The first step is to penetrate the clouds of deceit and distortion and learn the truth about the world,
then to organize and act to change it. That's never been impossible and never been easy. ~Noam Chomsky

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Journeys of Faith

Last May, just one year ago, I was in Malawi, and Uganda, and then in Ethiopia meeting Ariam.

I don't just travel all over Sub-Saharan Africa for fun. (Although traveling for work is a special kind of fun. A fun that brings me into lives and villages and stories in a way that traveling "for fun" as a tourist never could.)

I traveled to Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi and Uganda in 2009 and 2010 to write the stories that are part of Journeys of Faith. Stories of U.S. churches partnering with African communities that care for orphans and vulnerable children within families. It is a resource guide for anyone interested in becoming involved in "orphan care." It was a labor of love and a true journey of faith. During the two years it took to create this publication our lead writer was diagnosed with cancer, our designer's father died, my husband had to have surgery (during a crucial phase of work), and my supervisor and I both became incredibly, debilitatingly sick for several weeks. Faith. And a lot of long nights and weekends.

I hope that whether you consider yourself a "Christian" or not, you will read the publication. I think it is relevant for anyone who has, or who hopes to, adopt from Africa. And anyone who cares about orphans and vulnerable children.

.................................................

Because blogger isn't functional in Ethiopia, I want to mark a milestone on our own 'Journey of Faith' - the anniversary of passing court and officially becoming parents on May 24th, 2010. Sitting in a hotel restaurant in Gulu, Uganda, in the dark (power went out), dipping french fries into ketchup and eating chapatis. I had the cell phone sitting right by my plate and drifted in and out of conversation as the hope of a "We passed!" text consumed my mind.

When it came, the emotion just rushed over me and bubbled out all over my lovely colleague and Ugandan aquaintance. I sat blubbering at that table knowing that our lives would never be the same. The time, place, and moment are forever seared in my memory.

Tonight I am in a hotel, heading back to Ethiopia to participate in The Way Forward Project.

I was sad to say goodbye to J and the little A. Concerned to say goodbye to Cassidy who has been slipping away from us little by little. My stomach was tight through my whole first flight. And then I arrived in Dulles tonight and the familiar thrill of traveling took over. The world is SO WIDE. And so full of beauty and pain. It holds so much fascination for me. I stood a little straighter, pulled back my shoulders, breathed in the familiar Dulles airport, and my heart began to ready for Ethiopia.

~A

video
(The video I received from a traveling friend right after passing court.)

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations girl! I can't wait for the "1 Year Home" Post! Safe travels in Africa, say 'hi' to Ethiopia from me. :) Can you say to which towns/cities/regions you are traveling?

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  2. Thanks Melissa! I'll be in Addis and Lalibela. :)

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  3. so sweeeeeet...

    enjoy your trip! cannot wait to hear details!

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  4. Oh, BABY A! She's so cute! (She's still cute now, obviously. But doesn't it just seem amazing how SMALL she was a year ago?)

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