We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Friday, October 29, 2010

On our way (almost) - and a thank you!

We are almost on our way.... this time next week, we will be on our way home - WITH SARA JOY!!!  Sara's things are packed.  The totes are packed.  Tim is partially packed.  I am partially packed.  It's been a LONG day and I'm ready for it to be over.  I hope I'm this tired when I hop on that 17 hour plane ride tomorrow afternoon...

The totes:
We have totes PACKED FULL OF SUPPLIES!!!  We were thrilled with all of the donations that people made for the little orphan darlings in Ethiopia.  You can't imagine what I was able to fit in those totes.  I'll tell you a bit of what we have in there:
3 soccer balls
20 bibs
over 150 pair of socks (YEA!!!!)
scrubs (in all sizes)
latex gloves
26 tubes of toothpaste
over 350 tooth brushes
4000 stickers
4 boxes of crayons
coloring books
2 thermometers
tubs of diaper rash cream
baby tylenol
hand sanitizer
baby lotion
kids' clothes
teething gel
2 infant pop up toys
toddler bead toy

I want to thank everyone who sent donations for our family to take to Ethiopia.  I want to say a special thank you to "D" who drove all the way from her home in NC today, 1 1/2 hours each way, to drop 300 toothbrushes and a dozen tubes of toothpaste on my front porch.  She also sent 4 different sized sets of nursing scrubs - all packaged by size, with a ribbon tied around them to keep them neatly packed.  It was touching for me to think that someone would drive 3 hours round trip to make sure our family got to take some supplies to Ethiopia.  She also gave us a monetary donation to purchase items in Ethiopia that are better purchased there. 

This was just one of the many touching donations that were made.  This one really touched my heart though, because of the distance that this wonderful woman of God went to make sure we could take these items.  Again, thank you "D" for having such a big heart :) 

To everyone who so generously donated - THANK YOU!  I pray that God will bless you many times over in return.  I can't wait to bring these items over to the orphanages and take pictures of the little ones again!

I really can not believe how close we are to bringing our little Sara Joy home.  It's now right around the corner!  I'm looking forward to meeting up with all of my travel friends in Washington.  Safe travels to the Brocious, Wright, Baum and Warren families.... can't wait to see you all! 

Please pray for our travels.  Please pray for a smooth transition for Sara Joy into our family.  I pray she gets to know us and is comfortable with us before we turn her world upside down by bringing her home.  Pray for our travels with an 18 month old.  Also, please pray for my mom and Denis as they care for the kids while we are away - and for Cameron and Anna, that they will be safe while we are away and that they will have so much fun with grandma and Denis that they will not miss us too much.

I can't wait to come home and share pictures.  Last time we were in Ethiopia I was not able to update the blog.  I'll have to do it when I get home.  If you want, join me on facebook...I'll be able to update on there while we are in Ethiopia.

Next time I post, Sara Joy will be a US citizen and will be sleeping in her bed for the very first time!!!

So happy to be on this journey!
In Christ,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One more week....

I began thinking today about just how life is going to change.... and it is going to change!  That is for sure.  Cameron is 11 and Anna is 7.  It's been over 5 years since we had a child as small as Sara in our home!  Gone are the lazy, relaxing days.... but she is well worth it.

Tim put up Sara's shelves today.  The things we got her from our last trip to Ethiopia look really good in her room.  Now that I have the shelves up though, I realize that I'm lacking a couple of pictures.  We'll look for them this week and I'll get them up before we leave.  I want her room to be completely done when we come home

Sara's things are laid out for the trip.  We figured that Tim would take a bigger suitcase this time, and that he and Sara would share.  That way we can still take two totes over with us.  We are both taking less in terms of clothing this time.  The laundry service at the hotel was cheap and great.  The turn around  time was wonderful.  You set it out on your bed in the morning, and by the evening it appeared back there completely clean.  It was great!  It will save us some much needed suitcase room as well!

