Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Updating our story!

If you have linked here from my fundraiser on A Charity Project
thank you for visiting!!

Here are some links you may want to read to get acquainted with our story!

I leave for Ethiopia on January 5th - arriving the night of the 6th, 
and meeting our new 5 on Ethiopian Christmas - January 7th! 
Melkam Genna, everybody!

I will be able to share photos of our kiddos once we pass court in Ethiopia,
but until then, just imagine 3 boys and 2 girls ages 9 down to 3,
and put enormous smiles on their faces while holding photo albums filled with 
pictures of our family and promises that we are coming for them...
and you've got an idea of how precious they are!!

We are blessed that you would consider donating a dollar per plane ticket home...
just $7 from a bunch of people can be blessed, multiplied and expanded to cover
our trip home from Ethiopia with our new kiddos!! 
Thank you for being a part of our story!!

Paul, Chrissy and a dozen amazing kids!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

...and that's when I started to cry.

I didn't think it was getting to me.

You know, not having my kids all here this Christmas.
I mean, there was never a chance they'd be home by today...
so I shouldn't have it in my head that it was ever a possibility.

But then this morning,
our two littlest girls were laying on the couch with Daddy,
talking about the new names for their brothers and sisters.

Daddy says,
"You know... Mommy is going to Ethiopia soon to meet your brothers and sisters!"

#5 says:
"Mommy's going to bring them home now!!?"

Daddy says:
"No, not this time..."

I'm in the kitchen getting ready for brunch with family
and listening to this conversation,
and trying to maintain my Christmas spirit.

she says
"Oh, that's so sad, Daddy! 
They has no Mommy or Daddy in Ethiopia... that's sad."


...and that's when I started to cry.

That's what it is...
mindlessly putting up 14 stockings and being
lovingly reminded by my husband,
"let's just put up stockings for the kids who are here this year, okay?"

...and that's when I started to cry.

Crap, this is hard.
Being here, them there...
not wanting to be apart from either bunch of kids...
Christmas is about family.
It's about love.
It's about warm-fuzzies and
crazy relatives and
husbands cooking strange things and
egg nog in Santa mugs and
cookie baking with the kids getting sprinkles all over the place.
It's about squeals of happiness,
hymns in church,
and softly glowing trees visible through windows.

It's NOT supposed to be about having nearly half your children across the ocean.

I leave in 12 days.
And I'm spending Genna in Ethiopia with my babies.
That's Ethiopian Christmas!
I'm not totally missing it...
and I know they don't know they are missing being here.

But I know.
And it hurts.

Merry Christmas, sweet babies.
Next year.
Next year there will be cookie baking,
and candy canes in hot cocoa,
and 14 stockings by the fireplace.
And I will tuck you in,
and whisper "Merry Christmas, sweet baby."

And OH how sweet it will be!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

10 for 10 (or : "But what can *I* do?")

ALL of my kids at Kechene have sponsors!
Thank you all!!
Are you a blogger who would like to advocate for these children by taking on your very own 10 Kids? Email JWilson@hopechest.org

Throughout the past few years, I have had this nagging prayer: 
"Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours."
He is faithful to answer prayers...
all of them and especially this one.

I remember hearing in my heart one night,
"okay, baby girl... I'm going to break your heart for what breaks mine, but it's going to hurt. I made it the first time and I will put it back together."

The things that Jesus breaks and puts back together are better than the original.

Then...we flew to Ethiopia to bring our littlest three home. 
Among the great scenic beauty and wonderful hearts of the people, we saw children on the streets, starvation, desperation, and pain. These are HIS people. His children. And they are hurting. 
I saw first-hand mothers sitting on the street with their children sitting in the dirt. A child coming to the window of our car and just standing there looking into my eyes - thrilled with a handful of peanut butter candies. 3 and 4 year old children collecting water from puddles with old plastic oil bottles. I saw starvation. I saw lepers. I couldn't believe what I saw. 

Broken. Shattered. Torn to pieces.

And then we got on a plane and flew home - broken for what we saw, but overwhelmed with the need.

Another blogger friend and upcoming travel buddy has begun working with Children's Hope Chest to sponsor kids at an orphanage. I've got my very own group of kids who need sponsors and I've committed to get them all sponsor families! 
Okay... I've talked a lot about the why from my perspective... read on to hear Missy's heart and learn about the kids you can encourage and love from afar!

Last night, my daughter fussed after I put her to bed, telling Mama that something wasn't right. I went in to check, and found a wet-diapered little girl who was trying to fall asleep in a big wet circle of spilled bottle, shirt soaked through.
I let Daddy deal with diapers and fresh PJ's while I handled the sheets.
 As I tugged off the wet ones, my heart sank. 
 I thought of all the big wet puddles on the crib sheets in the Enat Elam video, and the newborns with bottles propped up against blankets learning to self-feed... I thought of my own two adopted babies, waiting for me in a care center in Ethiopia, 
rocking themselves to sleep. 
 My babies. 
I'll be honest. I lost faith for a moment.
The immensity of the AIDS and orphan crisis finally did what it does; it punched me in the stomach and told me that anything I can do is not enough. As I scrambled to pull myself together and manuever crib sheets around bumpers, I prayed that God would keep my candle lit. I thanked Him for fresh sheets. I asked Him to handle the dark voice that did not belong to Him and remove it from my brain. 
(He did, because He does.)

