Sunday, January 31, 2010

"He's A Handful"

When asked about her new brother in front of her 3rd grade class - that is the response Mckenzie had. "He's a handful!" I have to say that she is reaping what she sowed on her older brother, Matthew! Or...I could be reaping what I sowed on my three older brothers!
When we received the information on Micah Shewit from AGCI, I remember they mentioned that he loved to make others laugh, he was very ACTIVE and the staff affectionately nicknamed him "monkey". What they should've added was...." monkey... after 10 Red Bulls!!!" This kid has energy and yes, he fits right into this LOUD family. I can't imagine raising a calm child. I would be bored to death and actually think I had parenting figured out. Crazy kids keep me on my knees, where I belong, asking God for wisdom on a hourly basis!!! (Because I am clueless!) Although, a calm kid would probably keep me on my knees too!

So, you might be wondering how that "cocooning" step is going for us with a ACTIVE child with a nickname of "Monkey" ... (Cocooning is the phase after you come home with your adopted child. They like you to keep your world simple and at home for the most part! It's a great time to bond for the whole family. It also helps your new child build trust and confidence in you and this new world.) So, we tried...first it was "google chat" with his buddies in Philly. Then we played soccer, basketball, football in freezing weather. He even learned how to ride a bike and would ride for 3 hours at a time!

He loves to help me vacuum, wash dishes, do laundry...he just likes to be busy!!! I didn't post pictures of know, don't want to show his brother & sister up!

I home school so we learn our English by talking and doing flash cards together. He loves to learn, so I gave him a little case that had pencils and paper with a picture dictionary. He sits beside me and writes word after word asking how to say each one.
I took him to "watch" his big brother and sister at their P.E. class and before I could get comfortable, he was out on the court running laps (backwards) and playing ball with them. Smiling the whole time. The next week the P.E. class was learning how to ice was PRICELESS to watch a child who only a week ago was in Ethiopia. The only ice he had ever seen was what was handed to him in a cup of coke on a plane to America. His smile brightened the entire ice skating rink.
It wasn't long before he was skating without help. The teachers were amazed at how he would fall down (sometimes really hard) and just bounce back up with a smile. He loves ice skating!
Leticia DeMoss, a dear friend of the family, came over to meet Micah Shewit. He loved the bear she brought for him and had to give it a ride on his wheels. Thank you, Leticia!!! He won't go to bed with out his bear!
I have to tell you the STORY BEHIND THIS PICTURE of the FRIG.... a big storm was coming so I hurried to the store with three kids. (That's a whole blog in itself!) We filled the refrigerator! The kids were so happy, especially Micah. He got the camera and took MANY pictures of the "full frig". What gave him joy was knowing that he had food. I wondered...had he ever seen a full frig? The next morning I woke up and found the refrigerator WIDE open. It had been open all night and the light had heated up the items on the top shelf! I didn't have to ask...I knew what happened. I wasn't mad, I wasn't upset over the spoiled food. I found myself hugging my son who was just happy to have a refrigerator full of food that he got up in the middle of the night to just look at it. I pray I never forget the life lesson Micah taught me. Do we really understand how blessed we are? The majority of us don't know what it is like to be hungry... because there is no food to eat.
Then the snow began to fall and Micah Shewit got to experience his first snow. The expression on his face was, well.... pure wonder. We have spent the last two days sledding down our driveway, walking path and streets with our neighbors. It has been fun to watch our child from Ethiopia experience his first Winter in America. I haven't told him yet that this doesn't happen very often in Tennessee...why spoil the moment!

