Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 1 in Ethiopia ~ Giving Sheep, Hugs, and a Family!

 We made it in to a beautiful, sunny, warm day in Ethiopia, here on our first day on the ground. 
Everyone did a great job pressing through the extreme jetlag on the first day of our trip. 
We always arrive in Ethiopia in the morning, ready to hit the ground running, which would be midnight at home :-)

We all loved our big, warm welcomes from Bissy and Gecho, waiting to greet us when we arrived!
They were even dressed alike, ha!

After getting settled in our guest house, we grabbed some lunch at a great little pizza place I found on my trip last month. 

We left and were headed to visit some kiddos in an orphanage/transition home, when we stopped to grab a few sheep to take to them to have on hand for their Christmas dinner. Bissy went on his way to go "sheep negotiate" for us. 

It's always fun for the team to watch the whole sheep process in Ethiopia because it is such a foreign concept to us Americans. We have 5 brand new travelers with us on this trip who have never been to Africa before. 

They wanted to give Scotty a lesson on how to handle a sheep. 

After they were all tied up and ready to go on top of the van, it was time to head over to the orphanage. 

 We arrived and first got their Christmas dinner all settled inside for them. 

We were excited to see one of our favorite little buddies, Baby E! There have been lots of prayers, team members, and now an awesome family who have stepped up to help this little one. 

There were just SO many babies! Gosh, they just steal your heart!
You look around the room and think to yourself, "Every one of these beautiful children have a future and a destiny. What will become of your little lives? Who's family are you getting ready to bless?" 

My team didn't waste any time scooping them all up to give them some love. 

 I always LOVE having boys on our team! Lincoln and Scotty took the older kids outside for a game of soccer. Everyone had a blast! 

There was a team full of boys, and then this one young girl from the orphanage didn't hesitate one bit to jump in and make her stand against the boys. I think I see a future soccer star on our hands! 


Some of the girls had some fingernail painting time with Jordan. 

For me, one thing that I pray for and that God allows to confirm our trips are all led by Him, is the joy of finding out that one of the children that we have been advocating for has found a forever family because of our efforts. This happened for us last month while we were here, and now it has happened again!  We were able to give a family some more info regarding a waiting child and they responded by saying "YES"!! This little guy will be joining his forever family soon and we couldn't be more thrilled for him and the family! 

Our whole team was impacted by the older waiting children that still wait for a family. They greeted us with hugs and kisses, said thank you to EVERYTHING we did for them, and when handed a banana and bread we watched them all fold their hands and give thanks together. 

There are no words to describe what it is like to look at children like this with so much hope and promise and watch them wait month after month to know that they have a family that wants them. 
One of the older girls who is waiting to be adopted with her sister ,took our team member, Cherie, by the hand and showed her where her room was. Cherie said it was a set of bunk beds and a map on the wall. This little girl's friend has found a family so this little girl pointed to Texas and told Cherie that her friend is going to Texas. Cherie asked her if she had a family yet, and the little girl asked Cherie, "Where are you from?" When Cherie answered, "Ky", the little girl said maybe I can go to Ky with you?" The fact is that she and her sister do not have a family yet that has chosen they wait, and wait, and wait, watching as another friend gets to put their mark on their new home state in America. God has a future and a destiny for all these children....especially the older ones.
 It is our privilege to help them find it. 

Not long after we left I watched two teen boys walk by carrying brooms to sell. This is the life of orphans who don't get a chance at a family. They are left to fend for themselves in hopes to sell whatever they can find so that they can eat.  For whatever reason the children I came across today, may be waiting, but they have been given a chance. Thank you to all of you Ordinary Heroes out there who
help play such an important role in the future of these children by stepping up and saying "Yes" to adoption!!  

I have new pictures of those who are still waiting. Please email for more information. She will be updating the site soon with the new pictures. It was such a pleasure to take my team to see all of them again! 
It was a great first day in Africa! One less orphan! Couldn't ask for better!! 

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