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Final slideshows

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gelila Grace Alexander "Gigi"

We passed court!  I am officially a mom to 7! 
 First time we saw her face
 10 months old
 11 months old
 You are 1!!! Thank you Robbins. :)

Thank you Avery for the video! :)
Thank you Aunt Mary!
Praying sweet baby girl is home soon.  One major step down, now on to embassy!  Prayers much appreciated. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011


Friday, October 14, 2011

Loaves and Fish- our last dental day

Our last dental day we were back in Korah.  After counting our supplies the day before, it was estimated that if we were very careful, we might be able to see just over 100 patients.

The days get busy, a non stop flow of patients coming in through the door.

Everyone is working hard!
Occasionally stopping for pics, but mostly working. :)

We anticipating finishing up before lunch but around 1:00, my friend Jessica asked me to look at the sharps container.  After the second day the container was not half way full.  I looked at it now and it was literally filled to the top.  Twice as many patients seen?? It was simply impossible.  I looked at the table again of our anesthetic and needles, well still there.  More.  More patients to see.  Unreal.  Goosebumps for everyone that was there.  Every patient seen.  Over 220 that day.  And we had to pack up a few supplies to take home.

Allow yourself to be in situations where nothing in the natural makes sense.  Where the ONLY choice is to stand in awe, humbled that you were allowed to take part in His goodness, His glory.  

With the vast majority of our supplies still sitting in Bole airport, the Lord provided exactly what we needed to see every patient that we were meant to see.  What a gift and incredible lesson to the team that HE is enough.  He works His purposes without our supplies- for our good and His glory!

I also happened to turn 40 this day! A long post on that next because, really-- if you must turn 40, by all means do it in Ethiopia.  The most fun birthday that I have ever had!  One quick b-day fact!  I got the very best gift ever that morning.  Moody and I had received a November 1st court date just as the courts were closing in August.  We had a few people praying that somehow the judge would see us while we were there.  We knew it was a long shot by a mile, especially since the judge was doing training in Addis the week we were there.  Abdissa called this morning and said that we needed to be at court by 9:00 am!!  We were packing up to head to Korah.  We quickly changed, grabbed our passports and raced to court.  We were allowed to see the judge and satisfy that portion of the court process.  It won't speed the process up for us, but it will allow us to stay home until embassy.  This was truly the best birthday gift!!  We now wait for our MOWA letter to officially pass and introduce her to you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

day 5- back in Korah and Meskel

We went back to Hands for the Needy for our second day to treat there.
 Moody back in action!
 Crowd arrived early and kept growing

 Cute little guy getting his toothbrush after his extraction
 Cute Matt

Our very own McGyver!  Makes the perfect sterilizers for our instruments.

We were plugging along and seeing many patients.  At one point we took a quick inventory of our supplies to best determine how to proceed.  We actually had the conversation at one point if it would be better to simply work hard all day long and just blow out all of the anesthetic that we had left or come back the next day and do the best we could with what was left.  After Tanisha, Yasmin, Moody and I talked for a second, we decided to see close to 200 that day and then based on our count, we could see 130 AT BEST the next day.  It was frustrating but better than nothing considering we were running out of supplies.

We saw a little over 200 people and packed up for the day.  It was the Ethiopian holiday, Meskel.  The Meskel celebration includes the burning of a large bonfire, or Demera, based on the belief that Queen Eleni had a revelation in a dream. She was told that she shall make a bonfire and that the smoke would show her where the true cross was buried. So she ordered the people of Jerusalem to bring wood and make a huge pile. After adding frankincense to it the bonfire was lit and the smoke rose high up to the sky and returned to the ground, exactly to the spot where the Cross had been buried.[1]

The night before we got the opportunity to partake in a Meskel celebration outside of our hotel.  They do the fires the night before Meskel!  I forgot to share these in the last post. 
 Mim cutting a rug with Abiy
We went to Cloud 9 for a wonderful meal.  We got to meet up with several full time missionaries currently living in Addis.  What encouragement they were to our team! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

day 4- Korah dental day #1

Tuesday a.m we woke up and set out for our first dental day in Korah.  We were blessed to be working in the same facility for 3 full days (that was the plan at least, depending on our supplies!).  Thanks to Tamara, Yemamu and Hands for the Needy for making this possible!

Team working hard to get ready to roll!

 They people begin lining up early!
 Our patient buddies are amazing.  They show great love and compassion for those experiencing a trip to the dentist for the first time!  
 Part of our fearless sterilization crew! 
The instruments that got through :)

 You can't spend time in Korah without having your heart broken for the reality of life for some.  Our team loved the people well.  Know these babies broke many hearts for sure.

Sallie, our gatekeeper for 2 years!  

Sadly Moody missed this day of dentistry as he continued to jump through various hoops trying to get the rest of our supplies! It was determined if they spent a very large sum of money, they could get the supplies out of customs.  The whole situation was so frustrating and even then they had no real guarantee they would be released.  Moody told them they would no longer try to get the supplies, they would remain at the airport. They tried to purchase more anesthetic but apparently there were only 2 boxes in the entire country???!!! So, they bought more antibiotics and we trusted we would be able to care for those we were meant to treat. After seeing over 281 patients this day, we were all amazed at the way the Lord continued to provide what we needed for that particular day!  God was clearly at work.

