Tuesday, September 24, 2013


It's what she said.  I read a blog post yesterday and now I can't find the link to it.  The post resonated in my heart and my mind.  It was as if the blogger was writing my thoughts.  Her words weren't eloquent.  Her story wasn't super exciting, didn't share any "dirt", any miracles, or crazy things that would typically grab attention.  I won't share her whole story.  Instead, I'll share the feelings it stirred inside my heart, which are much of the same as her words.  (Sorry mysterious person who I can't find right now to give credit to).

It was about this time of year four years ago when we began the adoption process.  We had prayed for months, educated ourselves for months, and researched for several more months before jumping into the adoption paperwork.  We adopted because we wanted to.  We adopted because we wanted more children and felt that we could provide for a child in need.  We adopted because the need was great.  We adopted because the bible calls us to care for orphans.  We adopted for a hand full of reasons.  A side benefit for adopting was for our community (whether it be our town, our church, our family, or our friends) to see adoption happen.  To be aware of the need.  To be encouraged to adopt.  To see an example.  To know that it's totally do-able.

Our communities have been supportive.  They've loved us.  They helped us fundraise.  They kept our kids when we picked Judah up.  They provided meals for us after we got home.  They've watched the 3 kids on various occassions.  While I'm super thankful for that, there's something missing.  And before reading the mystery lady's post, I didn't know how to explain it.  We don't know what seeds we've planted, or how people have supported orphans, we don't know who's felt led to do missions trips (unless they've told us). But people we interact with on a day-to-day basis haven't adopted.

I remember during the process of adoption thinking and praying about how our journey to Judah might encourage families to adopt.  There's a sinking feeling in my stomach when I realize that no one has.  I'm not naive enough to think that ALL of my friends and family would adopt.  However, I did think a small hand full would.  Lonely.  It's such a simple word.  But not one I ever thought to use to explain how I've felt.  As I consider that feeling, I have these quiet conversations with God where I ask Him what I've done wrong.  Have I not given Him the glory?  Have I not been a good example of adoption to those around me?  Am I not purposeful enough in my conversations with others about adoption?  What is His plan?

Some years ago, I was given a passion for orphans.  Not all of those in my day-to-day life have that same passion.  I thank God for the passionate heart I have for serving those in need.  I love sharing about it.  I love getting others involved too.  I would love to share my  heart with you and bring you along on a challenging and rewarding journey to serve those in need in simple ways like raising funds to buy livestock for widows in Ethiopia, raising funds to help repair a disheveled home, help send a widow to nursing school, or sewing school, or even sponsor a child.  Would you join me on this journey????

Friday, September 6, 2013

Bearing Fruit

Back in July, I received this message from the FOVC Ethiopia Director

Hello Tamara, We are distributing cows and sheep to the beneficiary widows tomorrow. Thanks for the great effort you and Ryan have done for the widows and their family in Shanto and its area. You will have more details through the CHC I think after tomorrow. Tomorrow is a great celebration for our children, widows and community as it is the end of the school day besides to the distribution of the animals. Thanks again!!!

The day after the distribution of livestock, I received this official report from Children's Hope Chest:

Shanto distribution was completed on Saturday July 6, 2013. There was a great ceremony in the presence of  local Government officials, Woreda and Zonal, heads of Bureau of Education, Finance and Economic Development, Children and Women’s Affairs, and the Agricultural Bureau.

Thirty-five cows and 35 sheep were distributed to 35 widows in the community (connected to the CarePoint).  The screening was originally done for 31 widows out of the total 35 according to the proposed plan. However, the type of cow to be distributed was changed to local cows within the region. The purchasing price for each cow and sheep was lower compared to the original budget. Therefore the IGA committee at Shanto increased the number of participants to 35, this was according to their objective to include all of the widows connected to the care point in the IGA program. With this conclusion participants received one cow and one sheep.

During the handover ceremony all participants were given support, and made known of planned follow up and support in every direction for their future. The widows were praising God, blessing and giving thanks to the donor community, singing with shed tears. The attached pictures show the sample for the distribution of both cows and sheep. The animals were given by Government representatives. During the ceremony and distribution, an introduction about how the selection was done, the back ground of the widows and their families, and the objective of the IGA program was relayed to the audience.

Oh, thank you Lord for YOUR timing and for allowing us to see this project to fruition.

Thank you dear friends for helping to make this program a reality.  This is changing people's lives!  Thank you for your grace, patience, and understanding during this lengthy process as we transitioned to Children's Hope Chest.