ethiopian faith journey

(Follow link to the right 'OUR STORY FROM THE BEGINNING' for more of our story)

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

God has been writing our story in His book of life – orchestrating details and making connections for our faith journey to Ethiopia for some time. Here is a glimpse of what God has unfolded for us and the journey He has called us to – God has written the story start to finish, but we are just beginning to receive this blessing. He will unfold His journey for us a little bit every day and we are blessed to have you experience the love of Christ for His children with us. There will be a day when we know the whole story and I pray that we can spend eternity with each of you singing praises of His goodness together!

The above verse from Jeremiah goes on to state, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord…” (v. 12-14)

We have called upon God and prayed to Him and He was listening. We sought Him with all our hearts and we found Him calling us to Ethiopia.

After we adopted Eliana, God led us to cross paths with many people who were touched by adoption, considering adoption or knew someone adopting. After seeing the way Eliana’s story touched lives, I (Angie) began giving out our phone number to anyone showing interest, praying that God would use our blessing to touch others for adoption. I received a phone call one day from a woman, Jen (& husband, Larry, also in the process of adopting), who expressed several people had given her my name & phone number, from varying circumstances and she felt that God had placed it on her heart to connect with me. They were using the same agency, All God’s Children International, and they actually lived only 3 miles from us – ‘isn’t that a coincidence’ we commented. We kept in touch and I was blessed by watching God at work through their journey to Ethiopia for their beautiful daughter Aleena. By chance, we actually met in person at the Little League field while watching our boys and we shared the joy of their upcoming travel to Ethiopia in crossing at the ball fields! About 4 weeks ago, Jen shared with me with that Aleena has 2 biological brothers that were later relinquished for adoption. After petitioning the Lord and praying for Aleena’s brothers, they felt God was telling them not to adopt them. She was broken and crying out for these boys and the Lord’s provision for them.

Upon receiving the email, something stirred in my heart…the same quiet knock God gave me when He brought Eliana to us. That day, I knelt at my bedside and prayed for these boys that God would bless and protect them and lead them to the family He had already chosen for them. I prayed that God would break our hearts for these boys if I was hearing the knock from Him and not from within my own selfish desires. Joe and I began to pray for these boys and the families that would be approached about them – ‘Lord…let the people hear your heart for them and bless their precious lives.’ Every family contracted with All God’s Children (AGCI) prayed over the placement of these boys and each one received a ‘no’ from God. When there was one family left to contact, we called AGCI and stated that although we were not currently contracted with them, we were praying over them and felt God calling our hearts to them. At this point, our hearts had been broken for these boys and our confirmation from the Lord would be that He stirred every other waiting family’s hearts to say ‘no’. On November 26, 2007, we received a call from AGCI that these boys had not been placed. Joe and I prayed together once more for these precious lives and received clear calling from God that our sons, Muaz (age 7) and Bereket (3 months) were being saved for us. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

As of Friday, November 30, we are an officially contracted family with All God’s Children International and are pressing forward at mock speed to bring our sons home! Our adoption process in being done in reverse order since normally the home study and paperwork comes first and placement with your child follows. Well – God is working this miracle for us in reverse, so it is a race to catch up and bring them home. Our second confirmation from God that this was His calling for us is that it is also beyond us financially. God is made strong in our weakness and we are about to experience that in all of His fullness. In the next few weeks, we will be watching God make the miracle of approximately $18,000 happen (and then another $20,000 in the next 3-4 months)! In the past, I struggled with making this need public in order to adopt again, but God has shown us His need for these two boys to be safe, loved and growing in Christ. It is about watching an awesome God work a miracle and giving Him the glory for who He is! It is about leading others to Christ by experiencing His love for His children (our boys) lived out to the fullest measure…

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 The Lord is working in powerful ways and we are excited to see Him work a miracle…

Joey has arrived!

March 31, 2008


Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:14

We are in what we affectionately call the 'black hole of waiting' because we have done all we can do and our job is to wait patiently on the Lord at this point. Our case is being worked through the Ethiopian system and we will not hear anything about it until we make it through and they issue us an embassy date to appear in Ethiopia.

It is a great place to be because it is the last step to bring our boys home; and at the same time, darkness has a strange stillness that takes some getting used to after running at mock speed into the light! We are filling our black hole with some bonding from afar with the boys. We are sending letters and pictures to them every week or so (siblings proudly display letters of love above!), which is a double blessing. We feel close to them and our prayer is that they catch a small glimpse of our love for them before they come home. We are praying specifically that we will be blessed with travel in April.
We are at 82% of our funding goal and we praise the Lord for this tremendous gift! We are excited to see how God will complete this miracle for the boys in His perfect timing. We have a peace that He will finish the work He has started and provided in abundance to help us reach our goal at 100%.
We continue to wait for our FDL in the mail and do need that to travel, so please continue to lift that need in prayer for us as well.
Each time the waiting feels empty, I am reminded that God is always working and He has already set the day and the hour we will be with our boys...

March 28, 2008



We had a wonderful Easter celebrating our blessings...the sacrifice Jesus made for us, His gift of forgiven sins & eternal life, our healthy precious children both here and afar and a loving marriage. We are so blessed - thank you Jesus for daily filling our cup to overflowing with your gifts of love! We enjoyed worship as a family & a wonderful Easter dinner with Joe's family. We are praising God for restoring Joe's mom to health once again and she is pictured above (with her growing pack of grandkids) radiating the joy of being cancer free and finished with treatments. She is an inspiration.

