Sunday, September 27, 2009

Struggles in our hearts

Solomon is not coming home this trip. They have some more test’s that need to be cleared by the American embassy. We are leaving Brahanu there until we determine the boys relationship. If Solomon is really attached then we will not move him till we leave. We agreed to watch and make a decision on that. I am wanting to do what right for the boys and instead of fulfilling our desires. I keep telling Katie we must look at the bigger picture. We are both o.k. with it and she is so mature about this whole experience. I love her so and proud of her. All my trust is in the Lord. I believe he has more miracles for us! Praise our mighty God!!!!

Ritmo Guest House

We arrived at Ritmo. The common scene Steel guard gate opens. As we drive in the attendant smiles goes a welcome wave. The gates close and we are home away from home for a week. The house a newer house which must have been from a more affluent family turned into a lodging for families picking up children from the various orphanages that go through AAI. The building is concrete with plaster walls Similar to the California flair. It has a blend of acquired furnishing that is quite comfortable. The blend of families here adds to the excitement of the trip. I couldn’t imagine staying in a hotel with how active the kids are. There is a new definition to “boys will be boys” here. Without going into all the furnishings now it feels like community living in college with little wild boys. All seriousness it is so nice having other parents involved helping each other with the same mission in common. Completely recommend this choice of lodging. I can’t forget to share about the personnel here. They are so kind with smiles that light up the house. Electricity is a luxury that we have been blessed with most of the time so far. The weather is much as ours at home right now. Cool nights and comfortable 70’s during the day. Going to see the boys tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAHOOOO WHOOOO

Brahanu comes to Ritmo

What a glorious moment. We have brought Brahanu to the guest house. It has been an amazing day. I woke up to the sunrise and the prayer chant. Wow, what a day to go down stairs, make a pot of coffee and sit out on the porch and relax as the day got started. It reminded me so much like so many perfect California mornings from the past. What a joy. The 72 hours we have been here has felt so long and different in every way. Everything is different. Everything except the spirit of the hearts of the people coming to give hope to the little people. Trust me when I say there is a sea of little people looking for hope.
I only pray for the Lord to use us in a mighty way to change our World towards him. the little people is the future.
Katie and I went to ritmo to take picture’s on our list. We were pretty successful. The helpers helped point out the children on the list until we got to the older ones. They were playing hide and seek in the orphanage. There is a pretty big piece of property for them to play on. Now remember this is city so everything has concrete. Something like N.Y would have. Anyway the older kids started showing up to get pictures taken on their own. Hide and seek immediately stopped. These are the kids that have little hope for adoption. What a shame it is. They are absolutely the nicest kids with unlimited potential. There are two 12 year old girls that has been referred out to a family in Washington state. What a fortunate family to get these two girls. Wow! Kind nice respectful bright, and glow with the love of Christ. THESE CHILDREN ARE ALL AMAZING.
Of course Katie found Brahanu and put him in her sling and then we went down to Solomon’s section. They were playing. When we walked in Solomon came right up to me and wanted to be picked up. That was progress. We talked while I held him, then I got down one of the push plastic cars he likes to ride in and I pushed and pushed back and after. As fast as we could go with running the others over. I knew that was only the beginning. There is two little girls that hung onto me or Katie all the time. Wherever we went they went also. I could feel theIR souls crying out “TAKE ME TAKE ME”. So I pushed them and others. Then I got right back to Solomon and we went down to where they eat. It was dinner time. I assured him we will be back tomorrow. And we will. Brahanu came back with us for good. Katie Katie Katie. What a blessing to be here with her. She is one special girl. If you could only witness the Love of God flowing from her… she is changing the World! Two brothers at a time.
Blessings to all.
Dad of 7

First day at Layla House

Gail, The Layla coordinator, came over Friday morning about 9:30am to take us to where the boys were. She is so busy but takes the time to make you feel comfortable. Layla house is in walking distance but is a little intimidating with all the people just hanging out everywhere. Obviously we were the new people in town. Haha. When we arrived at layla my heart was pounding with excitement. It is busy but well organized. The little people in one area, the primary grades in another and the middle and high school in another. As we walked in the children were looking to see the new big people. I only wonder what was in there minds. Gail introduced us to the loving and bright smiling workers. Just watching for just a few moment they have a strong loving demeanor with all the children. Definitely all of them a gift from God. No Doubt! We headed over to another room and there Solomon! No doubt it was him. He was busy playing. He reminded me of seeing Brian at 3. He is a soft acting child. Bright and coordinated. Kind to others but standing his ground. Talked not yelling like many. Then those BIG eyes looked over at us. Not having a clue yet who we were he just smiled and kept playing. We watched for a short time and then moved on to see Brahanu. Entering into the next room were the little people. There was much going on but in a little people way. Potty training, some held and some sitting up. Others resting. When they all saw us the personalities kicked in. Hold me, pick me up. Let’s play, and leave me a lone. The workers was safe for them. We took it slow except with the one that were love bugs wanting to be picked up. Some like Katie and some definitely like men and came to me. It wasn’t long and we had our arms full of babies/ toddlers. Katie saw Brahanu first and went straight to him. The worker holding him handed him over. There was about 30 seconds of fussing and Katie had won him over. That was it for Katie. She need nothing else. She had her brother in her arms and she wasn’t letting go. My tears of joy were being held inside but you could just see the moment Katie had been waiting for was here. Her bond had been completed and his new beginning. I left her knowing that is where she wanted to be. I wanted to work on winning Solomon over. I went back to where Solomon was and just start hanging out. The workers were good about introducing him to me and me to him. It wasn’t long we worked through the first stage of uncomfortable feelings when the workers started blowing up balloons and not tying them so the kids could let them go and watch them fly. Such simple toys and simple fun for all. The exciting laughter spread quickly throughout everyone. Afterwards They were explaining who I was and you could see him processing it all. The wall started coming back. I can only imagine his fears. The workers kept encouraging us to play together. The rest of the kids wanted a piece of me so I played with them all. That seemed to take some of the pressure off. Two little girls were definitely loving the male attention. It all was so interesting to be a part of Little people reaching for lov. Don’t we all do that? Finally Solomon wanted one on one with me. We had fun with various boy toys. You know, bikes, balls, and running. I could tell all of the workers really enjoy him and he was very connected to them. They are there safe people for Solomon. Also he and I walked out to where the American volunteers and high school girls were.. Everyone wanted a piece of him. They all are very affectionate to the children. Hugging, kissing snuggling. Everyone calling out his name. maybe because I was there. I don’t know. There was some college kids from Washington doing a summer program there. I talked to them to find out more on Solomon. The girls said he is such a loving good boy. I could feel there sincerity. All in all I feel we had a successful first day. Thank God for all the blessings!

