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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Abe Day!!!!

It is hard to believe that it has been two years since this precious child was placed in our arms.  Two years since we first stepped foot on Ethiopian soil.

So much has happened in these two years and there is so much more ahead.  Abe had his 6 month check up with the neurologist today.  I left feeling as though a glass of cold water had been thrown in my face. Another MRI to schedule, more talk of future, more tests, new meds, more talk of reality...........and honestly I felt down.  I am so thankful that the Lord was quick to reveal Himself to me, so quick to remind me who the Great Physician is, so quick to remind me of the gift that we have in Abe.  He brings so much joy in the midst of the hard.  It is difficult to explain, it is just the impact of sweet baby Abe though.  Ask those that have met him, his smile is magic.

Do we wish he could walk, talk, play with toys, feed himself? Of course we do. But it doesn't seem to be the Lord's plan for him today. We still pray for a miracle, for him to one day be fully healed and we would covet the continued prayers from you, but I am not so sure that Abe is not the miracle. We know that the Lord has used Abe to break us, to shape us, to humble us and to teach us like nothing I have ever experienced.  How could we not be grateful?

I lose count of the numbers of times his older siblings smother him with kisses each day, call him a number of hilarious nicknames, tell very elaborate tales of Abey adventures, and consider him their greatest joy.  We are so blessed that the Lord saw fit to place Abe on our team.

Enjoy the trip back!! Thank you Kristin for using your gift.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eyasu's Hope


Imagine farming for a living in Southern Ethiopia. You are raising your 4 children with the help of extended family as your wife has passed away. Your brother and his wife live in the same village and have 4 children of their own, with one on the way. Your brother passes away and you begin to care for his children and their pregnant mother. 4 months after she gives birth to her 5th boy, she too passes away. You are now responsible for 9 children, one of them an infant. You work hard to provide for them, but it is difficult. You do your very best, but the baby is sick, really sick. Weighing only 16 pounds at 23 months old.
You ultimately relinquish this child in an effort to better provide for his needs, to save his life. This is a painful decision, evidence is shown in your eyes 13 months later when you see him again with his adoptive family in Addis.

You return to your village that is lacking in clean water and the only school for your children and nephews to attend ends in the 4th or 5th grade. You most likely think of the child that is no longer there, but hope he is healthy, happy.

What you don't know is that the family that adopted your nephew has a burning desire to do something in your country, has been praying for an opportuntity to give back, to provide sustainable help in someway since their first trip to Ethiopia two years ago.

You don't know that they have been divinely appointed to partner with an organization called A Glimmer of Hope. That they traveled with them to the Southern Region of Ethiopia to see the work they are doing. The family was told they didn't work in Sidama and doubted if they would any time soon, or ever. This organization does their due diligence and very carefully chooses what development associations they work with in country. Most of their partnerships are in the north, only recently working in the Dawro zone, in the Southern Region.

You don't know that a few details have changed to allow Glimmer to explore new areas in the south to work in and Sidama is one of them. You don't know that Gladney was instrumental in helping Glimmer know exactly where you live. You don't know that a car drove as far as one had ever driven in your district and then the occupants of that car walked an hour through beautiful, mountainous terrain.

You don't know until you see this.

A group of men walking towards your home.

You then begin to see HOPE. Hope that the water source your village currently uses will be replaced with crystal clear, clean water! That your children, the biological siblings of your nephew, and the children of your kebele will be able to get an education. You now see the bigger picture, the beautiful story of redeeming what was lost. Turning ashes into beauty. That your family is now knit perfectly together with a community of people in the States that simply can't NOT do someting to help.

Can you imagine???

More details to come, more amazing characters that have been permanently woven into our lives, and how YOU can help, coming next. We simply can't do this alone. We have a peace that those who are led to help, to change the lives of those from Gorche and Sidama, will come along side with us on this incredible journey!



Friday, August 20, 2010

blog roll

We had a little technical issue over here at Team Alexander with the blog roll and all of the blogs I follow got deleted. If you were on the roll, or would like to be-- leave a comment with the blog address or send an email to team alexander at mac dot com!

Thanks.

Have a great day! I am working on the next post. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

cast of characters

I think it will be helpful to give some background information to better help you see the big picture of the past few years. It is really what makes this story so amazing, so God!! Hang in there, but hopefully will make future posts come together for you. :)

Kristin- Kristin is my sweet friend that sent us the support letter for her trip to Zambia, prompted our kiddos to start begging to adopt, asking us to pray about it...............fast forward a year later and Kristin is on a plane with us to pick up Abe. She took the most spectacular photos of our trip and put together the Abe Day Video (at bottom of page is you haven't seen). It was sent to many people via email while we were still in Ethiopia, made MIGHTY TO SAVE our theme song, and garnered Abe some fans! Those fans would quickly become a lifeline of prayer support as our world turned a bit upside down.


Kelley and Joey- my sister and her husband. Kelley traveled to Ethiopia with us to pick up Abe as well. Prior to our trip, they met Donna and Philip Berber, founders of A Glimmer of Hope. They bonded over lunch, Ethiopia and shared passions to help those living in extreme poverty.


