Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Salem, Peace, from Ethiopia and Sharon Turner: An Ethiopia Adoption Update

Salem from Ethiopia,

I have longed to send this update but the computer has not been working in my favor over the course of my time here in Ethiopia, as power is lost frequently. Nevertheless, I wanted to persevere to send this update to let you know what the Lord is doing in Ethiopia.

I have sat in court for the finalization of two of our families’ adoptions, and have met two sets of birth parents/relatives. It's been amazing being with the adopting families. I'm glad that I can be here with them. It's been joyful and very humbling. (It takes me back to when I was adopting my own children.) We've laughed and cried together and have just praised God for what He has done and will continue to do

We currently have sixteen staff working at Children's Hope/Ethiopia. All of them have felt led by the Lord to enter into this work with Children's Hope, House of Hope. They are some of the most gracious, hardworking, dedicated people that I've ever met. We currently have four nannies (in title), however, it's amazing to see that everyone takes part in taking care of the children with Jesus' joy…from the guards to the cleaners. It's amazing to see. So now when I'm asked how many nannies we have I will say sixteen (with an explanation, of course!).

We have ten children now at the House of Hope. One arrived just a couple of days ago and two arrived today (Monday). Four of those children will be traveling home to their American families over the next three weeks. The first will arrive in St. Louis on August 11. All of the children are absolutely adorable and loved very much by our staff.

Today, I visited one of the orphanages from which we have been receiving referrals. I was so impressed with this orphanage. The director of the orphanage was so welcoming and inviting. Nothing was off limits in visiting her or the orphanage.

The orphanage was bright and colorful and clean and has been established for only three years. Children's Hope is the only US agency that this orphanage places children with. The director spoke very highly our agency and the integrity of our Ethiopia representative (Tsegay). She is a Christian and I could see and hear the passion in her face and voice as she talked about her work and the children. She places children 1-day-old to 7-years-old. She has several babies who were abandoned in the streets at birth, (still with the afterbirth attached) and the police often call her when they find newborns abandoned on the streets. She cares for twenty children at a time. I will be visiting other orphanages in the coming days.

What I've witnessed and experienced here in Ethiopia will change me forever. I know that I will leave this country having received far more than I can ever give. Nevertheless, I am humbled to be doing this work for the Lord.

Families, stay busy with completing your home studies and dossiers, we're going to have several children to place while the courts are closed. However, once the courts reopen, more than likely it's going to take a little bit for the courts to catch up. As mentioned earlier, there are adoption cases now that will be waiting to be heard when the courts reopen; as well many agencies will be receiving dossiers and offering referrals, as we will while the courts are closed. So it may be a little slow starting back up, but God is moving.

Our development aid representative from our St. Louis office will be travel to Ethiopia this week to join me and our Ethiopia representative to work to set up our child sponsorship program. There is such a tremendous need here in Ethiopia and we are overjoyed to be moving into the area of child sponsorship in Ethiopia. This is a few months down the road but we are getting the preliminaries in place.

Until next time, Caio (as they say in Ethiopia),

Sharon Turner
Ethiopia Program Director

Helpful links:
Visit the Ethiopia Program Page
Download a Free Adoption Guide


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