Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I had a little giggle.....

I had a little giggle yesterday....as I realized something.

Something I must have known, but did not admit? Not even to myself. Because once I said the thought, in my mind, it locked in like a missing puzzle piece. Like it was there all along, unnoticed.

As I read some responses to my "Surely Not" post, and read once again, Linny's great post on other's reactions to adopting, or adopting again....

I got this little giggle, way down deep in my tummy/heart....

...a secret thrill.

The giggle came from the fact that I realize, ....
as I wait for Olivia, confident she will join us early in 2010, after our long wait
as I tighten the belt and watch our budget tightly
as I pray and ponder over each of my precious children's individual challenges
as I struggle over my own spiritual growth
as I juggle schedules and field trips and home work
as I make Christmas, rather than buy Christmas
as large birthday parties have been replaced with small family celebrations

as I wonder how God can think I am enough, as their parent
as I know too well any providing I do, is by the Grace and provision of God
as I feel my body aging, and see it in the mirror
as I look back into other eyes that shake their head in confusion about me
as I have yet to find the meal, that all mouths will praise {and eat}

I realize {admit what my heart already knows}
that I will adopt...... again. {Lord providing}

And my heart swells and my soul giggles. With a secret Madonna-smile on my lips, I ponder these things in my heart.

I know all the logical protests. I live them.
I know the just-don't-get-it puzzlements. I see them.
I know that without the grace of God we will never make it. I embrace it.

I know I will adopt again and it makes me giggly, happy.
Don't know when, don't know who, don't know how. But I know why...

James 1:27 clearly states: Pure religion in the sight of God is to care for the orphan and widow, and my heart wants to. Was born to. Finds joy in it.

And those who get it, giggle with me.
The rest of you, pray for us! :)

Surely Not?

(This was sent to me by someone else, written by someone else....yet, well worth the ponder.)


Imagine with me for a minute…

Right now, today…

you are small and alone.

You are hungry and lost.

You have no home, no parents, and seemingly no future.

You are scared, and weak, from days without food. You have nowhere to go, nowhere to be.

People walk by you but they don’t even look your way. It’s like you are invisible, nothing.

You keep walking, your feet are bleeding and sore… and yet still you manage to cling to the small bit of hope, the little voice inside your head that says maybe, just maybe, one day things will get better. Maybe one day -you will matter.

It is getting dark outside- inside your fear is growing. Where will you go?

Your heart is beating faster, and your fear becomes overwhelming, consuming your every thought. Then you see it, a dirty, broken cardboard box and you bow your head thanking God for His provision. For you have found it- shelter. Safety, if only for one night.

You slip underneath it, hugging yourself, vowing once again not to cry- because by now you know tears are a waste of your strength. Your eyes become heavy, despite the sweltering temperature. As you begin to drift off to sleep you pray, hoping, dreaming, of a family of your own one day...of a place where you will matter...to someone.

Somewhere else in the world is a family...

They are just sitting down to dinner together.They are smiling and their laughter fills the room.

Dinner is served and they bow their heads and they pray- thanking God for their many blessings… their home, their job, the food that is set before them.They lift their heads and go back to the laughter and the joy.

They talk of their upcoming vacation plans, the lunch date they shared with a friend today and the movie they plan to see this coming weekend.

More laughter, more excitement, more. As the leftovers are scraped into the garbage can and the table is cleaned up, hot bubble bathes are taken by all.

Evening settles in, and the family slips under their down comforters preparing for a good night's sleep.

Before turning out the lights, the husband leans over to kiss his wife good-night. She shyly smiles at him and begins to tell him that she has been feeling that perhaps God is calling them to adopt.

The room grows quiet as they are both lost in their own thoughts…

their minds are flooded with questions, concern, and then inevitably -fear.

How could they manage?
Another child?
Why, they already have two!
Where would they put the child?
Who would share a room?
How could they afford to adopt?
Would they be able to take that vacation?
What would people think?
What if the child, you know, caused ‘problems’?

As their eyelids become heavy, they begin to drift off to sleep...
and they think to themselves ‘surely not’.

Surely God knows this is not convenient.
Surely God wants them to take that vacation they deserve...
Surely he knows how busy they are.
They have plans and they have dreams.
As sleep overcomes them, the temperature in their master bedroom is perfect…
and their pillows are fluffed to perfection.

