Monday, July 20, 2009

How Did We Get Here?

So, I decided to start this blog to document our family's journey to Ethiopia. I read adoption blogs all the time and have been inspired to capture what God is doing in our family. Why are we adopting? Why Ethiopia?

I'll start at the beginning. Nick and I have known that adoption was something we wanted to do for a while. I've know since I was a little girl. Nick, not so much. When we first met, he told me he only wanted to have one child. I told him he was with the wrong girl. Now, three kids later we've started the adoption process (I guess he was with the right girl after all). After our third baby was born, we knew we would adopt (a baby girl, to "balance out" our family). We immediately felt like international adoption was for us. Originally, we thought South America would be the place we would choose. But, as our journey began, we narrowed our country options down to Korea and Ethiopia (there are lots of requirements that countries use to determine a couple's eligibility-age, # kids in the home, medical conditions...). Korea and Ethiopia were the two countries that fit our family. One night in November (Nov 8, 2008) we sat down with all of the information that we had gathered from various adoption agencies to decide what country we would pick. As we talked, we decided that Korea would be the country we would pursue (citing rather superficial reasons like, "her hair will be more like Caroline's"). That night as I lay in bed, I felt very unsettled and prayed "Lord make it clear-what country are we suppose to go to?"

The next day we went to church. We had been invited to try out this new church the week before and loved it. We were instantly drawn there and new that we were being called to change churches. So on our second visit, after praying for the Lord to make our adoption decision clear, we walk in the doors and all of the staff members were wearing "Go to Africa" t-shirts. We had no idea that this church's mission focus was Africa and this happened to be the Sunday that they were calling people to travel to Africa to join Children of the Nations (COTN) in the mission field. We enter the sanctuary and all three overhead screens have a picture of Africa and the words "Go to Africa" on them. As we sat down, a group of African orphans in traditional African clothing come forward to give their testimonies about what God has done for them and proceed to lead our church in worship. I had not told Nick that I had prayed for clarity the night before, but as we sat there, crying through the whole service, I clearly hear God say "Your kids are in Africa, your kids are in Africa" That's right "kids". As the service ended, Nick leaned over to me and said "You want to go?" And that's how we've ended up on this amazing journey to our kids--in Africa!

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