Is it strange to love a land you've not yet visited? No stranger than loving a child you've never met, I suppose.
But, from the beginning we've known that, for us, adopting a child from Ethiopia meant that country would forever be an extremely important part of who we are and we're excited about this fact! We desire to help the people of Ethiopia, not just to take one of their children and never look back, but to somehow, do something, hopefully many somethings, spanning the rest of our lives, to make things better for them.
As we freed up money from our budget to pay for our adoption expenses, we realized just how much money God had given us that we were not being the best stewards of. And even after the adoption expenses were covered we didn't want to go back to the old way of living, with our main focus being our own enjoyment and comfort when there were people (children, even!) with enormous true need in the world.
We've prayed a lot about what we could and should do to help with both our time/energy as well as money. We were already giving in a few different ways, but wanted to do much more.
There are so many needs, and so many different organizations out there (which is great) but it's sometimes hard to know who's really helping and who's not helping as much or maybe even creating more problems.
It got overwhelming and we kind of decided we'd just wait until we traveled to Ethiopia and scope out some opportunities then.
But, in the last 6 months God has shown us two different initiatives where we could help. Two projects we are very excited about, clearly see the importance of, are confident in the people leading up the efforts, and are grateful for the opportunity to partner with them! I also love that they focus on different sides of the needs. One will help orphans in Ethiopia (the children we will visit in the orphanages but leave behind when we return to the U.S. with our new child) and the other will hopefully, prayerfully, help address issues causing the children to become orphans in the first place. We love adoption, but the best case scenario is for the children to be able to stay in their birth families if they can be properly cared for and loved.
We'll get to see the work with our own eyes when we travel and imagine these two adoption-related required trips to Ethiopia will not be our last, but that our family will return as often as we can in future years.
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