Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Present for Our Son

On Saturday, our friends Aaron and Heather Crowley leave for Ethiopia to finally meet and bring home their infant son.  The Crowley's have been a part of our lives for many years ... though not in a significant way.  Our kids all went to an AWANA program at their church and I think that Heather taught all 3 of them at one time or another.  That is as deep as our connection went.  I knew who she was ... often got her confused with her sister-in-law who also led a group ... but did not know her enough to have a conversation with her.  Then almost a year ago, exactly ... I bumped into her talking to another one of my friends.  That friend said, "Heather was just telling me about their plans to adopt from Ethiopia."  Little did either of them know, but Dave and I had just decided to move forward with our plans to adopt a few weeks earlier.  We ended up using the same adoption agency - America World Adoption.  Since then, Heather and I have had the chance to share our hopes, fears, joys, disappointments and ultimately our faith as we've been on this journey together. They have waited 11 long weeks since Ethiopian courts officially made them the parents of their little boy, and we are so excited that they are finally on their way.  And as if that's not enough, because we used the same agency, they get to take a care package to our son ... and take current pictures of him to bring back to us ... and even sit with him while he's opening it!  Isn't that amazing?  Here's what we're sending (the blue book is a photo album with pictures of us)!

Blessings to you as you travel, Crowley family.  We can't wait to welcome you home!

Queen of Sheba

My first time eating Ethiopian food was when I lived in Washington, D.C. while I was in college.  There is a very large Ethiopian community in D.C., and this restaurant was actually quite nice.  We did not even have a table or chairs.  We sat on these big, fancy pillow type things and there was a tall stand in the middle where the food was placed.  Who would have thought so many years later ... that we would be heading to Ethiopia in a few months.

So we took the kids to dinner for their first experience eating Ethiopian food last week.  There are actually several Ethiopian restaurants in Portland.  Dave and I had tried one last summer on my birthday while our adopting plans were still unknown to others.  That one was called Mubai's.  Very casual. The lady there was very friendly, and it was delightful enjoying dinner with our secret plans ... wondering how this whole adoption process would work out.

So this week, we went to Queen of Sheba, also very casual. I had heard it was good from several people.  We found some non-spicy food in "alitcha" sauce for our 2 spice averse kids, and then Ethan and Dave and I really enjoyed the more traditional spicy food in the "berbere" sauce.  For those who have never eaten Ethiopian food, it is served on an enormous plate that is covered with the biggest "pancake" you've ever seen ... the traditional bread called injera.  It is a fermented, somewhat spongy texture bread, and you use the injera to pick up the food.  Ethan thought it was awesome not having to use silverware.  Everyone liked it ... the only negative was from our oldest who doesn't really care for sourdough type flavors ... he didn't really like the injera.  Next time we'll ask for a fork for him.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Will Not Leave You as Orphans ...

I will come to you.  John 14:8  

This is my brother-in-law, Eric, coming home tonight after rescuing his new daughter, Anna from her life as an orphan.  It is an amazing story of God's providence.  She was a child with medical needs that resulted in her being flown to the hospital, where Eric works, for treatment.  He heard about her situation, and so their family of 11  began praying for her ... praying that a family would step up to adopt her.  Eventually, God placed it on both Eric and Kim's hearts that perhaps they were supposed to adopt her.  Isn't that amazing?  A family with 9 children already, deciding that they have enough room and love for one more!

And when they called us to tell us that they were adopting ... we were able to say, yeah, us too!  Isn't that just like God to move brothers who live 3000 miles apart and talk rather infrequently to the same calling at the same time. 

Welcome home, Anna Elder!  We are so blessed to have you in our family.