Monday, March 31, 2014

368 days

Before I begin, I want to express what this post is absolutely NOT about:

It's not about me trying to "brag" about anything. The moment I feel that in my Spirit, I shut down my post and if necessary this blog. 

It's not about attempting to pull at your heart strings to make a commitment that you and your family may not be ready for or called to. 

This post IS about:


What God is doing in our lives through our adoption journey (specifically during the wait!)

What God is doing around the world.

And this specific post is to celebrate the life of a little boy and his mother. 

It's also an introductory post to a topic that I will write on in the future. 

So here it goes:

368 DAYS

I tell people all the time that once you step into orphan care, it is somewhat of an "unveiling" to things that you've been surrounded by your whole life but for whatever reason you never took notice of. It's kind of like riding down a road a million times, then all of a sudden you notice something along that road that you had never noticed before. And now... It seems to be blaring at you and you think "how in the world did I never see this before?" Poverty, orphans, the fatherless and child abuse are all around us. And once your eyes are opened to it... There is no turning back. 
A few weeks ago I was listening to Klove and the lyrics of this song pierced my soul. 

"Do Something" by Matthew West

This song came on the radio and the first few lyrics had me shaking my fist at God in frustration.

" I woke up this morning 
Saw a world full of trouble now 
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down 
How’s it ever gonna turn around 
So I turned my eyes to Heaven 
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?” 
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of 
People living in poverty 
Children sold into slavery 
The thought disgusted me 
So, I shook my fist at Heaven 
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?” 

Every part of my being agreed with these lyrics! 
God why are you just sitting there while all these kids suffer? Why don't you do something?! 

So I leaned into the song and even said out loud "what was God's response to that question?" 

The song goes on with God's response:

"He said, “I did, I created you” 

I paused. Convicted. 
I won't post the rest of the lyrics but Matthew west goes on to sing about not simply standing still anymore, but instead "doing something."

Lee and I have talked about this song often since that day.

Fast forward to this past week.

I was again driving to work in my car and I was praying (aka venting to God). I had just read an article about a man abusing his 6 week old daughter. I was frustrated at injustice (which by the way will always be here until Jesus returns). I was complaining about the long wait in adoption. And it was as if I felt a whisper saying "you aren't the only one waiting." 

In that moment I didn't know exactly what that meant. I was honestly very distracted by my own concerns. 

But over the course of the next few days I felt small "whispers" about doing something during our wait. 

On Saturday night Lee and I went to see a movie. The one we wanted to see was sold out at the nearest theatre so we drove across town and saw "Divergent" which is good by the way. 
Because this wasn't our "planned" movie, we arrived approx 25 minutes early and sat down. Lee said "what are we gonna do while we wait?" He began looking at different things on his phone and for whatever reason the first thing that popped in my head to begin looking at was "child sponsorship." 

So I did.

I flipped through different ministries. I flipped through tons of pictures of children. I read a little about what soonsorship does. 

So after the movie I couldn't shake it. 
We talked. We researched. 
We went to church. 
I prayed with open hands in church. 

And Sunday evening I couldn't shake it. 
Lee (sweet, sweet Lee) was completely eager and ready to sponsor. In fact, he wouldn't look at the kids because he said he'd want to sponsor all of them!

And I landed on a picture that I couldn't shake. 

One little boy named Yeabkal Samuel.

Above his picture read the words 
"Waiting 368 days"

This sweet child and his mother who is a single parent had been waiting on a sponsor for over a year. Someone to choose him and to invest in him. 

Last night I told Lee, "they've been waiting on US!" (Insert an emotional female who has felt like SHE was waiting on someone else!) Every day for the past year, this little boy (and his mom) has wondered if anyone would ever sponsor him. And Lee and I wish more than anything that we could be there the next day or so when someone from Compassion International tells him & his mom "you have a sponsor!" 

Lee woke up this morning and the first thing he said was "Do you think they told Samuel (we can't pronounce his first name) that he has a sponsor?"

Here is his sweet (blurry) picture. 

Isn't he beautiful?!?! 

He is 6 years old. His birthday is April 23rd. He will be turning 7!! I'm so thankful we were able to sponsor him before his birthday! 

He lives in the city of Asella. It's in ETHIOPIA! 

We have already looked it up. It's approx 108 miles from Addis Ababa (which is where we will travel to meet Malachi). We are "hoping" to visit him on one of the 2 trips for Malachi!!! I just wanna hug him and his sweet Mom! 

We are using Compassion International for sponsorship, but there are lots of great organizations out there. 

This blog is long so I will wait for another post to describe what all our sponsorship will help with :-) the bullet points are:
Exposure to Church and learning about Jesus
Education (school supplies, fees, etc)
Health: check-ups, physicals, education about hygiene, etc. 
Nutrition: snacks, meals, education about clean water 

Today I'm thankful for the "wait" on Malachi because it opened my eyes to Yeabkal Samuel. 

We love him!!!! 

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