Thursday, June 15, 2006

When I am weak, I am strong.

Her name means She Has Seen Alot. I was thankful that Sheena carried her the whole time we were there. She had just arrived and she just wanted to be held. She has the softest hair. I really liked the sister that was running the orphanage, a very bubbly loving lady from Malta. I think these little ones are in good hands with her.

This is my little buddy. Sister is hopeful about him. When he came in, he was very emaciated, but he is starting to fill out! I carried him around to all the other kids the rest of the morning and he never made a peep.

The one little girl, Elsa, made an indelible impression on me. She was disfigured with hydro-encephalitis. She wasn't even able to take a bottle. The caregiver had to syringe the milk into her mouth. I didn't really want to see her at first, but while Mary Beth prayed with her, I was convicted to see her as Christ does. As I looked upon her, I could begin to see her delicate little nose and chin, a very pretty little girl that Jesus cherishes and holds in the palm of His hand.

When we went to Mother Theresa's to see the people who have no where else to go with AIDS, cancer, handicaps of all sorts, we brought some baby wipes, ostensibly for ourselves and to wipe the children's runny noses. Little did we know what a huge hit they would be. The kids wanted them no matter what they were. We didn't get alot of time there, but one child gave the universal arms up signal and got to be carried a whole 15 feet. She thought that was the best. It really warmed my heart to hear her laugh. Sheena, it was just like you said. It made the whole visit for me.

I really liked the people of Ethiopia. (When a local pronounces it they don't say the 'th', and it sounds like 'Utopia'.) The children we saw seemed very well behaved and sweet natured. Even those outside the orphanages seemed to have good dispositions. I felt alot safer there than many other places I have been. When people ask for something, they don't want much. OK, maybe a dictionary. Mostly, give them a bite to eat and that's all they want.

Our translators were 'top shelf'. How they understood my sense of humor, I will never know. They were some of the unexpected blessings of the trip. We would call it lagniappe down here.

I was continually amazed at how God ordered the group into our stations at the orphanages and kept us on task and getting on very peaceably (OK, that's me notwithstanding. Thanks for putting up with me, guys!)). And even though I was WAY out of my comfort zone around children I didn't know, He was able to get me to get after those kids and love on them.

After our adoption from China this fall, I can easily see us going back to adopt from Ethiopia, (Lord willing and the levee holds... OK, no joke, but you get what I mean). It sounds like the adoption system will be trustworthy and the cost will be much more reasonable than most others. Almaz, make that happen. So the only question left is, Lord, who is it, a new baby or a sibling group?

Thanks for the great photos, Mary Beth! God bless you guys, JLay


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