We have been here in Addis for two days now and it is hard to describe or process the feelings about what I have seen and experienced here so far. I find it hard to sleep tonight. My mind repeats the images of poverty and brokenness all around: Mothers nursing babies on the roadside with only an umbrella as a home, staring blankly, Old men with one pant leg safety pinned around the stump of what was once their other limb, A blind beggar woman reaching into space hoping for a coin, and the vista from the Addis View Hotel…a shanty town of tin shacks. Yet as disturbing as these images are I have also seen a side of Addis that brings hope: A few, like our guide, a young man of twenty-six, have lifted themselves out of the depths of poverty and despair by shear grit and determination. Step by step they mark a road to a better life for others to follow. As I sat next to him in church today and worshipped the same God who loves this man and these people I felt unity in that place. Yet I cannot understand this puzzle I have experience here. I am sure there is much God wants us to learn. In his time revelations will happen.
In a few hours I will meet my children for the first time. Ray and I will be the first in our group to be introduced to Beautiful E as she is the oldest child meeting parents today. I wonder if she will like me, I wonder if she is as nervous as I am right now. I love her although I have not met her. I have committed my life to this child. It is a lot like an arranged marriage, you choose to become family with a complete stranger and the feelings will grow into an inseparable bond as time goes on. We will have our time with Beautiful E while the other families in alphabetical order will hold their children for the first time. The bonds will be welded together in that courtyard past the green gate. Then it will be Meseret's turn to come home into my arms. I love this baby that came from a difficult beginning into her life of love, and family, and hope, and eternity. How is it that these few precious little ones are the chosen? There a five million people in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia alone, yet only five babies were chosen this day to have a ticket to the land of opportunity. Beautiful E has a family, and a bed, and new clothes, and food, and education waiting for her in America, yet one piece of paper and a rubber stamp keep her back from her future. It is a puzzle I cannot solve tonight. So my prayers have gone up to the God of the universe that loves each man, woman and child on this entire planet and knows each of them individually. I have petitioned, and pleaded, and cried out for a chance that my daughter will be released from her paper jail so that her future is secure. God knows and I await his answer on my daughter, in faith, regardless of the outcome. We are in his hands.