First of all I want to say a big THANK you for all your encouraging words we have received from the post "Our Story" your emails and comments mean so much! Sorry to leave you hanging on everything and why we choose Ethiopia.
So it was Nov. 2003, Scott and I had been married for almost two months when we had the amazing opportunity to travel with Scott's work (PGA Tour) to the Presidents Cup. Guess where it was.. South Africa. It was a second honeymoon for us. We couldn't wait.. we knew this would be an unforgettable trip. Before we left we were in a mad search to find a mission team that we could help serve while we were there. We had a few leads and contacts before we left to hopefully line something up while we were over there. We flew into Cape Town, South Africa.. if you haven't been there put it down for one of your top MUST sees! I have been all over Europe and say I'm a pretty experienced world traveler and there is no place I love more. After getting off the plane and Scott figuring out how to drive the rental car on the opposite side of the road.. which was hilarious.. we only hit a few curbs:) Within a few minutes of leaving the airport we saw our first group of shanties. Shanties are Shantytowns are a settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal, and sheets of plastic. Shantytowns, which are usually built on the periphery of cities, often do not have proper sanitation, electricity, or telephone services.
Our hearts broke and for the first time had seen REAL poverty. It was shocking to actually see how people could live in those conditions. It taught us that we are so blessed with ALL that we have around us in America. Even though we had heard about poverty you never really grasp it until you see it in person. Seeing these set the tone of our trip.. that we were going to enjoy such a wonderful gift God had given to us to be visiting such a beautiful country. We weren't going to take anything for granted... we are going to soak up all that we can learn and see!
After enjoying our time in Capetown for two days, our spirits were so free the weather, people, food, sightseeing was just Perfect! As we headed to a city named George for the Golf Tournament, we drove along the coast with our new and only cd.... COLDPLAY it had been our first time listening to it. I really don't think I had ever felt so close to how heaven might feel like.. the windows down, breezy, 75 degrees listening to coldplay,driving along the Mountainous coastline without a worry in the world. With my man by my side my heart was the most content I had ever been.
While driving we would see random people walking with heavy loads on their backs or heads. Walking up steep hills heading to.. we have no idea.. just walking for miles and miles. How do they do it? Where are they going? We would wonder and wonder..
After our work week in George it was time for us to try to coordinated our plans with a mission field we had been working on and try to make something work.. it seemed like everything was falling apart.. the doors were closing. I'm not sure why? Why God? We are able and willing to offer help ...we are in this country and after seeing what we have seen I think our hearts craved it more. We wanted to help.. we had another week with no plans. Why was God closing the door on this? It really didn't make sense. After failing to find an organization we could meet with we had to turn to plan B and do a safari. God opened the doors wide open to an amazing place... I guess God just wanted us to enjoy his creations as we saw so many animals.. wild elephants, hippos, kudus, chitahs, etc...
We spent a week there including thanksgiving. God was all around us even though it's not what we planned. It was our time to wait to help serve Ecclesiastes 3:17 There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven. Really it was another stepping stone to building Scott and I closer..It was the best trip we have ever taken on that we will always hold close to our hearts. We just could never imagine all that God had in store for us. God was just building our foundation for someday to return us to Africa to bring home a child. Our hearts were left there in Africa..it is always forever going to be a part of us. So, when we instantly started talking about where to adopt from and without any hesitation we knew AFRICA!
After doing some research we have come to find out that Ethiopia is the best and most well established country in Africa to adopt from. They also have started other adoption programs that we know of in Uganda and Rwanda. They were the other options but everything was pointing to Ethiopia.. There are many families at our church that have adopted from Ethiopia. When I see the kids at church my heart melts .. I just want to hold them and love on them! Even Jessica and Nick who is waiting on their siblings little girls...they are the friends that helped point us to adoption are adopting from Ethiopia. What a great sign that we could walk along side of them during this journey. To our amazement, there is a Ethiopian playgroup that meets once a month right here near our neighborhood. With such a great support system! We think it is the right fit for us. So, ETHIOPIA is the place where our new precious child is born! Yes, I have a feeling our child is already born and is waiting for us. I just can't wait to embrace him/her and all their amazing culture.. what a journey this is going to be! YEAH GOD you are just so good ALL the time.. and go beyond our expectations even when we don't realize it!