I can remember it so clearly. I was sitting is a little church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, waiting for the service to start. All around me, people were praying. Not the silent, head bowed praying that I was used to. No - these people were wailing. Crying. Reaching out to God with all their hearts. I guess that suffering is a great relationship builder when it comes to our faith.
I, too, was praying - quietly, with my head bowed - asking God what was He doing here. Why was there so much suffering and what did He want me to do about it? What could I do? In an instant my whole body warmed with the answer. These are My people and I love them. I want you to love them, too.
I do love them.
I sat in that small African church, surrounded by God's beloved people and I fell in love with them. I visited with them in their homes; I prayed for their children. I saw them, for the first time, as my brothers and sisters. And they were hurting and sick. They were worried about their children's futures. They had a tremendous faith. I can honestly say that I've never seen worship like that before. Nothing held back. It was amazing.
Flash forward nine months. I am standing in church - the band is playing Beautiful Jesus. A bunch of students are being baptized. I found myself very suddenly desiring to parent more kids. Really, in that moment. This idea started forming in my mind about adoption. What in the world? We were almost done parenting; our kids were all but grown. Why would I want to start this all over again? It's messy and sometimes it really hurts.
Because there is a need. There are so many kids that need homes. Everywhere - all over the world. We contacted several agencies and requested the info: two or three boys between the ages of 4 and 9 - siblings preferably and completely healthy [I thought that I could not handle ANY health issues!] Oh, and I wanted them to come from Africa - Ethiopia, to be exact.
Through blogging, I had met Carolyn Twietmeyer. She had adopted from Ethiopia and was a great encouragement to me through this time of waiting on God. Through emails and phone calls, she helped me to see that God's plan might be quite a bit different than my plan. So it was. After spending several weeks asking God to show me His plan, I got an email from Project HOPEFUL with an urgent plea to help find a family. The email that I received that day had a picture of a sweet little boy that was HIV+.
I began to pray for this one child. Not necessarily that he would be ours, but that God would find him a family. We are so thankful that He did.
- The Baker Family