Wednesday, March 23, 2011


If you read my last blog you know that I have spent several days seeking wisdom on what God is asking me to do to help a precious orphan named Limme. One night last week as our family finished dinner David and I started talking about Limme. All of our kids had been excused from the table except for Kaylee and she joined in our conversation. David glanced over at me and said, "Why don't you just call our agency and check in to see what his status is."

Just as David finished speaking those words Kaylee said, "Megan already e-mailed our agency last month and he doesn't have a family." As she was speaking she got up from the table and went to find her computer. I wasn't sure I understood what Kaylee had said but I thought that she said that Megan had contacted our agency last month about Limme. As I tried to process those words Kaylee came bouncing back in with her computer and opened an e-mail conversation between the owner of our agency and Megan.

I started to cry as I read the following:

From: Megan Henderson []

Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2011 10:33 PM


Subject: Lemee?!


My name is Megan Henderson. We adopted Tizita and Geremew about 8 months ago. Frequently they talk about a little boy named Lemee? I dont know if that is how you spell it. I remember seeing him when we went to the orphanage because he is from the same island as Tizita and Geremew. If you know anything about him, could you let me know if he already has an adoptive family. Tizita and Geremew say that he does not, and I just really need to know! I would appreciate if you answered as soon as possible! Thanks so much!

Megan Henderson

To think that our 15 year old daughter had thought enough about this special little boy to somehow find the e-mail address to our agency and ask about him without us knowing was somewhat overwhelming to me. As tears were flowing I prayed that God would clearly mark out a path for our family. That He would give us the strength to help Limme find a loving home. I do not think that it is by accident that my daughter and son both are asking about Limme.

The response we received from our agency was my greatest fear. Nobody has been fighting for Limme but the tide is turning and he now has us fighting to get him into a home where he deserves to be.

Good morning Megan,

Just got your message; Just to let you know Leme is not paper ready and we are not sure if he ever be paper ready. I’m as good as what information I get from the orphanage. I have asked the orphanage questions that you asked us about Leme. The only thing I know now is to wait until we hear from them.

I’m sure you understand that Hope would love to see older children get adopted. We also understand how hard it is for older children to find a loving home. Having this in mind we are doing to do everything we can in this case. We certainly appreciate you and your family in your intentions in hoping to find a loving home for him.

Thank you,


I continue to pray for just the right family for Limmee if it is our family we are open to that but if it is another family we pray that God would be opening their hearts to having him become theirs. Again I am amazed that God uses our family to bring about His purpose in this world.......... Each time I think about that e-mail sent by Megan last month I say......REALLY? God what are you up to?

Thursday, March 17, 2011


For the past few days God has been working on my heart and it all started with a question at bedtime with Garrett on Monday night. I have wrestled all week with this simple question that questions all that I am and all that I say I believe.

After devotions and prayer time on Monday night while tucking Garrett in he ask me this simple question, "Mom, when is Limme going to come and live with us?" I was somewhat taken back by the question and it took me a few seconds to respond and so Garrett continued, "Mom, Limme doesn't have a family, we have extra beds and plenty of food mom. He would love it here."

For those of you who may not know Limme is one of Garrett's friends from Ethiopia who is about seven years old and continues to live in an orphanage. He not only lived with Tia and Garrett in the orpahange but he also was from the same island as Tia and Garrett. When Garrett went for our final visit to the orphanage this past summer he left all of the toys (that we had brought for him to have on the plane ride home) with Limme as told us that Limme was his favorite friend.

I tried to figure out how to respond to Garrett's question and I really couldn't answer. I simply said, "Garrett let's pray for Limme to feel loved and to have a family soon." We both did just that and again with tears pouring from my eyes I walked down our hallway and started this wrestling with what I believe and what I say I believe. Why couldn't I answer my son's simple question?

I wanted to respond to Garrett's question by saying several things and none of them could I say:

"Garrett, Limme can't come here to live with us because it would cost so much for us to bring him here."- God was whispering........."Oh, really and where did the money come to bring home your precious son and daughter? Haven't we been here before and didn't I provide?"

"Garrett, dad and I have six kids and I think that is all we can handle"- God was whispering......."All that you and David can handle but is that more than you can handle with me being more of you?"

"Garrett, all eight seats in our car and around our table are full."- God whispering......."I have blessed you with two cars and two tables that seat eight. Limme sat on the ground for his meal today. You have empty beds in your house and he is sharing with several others."

"Garrett, I am sure that someday Limme will be matched with a family." God reminded me......"Mendy, do you remember how hard it was to gather paperwork from the island. The agency will never get him paper ready to be adopted. You, with Nicco's help, now know how to gather the needed paperwork. Remember how I went before you two Novembers ago when you needed to find a birth family and I found them?"

