Monday, August 30

Where We Are At in Our Adoption: August 2010

Mid July our dossier was sent off to the US Embassy in DC and then went onto Ethiopia. On that day that I Fed Exed that huge stack of paperwork, I breathed deeply. And when I got in the car I literally shouted out loud, "Thank you Lord!"

If you think I am alone, you gotta click here for Missy's blog post about the 13 ways preparing a dossier (a French word for that huge stack of paperwork) is like being in college.

Up to this point (mid July), there were only babies in the YWAM orphanages that were available for adoption and as you know, we feel like we are to adopt an older child between the ages of 4-8 (right in between my Jonathan and Brooke):

I think my understanding is correct; the Ministry of Women's Affairs has been closed and this means that only abandoned kids can be accepted into the orphanages. I am assuming most older kids are brought to the orphanage by a grandparent, aunt, or parent who can no longer provide and care for them. The orphanage cannot take such kids right now because the paperwork cannot be processed because the Ministry of Women's Affairs is closed right now (for how long? no one knows. . it has been closed for several months now). Only paperwork for abandoned kids can be processed right now. . that is my understanding.

Babies are often abandoned and found. An older kid that is abandoned is not necessarily found; he "becomes" a street kid. I am trying to put words to something I have no words for. . .or have even had experience with. . . sometimes you do not even know what questions to ask because you have never heard of such things before.

Anyway, up to mid July there were mostly babies available, no 4-8 year old boys.

But you know what happened mid July???

Do you know what happened over in Ethiopia the same week that our dossier gets sent off?

A 6 year old boy comes to the orphanage! I cannot share details on the internet/blog per Ethiopian gov't requests. And this is not an official referral because the government is closed right now (this is different than the Ministry of Women's Affairs). . the govt is closed right now due to it being the rainy season. The roads become impassable during the rainy season so all shuts down. Again something our American brain cannot understand. Word is the govt will reopen come October.

But a 6 year old boy is at YWAM's orphanage the same month we become paperwork ready for a referral. Coincidence or a God thing?

We are praying for God to speak, to show us whether this 6 year old is indeed our son. We are waiting to see all his paperwork and a picture. Email from the village YWAM has an orphanage in in Ethiopia is very hit and miss and it is next to impossible to email photos. But a missionary did send some pics back to the US with another missionary and there most likely will be some snapshots of this little boy in those photos.

So we are praying we get to see a picture soon; I think my heart will be able to connect and "know" once I see a picture. Or perhaps my heart has already because:

I have been praying for this little boy. . for his heart to be filled with hope despite all he has endured in his short life. I have been praying that God fills him with a supernatural joy and peace. I pray that he does not feel alone. I pray that he is able to sleep thru the night, that he does not have nightmares, that he feels safe. I pray that his heart remains soft and he is able to laugh and play. I pray. . .

Thursday, August 26

Crazy Love Giveaway: Win an In This Home Painting

Many of you know that I have been creating In This Home paintings for others, similar to the one hanging over my fireplace. It is a joy to create these pieces for other families and each painting is such an encouragement to me because each painting brings us that much closer to bringing our son home from Ethiopia (and I promise my next post will be an update on where we are at in this adoption; it is long overdue!)

I wanted to let you know that Jill over at Forever n Ever n Always is hosting a giveaway of one of my paintings! I am really blown away; this mother of 9 (amazing photographer too!) ordered an In This Home painting for herself. Here it is:

Jill then decided to give away one of my paintings to a lucky winner. The lucky winner gets to pick out the colors, background, and "we do" statements, but Jill pays for it. That is some crazy love! Crazy Love spread to us Soutters, to our soon to be son, and to one lucky winner. Really, I think only God can prompt this kind of crazy love.

Go over to Jill's blog and browse around; click here to read Jill's post about the giveaway and enter!!! You have to enter today (Thurs 8/26) because the giveaway ends Friday, 8/27.

Wednesday, August 25

Wanna Join Us?

This weekend Rob, the kids, and I committed to sponsoring 2 kiddos from a extremely poor, small village about 122 miles from the capital of Ethiopia.

YWAM, our adoption agency is spearheading some amazing projects in this village. Click here to see what God is doing in this village. We are excited to join God in His work! Go ahead and read the rest of this post, but come back here and click that link above to read the blog post about what is happening in this village.

You see, the agency we are using to help us adopt our son, a 4-8 year old boy from Ethiopia is Adoption Ministry of Youth With a Mission: Ethiopia. YWAM began humanitarian work in Ethiopia in 2007 with the mission to improve the lives of widows and children there. God eventually led YWAM to help some of these children thru international adoption. And as parents-to-be of an Ethiopian boy whose birth parents could not provide for him or who are no longer living, we wanted to help 2 kiddos be able to stay with their birth parents.

Midaso (Mi-doss'o) is 8 years old and wants to be a teacher when he grows up. Extreme poverty (his father is a missionary who struggles to provide enough income to support his family) has not yet stolen this little boy's ability to dream. We have not only committed to sending $30 a month so that Midasso has enough to eat and can go to school, but we have committed to praying that this boy is able to fulfill his dreams and that God uses him to pour into kids when he gets older.

And our hearts broke (especially my David's) when we learned that 4 year old Alemitu (Al-a-meet'-oo) and her family are living on the edge of starvation. Alemitu lives with her mother and father and is one of four kids. Both of her parents sell firewood to make a living.

And there are only 4 more kids that need sponsorship. Would you join us? Might you be the one to make a huge difference in one of these kids' lives? For only $30 a month, you will give one of these kids food to eat and access to schooling. . .and hope.

YWAM takes your $30 and purchases are made in Ethiopia by their in-country representatives. No administrative fees are deducted; 100% of your dollars are used for these children and their families.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child, you can click here for more info. Or you can email Becky or Joy at and tell them you are a friend of mine/or reader of my blog :)

Here are the 4 kids that need sponsoring. If the pictures are still up, they still need sponsoring. I will keep this post updated.

04 Derartu

This little eight year old girl is one of seven children. Her mother is very young and beautiful and her father is dead. They rent a hut for a very small amount of money. Derartu is unable to attend school because they cannot pay the small tuition. Derartu's mother sells firewood and also does cooking for others.

16 Durti Geda

Durti is five years old and lives with her mother and father. She the middle of five children. Her father is a missionary in this village and earns about $35 a month, which is not nearly enough to support a family of seven. This good man needs help!

17 Masho Feysa

This six year old girl's father died and her father's brother became the husband of her mother. Masho is the oldest of two children and her mother is pregnant. Her step-father sells firewood to bring in a small amount of money.

17 Sebona Kedir

There are five children in this 5-year-old boy's family and they live with their mother and father. His father tries hard to provide for his family by selling wood he gathers for fires and he sometimes helps others farm their plots of land.

I have this silly rumbling that thru this blog all 4 kids will get sponsored and that we sponsors will know each other either in real life or in blog land and then we could join together to pray in real life or thru email for this village and these families.