We didn't skimp on Sara's clothes though.  It's so difficult to judge what size clothes she needs, so I just packed a bunch of different stuff, in hopes that something will work.  In my mind's eye, she is much bigger than Cameron and Anna were at her age.  Also, the clothes she was wearing at the transition home didn't really fit her, and were always layered, so who knows what size she really was.  She is now just over 18 months, and we brought her 24 month clothes.  I think we threw a couple 18 months in there as well.  I hope something works.  As for shoes....well, we didn't measure her foot while we were there, like we should have.   Shoes are important to a kid who is walking.  They reported she wears a size 1 shoe.  Ah... I don't think so.  We estimated about a size 5.  If those don't work, she'll be walking around in her socks until we get home.  Not sure what else to do. 

We haven't even gone yet, and I'm anxious to get home.  I don't like being away from the kids.  I know they are in great hands with my mom and Denis, and the kids love them being here, especially since they don't have to go to after school care with them here - but I don't like being away from THEM!  You miss out on a lot.  Luckily Cameron and Anna have a  program, but it is the week we get back... so we will get to go, and we will get to take Sara with us.  Hopefully that goes well. 

I'm nervous about the changes that adding Sara to our family will bring.  We have life pretty  much in a routine, and we are going to have to find a new routine.  It'll all be fine - I just need to find that routine again.  Mornings will be crazy - they already are, but add an 18 month old into the mix and they will be even more crazy.  We just got to the point where we don't have to assist Anna with baths at night.... well, we'll be helping out again for the next few years with Sara.  That's ok though... bath time is always fun. 

There are some routines I can't wait to establish... like Tim reading a story to Anna and Sara every night.  He reads to Anna (or lets Anna read to him) every night when she goes to bed.  It will be interesting to bring Sara into that tradition.  She won't get it for awhile, but I'm sure she will grow to love it... just like Anna.

We are getting our totes packed up!  I didn't realize how little you could fit in one tote.  They really don't hold all that much when you are packing kids' clothes and things like that.  We are doing our best to take as much over as we can though.  Thank you to all who have donated!  I'll have pictures up of the tote donations in a few days - once I get everything organized and packed into them.

Pray for us as we are at the end of this part of our journey!  We are very excited to bring our Sara Joy Edom Roach home and start the next chapter of our journey together!

In Christ,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We're getting close

We are down to just nine days.  Nine days have to pass and Tim and I will be back on our way to Ethiopia.  Imagine that!!!  Only nine more days.  We have waited so long for this dream to come to fruition, and now, here it is.  The little seed planted so long ago is about to burst into this wonderful, beautiful flower - our new family member!  Technically, she is already ours, but I can't wait to have her in our home with us, truly part of our family.  Getting to know her mom and dad and her brother and sister!

So, for those who have wanted to help with the orphanage donation, I need your donations quickly.  We will pack up the totes next week Friday (29th) and will call it quits at that point.  Whatever we have on Friday will go over with us.  If we don't have it by Friday, and we get it later, we will attempt to send it over with another family.  We are hoping to get as much as we can over this time though.

Last weekend we went shopping and I think picked up the final things we needed for Ms. Sara.  We got her some more clothes and shoes, a stroller, carseat... all those fun things.  Her room has been ready for her for so long - thankfully we didn't have to worry about getting that ready as well.  I can't wait to see her tucked into her bed all snuggled up in a pair of jammies, smelling baby fresh from her bath! 

It'll also be nice not to have to think about adoption related anything (for awhile :)  Over the past three and 1/2 years, I have grown tired of paperwork and waiting, fingerprints and waiting, Dr. letters and waiting, homestudy and waiting, reference letters and waiting, waiting and waiting, waiting and waiting and more waiting and waiting.  I think you get the point that I'm tired of waiting.  Well, I'm waiting one last time.... nine more days.  Nine days until I'm back with my little girl. Then I'll just have to wait a bit to come home with her.  And then.... then we go through life together!  It's going to be great!!!

In Christ,

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Get Ready for a BIG surprise!!!

You have all had a chance to marvel at sweet Sara Joy (with her colorful attire and all).  Isn't she just darling?  Her cute little hair-do.... seemingly so managable for this mom who has NO experience with curly hair.  I am about to reveal something BIG.  Something SHOCKING.  Something that made me wonder exactly how I would manage this.....Be afraid... be very afraid (that's what I'm thinking anyway).  This is what I was introduced to on day three in Ethiopia with our Sara Joy.  Are you ready?  (if you are friends with me on Facebook, you have already witnessed this - if not, you are in for a big surprise!)

