Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BIG NEWS x 3!!!

We have some very exciting news in the Hamblin house! We have been trying to decided when would be the right time to announce it, but I can't keep my mouth shut when it comes to our own personal news! So here we go....

First of all, we received an over-nighted envelope yesterday from FedEx that read "EXTREMELY URGENT". It couldn't have been more appropriate for what I found inside. It was a child packet from Compassion for a 7 year old girl named Marta from Ethiopia. Urgent because, I'm just guessing that it probably took about 12 hours to get to us. Within that time, approximately 120 children died of hunger-related causes. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about that, but I find hope when I look at our newest Compassion child's picture. I can find happiness in that she will receive food and she wont be one of those children included in that statistic. I feel blessed to be able to hold her picture, to pray for her, and to be able to read her letters. I will be able to listen to her dreams of what she wants to become one day and to be able to share our love for Jesus with each other.

All of our Compassion kids are special to us, but Marta is special in a couple of different ways already. Chris and I are, Lord willing, going to go visit Marta in Ethiopia in about 2 1/2 years. When I looked at her picture yesterday, I imagined wrapping my arms around her and telling her face-to-face what she has done for me and how much she means to us. I imagined studying her face-every smile and every frown. I imagined looking into her eyes as I wonder about all her joys and all her fears. We are not scared about going to Ethiopia. We are very much excited about going! The Lord will be with us and one other little person will be too!

Back in June, when I first wanted to really get into helping children through Compassion, my eyes were opened to what life is like outside my bubble. I don't know if it was more out of ignorance or my lack of wanting to see. Yeah, sometimes it's easier to not know. It's easy to concern myself with me and my family. It's easy to look the other way and believe that someone else will take care of them. But then I realized, it's MY responsibility. There is no doubt that we are called to try our best to live like Jesus. I don't believe that Jesus ever looked away when he saw a need. I know that I can never walk like Jesus did, but what I realized is that it's never been about me. Never. It's not how much I do or don't do. I can give money to the poor, I can feed the homeless, I can help children at the church, I can do, do, do. BUT if I don't LOVE the poor, the homeless, the children-do I love Jesus?

Matthew 25:42-45 says, For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

Can you imagine Jesus saying these things? Isn't it harder to swallow that when we choose to look the other way, we are in fact, not looking at Jesus and his needs? What about this scripture,

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us (1 Jn. 4:8-12, NIV).

Side note: So when I talk about the things we are doing in our family it's never because I want to tell you, "Look what we are doing!" I feel like I've been struck at my knees, fallen to the ground, and my eyes have been opened that I have been wrong all along. Kind of in a way, like when God knocked Saul off his horse in Acts and blinded him. Later, his sight was regained and He chose to live his life for God-telling others of the good news for Him and not for himself. Will I do it perfectly? NO, but that is why Jesus died on the cross. For my personal imperfections.

Okay, so rewinding back our June thoughts. In this same time that I am finding out what God is telling me in these scriptures, Chris and I were trying to figure out our 5 year plan. What is in store in the next 5 years for us? Chris will be finishing up his Masters program in about 2 1/2 years. Aleeyah will be 5 by that time. Will we live in our apartment still? What will God be using us for?

As we began trying to sift through all these thoughts, no doubt our plans for more children came up. We were so blessed to have a great pregnancy with no sickness, a baby that was great and who also started sleeping through the night at a month old. We discussed that neither one of us felt a longing to bring another child into the world though and I do remember the pain of my c-section all too well still. Does that mean we didn't want another? No, not necessarily. I never imagined being a parent of one child. I have always imagine 2, maybe 3. Because of my new found insight to children lacking the basic needs and what Jesus says about helping them, we lightly discussed the possibility of adoption. We decided that we would think about it and do some much needed praying.

So fast forwarding to today...As I'm holding the packet to our newest Compassion child and smiling because I know that we will be able to physically see her in just a couple of years, my heart is joyous for yet another reason. While we are there, we will be picking up another addition to our family-a child who although born in Ethiopia in circumstances unknown will be brought to the United States and given the last name Hamblin. We have not been excited about bringing another child into the world, but are SO excited about giving a child without a home-our home and our hearts.

