I would like to say that Steve and Sam are in love with Ethiopia and are dreading the day they have to leave. Here is the truth. They are dreading leaving our boys but not the country.
The land itself is gorgeous as is the weather.....and, for the most part, the people there are more than kind. But Steve and Sam are so drained by all the poverty they are seeing and the amount of people that it is affecting. They are mobbed by it visually and physically at every turn. Most days for them have ended without words to speak. Here is an excerpt of one of the emails he wrote:
".....we had some small excursions planned but after speaking with folks who have been here, the general concensus was that there's nothing really to see. The truth is that there is absolutely nowhere one can get out of the car (within an open public place be it a parking lot, or street market) where we are not just surrounded. The truth is, is if you're white you've got something to give. Yesterday, Dereggie (the driver) wouldn't even let Sam keep his backpack in the car at the market place. He carried if for us. Literally, yesterday when we pulled into to park at the market, a young girl pushed her mom, who was in a wheelchair, right up to my side of the car. Not Dereggie's side but mine. I couldn't even get out. Dereggie said to them in their language, "Shoo shoo". And EVERYBODY wants to sell you a map of Ethiopia. One boy came up to me and insisted that he shine my shoes, But my shoes cannot be shined. The boy said, "I have not eaten all day, please."
My husband is a rescuer and a peace maker by nature. To see all the need, and to feel inadequate to even scratch the surface with his own resources and actions, is killing him. It is overwhelming and he is numb as is my son. This is going to take awhile for them to process when they get back home.
"I have not eaten all day, please."
It's not like he's begging for an iPod. It's not like he's begging to go to a friend's house.....or a movie or a new pet. He just wants for some food for that day. I often wonder what God thinks or feels when he looks down on His creation and His children in so much need...... What about manna.....could He do that again? But the tug I feel is God asking me the same question. "What do you think and feel when you see my children in need....can't YOU be the manna? That is what I have called you to do. BE the manna.......LOVE my sheep." If all of us able bodied Christians could be the manna.....would there be any children, mothers and fathers scratching and begging at my husband's car door? Does it really have to be like this?
As I was typing this post, Steve called. They went to court today and our boys, Ephem and Anteneh are officially OUR boys....they are MY sons! They now have our last name!! Today a new branch has been grafted to our family tree.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of adoption.
Steve said the first thing they did was go back to the orphanage and tell Ephrem and Anteneh that they were officially our sons today and that we would bring them home in a couple of weeks.
Then there was silence. And Steve said, "But there are others, Thea."
And he began to tell me of another set of brothers who were just amazing boys....and a 2 yr. old HIV+ girl who kept following him around. He said he noticed the dejection in the faces of some of the other children when he came back to tell Ephrem and Anteneh the good news. His heart has been pricked deeply by the need of these children for a family. But his main concern was for these other brothers aged 11 and 12. No one has even once inquired about them. They have been separated from a sister that was adopted over to Spain. Oh, the need is so great. I want to take them all.
We need to be the manna dear brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to be the manna....