So, although he is quit the handful...he is ten times the blessing! He has brought this family to a better place than we were without him. He has taught us things about ourselves that we didn't know. He has brought more laughter to all of glad we followed our heart to Ethiopia!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Coming Home with Micah

Experiencing the many "first" of Micah Shewit has been nothing short of a pure delight for the whole family! From his first plane ride to the sight of balloons that float, to elevator rides, it's like being in a Disney movie! He is so passionate about life. Before we boarded the plane he even had time to comfort his big brother, Matthew, who wasn't feeling to well.
On the last day we were in Ethiopia we made one last trip back to Hannah's Hope so that we could thank the "special mommies" that Micah had and let him say goodbye to each of his friends. This is the road to Hannah's Hope. It is in one of the newer developments of Addis Ababa. I always found it amazing to see all the animals being hearded through the streets. My favorite was a huge steer laying on the middle of the overpass to our hotel. Nobody was moving that big boy and he didn't look like he was afraid of anybody or anything...although the donkey running by him made him flinch!
Micah's arms were full of candy and stickers that we had to hand out to his buddies. He had a smile on his face the whole time. I could see that he just wanted to make sure everyone got something. While he was doing that I went around to each of his "mommies" and gave them a picture of Micah Shewit to remember him. It broke my heart to see how thankful and joyful they were to have a piece of him to keep. These women are amazing and a gift from God to these kids, the way they love these children with complete abandonment knowing that it is just for a short season just touches my heart.
There were so many precious kids there and new ones coming in the day we were saying goodbye. I was heartbroken at the thought of how many orphans Ethiopia has, but thankful that these found their way to Hannah's Hope. I know AGCI works so hard to place them all. The day we got our Visa's for Micah, Almaz said, through tears, that she will be thankful for the day Ethiopia no longer has to adopt out their orphans. When they can take care of all the children, but the need is overwhelming and the poverty is to great for now. Until the day that changes, they are grateful for those that step forward and give these children a home, hope and a future. As you can see by Micah's face, he's old enough to know the gift of adoption, the gift of a father's love.
I took this picture of Micah as we were leaving Hannah's Hope for the last time. (this trip) Thankfully for Micah, he is stepping from behind locked gates that secured him and people that loved him into arms of a family that will love him forever and take care of him. God has such great plans for this he does all of them.
Almaz explained to Micah that he would not be returning to the orphanage, he was with the Worton's and off to fly to America. Micah didn't miss a beat.... "chow, chow" (means goodbye), he shook her hand goodbye and threw his arms around his daddy's neck. He was ready to go! Almaz laughed with delight...she knew one of her kids had found his family!
As soon as we got back to the hotel, Micah started dragging all our half packed suitcases to the door! I tried to explain that we had 3 more hours until the airport and I wasn't done packing....soooo....he started grabbing things and helping me pack! (He's not an organized packer, I might add, and me being someone who knows where everything is when I systematically pack our suitcases....well, I just had to start laughing! What else could I do? Our boy was anxious to get to America. What a great moment!)
Micah and his buddy Chernet (our friends boy), were so fun to watch. It was a good thing that we had a nice immigration officer because Micah went around and opened her door to check out her booth! He tried to follow the baggage down the treadmill. It looked like fun and
I have about 100 pictures of airplanes on my camera! Finally, when the plane took off, Micah just about came out of his seat with excitement yelling across the aisle to Chernet. The two of them laughing uncontrollably. It got everyone around them tickled! His head was plastered to the window.....what I would've given to know what he was thinking. He played with everything almost all the way to Dubai,(4 hrs) then fell asleep as we landed, but bounded back as soon as we got to the airport and on our flight to NYC.
After 14 hours in the air, countless trips to the bathroom, feet in brother Matthew's face trying to sleep, 3 meals and 8 Disney movies, we landed in America! Micah's joy was uncontainable! The picture above says it all! He just kept saying, "America, America!!!"
We had to say goodbye to our friends in New York City, but the adventure continued....the "elevator"...when the elevator started to go up, Micah took the "brace yourself squat", then started giggling with the rest of us. Then the escalator came. You could just see it in his eyes...why are the steps moving? Now, if you've ever seen the movie, "Elf", you've seen what Micah did. He put one foot on with his sister, but instead of putting the second foot on the moving step, he almost went into a full split as the escalator kept moving upward. All the "first" are so much fun. On our last leg we had to fly in a leer jet and hit some turbulence...let's just say, McKenzie has found her rollercoaster partner. No fear!!!
Our arrival was met with amazing friends who had traveled the journey to Micah with us. Kelly Putty was there with her camera along with her sister Kristi Johnson and Lucy lane. Micah recognized them and got a big grin on his face. Kelly had pictures of Hannah's Hope and Micah named all his friends that he saw and then loved on Lucy lane. I'm so thankful for these two friends because I realize... had it not been for the trip to get sweet Lucy lane that Kelly would not have met Micah Shewit. Her pictures of Micah won my heart and led me to him. Although, Kristi thought she was just going to bring hope to one little baby girl, her trip inspired many through Kelly's pictures to bring hope to many waiting children. That email I received that led me to Micah, found a forever family for every single child in that email. What you do or don't do matters to someone!
Tracy and I are pictured above....Tracy is my precious friend and neighbor that sent me that email that brought me to Micah. She (Micah just pre-published my that kid!) is one that lives out the call of James 1:27 daily! She is getting ready to travel to Ethiopia to bring home 4 siblings that no longer are orphans! Micah will be thrilled to welcome them (two are close to his age.) Our Cul de sac will never be the same! Tracy also prayed and believed with me that someday we would be bringing home a child that needed a forever family. I just have the best friends and I want to thank them all for welcoming Micah to America.Tracy was also our ride home and what awaited us was an act of love from our neighbors that we will treasure for a lifetime. As we drove up to our cul de sac it was lined with candles, (Thanks Molly!) with our neighbors anxious to welcome the new kid in town. Tears were flowing... I was overwhelmed with the showing of love and excitement for Micah. The Worton's will probably never move now...neighbors like ours are a gift from God! Speaking of gifts, they had made signs welcoming Micah and had joined together to give him his first own soccer ball and goal. Although he was half asleep...we saw the twinkle in his eyes and that smile. Next morning it was one of the first things he looked for!
When we showed him his room, he took off his shoes and crawled up into his bunk bed and fell fast asleep....with a smile on his face and a room full of people watching him.
We are all walking around with smiles on our face. (even when we wake up at 4 a.m. every morning! Jet lag!!!!) He is such an amazing gift...thank you God!!! One of the signs brought to the airport read, "God Bless you Worton Family" but everytime I see it I see, God BLESSED you Worton Family and his name is Micah Shewit! The Joy continues.....

