Compassion equals involvement.

The definition of compassion is about involvement. To be compassionate means to get out of the boat of our current circumstances and get into the boats of those who are suffering. We are called to bear the burdens of those who are in need of our companionship-to "weep with those who weep"(Romans 12:15) ~Tom Davis

Thursday, January 21, 2010

There is No Me Without You...

So, lately I have been reading a book by Melissa Fay Greene titled 'There is No Me Without You'. Although I am less than halfway through this book, I am continuing to contemplate what the right age would be to adopt. The reason that I say "I" is because Alex hasn't read this book yet. I have mainly been summarizing it for him. So, in a state of deep thought, I am just going to say what is on my heart.

When applying for an adoption from Ethiopia, an infant is considered 0-24 months of age. So, you could be matched with a 5 week old or a 21 month old. With the agency we are going with, there is an internal preference form where you can be more specific on an age (0-12 months). However, the wait time can be longer when you are more specific in regards to age and gender. Since we are unable to pick the gender if it was our biological child, we have elected not to chose the gender.

I will admit that there is an element of being impatient. The thought of having to wait for an infant for approx. 18-24 months is like eternity to me. On the other hand, adopting a small child such as a 2-3 year old is roughly 6-8 months. We want to be open to what God has for us. But we also don't want us to take on more than what we can handle.

I have lots of questions zooming in and out of my brain. If we adopt a 2 year old, will they ever bond with us? Will they be too emotionally scarred to ever recover? Will this create too much turmoil in our family? Can I still rock my 2 year old to sleep at night? Will we be too heartbroken that we missed some of their "first moments"? How much has this child experienced and seen in his/her first few years of life? Do they remember their birth parents?

We want to be able to experience the same moments with this child as we have with our daughter. It's a privelage and something that we will forever carry in our hearts....such as the first day that our daughter said "Mama" and "Daddy". The first time she crawled. The first time she laughed and smiled at us. The quiet and intimate night time feedings.

But a 2-3 year old needs a home just as much as an infant does. Today I was sitting in the library waiting for my daughter to get done with her storytime group. I was reading "There is No Me Without You'. There was a section of this book that really touched my heart. Melissa(the author/journalist/adoptive mother of Ethiopian children) was in Ethiopia on a quest to find out more about a woman who has been taking orphans in to her home. Some may refer to this woman as a "Mother Teresa" figure.

Anyways, Melissa stepped outside of this woman's house and noticed a young girl who was playing. Here is how she describes that moment in the book:

"A pretty little girl caught my eye: she flounced about barefoot in gray sweatpants under a frilly, puffy pink dress and, on top of the dress, a too small boy's winter coat. I watched her seat herself upon a flat stone with her queenly petticoats arrayed around her. She showed great pride of ownership and was reaching around as best she could in her winter parka to smooth the stiff tulle. I saw her cast her soft eyes around to see if anyone was noticing how pretty she was today.

I noticed. I stepped over and stroked her warm little head, her hard, dried little braids, and murmered an incomprehensible compliment in English. I startled her, but then she understood: her lips turned down in a pleased, flustered smile.

I didn't know who took care of this little girl in pink-maybe a grandparent, maybe a not-so-much older sister or brother-but I saw that she remembered being mothered. A longtime orphan would not expect anyone to compliment her pretty dress."

In that very moment while sitting in the library reading this, my heart stopped when reading over and over again "she remembered being mothered". Will my Ethiopian miracle remember being mothered? Will they let ME be their mother?

Not all orphans grow up in an Orphanage. Some are raised by mothers, fathers, grandparents, and siblings. How will I ever replace the longing and remembrance that an older child will have of their life in Ethiopia and of their family?

THIS is the reason that we are trying to decide on an age range. EVERY child needs a home, regardless of the age. I have a peace knowing that God is in control. But we have to remind ourselves to be "open" to what God has for us.

Tomorrow we have our first meeting with the Social Worker. I wish that I could say that she could answer this for us. But she can't. This is an answer that only God can give us.

In closing, I have caught only a glimpse of 'There is No Me Without You'. However, I am finally coming to understand this more. But here is my question. Who is the "Me" and who is the "You"? Is there no "Me" without this "Child"? Or, Is there no "Child" without "Me"?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Book Reviews

One of my goals for 2010 is to educate myself more. I want to gather as much information as I possibly can about orphans, other countries, cultures, statistics, poverty, religion, history, and the list goes on. So, I ordered some books from Amazon back at the beginning of January and I have finally gotten them in the mail. I have decided that I am going to do some book reviews and write a post about them. All of these books pertain to adoption...some of them are specific to Africa/Ethiopia.

