Thursday, November 11, 2010

That Changes Everything.

For the past year and a half we've been thinking about orphans. Praying for orphans. Reading about orphans. Researching the stats about orphans. Advocating for orphans.

Even though we've known the worldwide orphan crisis is real - it was abstract. The shear numbers were overwhelming. The problem seemed too big. The solution seemed allusive.

Then on Friday, November 5th we were introduced to a little boy. And that changed everything.

The "worldwide orphan crisis" was narrowed down to one little boy.

It is no longer abstract - he is a precious 2 and half year old little guy with curly hair.

The problem of orphan will soon be met with the solution of son. And that changes everything.

We couldn't be more excited to be able to put a name with a face. We're ecstatic and humbled and that God chose us to parent this little guy. Unfortunately we can't post his photo online, but his sweet eyes should give you an idea of how cute he is. We love him already -  and that changes everything.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Everyday 24,000+ children die from poverty related issues like:

unclean drinking water

24,000. Everyday. And we are adopting 1 (2 if we're lucky).

What about all the others? The financial cost of international adoption is significant. There are agency fees and paperwork fees and plane tickets to be bought. It adds up fast. Some argue that the money spent to adopt one child could be used to feed many. And they are right. $30,000 would go a long way in Ethiopia.

But just because a child is fed doesn't mean all his needs are met. Children thrive in families - where they feel loved and secure. A mosquito net may protect from malaria, but it doesn't nurture or teach.

The process may be slow, but we are committed to it. So we wait - not just with a house, health insurance and a pantry full of food, but with arms ready to embrace, words ready to encourage, love ready to give, and basketball drills ready to be taught (seriously).

But, we can't forget about the 24,000.

While we've been saving vigorously for the adoption, we wanted to give to those around the world still in need and we wanted to make sure we didn't forget. God wanted to make sure we didn't forget. And so he gave us rice nights.

One night a week, instead of a full-fledged meal, we eat only rice. It reminds us of the millions around the world who don't have enough to eat. It prompts us to pray for them. And since rice is so inexpensive, we save the money we would have spent on dinner and give it those in need. It's a win - win.

This "journey" has been so much more than we ever bargained for. We're seeing things we've never seen and being challenged in ways we've never before experienced. It's definitely a growing process - complete with growing pains. But it's good.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Explaining "The Wait"

We have officially been "waiting" for 7 months now (that's AFTER our paperwork set on desk in South Georgia for 3 months). My mom called the other day and proclaimed that she couldn't believe this process had "already taken 2 years!"

Yeah. She's not the best at math. But mostly I just think she's just eager to be a grandmother (wow, that makes her sound old). This is the woman who bought a crib 2 weeks after we told her we were adopting.

So, if there are are 4.5 million orphans in Ethiopia alone (and there are, according to UNICEF), what's with the "wait"?

Well, there are several reasons.

Just like we had to spend several months (4, to be exact) collecting paperwork, each child must have correct paperwork, too. It's a pain, but it's necessary. The paperwork documents the child's life up to that point and how he or she became an orphan. Paperwork is important to preventing child-trafficking. (I know, it seems really crazy that child trafficking happens when there are so many children in the world truly in need...) Anyway, for our paperwork - I worked like a mad-woman - drove all over creation to pick up documents (had family members drive all over creation to pick up documents) - and it took 4 long months. Imagine social workers and orphanage directors attempting to gather the proper paperwork for children in their facilities. Internet certainly isn't reliable, multiple languages are involved, children often come from remote areas, etc, etc, etc.

Courts in Ethiopia - the ones that process adoptions - close for 2 months out of the year for rainy season. So NOTHING happens during that time. And, when rainy season has passed, there is a log jam in the courts.

Ethiopia (like any country) has limited resources to put towards intercountry adoption - there are a limited number of workers at the various Ethiopian agencies responsible for processing adoptions and apparently they only have 24 hours in their day, too....bummer.

Also - we're adopting a baby. There are many, many waiting children in Ethiopia. Paperwork is already in order. They are just waiting on a family. We are adopting a baby for various reasons. He will be our first child and we thought it would probably be best to start with an infant who wouldn't know that we don't know what we're doing. Let's be real, a 7 year old would OWN us.

So, that's the deal with "THE WAIT" - hopefully it will end soon!
...join us as we bring baby "Eli" home from Ethiopia and advocate for the 147 million orphans worldwide...