I have always, as long as I can remember, had a heart for other countries and cultures. I remember being 5 and in an Awanas class and telling my teacher that I wanted to be a missionary. I wanted to tell people, to share, to experience with others the Light.
When I was 17 I traveled to Ensenada, Mexico with an interdenominational group from Washington. While ministering on the streets of Ensenada, I was able to hold and pray for this little boy, Salvador.
I was done in. In love. Ruined. From this point on, my heart was for adoption.
Though Jason was on this trip with me, we were not yet "us." (another story entirely).
A few years later we were married (finally!) and thus began our journey. It seems he knew fairly early on that I was open to and wanted to eventually pursue adoption for our family. Having never been a Daddy before, he will tell you, he was not totally sure about the idea of adoption. The thought of raising and loving a biological child was uncharted territory, and adding an adoption into the mix was even more unknown.
Fast forward a couple of years and a couple of kids, we were blessed to meet and share life with the Downen family. Talk about huge hearts and huge love. They did and still do blow me away. When we first met them, they had two bio boys and had just brought home their first two adopted children from China.
Eventually they had another bio son and continued to adopt more children. 11 more to be exact. Yeah, you can be amazed! During the process of bringing home their first two of these 11, the posted from Ethiopia about the older of the two siblings, Marta. The minute I read this, tears, joy, laughter, I was full...again, I was undone. I called Jason and told him he had to check it out. This was his turning point. This is when "our" journey began. Here is the post, and the pictures...wow, the pictures.
Today we got some emails from Julie. She is in Addis, and sent some pictures of Marta.
Shortly after this we watched a documentary on PBS (yes, we are that family - we LOVE documentaries)!. For me, this solidified our call deep within me. Something stirred, came alive inside of me. We were in love with Ethiopia...we needed to do something. How could we not?
We began contacting Adoption Advocates International about what it would look like to start the process of adopting a child or children. It's been a long journey, we've moved cross country, added another bio baby, and had lots of challenges, and victories and questions and excitement.
I hope to, plan to, post more about the process and some of the routes we've taken, questions we've asked and been asked along the way. If any of you (are you out there?) readers have any questions you would like us to address, I would love to attempt to answer them here. Just let me know!
If you are interested in supporting our adoption financially, and helping us bring Kate home, please check out these sites. All of them are generously giving a portion of the proceeds to help her come to her forever family!