Sara had just gotten a bath prior to our arrival at the transition home on day three.  Here is what we saw:

Now THAT is some wild, BIG hair.  And look at the little "kissy lips" in the first picture.  Isn't she just a doll!

I didn't even recognize her at first.  I asked where Sara was and Tim said - she's right over there.  I had never seen her with her hair down (and BIG) and it just threw me off.  Isn't she absolutely beautiful?

We had an absolutely amazing time playing with her on this day. She smelled so good (finally)!  I grabbed her and hugged her and just loved on her for as long as I could.  She will tolerate the lovin' for a bit, but then she wants to get down and play.  She is VERY active.  From what I can tell, she only likes to snuggle when she is tired. 

Her hair is very soft.  It is very thick though as well.  And talk about curly.  I have not a curl on my head and Cameron's hair is so short, who knows if there might be a curl in there somewhere... I doubt it though.  Anna's hair... as straight as mine.  I don't think you can find 1/2 inch of Sara's hair that is straight :)  It will be interesting to see how I learn how to take care of it.

While we were there, the nannies put her ponies back in.  Who would have thought there could be such a transformation.  She doesn't even look like the same kid - but honestly, I think she is beautiful with her hair up or down.  She just looks much older with it down (or not in ponies... cause even when it's down, it's pretty much UP!).

Yesterday I spent the day in the hair care section trying to figure out what she needed.  Or actually, what I needed to take care of her hair properly.  I was DYING for someone, anyone to walk by and help me.... no such luck.  I only obtained the help of my husband who sorry to say does not know much about girl's hair care.  When I'm out of town, I think Sara is going to be going to school with the big hair look!  So, any advice is appreciated.  I solicited help from my facebook friends as well... between this blog and facebook, hopefully I can figure out the right way to care for my baby's hair!

I can't even begin to express how ready and excited we are to bring this little girl home!  We CAN'T WAIT!!!  We are so lucky to have been blessed with this little girl.  We are very lucky to be blessed with the wonderful friends we have made along the way on this adoption journey.

13 days and we will be back on a plane to Ethiopia for the trip to bring our daughter home!!

By they way, if you have items you would like to send to Ethiopia for our orphan supply drive, please get them to me quickly.  Thank you to everyone who has already donated so generously!  We truly appreciate your help in being able to bring much needed supplies to the kids in Ethiopia who literally have nothing!  Can you imagine if just ONE sticker made your children happy?  Mine would wonder where the rest of the toys were for them to play with.  I have seen children grin ear to ear for being given just ONE sticker.  I hope the supplies we bring will give them some more joy!  I will need everything to arrive prior to October 28th... so just a little over one more week to get things to me to take over.

Thank you again for all of your help!

In Christ,

Friday, October 15, 2010

Embassy Appointment

Just a quick update... I'll write more later tonight - the kids are getting ready to go to the homecoming game with Tim (I get to stay home and have an evening alone YEAH).  I need to get them fed though before they go! 

We got our Embassy appointment today.  It will be November 4th.  We will leave for Ethiopia in just TWO WEEKS to bring our daughter home.  We leave on October 30.  Mom and Denis are hanging out with the kids again.  We are back home on November 6th... and SARA JOY EDOM ROACH will be with us!!!! 

We are a very happy family tonight!


In Christ,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

For those who want to help me help them

UPDATE:  I'm beginning to cross off items as I get responses for each item. 

I'm writing this blog post to ask for your help.  I don't ask for much from others, other than prayers.  But this time, I'm asking for help.  Not for me, but for the hundreds of orphan faces I saw in Ethiopia.  I can't do it alone.  Will you help me?

When we were in Ethiopia, we visited an orphanage in Addis Ababa.  It was one of many, many orphanages in that city.  What I saw broke my heart.  These children have NOTHING.  Each child I'm posting a picture of today, has NO family.  These are only a small fraction of the faces we looked into.  Hands we touched and faces we kissed.

Before going to the orphanage we stopped by a fruit stand and bought oranges and bananas for the children. We bought about 15 pounds of fruit for the equivalent of about $4.00. 

These kids own absolutely nothing.  They have nothing to call their own... not even a bed.  When they are hurt, no one comes to kiss their hurt away.  No one holds them when they are sick. 