Dinner at Makush was exactly what we needed to recharge for another full day in Korah on Wednesday!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 3- Adama and meeting #7

I didn't sleep very well.  Think night before Christmas.  I was filled with so many emotions that morning.  When we adopted Abe and Eyasu, the moment they were placed in my arms, they were MINE. This time I knew meeting her would be surreal, another moment where God shows me in such a tangible way just how BIG He is, just how much He loves me, just how thankful I am for my own adoption as a child of the King.........but I also knew it would be painfully hard to say good-bye.  I was trying so hard to be present and in the moment and not allow the "saying good-bye" part to ruin the "hours together" part.

We finally arrived in Adama and were greeted by Tezera, the YWAM director there.  My heart was now officially racing.  We walked in and I knew the nannies were quickly getting her ready......I love this picture because it shows little Miss has paparazzi!

We pray that this moment, as Moody, Wick and I met our sweet baby girl, was a blessing to those on the team.  That they saw a glimpse of Jesus and His very heart for the orphan.  That in this moment, she was an orphan no more.  She had a family (mom, dad, brother, both grandmothers, an aunt and niece along with a host of friends) to love her forever.

Her nanny and Mim seeing her precious face for the first time!

And there she is! Words can not describe this moment..........

Wish I could show you what we saw, the beautiful babe that was then placed in my arms, but I can't until we officially pass court! Trust me, she is the cutest.

She was naturally not sure of these new faces but slowly warmed up to us.  We spent as much time as we could with our little one, letting her know she was loved and we would be back as soon as possible.

While I was spending time getting to know her........the incredible team was kicking off the first dental day.

YWAM - Adama.  Beautiful people that were a joy to treat. 

Holli, patient buddy expert!

This post is getting long so I will explain more about the dental days in the next few posts.  We were witness to incredible things and the Lord provided for each of our needs!

It was time to go and I will say that leaving was horrible.  It simply isn't natural to leave your child behind.  I rest in the excellent care she is receiving in the YWAM home, but it isn't a substitute for family.  Now the most difficult wait begins for us.  I now know her smell, how she fits perfectly in my arms, what her giggle sounds like and all of these will flood my mind on a daily basis until she is HOME, for good, forever.  Trusting in His perfect timing and know that He is indeed bigger than all of the paperwork and red tape that is involved with International Adoption.

After a very tearful goodbye, we loaded up for the drive back to Addis.  Though my heart was hurting, a yummy dinner at Island Breeze certainly helped!  Tomorrow is our first dental day in Korah so we were off to bed!
Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 2

After getting a few hours of shut eye, we were up to begin our first full day!  We eat our breakfasts downstairs in our awesome hotel, TDS.  It is always a great way to start the day over delicious buna, oatmeal, eggs, toast, etc.... We headed out early to help deliver wheelchairs with our friends with Tesfa Means Hope and UCP Wheels for Humanity.  What an amazing experience for so many reasons.  As a mama to a kiddo that requires a wheelchair for mobility and was also born in Ethiopia, this is so close to home.  To see the joy on the faces of those getting bright, shiny new yellow wheelchairs was simply priceless.  I think it was the perfect way to kick off our trip!  Everyone pitched in to help pump up tires or transfer someone to their new chair!  Proud of you Drew for the incredible job you did pulling this off!!

We then headed to Beza International for worship! Always great to be there.

From Beza we headed to Top View for lunch.  Great Sunday buffet!!

Where is my sweet Moody during all of this you ask??? How kind.  Well he was back out before the team left to try to resolve the customs shenanigans! He was with 2 dear brothers and they were pleading their case, showing the proper documentation and jumping through hoop after hoop in an effort to get our supplies out of customs and into our hands so we could treat patients on Monday.  Time after time, he thought they had satisfied the last request, only to be stopped again from taking the supplies from the airport.  At one time, he was literally halfway out of the airport and some (in Moody's words "16 year old kid) came running after him and made him return back inside. :(  He hated to be missing out on what the team were experiencing.  We continued to pray, reached out to those at home to pray and simply rested in His goodness and grace.

We returned to the hotel to inventory what we did get through (several people got bags out before they stopped us) and organize the conference room.  The TDS has a great conference room that we take over durning our stay.  It holds all of our supplies and allows us to keep things organized for each day.  

A few of the Drs. estimated that based on the limited supplies that we had, they would be able to treat approximately 150 patients before we ran out of anesthetic and needles.  Those are the two main determining factors other than numbers of actual instruments. This would be not even one full day of dentistry.  So we continued to trust and pray that the supplies would be released from customs.

We had dinner that night to discuss the dental days, assign jobs, etc.  We packed up for the next day and went to bed!

Tomorrow, we meet our sweet baby girl!

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"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from becoming polluted by the world." James 1:27
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