Lift Off

Lift Off 9/16/2009
What an exciting day. I woke up early to finish up some work and then finally focus on the day ahead of us. I found it difficult to surrender the work. Father Abba is so patient with me. It wasn’t until we had a family prayer together that he took me into our adventure he designed special for us. We got to the airport early and checked in. Michele, Faith , and Rosalie stayed with us for an hour. That was helpful towards our separation.
It wasn’t till we reached Wash. D.C. did it feel real. Katie is such an easy and enjoyable person to be with. What a great travel partner… Just like Michele in another way. That list continues to grow. She looked at me before takeoff in D.C. and said “ IM EXCITED NOW!”
We met a couple, Brian and Shanna from Chicago that is adopting Brahanu’s buddy. The baby that is usually in his pictures. God is placing them half way around the world only 4 hours apart. He did the same thing with Faith by placing her bed mate from China 30 minutes apart in Ann Arbor. Not once but twice now! Figure those odds in Vegas!
Everything has gone so smooth. Thanks for all the encouragement and prayers from so many family, friends, and people we don’t even know. Praise God. Glory be to God. Christ almighty is faithful. Glory Glory Glory. Lift up our Savior on high. Glory Glory Glory to Christ almighty! In his name, AMEN

Friday, September 11, 2009

It is Almost Time

We are coming down to the end of the first path of our life changing journey with Solomon and Elijah. Paper work, red tapes, forms, home studies finger printing, background checks, $$$$$$$, waiting and waiting what seemed like forever, and the list goes on and on. It isn't easy adopting but with my wonderful wife, Michele, and all her loving talents and love for orphans the journey has been quite smooth for me. Our father in heaven has definitely blessed us every step of the way. It is about time to get on the path of action. The trip to Ethiopia! Air flights, different countries, cultures beyond what we have ever experienced, poverty to the extreme,the beauty of the land, people, culture, and God's desires. Giving hope to the hopeless through the spirit of the Lord. Taking the Good news to the nations far and beyond.
We do have some sad news.
We will be leaving Solomon behind in Ethiopia temporarily to have more testing for T.B. The tests will take 8-9 weeks. We have shed our tears of disappointment but now we need to stay focused on God's bigger plan. The first trip we will bring home Elijah. For this is God's plan and we are blessed to be a part of it. There are reasons why he wants us in Ethiopia twice this year. We are excited to be in his plan and find Joy in all things. There is a lesson in itself.

Our time in Addis will consist of getting connected with the boys, getting a visa for Eli, seeing some sights of the city, hopefully meeting there mother and by God's grace we will be meeting up with the family Michele was with in China getting Faith. God definitely throws in nice twist as this. They are picking up two girls and we the boys. Neither of us knew of this taking place. It is all God's timing. Book those odds in Vegas.
We will do our best posting while in Ethiopia so check back through the next few weeks.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart" Psalm 37:4

Dad of Seven

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Katie Sept,1,2009

Katie has been running around packing like a mother bird making a nest. She is such an amazing young lady. Well beyond her years. You know when a child is just so special, that is her. Her love for the Lord is beautiful. Her love for the orphans is deep in her soul. I can already see the light that God has planned for our family with all these loving little people. People ask why? and we say why not! God has the plan we simply entrust all to him. The blessings show up everyday. Through the joy in the girls preparing to make room for more. The sacrifice that they make with selfless love. Not what is in it for them but how it will change the world.... the world of these little one's. She is reading the instructions, page by page. Consuming and educating herself on what lies ahead. Knowing how difficult this trip will be and wondering if she is up to it. But her desires exceeds her doubts. She is a brave little lady. She is talking about the what if this happens or that happens. Creating plans for what if's. Making notes on the computer just like her mother. What a joy it is to be blessed by the Lord with such a family as mine.

"The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise. Proverbs: 23:24"

May Love and Peace dwell in your heart, Dad of seven