*a few other blogs posted our homecoming and they did an amazing job telling the story. If your interested in seeing them they are on my side bar. "Ordinary Hereos Blog" and "The Johnson's...Our Family Advocating for the Orphan" and "Unveiled Faces". All amazing blogs to follow.....our story might be down a way. These ladies posted on Saturday while I was sleeping! lol

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Introducing Micah Shewit........

Jesus may have colored us differently on the outside, but our souls are eternally bound and the same.

It is 6 am in Ethiopia on Thursday (our last day) & I can't wait to personally introduce you to Micah Shewit! He is a Worton! Take McKenzie's energy level & times it by 3; Matthew's curiosity multiplied by 2, Mark's confidence & determination & my love for life & friends: That is Micah Shewit! He is an A-type personality. He is acutally wearing McKenzie out. He is smart..he grabbed my pen & paper to write out his numbers 1-20, his A,B,C's & then spelled one - five. He can't speak much english, but he knows our alphabet & he understands for the most part what we are saying to him. His boundless energy makes him a very quick athlete. He can really play soccer - I didn't know you could do those moves with a ball! And, he's fast. We are all running to keep up with him! (Think of the first words your children learned - his was "wait"! - Lori Shepherd, you are going to love him!) His voice, if I could pick a voice, that had a cute factor of 10, it would be Micah Shewit's. It's gruff and sweet. As Matthew says, "he just has a voice that is so cute, it makes you adore him."

