Saturday, July 24, 2010
Eighth Day in ET serving those who wait
This might be a tad long but there is so much to say with such really neat stories. Our eighth day in Ethiopia was completely geared around finding the waiting children by visiting two different orphanages. One was in the city and one was in the country....way in the country :) One thing I take total pride in while visiting ET is coming face to face with the children living in orphanages who are paper ready and waiting for a family to find them. I have found that when I meet them and personally see their little personalities and hold them and love on them, it makes them come alive in people's eyes. Most people just need to know that they are there in order for them to be adopted. So we take our mission trips and make it one of our main missions to come face to face with these children who wait and bring them to the forefront in hopes that maybe one of you reading this will discover that one of these precious little ones is waiting for you. I can account that each and every one of them are just precious and it makes my heart sick to think that no one is looking at their profiles. Both orphanages we visited are those that Sue with Celebrate Children uses. She and her husband were very gracious to meet us at these orphanages to tell us about the children.The first orphanage we went to was a small orphanage. This particular one has a sibling group of 5 that have been waiting for a long time now. I wanted to definitely make it over to this orphanage in order to advocate for them. Sue hopes to adopt them out all together for sure, but it is possible to split them. If that is the case it would be amazing for either two different family members or friends to adopt them at the same time in order to keep them all in the same family or at least close to one another. These five kids are just too cute for words. They are all beautiful and are all waiting for a family to find them. I believe the oldest girl is HIV+. Our whole team rallied around these waiting siblings in hopes to find them a home and show our support and how much we love them. I will send out a Speak Up about them soon with more info but remember I can't use their picture for advocating purposes on my blog. I took pics of all the children in these orphanages. Some are paper ready and some are not. You will see pictures but I am just showing you pics of the day and all those children we saw and met with ;) You may email me to inquire about a child and I will let you know if that child is available and then direct you to Sue or not. These 5 siblings have been on my site for a while so it is so neat to see these children in person. Also while there we ran across some other paper ready children who were just precious. One child that stole my heart was a 7 year old HIV positive little girl. She had the sweetest spirit I had ever come across. I gave her a homemade doll that one of our team members brought and let me tell you that I have never seen a smile light up so big in all my life. She literally sucked air and got the biggest grin and just stood in awe for a second. She then took it and held it close and just squeezed it so tight as she looked at me and said thank you. She was just precious!!! She stole my heart so I encourage any of you who are considering an HIV + child to call Sue about this little girl. God was shining through her without a doubt. We all loved this orphanage and it was so clean and so well run.
We then loaded up and headed out to the country to a remote village that has an orphanage that only Sue pulls kids from. As we drove we all caught a glimpse of the country poverty like we had never seen. It is just a whole other world to live in the country in ET verses living in the city. These are some of the hardest working people I have ever seen and they live off of barely anything. We saw mud huts, stick huts, dirty, fly covered children like we had not seen anywhere else. We drove for 3 hours outside of Addis and as we got deeper and deeper into the country and down the remote, bumpy, mud filled, pot holed roads, I couldn't help but think of the children we were about to find. I felt so honored that God would choose our team to travel that far in such conditions because he has hand picked some of these precious children to be pulled from these circumstances. He is using us to bring attention to them and I know He has a plan for them. These were some of the dirtiest conditions that I had seen as far as the children that lived around the orphanage in the surrounding village. They had mud covering them from one end to the other and their clothes were just rags. BUT....their spirits were some of the sweetest we had seen. They were oblivious to the way they looked. We pulled up and they for sure had never seen a bus load of people....and mostly white people ever come to see them there before. At first they were frightened of the camera. I don't think anyone had ever even taken their picture before. Then they warmed up and wanted pictures over and over. They were so sweet and when I saw them standing there with those sweet smiles and the flies swarming their faces without them even flinching it made me sick. We went inside the orphanage gates to find some very excited little ones, ready to play. There were several waiting children in this group as well. I have several on my site that have been on there forever so I was thrilled to meet them and put a little personality to their picture. It is amazing what meeting them in person can do verses just seeing one little square headshot. I always try to capture many different pics of all the kids to capture their little personalities. I always try to do something goofy to make them smile and it usually always works. Then they warm up and love having their picture made. Some even start posing. There were two little models in this group who will be going home to their families very soon. It is unreal to be there and look at the mud and the bugs and the out house, and the hard conditions and then look at these children and picture what their lives are going to be like once they go home to America with their new families. There is a sibling group of 4 beautiful girls that reside at this orphanage. They have been on my site for quite a while. I met three of them and the oldest was not there that day. There were so many handsome boys and beautiful girls at this orphanage, I can't even tell you. They all had very sweet spirits and warm, sparkly smiles.
Our 3 hour drive back was very surreal as we tried to reflect on the children we met and became friends with that day. The hardest part is leaving, seeing them smiling and waving and knowing that we are just leaving them there....to wait. You see, you bond with this children and some of them hang on you and hold your hand and are so thirsty for love that you can't help but have your heart melt over them. They tell you they love you and you tell them you love them back. All I can figure is that Jesus sent us there to be his hands, his feet, his voice, and show his love to these children. We filled them with hope to keep dreaming for the greatest gift they could ever receive....a family. Jesus says "ask and you shall receive". I have total faith that each of these waiting children will find their families because I know each of them..... are asking.
Also, on a side note. When we returned we had found out that day that our sweet, adorable door boy on our bus who works so hard making sure he jumps out and opens and closes the bus door all day long for us had been sleeping on the bus at night with not even a cover. We noticed he showed up in the same clothes all week and was very thin. We gave him food all the time and he was very gracious and never refused it. We invited him in that evening to eat dinner with all of us. He was very thankful and had never eaten dinner like that inside at a table before. So when we found this out, Kelly B in our group asked him if he would like to come in our guest home and take a shower. He immediately started crying and shaking his head yes and went over to the water spout and splashed water in his face to wash away the tears. Nick in our group (who happens to be a rapper called Murs) went up and got some of his clothes and gave them to him. Kelly showed him where the shower was and he said he had never been in a building like that before. He was so excited that he couldn't quit smiling. When he came down he was beaming. Nicks clothes and shoes fit him perfectly, he smelled great and couldn't quit bowing and hugging everyone in thanks. He became like family to us for the rest of the trip and everyone really made him feel loved and like part of our team. It was soooo awesome!! One of our guides and translators noticed what was happening and said "See, just like you did for Nathan's birthmom, you did for this boy......You changed the world for one". How awesome is that! There is nothing left to say :)
I have given a glimpse of our day but to view all the photos from this day you can go to the following link.
Our amazing last day in ET will be posted tomorrow. We said our goodbyes to Korah. I am sitting in Washington airport now. Good to be back in the States but sad hearts left behind.