimer

Virginia Beach team
A year ago I went on a mission trip with YWAM. My desire at the time was three-fold. I wanted to serve. I wanted to “meet” Ethiopia. I wanted to meet the boys that we were in process of adopting. I was blown away from the whole experience and hope to go again on another trip someday. Some things that stand out that I wasn’t expecting and that made the trip so worthwhile are:

  • I was surprised at how quickly I felt close to my team. I had never met a single person on the team before meeting in Dulles. I am actually not an adventurous person so this was a big deal for me to just take off to parts unknown with people I had never met, but God wove our team together and I still keep in touch with several team members.

  • I loved getting to hear from missionaries and pastors that YWAM is connected with and/or support – their hearts are so passionate about loving the “least of these” for Christ. They are the hands and feet of Christ with so little consideration for their own needs.

  • I very quickly felt close to many of the Ethiopians we met; especially some of the staff at the orphanages, a social worker/minister in Korah, and some others we met along the way. Even after we have completed the adoption process, I know I will have a divided heart – missing the people I met, wanting to stay connected with them.

  • It took me awhile to feel comfortable diving into the culture (things like shoulder bumps and the food), but once I did, I just wanted more – more language, more dance, more history.

  • In my sheltered US home, I guess I always thought of Ethiopia in terms of the pictures we see on TV of the drought and poverty. On the missions trip we were able to travel outside of Addis and really see the beauty of the country and its people. Yes, there is extreme poverty, but there is also amazing beauty.

I have since been to Ethiopia two more times in the process of bringing home the first of our two boys. While those two trips went very well and have their own fond memories, I am thankful that I also was able to go on the mission trip and see Ethiopia and her people in a different light.
samuel coming home day 074Julie and her husband Mark have adopted one boy through the YWAM/CHI program and are in the process of another adoption with us.  Their family is a great example of the way God often creates an ongoing connection to Ethiopia in the hearts of adoptive families.  



Friday, August 3, 2012

Summertime Links


I Remember Summer
@Empowered to Connect
”As I’ve been working on plans for this summer, I recognize how differently I approach summer as the mother of children from “hard places.” When we adopted our children, I thought they would fold themselves into the life we were living, but their needs have required us to dramatically change the way we live, which includes how we plan our summer.”

Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself
@Radical Love
“…For those who ask questions: Why do you try to help the 1) disabl...ed child, 2) the sick child, 3) the foreign child, 4) the older child, 5) the child from a broken system or institution? or make comments: 6) I could never love an adopted child like I love my own, 7) I am nervous about what an unknown child may be like, 8) I’m glad he/she is not my son/daughter; 9) Adoption is not an option I consider…Here are my replies:”

A Letter To My {pre-adoption} Self
@No Hands But Ours
”I am you… five years later… and five years into your adoption journey. And I want you to know some things that I think will help you along the way, some really important things.”

Powerful Words
@One Thankful Mom
”When it was time for bed, Little Man told me he was afraid that in the night, the scary thought about the rabid rat would come back. So I took a piece of paper and wrote, “Jesus is with me” in big letters. He practiced reading it and took it to bed with him”

Teaching Your Values By Living Them First
@Empowered to Connect
”Respect for others (and yourself), kindness, gentleness, self-control and other similar character qualities provide our children with a solid foundation and prepare them for the future. The question for parents, however, is how best to teach these values in ways our children can understand and make their own. Specifically, we need to ask how we can best do this for our children who come from hard places and have not had these things consistently taught, modeled or esteemed.”

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