"Garrett, even if we wanted to try to bring Limme home adoptions in Ethiopia are going to slow way down and it would take so long to bring him home." God whispered........"Remember how I changed and shaped your life waiting for your son and daughter to come home? A family in a few years is better than no family at all."

With all that was within me I wanted to say to Garrett that Limme would be fine and that a family would soon take him in but I knew that I couldn't be honest and speak those words. Reality is that Limme has very little hope of having a forever family because he is older and he has no one to fight for him. His paperwork will never be complete unless someone is willing to do as we did and figure it out on thier own. In reality he will age out of the system and most likely be on the streets in a few years.

I am not saying that God has said to bring Limme here to be part of our family but I know that I can't get so comfortable that my eyes aren't open to what God may want to do. I was so quick to want to give Garrett an answer of no or an answer that involved someone other than me helping Limme. As God started to point out how I needed to slow down prior to giving a quick answer I realized how what I know and believe doesn't always match my actions. Those small whispers from God reminded me of these things that I so often forget.
I quickly forget the nights of our family praying for God to provide as we felt led to adopt and having no money to do so. I quickly forget going to the post office with our kids and all six of us in tears as we opened an envelope together. An envelope where God provided $20,000 from someone we didn't know towards our adoption and I want to say to my son that bringing Limme home would be expensive and we can't? How could I even dare think those thoughts after being provided for in such an amazing way?
I am quick to forget the sleepless nights of crying out to God to help us find Tia and Garrett's birth family and how God grew my faith more in those months then ever before. I quickly forget how within twelve hours of being in Addis we had located the family. For me to say that with all that is happening in Ethiopian adoptions the wait would be long.......why would I even think those thoughts much less almost speak them?
I am so quick to blow past all that God has done, all that He has blessed me with and all that He wants to use me to do as I go about my life. I want a quick answer to give so that I don't have to wrestle with the reality of who I am and what I really believe. I am so thankful that God uses my children to slow me down and make me wrestle with who I am and who God is.
Seeking God's wisdom and praying for a family for Limme and would love for you to join me................

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Who Knows.....

Over the past few days my heart has been very heavy after hearing the news out of Ethiopia that adoptions are going to slow way down. It has been reported that the rate of adoptions from this country that I love will drop 90% starting in just a few days. This breaks my heart because I have seen first hand the desperate need for children in this country to be placed in a forever family.
I am the first to admit that all of the adoptions out of Ethiopia I am sure are not ethical. I also know that after many trips to Ethiopia and as an adoptive mom I have very strong feelings about orphans from this country that are so near to my heart. As I have read what seems like millions of e-mails, websites, blogs, and anything else people can write my heart has been heavy, sad and sometime angry. People have such vast opinions and sometime they don't think prior to writing or speaking. Here are just a couple of the things that I have heard that have made my heart feel some of these emotions:
-"Since most all of the adoptions in Ethiopia are unethical I support this slow down"- I really would like to know where this information was gathered. I agree with needing to make sure that children aren't being bought, sold or handled in any unethical way and my heart breaks to think of the evil in this world where this has happened and continues to happen today. However, keeping thousands of children orphaned due to the poor descisions of a few seems like just the way satan would want things to be. Not only is he winning when it comes to breaking apart families but now he gets to keep children alone for an extened period of time where they feel unloved and uncared for. My heart becomes angry and broken as I think of how he uses sin to cause heartache and seperation from what God intended for children and families. I pray that God would help the government shed light on those who are not acting in the best interest of children and families so that they can quickly weed them out and allow the waiting orphans to be united with their forever families.
-" What is and orphan?" I have read and heard from many who would not consider our children orphaned. I keep reading where people say that if any relative is alive then the orphaned chlild needs to reside with them. Those who are writing or saying this obviously have never stood on Zedachu island with a widowed birth mom who has eight children (one of which is special needs) that she was caring for. She loved her children so much that she knew that she couldn't emotionally and physically care for all of them alone. She wasn't paid, bribed or begged to give her children away- Instead I am sure that she wrestled and cried as she made a descision that no mother should ever have to make to place Tizita and Geremew in a place where someone else could take care of their basic needs. It breaks my heart and frankly makes me angry that anyone would say that our children were not true orphans. I wish that some who have made these remarks would spend sometime in Ethiopia with these birth moms and dads who have to make the hardest descision of their life when placing their children in the care of someone other than themselves forever. I pray for eyes to be opened to the great need of children across the globe and I pray for action to be taken. I pray that less people would argue about what a true orphan is and more would spend their days holding, loving and caring for children who find themselves all alone.
-"Adoptive parents who have their children home could care less about the adoption situation because they have their children home"- I have seen and heard this over and over the past few days and there is simply nothing further from the truth. My heart hurts for the children that I personally know who are waiting for their forever family. I grieve when I think about the fact that my son and daughter have friends who will spend much more time living in an orphanage than they should because of the desicions being made on their behalf by government officals. When I think of adoptive moms and dads who have been waiting to bring their sons or daughters home for months my heart aches as their months have turned into so much longer. It is the same ache that I felt last year as I waited every day hoping for news about our son and daughter and when they could come home. I pray for peace for the moms and dads who cry each night as they long for their children to be with them that God would give them a peace that passes all understanding. I pray that God would wrap His arm around each baby, toddler, boy or girl who finds themself alone today - I pray that He would hold them tight until their mom and dad get there to bring them into their family.
I know that this blog is not what I typically write about- My heart is aching and all I know to do is cry out to the one who can change it all. I am praying for God to direct what actions need to be taken by me and listening closely to what He is asking of me as I pray for His will to be done half way around the world. I am praying for wisdom for each offical who will be making descisions that will effect each orphan in Ethiopia- Please join me in praying.......... I don't know what the future holds but I am so thankful that I know the one who holds the future and I rest in that today.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