Okay, here's the line-up:

-Fields of the Fatherless by Tom Davis (I have already read this book and will be blogging about it soon)

-From Ashes to Africa by Josh and Amy Bottomly

-There is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene

-Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds by Tom Davis

Once I have read all of these books, I will move on to whatever is calling for my attention next.

Also, if you have not officially signed up to be a follower on my blog, please do so. I will be announcing some giveaways at the end of this week. In order for your name to be entered in the drawing, you MUST be an official follower of my blog. Please remember to put your e-mail address in your profile so that I can contact you in order to verify your mailing address. Some of you live in other states, so I will need to mail the prize to you.

Until then....Love, Holly

Thursday, January 14, 2010

To learn more on how to donate to the earthquake victims of Haiti, please visit


The story of charity: water - The 2009 September Campaign Trailer from charity: water on Vimeo.

Questions and Answers....

My husband and I read the Bible. We believe what the scriptures say. However, there are some scriptures that pierce us to the innermost core. Several of those pertain to God's heart for the fatherless. My husband and I can no longer ignore these scriptures, or the urgent and pressing need to do what our Father has called all of us to do....take care of the orphans and widows in their distress.

Many people have asked us why we have chosen to adopt. I have to shrug off some of the nasty comments or puzzling looks that I get from people who truly don't understand the heart of God.

Today, I felt like I needed to address and answer some of these questions. If you would like to ask more questions that I have not mentioned in this post, please feel free to leave me a comment below.

Question: Why are you adopting?
Answer: Why NOT?!?! There are roughly 143 million orphans living in the world today. It is hard to grasp such large numbers, so picture being on a very long road trip. If you had these orphans hold hands in a line, you would see over 1,700 orphans per mile. If you were to follow that line of orphans holding hands, driving 60 mph, you could drive 24 hours a day seeing 1,700 orphans every mile, hour after hour, day after day without stopping for over two months, and you would still see orphans holding hands. Get the picture?

Question: Can you still have children of your own?
Answer: First of all, any child that we adopt WOULD be our "OWN" child. Doesn't that count as having your "own" child?? And yes, we are still able to have our "own" children. As far as we know, we are still very fertile. However, there is a burning conviction in me to make these orphans a priority. My womb is no longer tugging at me...but rather my heart.

Question: Are you adopting domestically or internationally?
Answer: Internationally. Although there are countless foster children who need loving homes in the United States, we feel that we want to start with those who are suffering from EXTREME poverty and starvation. We are open to the possibility of adopting domestically someday, but we are starting with international.

Question: What country are you adopting from, and why?
Answer: Ethiopia. There are several countries in need of children to be adopted, but unfortunately, not every country is open for adoption. We have chosen Ethiopia as a STARTING point. Yes, this is just the beginning. We do plan to adopt more orphans someday. Alot of things can change and our prayer is that someday more countries will be open for adoption. As of right now, we don't know when or where our next adoption will be.

Question: If you are adopting from Ethiopia, are you concerned about bringing a child of a different race in to your home?
Answer: No, we are not concerened, but rather "aware". Our daugther Madelyn has thus far never noticed a difference in race...nor will we point it out either. We have educated ourselves on the potential issues that may arise. However, this will never prevent us from adopting a child who desperately needs and deserves justice. Regardless of how God has created us, we will ALL suffer from some form of persecution.

Question: Adoption is expensive. How much does it cost? How can you afford it?
Answer: Yes, adoption is indeed expensive, but well worth it. The cost to adopt from Ethiopia is roughly $25,000. As of this very moment, we are taking this one step at a time. There are grants available that we will apply for. But there are no guarantees that they will be awarded to us. There are also fundraising ideas. We are praying for ideas that God may give us in order to raise money. And last but certainly not least, there is our income. God has greatly blessed my husband with a terrific job. Although Alex is self-employed, God has never left us in need. So with all of that being said, we will continue to pray for God to provide.

I hope that I have answered some of your questions and revealed a little more of our hearts towards adoption. Once again, feel free to comment with any questions you may have and I will do my best to answer them.

Stayed tuned for tomorrow's post....

Love, Holly

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I did it!!! And all by MYSELF...might I add!

First off, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Holly. I have been married for 5 1/2 years now to a wonderful and godly man named Alex. We have a 4 year old daughter named Madelyn. I am a stay at home mom and I love it! Some days are tough....but I still love it! My husband is the owner of a personal training company. And as of recently, he has been dabbling in real estate.

God is the center of our universe. He is the reason my husband and I are married and have been able to experience the amazing blessing of parenthood. He is also the reason we are choosing to adopt.

I invite you to share in this exciting journey with us as we start the process of adoption. I will be posting "fairly" regular blogs about any updates that we receive on adoption, as well as our everyday life.

Stayed tuned for tomorrow, as I will be sharing more about our life, adoption, and why we chose to adopt. Love, Holly