I fell absolutely in LOVE with this little munchkin!
It made me so sad to see these children.  When we went into the orphanage, it seemed dark and damp.  We went into the toddler room, and there, sitting on a blanket, were 16 toddler orphans.  Each of them with a runny nose, and some of them with a cough.  There were two doctors who came to the orphanage with us.  They were adopting children with our agency as well.  Two of the children they said, were malnourished.  None of the children had socks on, and all were damp.  It was chilly for me being in there, and I was dry and appropriately dressed.  I felt the feet of many of these children, and they were cold.  Some were even red from the cold.  It's not that it was that "cold" in the orphanage, it was that they were damp.  One little girl, who was not potty trained, did not even have a diaper or underwear on.  She just had a bare bottom. 
 This little boy fell in love with Tim

We went up to the baby room - there were several baby rooms.  I don't think I have ever seen more babies all in one place...not even in a hospital nursery.  They were all in cribs - two or even three in a crib (for the tiny ones).  Two in a crib for the ones who were a bit older.

 This little one above, I believe had Down Syndrome.  Such a sweet little one!

These children need love, just like our children.  You may not be able to see it through the photographs, but they are desperate for love.  As I picked up each child (and I could not pick them all up - there were just too many) I told each and every one of them that I loved them.  I told them that Jesus loved them!  But then I had to put them back down.  I didn't get to hold each of them very long...I wonder if they believed me. 

The conditions in the orphanage hurt my heart.  I had never been to an orphanage before and I was sure I never wanted to see one again.  I was awake the entire night, in tears, having heated conversations with God, questioning Him, asking Him why He allowed these innocent children to live this way.  My answer came in the morning - God didn't do this, we did.  Our sinful nature did.  God also showed my heart that as much as I didn't want to go back and face this, I needed to step up and truly be the hands and feet of Christ.  To love these children like He would love them - with their runny noses, bare bottoms, infections, sores and all.  EMBRACE them - which is exactly what  I did.  And my heart felt much better once I looked past the poverty and dispair and saw them as children Jesus would and does LOVE! 

So, this is where I need your help, because I can't do it all on my own.  Tim and I are hoping to travel back at the end of October for a November 4th Embassy appointment.  We will get to bring our Sara Joy home.  That appointment has not yet been confirmed, but we should have it confirmed soon.  Our Sara Joy was one of these children!!!   When we go, we want to go armed with supplies.  There are a couple things we want to do...we want to provide things for the children, and also for the people who care for these precious little ones. 

For the children, Tim and I are going to try to take on a special project.  We want to put a basketball hoop along with a cement pad at the transition home.  This would be to give the older children there something to do.  Everyone wants to provide for the little ones, but the older ones tend to be overlooked.  The assistant at the transition home will be e-mailing us information on the cost of putting up the basketball hoop and pad. 

For the younger children, we asked them what they needed and we were given a list.  They need
  • hand sanitizer
  • clothes
  • children's socks
  • diapers
  • formula
  • antibiotic ointment
  • clotrimozole cream
  • tooth brushes
  • tooth paste
  • anti-dandruff shampoo
  • easily cleanable toys (stuff animals, soft toys are not the best as they spread germs easily)
  • wipes
For the workers they needed:
  • pediatric scale (bathroom scale that would handle both small and older children)
  • latex gloves
  • Uniforms for the nannies (they wear nursing uniforms)
Tim and I are planning on taking two large totes of supplies over when we go to pick up Sara.  There are some things that we are better off buying in Ethiopia - things like formula and some of the ointments (because they are much cheaper there and you will get more for your money - also for the formula, it is best to buy the kind the children are already used to).  We are also hoping to buy fruit/vegetables and fresh water for the children.  The other things we can buy here and take over.  If you have gently used clothes or toys that you want to donate, we are happy to take them over.  If you want to contribute to help us buy supplies we would appreciate the help.  You are also welcome to purchase things on your own and send them to us and we will do our best to carry everything over. 

If you know of a local (Florence, SC) store that sells gently used nursing outfits, please let me know.  I would like to go back with some for the nannies.  If you know someone who would be willing to donate uniforms, please let me know.  If you know someone who would be willing to donate anything for that matter, please let me know. 

If you want to help us, please write a comment on this post with a way for me to contact you.  I will send you our contact information and we can go from there.  We will hopefully be leaving for Ethiopia again on or about October 30th, so we will need to have everything before that date.

