After many conversations with God about adoption, I still had no clue of where to adopt from. There are so many options. After doing research, I learned that there are nearly 163 million orphans world wide! Can you believe that? So many children who cry out for a mom and dad. Proverbs 19:22 says, "What a man desires is unfailing love." We are hungry for love that we can count on.
Why wouldn't we reach out to a child in the United States? There are plenty of orphans in the United States that need a loving family. We wouldn't have to travel. The cost could be less. But I kept thinking, we have a system here that takes care of those who need help. We have a foster care system. As an American, I am so blessed to live in a place that cares for the those who cannot care for themselves. I serve my local community and have seen the needs first hand. I have experienced American poverty and know the joy of God meeting my needs. I am so grateful that God worked thru my neighbors, family and friends when I needed that support.
I read more. I read about the many orphans in China, India and Africa. I read about mission trips to support orphanages and learned that some of the trips purpose was to simply hold and care for orphans. This just blows my mind! Then I saw this video and my world was changed.
I could not wrap my mind around the fact that human beings live at the trash dump to survive. Their friends, family and neighbors cannot help because they are in the same bleak situation. I believe that this is where God wants us to go because of the degree of need in Ethiopia. I know that God has a good plan for each of our lives. Part of His plan for our life is to adopt a little boy from Ethiopia. We have requested a boy between the ages of 5 and 11.
So why the Blog name, "Running to Africa"? I love running. Please understand that I have not always enjoyed running. In fact, in high school I did whatever I could do to get out of running. I may have even made up some story that I had sports induced asthma to get out of running. It was not until I was in my late twenties that I realized I needed some physical outlet. Some crazy friends introduced me to running. It still took some getting used to. Then my world came crashing down. I faced a huge family transition with my husband's return after a long military deployment. I received a promotion at work which turned out to be high stress. I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed in this new role. Then, I was involved with a big "falling out" with some very close friends. My heart was broken. I lost my will to carry on. I wanted to end my life.
I thank God that He surrounded me with loving friends and family. I am grateful that I knew the signs of depression and what to do to get help. That does not mean that the road traveled was easy. It was dirty and difficult. But God brought me through it. He brought healing and restoration. The best treasure He gave me in bondage was running. I signed up for a half marathon with a dear friend. Running brought healing and joy. It is a big stress reliever and I have the added bonus of making so many good friends who share the passion of running. So, how can I use running to glorify God?
What if I use running to raise money, awareness and support for Africa? What a great idea!? I thought that it might be a neat idea to run as many miles as it is from Utah to Ethiopia. The closest measurement I can find is 8,190 miles. Wow! Okay, that is a lot of miles. I am not putting anything close to 8,000 miles in a year, or even two years. But, I know some other people who love running. Maybe I could even include some biking miles, right? I am currently dreaming about how to put it all together. I can't wait to see how it works out.
On the other hand, there is the spiritual aspect. For years I have dug my feet in and disobeyed God's direction for adoption. Now I trust God. Now I am running to Africa and adoption.
While I run I dream about our son to be. What he is like. Who is friends are. I pray for him. I pray for God to keep him safe. I pray that he will know that he is loved. I pray that God will prepare me and Brad to be parents to two children. I pray that God will prepare Tyler to have a brother. I pray that God will prepare us all to be a family.