Thursday, July 21, 2011

Team 2, Day 2....Two orphanages of waiting children

 Today was a special day. We visited two different orphanages full of beautiful children. Between the two orphanages I photographed well over 30 waiting children. These children are not on my waiting child list yet as I have to confirm info with their agencies first.  The first one we went to was the first time I had been to this orphanage. I honestly have never seen so many babies in one orphanage. There was crib after crib with one little life after another. You can't help but look at these precious children and think "What does your future hold?" Before I get tons of emails, I will tell you that most babies within orphanages are already placed. The waiting children that I photographed are anywhere from age 4 and up. There are many children in orphanages that have no paperwork which makes them stuck in the system and unadoptable. It is very sad.

 One thing that made this day so special was that Delia got to meet her soon-to-be new grandchildren, and Zack got to meet his new brother and sister that should be coming home soon. It was so amazing. I arrived to this orphanage a little after the first van arrived. I had figured they had already met them by that point but when I got there Delia said she couldn't quite figure out which ones they were so she was waiting for me. All I had was a picture and their name. The words had barely gotten out of her mouth when I turned around and saw the most beautiful young girl standing there. She had randomly walked right up beside Delia in that moment. She looked just like the picture. I leaned down and asked her her name. This sweet soft voice told me her name and when I looked up Delia had tears in her eyes. A little boy was standing beside her and I asked if that was her brother and she said yes. Delia hugged her and at this point they still didn't know that God had led her to walk straight up to her Grandmother in that very moment. I was capturing their very first moments together as their destinies crossed paths. This Grandmother had been praying for these children for a long time.
 I went and got Zack and the Sister. The Sister who runs the orphanage came over and explained to the children who Delia and Zack were. You should have seen their little faces sit and listen intently to her every word as she explained that their prayers had been answered and this was their family that they would soon be joining. As Zack leaned down and said hello to his new brother I just couldn't help but think what he must look like in the eyes of this little one. What a hero and cool big brother had just walked up to say hello and bring such hope and good news for his future. The sweetest of all was when the little girl gave Delia a tour, they got to the church and she walked in and immediately sat in the pew and began to pray. When she was done Delia asked her what she was praying and she told her that she had to stop and thank God for hearing all her prayers and she thanked Him for answering them and bringing her a family. I can't even hardly stand it. These children, especially the older ones, know and pray every day for a family to find them.

 The very thing about this family that makes me cry to even think about is the hope and restoration that God has brought after such a tragic year. 18 year old Zack, tragically lost his father this past year. Zack decided to join us for both teams this year and we have all seen God bring purpose and healing to his broken heart through the people of Africa. He is an amazing kid and I know BOTH His fathers in heaven are so proud of him and guiding his every step. His mother, Tracy, in the midst of her grief, heard God's voice to add life to her loss and her sorrow by giving these two orphans a home. These two had been waiting for a LONG time on the wait list for a family. Just as Tracy thought all hope had been lost in her life, there was also a little girl praying on the other side of the world for any glimmer of hope for a family for her and her little brother....wondering if God would ever hear her prayer.... wondering if anyone would ever want them because they are older.

Well......God brought hope to all of them when there seemed to be none. He is the restorer of broken walls. He is the light that shines brightly in the noon day after the cloud has passed. He gives a future and a hope when there seems to be none. He brings beauty from ashes........

An excerpt taken from Tracy's blog.....
"The mission field can be a place of deep healing. It pulls back the layers of life and exposes our existence for its true purpose. A life to be lived, loved, fought and WON in Jesus name!"

He holds every destiny in His hand and looks to us to be his hands and feet. Thank you, Siler family, for being such a testimony to us all.

The children in this orphanage blessed us all. William, my 11 year old, was teaching them how to play football.

The Sisters in this orphanage pour out love like I've never seen. Every Catholic nun I have ever met in Africa has simply laid their lives down for God's call. It is very powerful to watch.
 They graciously invited us in. When I asked her if she would be interested in me advocating for her waiting children her eyes lit up with hope for these children. I turned around and as quick as I had mentioned it she had over 15 children lined up in a line ready for their picture. One by one I looked into the eyes of these sweet children....most of them older, and prayed for their families as I took their pictures and saw a glimpse of their hearts through the eyes of their sweet smiles.

We then went to another orphanage where I was told that they all were waiting. There were two special needs children in a back room that broke my heart. One little girl some delays along with a spinal issue. This little one lit up with the biggest smile as I leaned in to talk to her. God holds this little one in His hand, in the middle of no where, in the middle of Africa, on the other side of the world.... when no one else seems to know she is there.

The only other little one in the room was a little girl they explained was blind and deaf. I found her hiding completely under the covers. I walked in and lifted the cover and just began softly rubbing her cheek to let her know that someone new was there that cared about her. I leaned down and picked her up and she opened her eyes and laid her head on my shoulder. I had someone else holding a camera but every time I turned her toward the camera she turned her head the other way. When I talked to her, her  little eyes looked right into mine. It made me think that maybe she really isn't as blind as they think. I'm not sure when the last time they had her sight or her hearing checked. The little girl that was hiding from the world when I walked up to her was now giving me belly laughs as i tickled her tummy. Talk about God breaking your heart for what breaks His.......this little one broke mine.

While we were there we did lots of crafts and face painting and soccer with the kids. One older boy had such soccer talents that I just couldn't even believe. Here is an orphan on the other side of the world having his time to shine. He had no idea we would be there that day, yet there we were....and we watched him balance the ball on his head, shoulders, pop it off his foot in every direction only to catch it and do it again. Such talent in one little boy who has not even a family or home. He was precious and he waits.......

We ended the day by going to a restaurant. It was my sweet hubby's 41st birthday. He spent last year on his 40th in Africa as well. This year we decided to give him a little party with the team.

Maste, our guide, helped with the planning. He loves Shane and was just as excited as I was to help me get a cake and a gift. Happy Birthday, Shane.

Maste had taken me earlier in the day to the market to buy Shane a gift. I told him I'd love to give him an authentic, ancient bible and he took me right to the place. We found an old Amharic bible from the 1800's that had the 4 gospels in it along with really old pictures of Christ. It had a wooden cover with a cross engraved in it, along with brown pages held together by string. It was soooo neat. Shane loved it.

Our other guide, Bissy, was able to translate the bible for us. He has learned all the language of the prophets and told us everything we needed to know about the bible. This was a great end to a fantastic day with team 2 in Ethiopia.
Next blog post will take you with team 2 out to Wolisso in the country.....lots of little ones to clothe.


  1. Wow! loved this post!!!!!!!!!

  2. What a fabulous post! We love Delia and the Siler family.
    I hope you were able to meet precious Helen and her brother
    Habtamu. I pray for a family for them daily!!!! praying for all of you!