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!

April 30, 2008


We have been given official travel dates that are one week later than our potential travel dates. There is a drought in Ethiopia and they have to go without power in Addis Ababa (the capital city and location of the orphanage) when necessary. Because of this situation, they were not able to gather all the needed documents necessary to travel the 18th. So....our official embassy date in Ethiopia is Tuesday, May 27. The travel agent is working very hard to get 9 AGCI families to Ethiopia - please pray for her. Our tickets one week later could potentially be $1000 more per ticket because we have entered 'the busy season'. We should have departure/arrival dates at some point tomorrow along with booked tickets.
As I enjoy the luxury of electricity in my house (computer on, several lights on, TV on, etc..), I am once again humbled by the gifts God has blessed me with that I take for granted as a U.S. citizen. We are praising God for a firm embassy appointment date...stay tuned for travel details!

April 29, 2008


We received a phone call tonight that surprised us and brought great joy to our hearts! We have potential travel dates of May 18-22 - these will be confirmed by Friday. Stay tuned as we process this great blessing and get further confirmation about bringing our precious sons home! God is soooooo good - all the time!

April 24, 2008


"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, PRINCE OF PEACE." Isaiah 9:6

Prince of Peace... one of my most treasured attributes of the Lord Jesus. Before my walk was with the Lord, peace was something I always longed for and could never fully attain. I still struggle to allow that peace of Christ to prevail in my life, but He is always waiting for me to embrace it. Jesus is the constant source of peace and each time I begin to have anxiety or wish to control my life, I am reminded that this life is not my own - it all belongs to Christ. As soon as I submit to that, it allows room for Jesus, the prince of peace, to reign in my heart once again. There is no peace in this life like knowing the sovereignty and goodness of the Lord.
We are rejoicing for 7 other families from AGCI that are traveling on May 10 to bring their children home. We are not one of those families and the prince of peace reminds us that only He knows the perfect day and hour we will embrace our boys in Ethiopia. God is in control & He may still bless us with travel in the meantime, we are enjoying the peace of waiting on the Lord.
'M's best buddy in Ethiopia will be embracing his wonderful new family & leaving with this May travel group. Please be praying for the Prince of Peace to reign in 'M's heart as he says good bye. As we prayed for the boys last night, we prayed for 'M' and his dear friends separation. Ethan then sweetly said, "...and thank you God that 'M' has friends waiting for him here, too, and they already love him so much."
Soon and very soon, all these precious smiles will be huddled together in a picture of our new family. Thank you Jesus for our bountiful blessings & the peace of Christ...

April 23, 2008


We are so proud of Ethan - he entered a Lego project into our Home School Co-Op Art/Lego/History/Science Fair and earned first place for his age division with his Space Station Creation complete with space station, 3 ships and a skate board ramp.
Our handsome 7 year old is proudly pictured with his winning creation - way to go, Ethan!

April 18, 2008



April 15, 2008


"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified...for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Deuteronomy 31:6

We are still waiting for 'the phone call' that will change & bless our lives abundantly stating "you need to be at your embassy appointment in Ethiopia on ---- (date) to pick up your boys!" Oh, the joy that will fill our souls upon hearing those words.
Speaking of lives being changed, God has placed 'M' on my heart in powerful ways for the past month or so. Our lives will change and yet stay the same in all the familiar sites, sounds, feels, comforts, language, climate, worship, family life, food, security....but, 'M', at 8 years of age, will leave all of that. The only thing he will bring with him is his baby brother and a lifetime of memories in Ethiopia. It is amazing to me that when God creates us, inside our mother's womb, he places deep within our being all the character traits we will need in the life He blesses us with. He knows exactly how to create us, in His image, so that amidst the trials He knows we will have to overcome, we will thrive in this life. God knows everything we need in this life and loves us so much that He equips us with the ability to overcome.
The character trait of courage came to mind, so I searched the scripture and the Lord led me to the above passage in Deuteronomy, "Be strong & courageous. Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you or forsake you." 'M' may be leaving all that is secure for him, but God has placed within him courage and strength to overcome; and the Lord Himself - that lives inside our precious 'M' will come with Him. I pray that as 'M' folds his sweet hands in prayer (as pictured above, praying over his meal), He hears God whisper to His heart, "I will go with you my child. I will never leave you or forsake you. Be strong & courageous; do not be afraid - I will go with you, my child." Please pray for 'M' as he prepares to leave his country.
We ordered 'M' an Amharic bible (his Ethiopian language) which is pictured above. As I opened the cover and looked at the symbols on the page, it was profound for me to see his written language in the bible. I, obviously, can't read a single word in this bible and yet it is the exact same living Word of God that speaks to my heart and comforts my soul. God is everywhere and He will never leave us, nor forsake us.


"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."