In one day, God had shown us clearly that we were supposed to adopt from Ethiopia. The next afternoon, Chris and I drove about 3 hours away to attend the funeral visitation of one of our friends. My mom watched the kids for us, so when we stopped by her house to drop them off, she gave Chris the new Andrea Boccelli Christmas CD so that we could listen to it on our trip. We talked about the adoption the entire way, and as we were listening to the CD, we heard, "One day I'll hear the laugh of children in a world where war has been banned. One day I'll see men of all colors sharing words of love and devotion. Stand up and feel the Holy Spirit, find the power of your faith, open your heart to those who need you.....Yes, I believe." The next song said, "Come together one and all, in the giving spirit. Gifts abound here great and small, joyously we feel it. Blessings sent us from above, guide us on our way. We raise our voice as we rejoice, bow our head and pray. A miracle has just begun. To the voices no one hears - we have come to find you. With your laughter and your tears, goodness, hope and virtue. Father, mother, daughter, son - each a treasure be. One candle's light dispells the night. Now our eyes can see, burning brighter than the sun. A miracle has just begun." Once again, we knew that God was speaking to us through the songs. That night when we got back, we talked to my parents and shared a little of our story.
My dad called me the next morning and told me that after we had told him of our decision to adopt, he prayed for us and then opened the Bible to somewhere in Daniel. The verse his eyes fell on talked about the Ethiopians. He said that he didn’t even know that Daniel mentioned anything about Ethiopia. All that day I opened to various verses that convicted me, such as Proverbs 24:11-12, “If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? And shall not he render to every man according to his works?” and Acts 7:3, “ Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.” But I was sort of discouraged all day. I had no idea how we would be able to afford an adoption, and was way too worried about what other people would think of us. Later that afternoon, I realized that I hadn’t checked my e-mail all day, and thought that maybe someone had sent me something that would make me feel better. I opened up my account, and found an e-mail from my mom. It was about a little boy who was poor and dirty, and got bad grades in school. His teacher found out from previous teachers that the boy had been a perfect student and was well-liked. Then his mother had died and his dad didn’t really care about him anymore, and his life started to go downhill. The teacher took the boy under her wing and tried to make him feel very important, even when the other kids made fun of him. She turned his life around, and even though he went on to become a famous doctor, he never forgot the teacher who had cared enough to reach out to a hurting child. The e-mail encouraged us to reach out to those who need help. It said, “Can you make a difference for someone today? Tomorrow? Just do it.”
We told our families about our decision on January 2. While playing the Game of Life with our kids over New Year’s weekend, I landed on a space that said, “Help orphans in Africa – pay $40,000.00.” On Sunday, January 3, the sermon was about helping the poor and fatherless. At lunch, I sat by a friend of mine, and even though she had no clue what our plans were, she talked all about adoption and how she adopted an Ethiopian boy through a sponsorship program. She is a teacher, and her school kids write letters back and forth to him. She said that if she was married she would definitely consider adoption and admires those who do adopt.