Along this adoption journey over the past two years I have prayed many prayers. Some of these prayers have been simple, some in times of desperation, some selfish, some without words because they just wouldn't come, but none went unnoticed by my Father. He heard every one and answered-
I want to share with you an amazing thing that God did while we were in Ethiopia a few weeks ago. As most of you know this process was full of pain for us and full of questions. One of the biggest questions that I had personally was how did our kids get to the orphanage and why was the process so long once they got there. I had pieced together some information and I knew that our children were taken to an orphanage in Zway by Case Abraham for a period of time prior to going to the transition house in Addis but beyond that I knew very little. One of my little selfish prayers was that God would let me fill in some of the time between when they left from the island and when they arrived at the transition house in Addis.
For anyone who has adopted you know that information is very hard to come by and the information that you are given is not always correct. I had asked on several occasions about the orphanage where our children spent some time and all that I was told was that the orphanage was closed and no longer in operation. I assumed from that information that we would never know much about our twins lives while in the orphanage but God is so much bigger than my thinking!
Hang with me as I share with you how God answered my prayer- Last January, David and I volunteered at passion 2010. While we were at Passion we walked over to the "Do Something Now" center to look around at ways that the college students could get involved in mission projects around the world. As we neared the bottom of the escalator we saw a large coffee shop area to our right and we walked over to see what the proceeds of the coffee sold were going to. We both were caught off guard to see that the sale of coffee at Passion 2010 was being used to help orphans in none other than Zway, Ethiopia.
We quickly found the owners of Gobena Coffee and shared with them that our children were from Zway and that we were waiting to bring them home yet we were having many issues with actually getting them here. They shared with us that they work with a couple named Gary and Peggy Ift and they suggested we contact them to see if they could be of any help during the process. We did contact Gary and started having brief conversations with him about orphan care in that area. We quickly realized that our paperwork issues couldn't be resolved by the Ift's but what they were doing in Zway was very interesting to us.
While we were in Zway visiting the island for a couple of days we decided to contact Peggy and Gary to see how God was using their ministry in Zway. David was heading out to one of the islands on Lake Zway for the day and so I made plans to spend the morning with Gary and Peggy. I called to see if we could meet them out in the community somewhere and Peggy explained that Gary was waiting at their home for us and that someone was there who wanted to meet us. I had no idea who would be in the middle of Zway, Ethiopia waiting to meet us and so I quickly got the kids ready to go.
My sister and I pile the kids into the van and we took a short drive to the Ift's home. When we arrived Eskel our driver pulled up to their large gate and blew the horn. Mr. Ift came out to greet us and ask us to come inside their compound. As we went into the gated area Tia and Garrett went running over to a lady who was coming off of the Ift's front porch.
As they went running Gary started explaining to me that the lady they were running towards was their caretaker at the orphanage in Zway. Again I started to cry as I realized that God hears my every single, selfish cry. Now what are the odds that Gary and Peggy's hired house help use to care for my children two years ago? Not only did she care for them but she cared for them during the period of their life that I knew nothing about.
I was so thankful that this caring lady was able to share with me about their time in the Zway orphanage. She shed so much light on all of the paperwork struggles and time line problems that had taken place with our adoption. She was so willing to share about her time with the twins while they were at the orphanage.
She has no idea but she was a part of a small answered prayer- An answer that reminds me that He cares about the small things more than even I do. As I hugged this precious lady goodbye I felt her arms around me and thought back to the first day that she held Tia and Garrett in her arms. I am sure that they were scared and confused yet God had her there to wrap her arms around them with His love.