Friday, January 28, 2011

Why Ethiopia?

First off, thank you all for your sweet words over the last couple of weeks!  You are all so encouraging! 

I have been longing for our little one lately.  So many questions flood through my mind: Is he/she born?  Well?  Loved on? On his/her way to our orphanage? Being fed and clothed? Is the next Crenshaw going to be a boy  or a girl?

I love answering questions about adoption, and our journey specifically.  It just reminds me of God's specific plan to bring our child home.  Each detail of the story was a way that God lit the path for us to walk on to go get our child!

One of the questions we are asked sometimes is "Why Ethiopia?"  That is just a part of the story that God has for us and our family.  I love this video, though...so I wanted to share it (thanks, Alison!)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An Amazing Gift

I am always amazed at what God is showing us through this adoption process.  He has opened our eyes to more of His heart for His people, the abandoned, the poor, the body of Christ, the widows, the scared and lonely, His heart for US, His sovereignty...I could go on and on.

We are so excited that our agency, All God's Children International, has started a new program called "Positively Chosen."  They have seen the great need for orphans who test positive for HIV to be adopted and given the medical care that they need that they cannot receive in their country.  There are so many stigma's attached to this virus, but the fact is that it is not the deadly virus that it was perceived to be in the 80's.  It is actually only transmitted through 4 fluids: blood, vaginal fluid, semen, and breastmilk.  The main ways of transmitting the virus is through unprotected sex, breastfeeding your baby, and sharing needles.  It is NOT transmitted through daily living (sharing hugs, kisses, cups, utensils, being sneezed on, pooped on, peed on or thrown up on). Actually, there has never been a case where HIV was accidentally "caught" within the home.

With the right medications, this virus is completely manageable...even more so than diabetes. Can you believe that?!?  HIV is more manageable than diabetes!  The hard part of this is that it is very manageable HERE but not at all in less privileged countries.  So, here, a child could be on proper medications and live a "normal" life.  In Ethiopia, a child with HIV would likely die by the age of 2.  Wow.  I can't even wrap my brain around that. We are so thankful for the new information and teaching regarding HIV.

We are so thankful to be a part of this new program with our agency.  It is very new, and they have not matched any referrals with families yet, but they are working hard to get the information out there that they have families who will adopt a child who tests positive for HIV.  So, we don't exactly know how this will play out from here.  The "waitlist numbers" look a little different for us.  We could get a referral any day...or MONTHS down the road.  We have no idea. We do know God is sovereignly orchestrating things behind the scenes. We are excited to meet our child and excited to see what the future holds.

I am sure there are many questions mulling around in people's heads as they read this:
* How did you make this decision?
* Are you fearful for the health of the children you already have?
* Does this put people we are around at risk?
* What are the medications and how do they work?
* Are the medications always effective?
* Will this create a financial burden?
* What is the life expectancy of this child?
* How will this effect the child/our entire family socially?
* Does this speed up or slow down the process?
*Can this child still be sick?

We will be happy to answer these and other questions, and engage in whatever conversations you want to have regarding this adoption, so leave comments with questions if you have them. There will be a follow up post on many questions that we have been asked along they way, and new ones that arise.

With that background information, we received an amazing gift a few weeks ago...
"Aunt Karen" writes poems for each of our children for the thoughts she has and the prayers she prays for them.  They are priceless to all of us.

A few weeks ago, Karen gave us this poem that she wrote for our adopted child.  It is precious.

"Positively Chosen"
Sweet baby unknown to us by face and by name,
Have you cried your first cry or is God still knitting your frame?

Is someone showering you with kisses and tending to your needs?
As we pray for your protection from harm and evil deeds?

Are you a girl or a boy and who gave you life?
Has your body known health or only great strife?

Well, we don’t know your story as its been written thus far
but we certainly know you belong to us wherever you are

...

We were called by the Lord to be a family to you
to choose you and love you all your days through

To seek justice and defend the cause and the case
To father the fatherless as an extension of grace (Isaiah 1:17)

So may you never feel unwanted because of your start
but always know that you were ours, conceived in our heart

...

May your bonds be loosed, and your yoke be broken
May you be set free from oppression, such as God has promised and spoken

It is our bread you will share, such that your hunger will flee
But may you come to feast on The Bread of Life, who died to set you free

It is our house you will live in, providing shelter and a home
But may you enter into His kingdom for eternity to roam

It is our clothes that will cover you, your nakedness unseen
But may His robe be placed upon you, your filthy rags be made clean

May His light break forth within you like a new and radiant morn
May His healing spring up speedily, and may to new life you be born
May His righteousness go before you as you walk the life He planned
May your rear guard be His glory, as in eternal life you stand.
(Isaiah 58)