Life is good for them, just as they had planned...
Because after all, they matter...
Too much...

to themselves.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ethiopia seeks urgent food aid for 6 million

Ethiopia said Thursday it needs emergency food aid for 6.2 million people, an appeal that comes 25 years after a devastating famine compounded by communist policies killed 1 million and prompted one of the largest charity campaigns in history.
The crisis stems from a prolonged drought that has hit much of the Horn of Africa, including Kenya and Somalia.
Drought is especially disastrous in Ethiopia because more than 80 percent of people live off the land. Agriculture drives the economy, accounting for half of all domestic production and most exports.
Mitiku Kassa, Ethiopia's state minister for agriculture and rural development, appealed to donors Thursday for more than $121 million. In January, he had said that 4.9 million of Ethiopia's 85 million people needed emergency food aid.
Ethiopia has long struggled with cyclical droughts, which are compounded by the country's dependence on rain-fed agriculture and archaic farming practices.
In 1984, Ethiopia's famine drew international attention as news reports showed emaciated children and adults with limbs as thin as sticks. The crisis launched one of the biggest global charity campaigns in history, including the concert Live Aid.
This year's drought appears to be slightly less severe than the one last year, which was exacerbated by high food prices. A year ago, Mitiku appealed for aid to feed 6.4 million people affected by drought. Many humanitarian groups have said in recent years that they believe the number of people affected by hunger is higher than government estimates.
Because of Ethiopia's large size and poor infrastructure, independent observers have difficulty collecting data. The worst-affected areas in the country's east are the site of a fierce insurgency and are off-limits to journalists. Aid groups say their movements in these areas are limited by military restrictions.
Nick Martlew, an official with the aid group Oxfam in Ethiopia, said the country's east should be green and healthy now, but that crops are wilting in the sun and won't produce a sufficient amount of food.
"Really until June next year there is going to be insufficient food around," he said. "Where we are in eastern Ethiopia you can look out and it's completely barren as far as the eye can see."
Drought and water shortages are also increasing in Ethiopia's south because of a changing climate, Martlew said. Oxfam is helping villages collect rain water for long-term use.
In a report marking 25 years since Ethiopia's famine, Oxfam said countries must focus on preparing communities to prevent and deal with drought and other disasters before they strike, rather than relying on importing aid.
According to the U.N., nearly two-thirds of Africa's agricultural land has been degraded by erosion and misused pesticides. In Ethiopia, where bad farming practices have led to massive erosion, 85 percent of land is damaged.
"The current humanitarian situation underlines our belief that while food aid — much of it donated by foreign donors — is important and can save lives, we need greater funding for longer-term solutions, which can begin to tackle the underlying causes that make people so vulnerable to disasters," said Oxfam's Ethiopia country director, Waleed Rauf.
In eastern Ethiopia's Hararge zone, the scene of some of the worst hunger and drought-related suffering last year, health official Aliye Youya said few infants had come in to the main feeding center for treatment. A new initiative by the Ethiopian government to put health workers in every neighborhood has helped, he said.
But he said he was still concerned about the lack of rain in some areas.
"(A month ago) there was no rain, especially in the lowland areas," he said. "But nowadays there is some rain. The drought is affecting the lowland areas."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hope ..... and prayer.

(Picture of the city of Gondor)

I received three new pictures of my girl this week. She is looking so BIG. I can't wait to see her face to face, touch her cheek, braid her hair and hug the dickens out of her.

I received some hopeful promising news today. We were waiting on a) the rainy season to stop and b)a living relative to be found to complete the relinquishment papers.

Well, the rains have stopped...(at least to the point that the courts are open and the roads are passable)...AND..... (drum roll please!) A relative has been found and has agreed to finish the paperwork. The challenge is that she is elderly and need to travel from her village to Gondor to complete the paperwork. Please pray that this will happen next week. And we can move forward from our long, long, long wait.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Odd Man Out...a peek at "In"

Yesterday I got a peek at the "to be"....what is to come.....

When I decided to adopt again, I decided to adopt another little girl, because I already had two sons and one daughter. I also changed my mind on adopting two little girls, at the same time, this time around, for the same reason....

Odd man out, is no fun. As much as we are a family, in all of this together, with two boys, sharing the same room, the same boyish interests, and often the same "play themes"...Mary often ends up feeling like the odd man out. Sleeping in her room alone....no playmate when the boys are playing something a little too advanced for her....

Yesterday I got a peek, and she got a taste, of what it will be like in our future, when Olivia Mame is here. We went to my brothers to visit...and all four of my neices and nephews were there, two of my nieces with their four children between them...which brings us to Heaven. Heaven is the step-daughter of one of my nieces and about two years older than Mary, still young enough to be a playmate. All day long the two of them played...dolls, lincoln logs, squirt guns, pool antics.... They may have squabbled quietly {yes, it actually WAS quietly, compared to the boy/girl squabbles that happen in our home}, but overall they just hung out and enjoyed each other's company. And I noticed NOT ONCE did she and her brothers get into an argument about ANYTHING! It was such a delight!!!