March 27, 2008


A few weekends ago, Joe was able to spend some special one-on-one daddy-time with each of the boys - they were so excited! He took Ethan to a Piston's game and Aiden to the museum.
I am so thankful for the wonderful husband God has blessed me with and the love he has for the Lord, our children and for me...


Angie's nephew, Kelton (green shirt) celebrated his 6th birthday with a 'Pirate's Who Don't Do Anything' party and it was such fun for the whole family!
He had a scavenger hunt (in the snow...isn't it supposed to be spring?!) between our two houses (we live on the same street - 5 houses down) to find this treasure.
It was great fun!

Here we are dressed in pirate gear - don't you think Joe (top, center) and my dad (bottom right) look a little too authentic?!
Thank you Lord for family fun!
Happy Birthday Kelton!

March 21, 2008


We completed our fingerprinting today at the CIS (Citizenship & Immigration Services) office in Detroit. Upon completion of the prints, the CIS worker pushes 'send' and they go directly to Virginia (via computer - the prints are computerized) for review. Once they are approved & added to our file, they will issue us an FDL (Favorable Determination Letter) stating we can bring the boys into the US. We are praying we will get our FDL next week. Then the only thing we will be waiting for is 'complete favor' with the Ethiopian court and a travel date!

March 19, 2008


Our dossier is in Ethiopia being translated and it will then be added to the file that has already been opened for us. From what we understand, next it will be reviewed by MOWA (Ministry of Women's Affairs) and passed on to court. It is also our understanding that we will not know when each of these steps occur until we have passed through court and have a travel date.
We have a very specific prayer request: that the judge will have complete favor of our case. This would prevent any delays in the court phase.
We are praying and trusting in God's perfect timing...

March 14, 2008


Our fully authenticated dossier (paperwork packet) was returned to the Portland AGCI office today from Washington DC and was promptly sent directly to Ethiopia! Yippee!! We are told our case will be fully entered into the Ethiopian courts next week. We are making some serious progress at this point (the dear orphanage director is doing everything possible to expedite our case to get baby 'B' home for follow up treatment of his eyes)! We have been told to anticipate the possibility of 6 weeks to travel. We are still praying very specifically that it is within God's will for us to travel in April to bring home our beloved sons!

March 13, 2008


Woo-Hoo!!! We received our letter from the CIS department today with our federal fingerprinting appointment, which is scheduled for next Friday, March 21. We are praising God for this answer to prayer!

March 12, 2008


Check out the powerful video titled, "Adoption is Greater Than the Universe" by John Piper. The link is at the bottom of our blog site...


Oh, how we can't wait to hold baby 'B's hand in ours! He went to the doctor today because he seems to be very sensitive and bothered by any light to his eyes, so they gave him drops for anti-infection and to 'soothe the irritation'. We are so ready to bring him home to American medicine...
Our dossier should be back from authentication in Washington, DC by Friday and will be sent to Ethiopia the same day. We will enter Ethiopian court as soon as it arrives. We are still waiting to get our FDL from the US government, but (given our urgent circumstances) don't have to wait for that to proceed in Ethiopia - thank you Jesus! We do need our FDL before we can travel, so continue to lift up that need in prayer. We are still hopeful that God may bless us with travel by the end of April/early May.


Here is a picture of 'M' holding the album we made for him and the smile on his face (from the same picture) that we have grown to love so very much! Our case worker was able to spend some time with him going through the album and she said he was smiling this precious smile the whole time and talked very softly a few times, but she was not able to understand him. We continue to pray for this adorably handsome little man as he approaches a tremendous change in his life. We pray and pray for God to prepare his heart for us and to leave his home and everything secure and familiar and 'normal'. Amidst a time of great joy and excitement for us, we are also grieving with them the losses they have experienced and will experience through this blessing. We find comfort in the promise God gives us from Philippians 4:19, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

March 4, 2008


"If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and power for ever and ever."

1 Peter 4:11b

When we began this journey of faith to bring our boys home, God assurred us that He would provide and we have whole heartedly trusted His promise from the beginning. Today we give God the glory for providing 75.87% of our total adoption expenses! More than 1/2 of this total has come to us from the sacrificial gifts of love from many wonderful people and we are so humbled and grateful for their generous support.

We received an incredible blessing this week through a grant from the James Fund, a Family Christian Stores Foundation. Only God could have orchestrated the details to bring this gift to us. Three years ago, I began working for Family Chirstian Store (FCS) as the story hour leader/special event facilitator - this was a ministry opportunity I began because I love the opportunity it gives me to love the kids and share Christ with them each week. In January of this year, I was given the opportunity to go on a mission trip with Family Chirstian Store employees around the country through the James Fund to serve the orphans in Monterrey, Mexico. While on the trip, the James Fund Administrator heard our story of adoption and felt God prompting her to approach the board of the James Fund to extend their adoption assistance grant to flex time employees (which is what I am) of FCS (previously it was available to full & part time employees only). The board met a few weeks ago, and since then we have been awarded the grant! God is in every is amazing to experience His provision for our boys!
(The picture above is not our boys, it is just a moving image from Ethiopia)


"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son."