Micah loves to take care of himself...unlike his brother & sister, he loves a shower, to brush his teeth for at least 2 minutes & he loves school! I'm hoping he will rub off on Matthew & McKenzie! :-) He loves to put Shea butter all over his body & some special products Tracy Mihnovich gave me for his hair. He just giggled the first time I rubbed his legs & arms with some good creams. He didn't want me to stop. Then, when I started to work on his hair, he just smiled & kept looking back at me. I hope I'm doing it right - I need Wayne Headley to help me out. (Now there's a guy who has good hair - Mark has already called him for help!) When I finished, Shewit asked me for my camera and went to the bathroom to take pictures of himself. This boy spends more time on his hair than Mark!

Tuesday night, Mark & I tucked the kids into bed. Before Mark prayed with them, he pulled out our Amharic translation book. (Micah looked up like, "am I in trouble"? - we're usually trying to find the words for "wait", "stop" and "share".) As Mark began with, "we are so happy to be your family", "you are special to us", Micah just beamed. Mark continued, "you are going to live with us in America - we will take good care of you." Micah started to giggle & kick his feet in pure excitement! "We are a family" was next, then Marked started by saying his full name then daddy, then my name followed by Matthew & McKenzie's...finally he pointed to Micah and said his full name, "Micah Shewit Worton." Micah's smile filled the room as he repeated his name: Micah SHA-weeet Worton! Micah grabbed the book from Mark & wanted him to keep reading. Each phrase would make him beam and his little body moved in delight. When Mark asked, "are you happy", Micah would happily nod yes and then make him say it again over & over as he nodded, yes, yes, yes! We all just burst out in giggles.

We have now downloaded over 1000 pictures Shewit has taken with my camera. I think he has artistic abilities as well because I would have never thought of some of those angles. And after looking at some shots of me - I need to go on a diet! Micah Shewit is a prankster & jokester - he loves to laugh. He is quite the actor too. He bounced off the wall & fell down to the floor crying. I ran over to see if he was hurt only to be attacked with tickles from him! He loves to play tag with Mark & his laugh is absolutely contagious.

Last night (Wednesday), Danny & Johannas took us to an Ethiopian restaurant w/ band & dancers. Micah Shewit and his best buddy, Levi Chernet (my friend Kathleen's son) busted some moves together, African style! We got video so I'll have to post it once I get home. On our drive home Shewit stood behind Danny (Almaz's brother) who was driving & directed him all the way back to the hotel. (Talk about a back seat driver!) They just laughed & laughed. I really see the favor God has given Micah Shewit at the orphanage. Those who have taken care of him for almost a year, adore him. Probably because he's a survivor despite what life has thrown at him. Please pray for him as well as all those at the orphanage who will be saying goodbye. He will leave a void. Although they know Shewit is off to a better life & no longer behind locked gates, he is a light & joy that they all will miss dearly.

Micah is really excited about the airplane ride home & we are anxious to get him home. I just can't wait for you to meet him! We actually will be in the air as you are reading this. Please pray for our safety/weather. Our flight is at 7:30 pm - through Dubai and arriving at JFK at 7:30 am. We arrive Nashville 5:40 pm Friday night. We're on Emirates airlines which is really nice if you ever fly to Ethiopia! Hint Hint! :-)

It has been an incredible journey to Shewit and this is just the "first leg"! I can't wait to see what God has planned for this little guy. I know it is nothing short of amazing. He was born with purpose. God always knew he would be a Worton even when we thought we were done having kids. I love how God loves us so much that he wants the best for us in every aspect of our lives. All it takes is a little bit of obedience.

