Saturday, November 28, 2015

Giving Hope!

The Christmas season is here and we have lots of ways to help you
make your Christmas giving have a huge impact!
It might sound like a cliché but giving through our YWAM Gift Catalog
really does change lives.

Visit our Gift Catalog here:

Thursday, November 19, 2015


by Jennifer Johns

Both of our daughters lost their first mamas due to childbirth complications. We had the privilege of meeting their birth fathers when we traveled for court and were able to learn more about our girls' biological mothers and the circumstances that led their birth fathers to place our girls for adoption.

It was obvious to us that both of these men loved their baby girls, but felt unable to care for them. One gave us his blessing and asked us to raise his little girl to know Jesus. The other told us how much he wanted his daughter to have both a mother and a father. We looked both of these men in the eye and promised we would love the girls as our own and would raise them to the best of our ability. We also told them we would keep them updated on how the girls are doing.

We were so grateful to learn that Joy was willing to travel to Gimbi and meet with our girls' birth families on her recent trip to Ethiopia. We prepared photo books, an update on how the girls are doing, and some questions we hoped the birth fathers would be able to answer. It was an incredible blessing to receive pictures, answers to our questions, and video footage of Joy's meeting with these men who will always hold a special place in our hearts. What I wasn't fully prepared for, though, were the emotions that would be stirred up in my own heart. As beautiful as adoption is, it is also quite complicated.

Our girls are 6 and 4. We talk about Ethiopia often and we have shared with them the details of their stories that we feel are age appropriate. It had been a while since we had talked in detail about the circumstances that led them to join our family, so we used Joy's recent update as a conversation starter. For a few days afterward, our older daughter asked me to tell her again about her Ethiopian father and her siblings that remain there. One night before bed, we were praying and her prayer was this, “God, please tell my birth mama that I am six years old and in first grade.” The floodgates broke at that point. How is a 6 year old supposed to reconcile the incredible losses that she experienced so early in her life?

It seems that even our four year old has some understanding of the complexities in her story. She was recently telling her brother about how she will be in Heaven with her birth mom someday. She immediately followed that comment by telling him how much she loves Daddy and Mommy. She will also say things like, “I never want to leave this family.” There is some part of her that intuitively knows that her situation is not the norm and she makes an effort to smooth things over for our sake.

While we are so grateful for the pictures and video that we received, they also serve as a vivid reminder of how challenging life is for our girls' families in Ethiopia. As I watched them look through the book of pictures, I wondered what in the world must be going through their minds. I know they were happy to see that the girls are growing and thriving, but I know it must also be painful for them, too.

Our older daughter's birth father and two birth sisters came to the meeting. I couldn't help but notice on the video that the girls made some of the very same facial expressions that Sena makes. I watched them interact with one another and my heart just ached at the realization that they are missing a sister. One sister is just a few years older than Sena and it was almost as if we were looking into the future at Sena in a few years.

Our younger daughter's birth father is very thin and shared with Joy that he is having some health issues. It is so hard for me to know that anytime I am sick, I can drive myself to the doctor and I will be treated while this man is suffering and does not have access to medical care. It just doesn't seem fair.

Our hope is to take both girls to Ethiopia when they are older. I know that will present a whole new set of challenges, but we believe that they need to see and experience their beautiful country of origin. In the meantime, we will continue to navigate the complexities as they come. Ultimately, we trust in the sovereignty of God and know that He has a plan for our girls that is good. They are resilient and I look forward to seeing what He accomplishes through them as they grow.

Special thanks to Jennifer and all of our adoptive families who made this trip to Gimbi financially possible. Your photos and letters brought great joy, peace and amazement to the birth parents with whom they were shared.

Monday, November 16, 2015

How the Church Works

The body of Christ at Lake City Community Church, in partnership with Adoption Ministry, has wrapped their arms around a city in Ethiopia... and God is at work through their personal, relational and financial support.

Fifty at-risk families have been sponsored.  The families of seven evangelists are supported monthly so the Gospel can go out in a region not friendly to the Truth.  Sixty children are attending our little kindergarten, learning their ABCs and hearing about Christ.  Mission teams travel to visit and serve this community.

We are so honored to partner with Lake City in Ethiopia!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Links You’ll Like

Eyerus and mom

Don’t Protect Yourself from Adoption
If you want your “dream baby,” do not adopt or foster a child. Buy a cat, and make believe. If what you like is the idea of a baby who fulfills your needs and meets your expectations, a cat is the way to go. Decorate the nursery, if you’d like. Dress it up in pink and blue, and take pictures. But don’t adopt. Adopting an orphan isn’t ordering a consumer item or buying a pet. Such a mindset hurts the child, and countless other children and families who are watching your family in order to see a picture of what adoption means.

5 Things Adoptive Parents Want Teachers to Know About Trauma
It wasn’t that the teacher was unprofessional, or rude (although we’ve experienced that), it was a lack of understanding. Most of the children in their classroom did not come from traumatic pasts. Most were not abused, or removed and placed in foster care. Most were not mal-nourished or left to fend for themselves before their adoption. Most had a forever home from birth.

Precious in His Sight
In this brief 20 minute talk, Dr. Purvis shares some fascinating insights about the way in which we were created by God to connect. As revealed in Scripture and confirmed by science, all humans are designed as relational beings. Yet ‘children from hard places’ have missed out on so much of the nurture and development that is ideal and serves to build a strong foundation of trust early in life. As a result, adoptive and foster parents must be committed and uniquely equipped to lead these children toward healing.

Monday, November 2, 2015

YOU Sent These Kids to School!

This last summer we began inviting you to help us get all of the children in our Adoption Ministry 1:27 sponsored families in school - with uniforms, supplies, backpacks and fees.  This week we received photos of some of the over 90 children you sent back to school. 

All of these faces show the joy of having new clothes and school supplies.  For many of them, it is unimaginable to go to school at all or to walk there with the proper supplies and a new pair of shoes.  What a wonderful way to start their school year!

Enjoy these photos (I couldn’t decide on a just a couple!)…

4 MK 0032 Yemisrach N
5 MK 0033 SelamKelbesa
6 MK 0035 Alemitu Markos
7 MK 0036Geremech Chernet2
8 MK 0040 Ehite Girma
9 MK 0037 Asima Biru
10 MK 0041b Asefu Kebede1
11 MK 0043Almaz  Tsegaye
12 MK 0047Kasech Denekew
13 MK 0048 Shashe Alameraw
14 MK-0016Alemitu Beyene

THANK YOU on behalf of many children and their parents for the opportunity to go to school, something we can take for granted in our wealthy culture.  You are changing the future for so many!!

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