And it just showed me how life can be for us, once Olivia is here. Wow! The difference in Momma's day (and peace of mind) was astounding and Mary seemed to just be delighted! It also confirmed my decision of why I should adopt only one at this time. (Who knows what the future may bring. :) I keep thinking about a post I saw of "siblings available for referral.")

Thank you Lord for a peek into what is to be!....

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ethiopia in the Bible....

The references below were researched and copied by Chuck, wife of Cris..from her blog here. Just wanted to share.


Ethiopia is first mentioned in the Creation account itself. The river that watered the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:10) split into four giant rivers: "The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold... the name of the second river is Gihon: that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia." (Gen 2:11, 13). God's "Garden" was quite colossal, actually - more like a giant preserve, a country or a continent. His "Garden" had to be watered by a mighty river! That river split into four other mighty rivers, two of which flowed in Ethiopia.


The prophet Zephaniah was at least half Ethiopian (he had an Ethiopian father, no info about his mother). This Israelite prophet was a direct descendant of King Hezekiah: "The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah." (Zep 1:1). "Cushi" means "man of Ethiopia". There are three men named Cushi in scripture, all very prominent: Joab's runner (2 Samuel 18:21-32), the great-grandfather of Jehudi the scribe (Jer 36:14), and Zephaniah the prophet's father (Zep 1:1).


Moses had an Ethiopian wife. He married her after his first wife died. Moses' only children were through his first wife, Zipporah (1 Chr 23:15). God punished Moses' sister Miriam with leprosy after she and his brother Aaron spoke against Moses for marrying her (see Numbers 12:1-15).


Another Ethiopian saved Jeremiah's life. Jer 38:4-15 records: "Therefore the princes said unto the king, let this man be put to death..." Zedekiah the king said, "Behold, he is in your hand..." "Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire. Now when Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; Ebed-melech went and spoke to the king, saying, My lord the king, these men have done evil to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is likely to die for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city.Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Take thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die. So Ebed-melech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, Put these under your arms. And Jeremiah did. So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.Jer 39:15-18 says, "Now the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Go and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished in that day before thee. But I will deliver you in that day, saith the LORD: and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid... because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD." God used this Ethiopian man to save the life of the prophet Jeremiah, then God blessed Ebed-melech by saving his life in return. A RUMOR


God also used a rumor about an Ethiopian king to save Jerusalem during one of the most famous battles in the Bible. The Bible talks about this battle in 2 Kings 18 and Isaiah 37. There was a king named Rab-shakeh who had Jerusalem surrounded. It looked like God's people were doomed. He had conquered other mighty nations before attacking Jerusalem. But he got so proud and cocky that he started blaspheming God. Isaiah 37:7-9 is God's reply to Rab-shakeh: "...he shall hear a rumor, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land. So Rab-shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish. And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is come forth to make war with you...." -- God sent Rab-shakeh back to his own country and killed him. And He used a rumor about Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, to get Rab-shakeh back there.1


Of the nations that Israel went to war against in her history, Ethiopia had the largest army. Its size is mentioned in 2Ch 14:9 "And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with a host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah." A thousand thousand is a million. Zerah the Ethiopian led a 1 million man army, the largest numbered army that Israel ever fought. Zerah the Ethiopian went to war against Asa king of Judah, whose army was much smaller. Without God on their side, any army of any size can be defeated. 2Chronicles 14:10-12 continues "Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried to the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou [art] our God; let not man prevail against thee. So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled."


Another Ethiopian (the Ethiopian Eunuch) is mentioned in Acts chapter 8. We know he had traveled over 1,000 miles, from Ethiopia to Jerusalem, to worship God (Acts 8:27). It would be hard to believe any man would travel that far across the desert by chariot, but he did.In Acts 8:28, we find him "reading Isaiah the prophet" as he traveled. When Philip drew near the chariot he asked the Ethiopian if he understood what he was reading. He replied, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" (Acts 8:31). After this, Philip got up into the chariot and "preached Jesus to him" (Acts 8:35). In the course of preaching Jesus, Philip spoke of water baptism. We know this because the Ethiopian said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" (Acts 8:36). Philip responded "If you believe with all your heart you may" (Acts 9:37). The man then confessed, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." His confession was an acknowledgment of the Lordship of Christ. After his confession, "he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him" (Acts 8:38).