Thank you Tracy/Elle Mihnovich for taking care of my blog - it wouldn't have been possible without you!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Capturing The Moments

There are ten families who traveled to Ethiopia with us from all parts of America to bring home a child. Now, if you ever want to connect to quality, loving hearted people with a love for God and a heart to change the world....this is one of the places you will find them. I am genuinely touched by the stories of others who have walked the road to adopt for whatever reason. They have a perspective of the world that I want more of. I don't hear complaining or politics...I just hear people who have stepped up and said, "I want to help." Once you see how one life can be changed and it is a big change, you look for the next one. One at a time. It's like the starfish story. The little boy throwing starfish into the ocean and a man says, "it's not going to matter, there are too many." The boy picks up another one, tosses it into the sea and says, "it mattered to THAT one!"

That ONE for us is Micah Shewit. It has been 3 nights and 2 amazing days with him. To date, we have downloaded over 700 pictures that he has taken with my camera. (We are continually wrestling it from Shewit to get a few of him!) I've had to recharge my battery 3 times! It usually lasts about 6 months. If you want to know what our hotel room looks like, I've got it from every angle! At first we thought it was just the fun of electronics for him, but now I know he is trying to capture each moment of his new journey. We know that Micah has been through more traumatic moments in his 6 years than our lives put together - moments he wants to forget and hopefully because of his age, many will be erased. These moments, he wants to remember. (Pray that God will heal his memory)

Yesterday the older children went back to Hannah's Hope Orphanage to play with their friends and give the special nurses a chance to see them again. Matthew & McKenzie were invited to stay as well. Matthew took some Hot Wheels to pass out & McKenzie took candy & stickers. Micah Shewit helped Matthew give out the toys and McKenzie give out candy. Then I saw Matthew eyeing the big blocks - by the time we left he had the children surrounding him as he showed them how to create masterpieces with blocks! He was in heaven. They were delighted.

Johannas, Almaz's assistant, took us to an area to shop for authentic Ethiopian gifts & keepsakes from Africa for our children to have something from their heritage. We were immediately surrounded by street children. One kept asking for my tennis shoes I had on. I was ready to give them to him, but they were an inch too small. What I would have given to have bigger feet! It is heart breaking to see the poverty & desperation. Mark fell in love with a little street boy about McKenzie's age. He didn't approach us like the others, but stayed back & just smiled at us. Mark talked to him and learned his name. He followed us everywhere we went - I finally gave him a lollipop. He was so thankful. If he had been at the orphanage, I think we would be bringing home 2 sons! It opened my eyes to a world we don't see in Nashville, TN. I just want to put bunk beds in each room to bring them home, love them, feed them and give them an opportunity to go out & be world changers. We are so blessed. I can see why Jesus loved to be with the children. I can only imagine what one word or touch from him would inspire in their hearts. I hope my lollipop inspired more than a cavity.

When we were headed back to the orphanage, Johannas got a call that McKenzie was crying. When we got there, she was happy as could be. Shewit ran past her as soon as he saw the van. He gave Mark a hug & then tried to look in the van. His little eyes found mine & his arms went out to me. (A very good sign that he is bonding with us) When we asked McKenzie why she was crying, she told us it wasn't her, but Micah Shewit. He wanted him mommy & daddy. I cried tears of joy.

All of your prayers are responsible & I can't thank you enough for standing beside us on this journey. I know there are tough days ahead, but with prayer, I know God is in control of this transition period - not the experts. Little Micah Shewit has defied the odds on every level of life. God made him with a purpose. I am so humbled and thankful that God allowed us to be the parents that would take him through the rest of his journey. I don't know what I did right or why He would pick me to receive this blessing, but I am eternally grateful & pray I honor him each step of the way. God had to bring us half-way across the world to find our son who was searching for us...Micah Shewit has finally found his family - I am so thankful its ours!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Day We Got Our Boy!

Joy....bounding, overflowing, flawless, pure, heavenly, joy!

On 1/10/10 Mark & I were awake at 1am. I'm not sure if it was the time change, the hyenas howling in the field outside our room or the excitement of meeting Micah Shewit. But, there wasn't anything we could do to go back to sleep. Finally, the sun came up and we got to meet Almaz, the head of the orphanage. I knew we had an amazing blessing coming when she spotted us across the room & quickly came to give me a huge hug! "Oh, Shewit (Sha-weet)'s mommy! He is so excited! I have prayed & prayed for special parents for him." At first I was thinking, oh she said the word "special", but the more she told us about him the more the urgency grew in us to be with him.

