The first night together was quiet. Davis was a restless sleeper, which I'm sure was due to nerves. Zoe was rather restless as well, but it is so cute to watch her wake up. She bends and stretches, moans and hums like an infant. Justin sleeps like a rock.
In the morning, we enjoy cereal and bananas together with the other couple of families here at the guest house. One family is adopting a little 3 year girl who is lively and active. The other family is adopting a 10 month old little girl. We have mothers, fathers, some grandmothers, and kids all together; it was great!
Pam and I take a few hours to go shopping for the kids. Before we leave we have the nanny try to explain to the kids where we're going and we try to assure them of our return. That didn't go over well with Zoe, because she tears up and starts clinging to Mommy. When we get back she's the first one to run to Mommy for a hug. Davis is more of a copy cat than a hugger, but it's all good because he gets hugs whether he understands why or not. Justin comes in for a hug out of politeness; he'll be the one that will take the most work on bonding - or so it seems. Appearances can be deceiving, we found that out through experience.
While we we out we got to know our interpreter, Aki and our driver, Yosef. These are wonderful Christian men who've been working for the guest house for a couple of years. Yosef gave us his testimony. Yosef grew up on the streets and one day was taken in by a Christian group and was sponsored by a Christian family here in the US. He came to know the Lord as a young teen and has been serving Him ever since. In his own words he said that he was "the fruit of my sponsor's labor, and I want to serve him like he served me for so many years." He and his sponsor still communicate and his sponsor even bought him a car.
Yosef's wife currently works with a Christian ministry that helps street people come off the streets. They clothe and feed them, and try to get any young ones back to their families, if possible. They teach them the word of the Lord. If they are unable to go back to their families they try to teach them life skills and independence skills. They even help them start self employment, like selling items in the city. Yosef's dream is to expand on this some where in Addis Ababa. He needs a bit of Bible teaching and leadership training, which is something he's working at now. We are praying that the Lord will guide his path in this. Yosef's heart is so big and tenderhearted for his people, it made us cry to hear his story.
Aki's story was very similar. His beginnings were in the streets, but he was a gang leader that went about robbing and stealing for a living. One day the Lord shown a light into his life that brought him to group of Christians from SIM (Serving in Missions) that lead him to the Lord and he has been serving him ever since. He had a sponsor who helped him get through school and he now works for the guest house. He spends every spare cent (birr) helping a few families with small children in his neighborhood.
It was people like Aki and Yosef that actually helped reassure us that those commercials that you see on TV are real. The children actually do receive this help. They actually live full and blessed lives and are able to carry on the Lords work. So if you have the opportunity to sponsor a child through Compassion International or some agency like that...Do it!! Like that movie "Pay it forward", your blessings will be paid out exponentially.