Isaac Temesgen and I have just been home for a full 3 days—and tomorrow (Tuesday) is my FIRST day all on my own as a mommy of 4. Laney (4) and Parker (5) are doing AMAZING with all of the changes–they are so sweet, helpful, loving and even supportive. They love Isaac Temesgen to pieces—and they are even sensitive to Frank’s new role from baby to big brother. We are all making grand efforts to give Frank much of the same love and attention he was/is used to AND at the same time give Isaac Temesgen the extra love and care that he needs. Needless to say–it’s MORE than a full time job. MUCH MORE.
I can’t say I didn’t expect the MUCH MORE part–because I did. I have had the gift of meeting with many other adoptive mommies who have gone before me to tell me the efforts and time that are required of transitioning your children already in the home as well as new ones. I am up every 2-3 hours every night–and some times it’s hour to hour with our new one. Often he wants to eat. And other times–I think he just wants to make sure I’m still here. He is startled at sudden or loud sounds–and I’m constantly speaking softly and singing Jesus Loves Me reminding myself that He who calls us–will equip us–and deeply…He loves us.
I am still processing my time in Ethiopia–there is really so much to process. I keep seeing the countless faces of the children at Hannah’s Hope (our agency’s orphanage) waiting patiently and some even unknowingly for their mommies and daddies to also come. And that to me–is so HOPEFUL. It didn’t pain me to look in their eyes as I knew all of those children had been referred to parents back home who have so faithfully followed the Lord in this calling to parent through adoption. What did pain me…was the WAIT and Bethzatha.
As you may know, adoption requires waiting, waiting and more waiting. There’s red tapes—lots of hoop jumping and often programs change and even close at moments notice. With 143,000,000 orphans in the world–and almost 6 million of them being in Ethiopia–the wait doesn’t really make sense. BUT there is a wait. Our agency’s orphanage can only serve so many orphans at a time–and one can’t come to our private orphanage to be matched with a forever family until another one has gone. SO–while our private run orphanage serves betweent 40-60 children, many are simply waiting on court dates to come and pass so families can travel and another bed can be opened for a child from bigger orphanages like Bethzatha to come in. Most all of the children at Hannah’s Hope come from Bethzatha–and we had the amazing opportunity while we were there to visit Bethzatha…and this is what I am still trying to process.
Our Isaac spent a month at Bethzatha until there was a bed for him at Hannah’s Hope. I wasn’t sure how it all worked–and it is actually the staff at Bethzatha that chooses what children they will send to Hannah’s Hope while Hannah’s Hope simply tells them how many spaces they have open for new children they can serve. I love that the staff at Bethzatha can release the children who need families most desperately first–and while some only spend a few weeks there, others have been there for years and years. Really—I had no idea.
We walked in a room with SO MANY toddlers—that it overwhelmed me. (And the baby rooms–two of them…and they were full as well.)
You wanna know something else that surprises me?
SO–since 2004, adoptions have cut in HALF in the U.S. There are MORE orphans in the world TODAY than any point in HISTORY–YET, there are fewer families adopting NOW than ANY year in the last decade. Seriously?! Yes, there is a wait. There has ALWAYS been a wait. It takes time for the red tape in the U.S. and then more time for red tape in foreign countries–and then of course more time for court and more time for empty beds. And yes–the wait for those of us who are following the call is beyond hard and frustrating…and for those of you waiting–DO NOT GROW WEARY…BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS…trust in the Lord and wait upon Him! But–it’s not the wait that has made those statistics drop. The rising cost? Well, we are supposed to count all things loss at the cost of following Him…right? So…I’m really not sure why the drop. Are we distracted…have we lost sight of what is really happening and that there are millions of children who need families or at the very least need believers to advocate and pray for them or visit them in their distress?
What I am having a hard time processing now…is if 2% of professing Christians adopted–the 143,000,000 orphans would be dissolved as they each became a son or daughter of someone.
No, we aren’t all called to adopt.
But I really—really—really believe…that we are all called to do something.
I am realizing I was called to wake up every 2 hours for this season in my life and to remind my son, “I’m here. I’m here. I’ll always be here.”
I am reminded of Almaz’s words, “You were not called to save Ethiopia. You were called to save Temesgen. Now, go be his mother.”
Being a mommy—it is my calling.
Praise Him! Praise Him! I love my calling.
My heart though aches…for more to be called…and to see more children become daughters and sons.
There are two specific children that my heart is just aching for at Bethzatha. One has been there 4 years and another 3 years. They are both handicapped and just lay there—day in and day out. I walked in the room and tried to sing Jesus Loves Me to them–but my voice cracked and I broke down in tears. The staff worker in the room came over and told me not to be sad and I just asked her, “Do they know they are loved? Do they know how much He loves them?”
She reassured me that they do–but do they???
Will you join me today/tonight…whenever and whoever is reading this in praying these verses over the children left behind?
“And Jesus said unto them … , “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to younder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.”
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear … “1 John 4:18
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
“One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”
And let us pray this in boldness for us to follow…maybe it is us that will sing them Jesus Loves Me each night…for really—in the big scheme of things…isn’t that all that really matters? Lord, I pray you call up a multitude of believers to follow you and love orphans and widows in a deeper way than they ever imagined doing. I pray that you would have many step out in faith and boldness to follow you–and to trust you in the hard wait and the difficult waters…help us Lord to live for what really matters.
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15
“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear ; do not be frightened.” Take Courage 1 Peter 3:14
Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.” Ezra 10:4
Still processing…not sure if anyone really even reads my processing;)…but thanks for letting me process…goodnight. For at least 2 hours anyway;). But…oh so worth every waking.
And on a P.S. note–I have to add that Frank sweetly gave Isaac 2 kisses on the cheek today. AND he even shared his binky. Progress people. We’re making progress;).