Micah's Ethiopian name is Shewit which means "he comes when dinner is ready.' He is a miracle from the Northern region (Tigray) of Ethiopia. The orphanage had never received a child from that area. Nobody knew his language. His uncle told them it was a miracle he found an orphanage. He had just started walking and was "led" to them. I could see there was a special bond Almaz had with Micah-Shewit and someday I will tell his story. It blows me away that he has the sweet spirit that he does.

Driving up to the gate, I pulled out my video to shoot the arrival. The kids scattered as we pulled in & parked. I could hear someone yelling, "Shewit, Shewit" then from around the corner I saw a little boy running towards us..and I saw that beautiful smile & those sparkling eyes. I'm not sure if I was breathing at that point or not. He scanned the faces in the van as everyone was going on about the beautiful boy outside. Then he saw us. We couldn't get out of the van fast enough. All I could say is, "that's my boy, that's my boy!" It was wonderful to be face to face with him, to hug him & just smell him. He is lovable & smiles on a constant basis. His voice is gruff & you just want to pick him up & squeeze the daylights out of him. Mark knelt down & told him in Amharic - "I am your daddy." He smiled and nodded. "This is your mommy." He looked at me & just grinned!

Then Micah's two friends came out & sat right beside him, Kathleen & David's boys! I just started giggling with joy for them. The moment was priceless & the little one bonded almost instantly. Micah saw my camera and decided he would be the photographer for the day. He took over 380 pictures over the next hour...of everything...right down to the inside of the toilets! (They were clean by the way!)

Matthew & McKenzie came up to Micah and they were giggling as much as we were. Matthew was dancing...which we have never seen before. McKenzie ran over & gave him a hug then a kiss - it was priceless! McKenzie said, "Mom, I could just kiss him forever.' Matthew said "I could only think of Micah the whole time." They then played soccer with him & the older kids at the orphanage. All the children followed us everywhere. They were so happy for the kids that had a forever family. I realized how many times Micah was one of those children. For almost a year, he would watch families come in and pick up their children wondering when his family would be there. Babies come & go so quickly but the older children wait & wait. It's hard to place children over 4 years old & you sense that they know this. They are the ones who need us most because if they aren't placed by a certain time, the government requires the orphanages to release them to be on their own. In Ethiopia, there are not a lot of opportunities for a 14 year old orphan.

The day reminded me of the day I will forever see my Heavenly Father come for me. We wait with anticipation to see the one who adopted us into His kingdom. He is our hope & our salvation. Just within the first day of having Micah-Shewit, the people of Ethiopia have come up & thanked us for helping their abandoned & fatherless children. They are asking why we want to help when they are so poor & can never repay. The only reply I can give is that it is OUR blessing to help & our calling. We want to please the Father & the closer we draw to him, the more we want His ways above ours!

My mind continues to race back to looking over & seeing Matthew & McKenzie surrounded by orphans, loving them with all they had. I have never seen my children so happy, so filled with purpose. Today they are going back to the orphanage to play with the children most of the day. They are so excited!

Our life is changed & we are eternally grateful because of a little boy names Shewit! Our Micah!

Playing Nintendo with Daddy
Matthew and Micah on his bed at the orphanage
Estes fam and McKenzie with little brother Micah
Missy and Almaz
Emirates Airlines Flight Attendant
Stopover in Dubai

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Unforseen Miracles

It's been said that if we truly saw all the litttle miracles that protect us from ourselves & others and if we could see the gentle leading of our lives by the master's hand, we would fall prostrate before our Lord in worship and awe. God uses people to bring diving appointments in life...he did just that through my husband, Mark.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". A loving father always wants the best for us. So why do we question his timing for our desires in life? Timing is all about miracles in action and faith in a Sovereign God. If you remember, Mark was not released or even thinking about adoption until years after the desire was planted in me. There were days my faith was was so low that he would never change. Yet, I always knew I married a Godly why was "he" missing God in this? Finally, through much prayer, Mark's heart began to crack & he mentioned the possibilities of adoption in the future.

