Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Break My Heart

Meet Cheru.

We have been waiting and praying for a little boy for our family to sponsor at Kechene.  THIS little boy.  He is officially ours.  We can't wait to meet him when we return to see Selam, our sponsor girl, and all the rest of the Kechene kids.

I have a mission to complete before I return, and I need your help.

These kids need uniforms
They need shoes
I saw it when I was there.  I tried NOT to see it, but I did. 

This is my sponsor child's shoe.  I took this pic while she sat on my lap, and it was the moment that God broke my heart for His:

In many of the pictures, I had to crop out children who were not wearing underwear, or whose clothes were ripped in immodest places due to the wear and tear of wearing them every day.  Including my own little girl:

One little girl in particular kept staring at me.  She wore a junior bridesmaids dress; American made.  It was so fancy and over-the-top that all it did was highlight the situation and problem for me.

The fact that this dress was sent over to Ethiopia by well-meaning Americans, she found it, and that she now wears it with pride made this whole picture very clear:

We are not giving them what they need. 

Tom Davis, the director of HopeChest, has written many articles about good vs. bad aid.  How can we help in ways that matter?

We can stop boxing up our bridesmaids dresses and used winter clothing, and start sending things that they need.

They need shoes.

They need uniforms.

They need these things to be purchased IN ETHIOPIA from the economy of their future. 

These sky-blue sweaters that the children wear mean something very special in Ethiopia.  They signify hope and a chance at University.  To me, they signify something more. 


These kids are being loved, discipled, and educated by some of the most amazing teachers I have ever met.  We can step up here and support these kids how WE are able to, right now. 

In the past 3 months since I traveled to Ethiopia, I have watched as people have been moved by the Lord to step up for these kids. An amazing woman named Gwyn organized a sewing team to make each little girl at Kechene a new dress

Now it's our turn.  Consider these ways to help:

1)  Buy a sky blue uniform.

2)  Or, buy a pair of shoes

Meet the Kechene kids:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dear Miriam (Happy Birthday)


Today, you are turning one.  It's not exactly a real birthday, I know.  It's an estimation.  I wish I had more to give you on this day every year, something better than a "guess", something more to tell you about the first half of your little life.  But for the past 6 months, I have known what I would say to you today. 

I want to tell you about the second half of your life so far, and about what you mean to your father and I.  I want to tell you your story, the part where you became our Miriam.

When I was a little girl, I knew you were my daughter.  When I was very small, I told your Grandma Diane that I knew I was going to adopt a little girl.  I dreamed of you, named you, and wondered about you. 

About the time that you were born, I surrendered to Jesus Christ, and I was adopted into His Family.  Sweet Miriam, right around this time, God very clearly led your father and I directly to you.

God moved mountains to make sure that you joined our family.  He had this whole world scurrying and turned upside-down to make sure that your file was delivered to this family.  And when we saw your face, we knew what all the hurrying had been about.  We knew you were ours.  

But there was a loss. 

I knew that this "tragically beautiful" plan that brought you to us meant that you had to experience the biggest loss a little girl could ever encounter in her life, and I grieved for you.  I still do.  I will spend the rest of my life making sure that you know that you can never be lost again in the arms of our Father. 

Because He had you the whole time. 

He knit you together.  He numbered your days, and in many ways He extended them.  He counted your hairs.  

 You are SO lovable, Miriam.

 Your smile is electric. Your laugh is mesmerizing. You are regal, beautiful, and enchanting. 

You are literally a work of art.   

You are our treasure. 

When I met you, my heart knew you.  You were familiar to me.  My love for you had been growing for you as long as I can remember, and my first thought when I saw you was...

"There you are."

And now here we are, separated on this day that is meant to be celebrated with your family, and I can tell you one thing:  You are not in limbo.  You are not between two places.  You are here.  You are oursYou are our daughter. 

I may get to know you more as the years go on, but I could never love you any more than I do today.  I have four children now on this earth, and I can tell you that each of them have captured my heart in an entirely different way during the first few moments or weeks together. 

Even though you and your siblings each have a different love story with Mommy, I have loved you and carried your story with me for as long as I can remember.  And your Heavenly Father has been guiding and protecting you since the moment you were born, regardless of what day that happens to have been. 

We can't wait to bring you home.
You are already here in our hearts.
We talk about you, dream about you, pray for you, and we are celebrating you today, Miriam.

Mommy, Daddy,
Lilly, Daisy, and Moses
(Your Family)