Tim and I can't make a huge difference on our own, but together, we can.  If at all possible, please help us show these children, who have nothing and no one, that they are loved!

In Christ,

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day Two - Court Date

We arrived in Ethiopia late Sunday night - like 7:00 PM.  By the time we got our visa, got our luggage, found our group of families traveling together and got to our driver, it was probably around 9:00.  It gets dark in Ethiopia early - around 6:00 this time of year, so we did not get to see much of the sights of Etiopia.  There is a distinct smell to Addis Ababa though.  One I don't think I will ever forget.  I'm not sure if it is the smell of the leaves they burn to cook with, or what exactly it is, but once you smell it, you don't forget it.

The city is much different than the countryside, so I will describe the city.  (I went to the countryside on Thursday, so I will describe that then)  The city, by American standards, is pretty poor.  There was an abandon bus behind our hotel that I believe people were living in.  The buildings - they had metal roofs and I think concrete walls, but I'm not sure.  Every road was lined with concrete or metal fencing and the fencing was topped with some kind of protection to keep you from getting in - sometimes it was wound barbed wire, other times it was broken glass that was stood up on end that lined the top of the entire fence (it was cemented to it).  There are many homeless in Addis....including children.  We met one boy who we called "Stephen" that we met one day when we were out on a shopping trip.  He was in 7th grade and he lived on the streets.  Both of his parents had died.  When he saw us, he asked if he could come to America with us.  He wanted a home in America and asked how he could get into the orphanage so he could have a home.  Deanne asked the orphanage people what he needed to do.  We went back to the same area of the city the next day and he was still there.  He needed to go to the police station and tell them he had no family.  I hope he went, because I hate the thought of him living on the street.  It was very sad. 

The people in Addis are wonderful though.  Some have next to nothing but they are much happier than we as Americans are.  The average person in Ethiopia, from what I understand makes about $1 per day (or about 16 birr).  I'm sure there are those that make much more and some who make nothing, but can you imagine the average income being $1 a day?  A donkey to carry leaves to burn for cooking cost $3000 birr - which is why most women walk the 18 mile round trip up the mountain EVERY DAY to collect the leaves and carry them back down on their back.  Most can not afford even one donkey. 

Riding in a car in Ethiopia is an adventure. There are many, many public busses - but when I say public bus, don't think about a US transit system...  These are like 8 passenger vehicles that have maybe 20 people crammed into them.  Literally people hanging out doors.  And the vehicle is very old.  Sometimes the doors didn't even close... I'm not sure if they couldn't, or there were too many people crammed in there.

So, Tuesday morning we went to court.  Our court appointment was supposed to be for 8:30.  Well, by 8:30 we had not yet been picked up by our driver.  In Ethiopia, time is not as imp9rtant as it is in America.  Their answer to everyting is "no worries".  I'm a schedule / time driven person, so "no worries" didn't do much for me.  Anyway, we made it to the court room around 9:00.  There was another group of people there, with another agency who did their court appts first.  Then it was our turn.  There were five families in our group and Tim and I were number four to go.  As I waited, I got more and more nervous / anxious.  Deanne gave me her bible to read, which was very calming.  Then we were called.  "Parents of Edom"?  We got up and went into the Judge's room.  It was just a room.  The lady who called us was our witness.  The judge was absolutely beautiful.  A very striking lady.  She had incredible English.  She asked us a few questions about our family and our support system.  She then said "she is yours, congratulations".  I told her thank you and she said it was her honor.  No, really, it was mine!  It was over very quickly.  When I walked out of the room, I had tears in my eyes.  I now had officially, another daughter!

Deanne was the last one to be called.  She was waiting on one paper that had not arrived from the MOWA.  They said it would be "five minutes".  Five minutes in Ethiopia can range from 5 minutes to two hours.  We were all very nervous for/with her.  After about 15 minutes, the paper did arrive and Deanne passed court as well.  Her husband did not come on this trip, he stayed home with their other children, so she was very nervous that would cause problems.  It did not and her daughter was hers!

After court, we all got back in the van and went to the transition home.  Day 2 of seeing Sara went a little better than day 1.  She didn't take as long to warm up to me - but still took awhile with Tim.  She was playing outside when we got there, and I saw here immediately.  Here, she is officially our daughter!!!