In order for us to adopt a 2-4 year old, Aleeyah will need to be another year older and then we will start the process. It will take about another year for the adoption to be finalized. It does seem so far away and we are keeping our ears and hearts open for any changes that might need to be made for the Lord's will to be done.

So that is our BIG NEWS! Our new sponsored child, Marta, a trip to Ethiopia, and bringing one of God's children home with us!

Please be praying with us during this time.

A picture of Marta will be coming soon. A big THANK YOU goes to Juli for helping me get this child packet!

**Today, I want to lift a friend and her family up in prayer. Just this week the cousin of my friend lost their 9 year old boy unexpectedly due to a brain aneurysm. I can't imagine what they are going through, but I do know that they need God's arms to wrap around them and their family.


Jill Foley said...

Congratulations!!! I have been reading many blogs of families adopting children from Ethiopia lately! How cool...I will keep you and your family (including your Compassion kids) in my prayers!

Ben, Kelly and Sophie said...

What a blessing, you guys! How wonderful for your family - this will be such a time of learning and growing for you and your children, and God will absolutely bless your lives over this!

Abbie H. said...

Thank you for the encouragement! We are so excited, but know that it will be quite some time before we will have our child here with us. BUT if it goes anything like Aleeyah's first 3 years then it should fly by pretty quickly!

Thanks again!

Da MiMi said...

I feel like shouting to the world: "Hey Everyone, with the Lord's help, I'm gonna be a grandma again - in just a few short years!" His power is unlimited. And now, we will be forged in the fires of patience. This strengthening will serve us well!
Love from da mimi
p.s. - i suppose it's too early to start buying clothes...

Abbie H. said...

"And now, we will be forged in the fires of patience. This strengthening will serve us well!"

I loved that Benita. Our patience will definitely be tested, but you are right in that God will be our strength.

LOL-yes too early to buy clothes!

BTW-your son decided he just might want a boy! He sprung this on me after I have been dreaming of 2 giggling girls playing in their pink rooms. I think we will be setting no preference and see what God gives us!

Cooter said...

wow, that is too cool Abbie. Congrats to the both of you. We are proud of you guys.

Katie said...

WOW!! You all are soooo amazing! I think it is the most incredible thing that you are going to help a child in need by bringing him/her home with you. For many reasons I have lost my faith in God/religion, but your compassion truly shows me that there are wonderful people out there. I wish we all were not so far away from each other! I love you, and hopefully it won't be too long until we get to see each other again!

Abbie H. said...

Bill & Amy-Thank you guys. We appreciate it so very much.

Katie-We miss you very much too and we always love hearing stories from Benita on how you are doing in South Carolina. I've always thought so highly of you for how well you do in pushing yourself and doing so well in the things you want to do. I'd love to chat sometime. I emailed Benita to get your address or email address!

Thank you for the encouraging words. We know that we will be so blessed by the child that we bring home.

Tracy W. said...

Abbie, I feel so blessed to have stumbled upon your blog. I am also an Advocate for Compassion and am just really getting started with my work that I feel God has for me to do. I am currently registered for the Feb 09 Ethiopia trip to meet one of our sponsored children Amanuel and to gain first hand experience to aid in my presentations. (my husband says I will probably come home with the desire to adopt also). We have 3 children of our own and I connected with so much you have to say on your blog. Thank you so much for the blessing you have given me tonight and the blessing you are for these wonderful children. Keep up the awesome work.

Abbie H. said...

Tracy-so glad you stopped by! How exciting about getting to go to Ethiopia! Will you pack me in your bags? lol Maybe you will be visiting the same project that one of our sponsored children is at! Definitely let me know if you decide to adopt! But remember that even though your heart will be broken to not bring every one of them home with you, you are helping them by being an advocate with Compassion.

Stop by anytime! I would always love to chat!

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