Eric Schmidhauser- Director of Social Investment for Glimmer and also at the lunch with Kelley and Joey. Eric traveled with me this past June on our trip to Ethiopia. Eric has a beautiful wife, Lucie, and two children, Grace (more on her in a minute and I promise, it will be worth the wait!!!) and Max. Moody and I were able to spend time with them recently when we went to our meeting at Glimmer in Austin and again at dinner recently in Dallas with Donna.


This past June.........Julie, Julie, Kristin and I head to Ethiopia to check out the work Glimmer was doing. More on how we got to that point in next post........but for now I have to introduce you to Eric's daughter, Grace.

Grace has a God-given gift and for me to keep it to myself wouldn't be right. She will be famous, winning Grammys, American Idol and any other major award given to those with mad vocal skills. We listen to her all the time now. Go here to see her, here to watch her and YOU MUST listen to Hallelujah on her website. You will thank me.

Grace saw Abe's video (see I actually am going to connect a few dots here) and was moved by the song and images. She hadn't done any worship music prior to this, but asked her teacher if he would help her with the song. She recorded it last night and please watch below---- Oh, did I mention that she is 10??? Yes, 10 years old!!

We are humbled that she dedicated it to our sweet boy. So, thank you Kristin for stepping out to go to Africa, for using your gift of photography to capture His story of adoption, for Kelley and Joey meeting the Berbers and partnering with us now, for the Berber's hearts for Ethiopia, for Eric leading us through Southern Ethiopia and for Grace for using your gift for His glory. I will be a life long fan.



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

water source

This is the current water source in Eyasu's village in the Southern Region, Sidamo zone in Ethiopia. He is from the district of Gorche.

This image, the life of these beautiful people, is about to change. You will have a front row seat and can actually play a role if you choose.

I have so much to share with how it all came to be, how the Lord knit our hearts with those at A Glimmer of Hope and ultimately how He brought our family here, right back to the village that gave us our precious son. It is a beautiful story of love, redemption, and HOPE. We are so very humbled to be given the opportunity to play a role, but ultimately, like everything, this is HIS story. It just so happens to be one that touches us to the core, and is shaking things up around Team Alexander in a great big way.

I will start unrolling the details in a series of posts as there is so much background, so many details and I so NEED to do it all justice. So, thank you for being patient, for wanting to know, for asking for more-- I do pray you will come along this journey with us back to Ethiopia.




Monday, August 16, 2010

Nashville


I left on Tuesday and drove the kids to Nashville.......well only to Little Rock the first day where all 7 of us cozied up in one hotel room! We rolled into Nashville on Wednesday and hit the ground running. My dearest friend, Corinne is getting married on October 2nd. I have only waited 13 years for this event, and we will be in Ethiopia for the actual wedding! AN OCEAN AWAY!! I was so sad when I found out and she has been gracious as ever about my absence. We helped host a shower for her on Saturday night, and I drove the kids early so we would have plenty of time to hang out with Corinne and these two crazy ladies below.

I seriously couldn't be more proud of their incredible work they are doing with

We had such a blast getting to spend time with the Oatsvall and Mayernick crews! Corinne introduced all of us and it was just a natural connection. The Lord knit our hearts together 3 years ago as we sat on Suzanne's bed and prayed for Gwen as she was leaving the next morning to get Maggie. He knew that her circumstances would end up greatly different than she thought, that we would need much support on our adoption journey with Abe and that a precious little Josie Love would be waiting for the Mayernick family to claim as their own! We have chosen to walk the hard together with JOY! They make life fun.
Our combined 19 kiddos- such a gift to see them interact with one another!
Three Musketeers
Oh how I longed to get my hands on Josie Love
We celebrated Izzy's 9th birthday at the hotel pool :)
Not sure we thought these would be our rides years ago
Eyasu with some of his new buddies- Corinne's nephews

Swimming at Gwen's
My precious cargo
Gwen getting a little Abey lovin'

All dressed up at shower

Such a great time that went by entirely too fast! Dinner with Corinne and her soon to be hubby, the HIV World Vision experience and just watching these 3 families do a little life together made this a very special time. I hated not seeing all my Nashville friends, next trip for sure!

****really am going to start writing and unfolding the unbelievable story that I have been hinting at this week. I think it will be worth the wait!!****


Saturday, August 7, 2010

life

I love this picture for many reasons. It is such a good depiction of our lives.....except I'm not sure where Issy is.... :) Notice the part of the curtains hanging down? Abe's full-face grin as he delights to watch the big boys throw Eyasu in the air? Random soccer trophy on the table and so on.......

I feel incredibly blessed that this is the scene that I get to witness on a daily basis. I am so full of all that He has revealed to us recently. The details for the October trip are really coming together, and for those that know my organizational skills, can attest to His goodness there! I am also so excited to tell you more about our meeting with the Glimmer of Hope staff last Friday and the way the Lord has worked out the project we are committing to partner with them- let's just say it is clearly a "God is in the details" story and has a beautiful redemptive element regarding the adoption of Eyasu.



Sunday, August 1, 2010

water baby

Abe loves the water! He also loves his big brother Hill playing with him. We just got home from a great weekend. Time in Austin and San Antonio. More on that, but first sweet baby Abe.



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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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