After spending some time with our kids, we went over to the orphanage.... that will be my next post.  I went from the highest of highs (getting my daughter) to the lowest of lows - seeing the kids in the orphanage.  It changed my life forever!

In Christ,

Friday, October 1, 2010

We are officially her family!!!

I have been going thru blog withdrawl.... while we were in Ethiopia, the hotel that we were staying at, did not allow access to blogs.  Not sure why, but they didn't - so I was not able to blog about the AMAZING experiences we had while we were in Ethiopia.  There is so much to share - so much good, and so much heartbreak.  I won't be able to share it all in one post, but I will try to share it all over the next few days. 

First, let's focus on the reason we were there.  Sara Joy!  If you follow us (Tim or I) on facebook, you will already know a lot of the stories I'm going to tell - you can either move on, or read them in more detail here.... it's hard to tell a story on facebook!  Also, you will have already seen the revealing of Ms. Sara Joy Edom Roach.  But if not, you are in for something wonderful.  This was our first glimpse of Ms. Sara Joy Edom (pronounced eh-dom) Roach:
She was sleeping when we arrived.  I saw here right away.  She was the most beautiful little girl!  I fell in love with her right away.  I didn't get too excited though... because I didn't want to be disappointed if she was not my Sara Joy (but in my heart I knew immediately that she was).  I asked "Is this Edom" and that nanny said yes.  I asked if I could pick her up and the nanny said I could.  This is Sara's reaction:
Needless to say she was not as much in love with me, as I was with her!  And as for Tim.... she REALLY didn't like him.  If he even LOOKED at her, she would start to cry.  She cried some big croc tears and held her arms out to her nanny.  It broke my heart to give her to her nanny, but I didn't want her to be afraid.  So, the nanny took her and laid her down in her bed.  She was patting her back and bottom to soothe her.  I asked her if I could do it, and she said yes.  Well, Sara had covered her whole body with her blanket, including her face so she would not have to see us.  She must have known it was me who started patting her though, because she took her little arm out from under the blanket and tried to shoo my hand away from her.
(this is her with her whole body covered so she didn't have to look at us... with only her little arm sticking out.

Eventually she let me take her out of her crib.  Still Tim was not allowed to even look at her though.  We played together for awhile.  After about 30 minutes of me and Sara playing together (and Tim still had not gotten to touch her, poor guy) Sara dropped a toy.  I asked Tim to come over and pick it up and try to give it to her.  He didn't want to upset her, but he tried it.  It was the ice breaker.  She passed the toy back and forth between her and Tim and finally Tim was able to hold her.

 We were able to play with her and the other children for a couple of hours at the transition house that day.  We were not allowed to take the children out of the transition house, back to the hotel, but we did get to play with them there.  It was nice to be there and give  some attention to the other kids as well.  All of the children in the transition home were referred to families already.  They were waiting on their new parents to come and pass court or wait on their embassy appointment to take them home to their forever family.  As difficult as it was to be there with these kids that currently had no one or nothing to call their own... it was easier knowing that soon they would be with their families.  They had people who were DYING to come and get them and call them son or daughter.  The same was not true at the orphanage which we visited the next day and which I will share a story about in another post.  Here are some more pictures of our first day together:

The one picture stuck in the middle is a picture of the transition home.  I have so much to share about this place and about the actual orphanage.  That will be tomorrow's post.  This was our first day together.  Tomorrow.... court date and our visit with Sara Joy.  Then our orphanage experience. 

I am SO very thankful to God for sending us and seeing us through this journey.  Africa changed my life in so many ways.  I have never seen poverty like I saw in Africa.  I have never seen so many children without a home.  I have never cried as many tears as I cried in that orphanage.  My heart never ached so bad as the day I visited the orphanage.  I never saw what God really wanted me to see in adoption, until I saw the needs of SO MANY CHILDREN.  I'm going to write about a way you can help me help the children of Ethiopia soon....

I will say that if you ever have a chance to go on a mission trip and work in an orphanage... you need to go.  I have looked at pictures of orphanages a million times and have NEVER been touched the way God touched me by actually being there.  You can not capture in a photograph the desire of a child to be held and loved.  These are truly "the least of these".

In Christ,