First Slippers........

Tonight my youngest two princesses are off for a night full of fun with David at the Daddy-Daughter Dance. For several weeks we have been talking about, making plans for and shopping for this very special night.

Last Friday night David and I took Tia and Lindsay out to find the perfect dresses for the big occasion. This is only the second time that Tia has ever been shopping for clothes for herself and she seemed very excited. Much like her first shopping experience she was a bit overwhelmed with all of the choices of pretty dresses but quickly found several that she wanted to try on. Just like her first shopping experience she was a little nervous when we went into the dressing room to try the dresses on. Once she got inside the dressing room, undressed and slipped on the first princess looking dress she was all smiles. Tears filled my eyes as she twirled around and looked at her self over and over in the mirror.

As Tia gazed at herself in the mirror with tears in my eyes I prayed that God would help her to know just how beautiful she is. My mind raced as she tried on dress after dress thinking of what her emotions must be. Had she dreamed of one day wearing such a dress? With each new dress that she tried her smile grew larger and it was a joy to get to watch.

After both Tia and Lindsay had picked the perfect dress we were on a hunt for perfect shoes. Of course they both found shoes with a very small heel and fell in love with them. Tia picked a silver pair and Lindsay picked a white pair. As I helped Tia put on the silver shoes that she had picked again tears as I watched her glow with delight. She stood up, danced around and quickly found a mirror to get a look at what she looked like with these fancy shoes on.

We then had the dresses and shoes when the girls started asking if they could maybe get a purse to carry. David said that we would look to see if we could find purses that they would both like. The two of them had already seen some and quickly told us where some small fancy purses could be found. They were precious as they looked at the purses. I heard Lindsay tell Tia that their purses needed to match their shoes (Their mom grew up in the South and so of course she had passed this important information on!) Tia agreed and they were helping each other find just the perfect purses to match their new shoes.

When we were finished finding just the right things to make the night special the girls were out in front of David and I as we walked in the mall. I knew that David was thinking and feeling the same thoughts and feelings that I had. We looked at each other and then both glanced at Tia. I then uttered as I choked back tears, "Her world has changed so much and I can't begin to imagine what she must think." David just nodded and like me tried to hold back the tears.

This afternoon Tia could not wait for the time to come to put on her beautiful, sequined dress. Two hours prior to departure time she stared asking if she could get ready and so we started with her hair and painting her nails. Next, I put a robe on her and explained that we needed to wait until it was almost time to go before she should put on her fancy dress. She looked at the clock many times over the next hour and a half. Finally the time came for the fancy dress and shoes to go on. She and Lindsay were giggling with delight as they dresses and slipped on their shoes.

Tonight my Princesses and my Prince are dancing the night away as I sit and think about how thankful I am. Thankful that our Princess Tia, for the first time in her life, feels and looks like a princess. Thankful that tonight a pair of feet that have been dirty and sore from having no shoes for years have Princess slippers on them. Thankful that Tia and Lindsay have each other because I know first-hand that sisters are best friends. Thankful that for the first time in her life- Tia has a daddy who loves her unconditionally with a love that she can't begin to comprehend. Thankful that a year ago as David and Lindsay were at the Daddy/Daughter Dance that God held me as I cried out to him to bring our precious daughter home so she could experience this kind of night- He answered and I am forever thankful that I get to be this Princess's mommy forever!