I am battling that dark voice every day. We all are. The one that tells us that we are not big enough to make a difference, because the problems of this world are too overwhelming.
So we do nothing. And yet we have a responsibility as Christians. It's right here in black and white. Actually, it's in red lettering.

What EXACTLY does GOD say about our responsibility to the hungry? 
To those in Africa who are "sentenced to die" by starvation?
Well, it's harsh, and you aren't going to like it. The first time I heard these words on Daily Audio Bible, I was floored:
11 Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death...
12 Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
Soul-crushing, right? So what can we do? Where is the solution for this impossible situation? After reading this post by author Tom Davis, I read his book, Red Letters. I found an answer, amidst all of the statistics that reek of death... It lies within our five small barley loaves and two small fish.

The disciple Andrew asked: 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” John 6: 1-14
  The boy had faith. 
The disciples had statistics. 
Don't let Satan use statistics to trick you into thinking that you should not offer Jesus your small lunch because it won't make a difference.
Have faith. Be the boy.
Ready and willing to help? Confused about what to do? I understand. I am, too. I will never fully figure this one out. How about sponsoring one? How about being the disciple who tells a lonely child of God that they are not forgotten?

The benefits of sponsorship go both ways. You and your family can write letters telling that child that Jesus has not forgotten them, and neither will you. You can back those words with a year or more commitment to sponsor them in education and health care.

You get to watch God work. And He DOES.
  Want to see what your tiny fish and barley loaves can do when placed in the hands of Christ?
  Want to see Jesus feed the 5,000 all over again?

Do you want to be the one to hand over your lunch while everyone else stands around asking questions?

Do you want to see what He can do with your tiny fish...

And your 5 barley loaves?

Offer it to Him. (He still puts on a show.) Why am I doing this today, when I am sure we would all prefer a nice post about homeschooling or a walk in the garden? Because I have a 6 month old, 9 pound daughter...

who will not grow up sitting in the dirt begging for water, and a son who will never beg for food. Because I have prayed and searched for the right charity to point my readers to, and I believe in this one, because sponsorship programs allow you to impact one person's life in a way that can change the future. Any of these kids could have been ours. And I mean all of ours.

These are God's kids, and they belong to all of us. We must mark the lives of the lost with the love of Jesus Christ. We must TEACH them LOVE.

These photos are the proof of lives changed through Children's HopeChest
You can be the hero by doing something that will give you more joy than you have ever known.
You can tell them you remember.
You can be the one to love "the least of these." - Matthew 25:40 Today, you can a part of this miracle The blog hosting this guest post is joining together with 9 other bloggers to find 100 children their sponsor families.  10 Bloggers x 10 Kids = 100 children. 100 children loved, fed, remembered.

  The children pictured below were chosen specifically for this blog.   

Choose your child today, and email JWilson@hopechest.org with your child's name in order to request their sponsorship package:
1.  Embete  Thank you, Rita!

2.  Mikias Thank you Treible Family!

3.  Dawit Thank you, Bolton family!

4.  Aman Thank you Stacy K!

5.  Medanit Thank you Kim!

6.  Lidia Thank you Tisha!!

7.  Henok  Thank you, Mom!! (Jeanne)

8.  Ayenalem Thank you, Beth C!

9.  Muluken Thank you Melissa!

10.  Tamirat Thank you, Amber G!!

11. Saubers family now sponsoring -  Sentaheyu! Thank you, my friend!
(yeah, I know it's 11 kids, not 10. It's going to be okay!)

I promise you, this experience will bless you 100 times more that you could EVER bless these children.  $34/month = one child loved, fed, and remembered.
Are you a blogger who would like to advocate for these children by taking on your very own 10 Kids? Email JWilson@hopechest.org

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why I've been quiet...

It's just what every obsessed, email-stalking parent fears...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Moving right along

I got an email yesterday
that had me smiling 
for quite awhile!

"your dossier was submitted to court today".


For those not fluent in adoption lingo...
this just means that our great big book of every important paper in our lives
has been translated into Ahmaric,
and they took it and logged it in with the court 
so that they can look it over,
and assign us a court date!

Things are different this time around.

We will have to personally appear in court.
(which means we are making two trips out of the country)

So...sometime within 1-2 weeks
we should get another email
letting us know when to be there the first time.

No, we won't bring our kiddos home this time.
That will be unimaginably hard, I'm sure.

I made this awful visual aide for your viewing pleasure!

So... as you can see... we are at the beginning of this messy timeline!
Prayers appreciated...
sometimes I'm scared out of my mind,
sometimes I am so impatient I surprise myself,
and sometimes I just feel totally inadequate.

Come on court date!!
I want to go meet my babies!!!