Friday, July 23, 2010

A Day To Remember

We started our day headed to an orphanage north of Addis. We enjoyed the beautiful countryside as we drove out there. We arrived and found around 85 kids in this poor orphanage. They were all lined up in a row on a bench just looking at us in wonder. The guys struck up a game of soccer and volleyball with the boys and the girls enjoyed crafts and face painting. Everyone warmed up nicely. Bizzy, our guide, and I walked across the street to buy some food for them. When I asked where we could buy some food to provide for them and leave with them, he told me the store. I was cracking up when the "store" was a small stand across the street. There was a stick bridge I had to walk over water to get to it and about wiped out. Let's just say I made the store clerk's day. I bought every from of pasta she had plus tomatoes, seasonings, potatoes, and onions. We took it back to all of them and then dove into the shoes. Their shoes were pi-ti-ful. They all lined up and I am so glad to say that we had a brand new pair of flip flops for each of them. They were so happy. There was one little boy with glasses that stole everyone's heart. It was a great orphanage to visit and I would recommend this one again.

The next thing on our list was to literally go on a scavenger hunt for my son's birth mom since her area was on our way back from this orphanage. My son's orphanage has shut down since I was here last and I lost my connection to find her. I can't explain the miracles that took place to find her and how everything lined up perfectly. It was definitely God's favor and I am so thankful. The first thing that happened was that our guide noticed the adoption agency office here as we were driving down the road. We quickly pulled over and went in and I asked for the number of Nathan's orphanage director. She first called him and then put me on the phone with him. I couldn't believe it was that easy. He told me she did not have a phone but he would try to get in touch with someone who knew her. Several days went by and my friend Ruth, who lives here, was able to contact him and all he could tell her was the general area she was in. So with that, we took out her picture, and our guide went to work within the community. He hopped out and within ten minutes came back and said he knew another area where she lived. We went to that area and found a woman on the road who knew them. She got in our bus and guided us down a long dirt road and then she and our guide walked ahead to find them. We got the call to come on so me, my husband, and my daughter and son all got out and started down this road with our other guide. As I got closer I noticed the sweet face of my son's sister standing there. When she saw us she started immediately crying and ran right to me and gave me and just fell into my arms. She was the sweetest thing. I introduced her to everyone and she was just beside herself. She walked us to where they lived. It was so sad and surreal. It was a mud hut/shack type of house. It was very small but when I walked in the very first thing I saw was Nathan's pictures that I had given her last year sitting on the table. It hit me hard when I saw those pictures, how much they love and miss him. It was hard for me to imagine that this tiny shack is where my son lived with them for three years. She busted into tears and said in English, "I miss my brother."

She told us that Nathans mom was at work so we loaded in the bus and she guided us to where Nathan's birth mom works as a clothes washer. She had no idea we were in town. On the way, she told us the neatest thing. She said that just that week his mother had been talking about him a lot and really missing him. A little boy ran ahead to get her and I saw her from a distance stick her head out to see who was coming. After she sat and stared trying to figure out who was walking toward her with her daughter she ran out in a dead sprint with the biggest grin on her face that you have ever seen. She threw her hands up and just fell into me. She was sobbing her eyes out and couldn't quit kissing and hugging me. After she gathered herself I introduced her to Shane, Lauren and Collin. She met me last year for the first time but has never met anyone else. She was so shocked, I can't even tell you. We walked into the house where she works and I showed her the pictures of Nathan where she just sat and kissed them and hugged them. I gave her his first blanket that he loved when we brought him home and I also gave her a necklace that he had made and she put it on and wore it with so much pride. We finally got a contact number for her and made our way back out to the bus. I forgot to mention that my whole team got to witness most of this. They all met both of them and it was so sweet as she went around and hugged all of them. We talked for a bit and then said our goodbyes. We will keep in touch better now and I hope to be able to help them more. They are both precious. His mother is deaf and mute and the 15 year old daughter is the only one who knows how to translate for her to communicate. They are so sweet together. I am so thrilled that God guided us to her and made all the pieces to fall in place in the middle of Ethiopia walking through a random village with a picture. Wow!!

We went to another small HIV orphanage after that and played with the kids and gave them a few donations and then we were wiped and went back to the guest house. It was an unbelievable day for everyone, including my family and Nathan's birthmom and sister the most. Oh, and special thanks to Stacy and Michelle in our group for taking pics and videoing the whole thing through their tears as they watched.

To view the pics of this amazing day, CLICK HERE

My team is thinking I'm nuts cause I'm literally blogging as they all come back from shopping at the market before we leave tonight for America. I will get caught back up on the rest of the trip as we sit during our long layover in Washington. Pray for our safe travels home. We will fly out at 10:30 in the evening Ethiopia time tonight and arrive in Washington on Saturday. We stopped this morn for me to photograph even more waiting children from Korah......OH MY GOSH! Precious!! Lots more to tell.



  1. What a sweet post - thank you so much for sharing! I love that you were able to find your son's birth mom. It had to give her such a peace to see you and hear about how he is doing. Blessings to your team - praying that you have safe travel as you return!

  2. Sobbing here as I see the pictures of you with your son's mother and sister. What a gift! What a wonderful day! And look Bizrat is one of your guides! He worked with us while we were in Ethiopia in April LOVE him!!! Say hi to him from Andrea and the Virginia Beach crew! :) Praying your trip home is a safe one!

  3. Love your mission - maybe we'll join you soon. The pictures of your birth mom reunion are priceless! Hope you'll be at the AGCI picnic next week!

  4. oh, those pics hurt sweet, kj

  5. Kelly I love to hear how God is orchestrating EVERY plan to the smallest of details. Again...I cried my eyes out reading the details of Nathan's birthmom's reunion with yall. I'm sure her seeing yall keeps her going and knowing tht her son is well taken care of and loved. And the necklace...oh my goodness....just precious. God is Good.

  6. Wow - thank you so much for sharing such an intimate moment! Truly a God-orchestrated moment.