Two weeks later, I would show him Micah's picture from an email. That was on a Monday. On Wednesday of that same week, one of my longtime dear friends, Kathleen Estes would be looking at that same email of waiting children. Without realizing what each other was doing, Kathleen & I were applying to adopt from the same orphanage within hours of each other! But the miracle didn't stop there. The boys we were each adopting are friends & we soon would get a picture of all 3 of them posing together! We were overjoyed! I was "pregnant" with one of my best friends...what more could a girl ask for?! Yet, if Mark hadn't waited for God's timing, I would have missed one of the greatest blessings of my life. God's timing is perfect!

Our families worked together through our paperwork encouraging each other every step of the way. Our poor case workers - we persisted in saying, "make sure you keep us with the Estes". I know they probably got so tired of it, but we wanted to be there to see them get their boys. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

(David & Kathleen have their own amazing story on their journey to adoption at their blog... Estes TRIBE )

Well, guess what - God continued to be faithful in those little blessings & we just arrived with David & Kathleen in Ethiopia! Yes, we got to come together & ride side-by-side to and from Ethiopia. So now we sit here in our hotel room thinking about tomorrow. Our hearts are filled with pure joy at the thought of meeting our boys! We're not sure if they realize what God has done by giving them best friends as parents. It's hard to find living in the same city - but traveling half way across the world - is a miracle! I have to continually remember, God knows our desires & his plan is so much greater and fulfilling when we give them to him. My cup is full & running over..I can't wait to post our pictures of our new family tomorrow. My heart beats a little faster knowing how close we are to welcoming our new family members! I hope I get a little sleep tonight - I've had 3 hours since Thursday am, but am confident I can find a great cup of coffee here in Ethiopia!

Missy - Saturday, January 9

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How our journey began....

Our journey to adopt Micah has been filled with God's gentle prodding, his amazing mercy and special touches of miracles along the way....

It was June 29th of 2009 when my dear friend and neighbor Tracy Mihnovich sent me an email; "Children need homes". It was pictures taken by Kelly Putty of waiting children at Ethiopia's Hannah's Hope Orphanage. I had seen hundreds of pictures of orphans from around the world. All beautiful, all needing a forever family to love them. My heart would break as I'd whisper a prayer for each one of them, but this time the heartache didn't stop. I kept going back to a certain picture of a little 6 year old boy who was all by himself. As I read my kids his story my voice broke and I couldn't stop my tears. I looked up and Mckenzie, my 9 year old daughter had tears rolling down her cheek. Matthew, my 12 year old ran over to see what triggered us....what he saw was his future little brother. "Let's go get him, mom, give him aAdd Image home. He can have my top bunk!"

It wasn't that easy, because although I had the desire to adopt, my husband was not on the adoption bandwagon. We had the "boy" and the "girl". You know, one for each hand, not outnumbered, somewhat easy to handle in public and you didn't have to take a loan out to take the kids to dinner and a movie.

Don't get me wrong, Mark is a man of character, integrity, and probably one of the most God fearing men I know; but like so many amazing fathers, he was looking at the finances that come with another child. He just didn't want to talk about it.

What changed my husband's mind? Well, I didn't nag him or use subliminal messaging, I prayed that if adoption was God's will for our family, God would change his heart. After all, I didn't grow up saying I was going to adopt. God gradually changed my heart. I wasn't wanting to adopt to have another child, I loved my family the way it was. I wanted to adopt to save a life and be obedient to the call of James 1:27. Over four years I had a strong desire to adopt, but God's timing is perfect and he used my husband for a major unforeseen blessing he had for our family.....but I'll save that for my next blog.