“Give me my son!”

Adoptive mother fights for Ethiopian child.

February 2019
Santa Rosa, CA

We waited two years to be matched with our son from Ethiopia. After that tortuously long wait, we were able to meet him and then had to fly home for another month of waiting for the US government to finish their paperwork so that we could bring him home forever. At that exact moment, however, the US government began what was essentially the shutdown of the Ethiopian adoption program. We were told that our son would have to wait in the orphanage for another six months to a year until his paperwork could be processed along with the paperwork of all of the other orphans who’d already cleared the Ethiopian court system. I fell to my knees in despair and begged God for help. He told me, clear as day, that there was a spiritual war over these orphans and that getting them out of the orphanage would be a struggle. In that moment, I knew I should go and fight for my son.

So, I did. Breaking every adoption agency rule, every US adoption rule and probably some Ethiopian adoption rules, I informed our Congressman, Senator, Adoption Agency Director and everyone else who would listen that I would be flying to Ethiopia in a month to be with my son for his first birthday and had every intention of bringing him home with me. They forbid it. I apologized for causing a bit of an international uproar but told them that I had orders from God and could not be dissuaded. They said I wouldn’t be allowed into the orphanage. I laughed at that, knowing that I had God on my side and thought that I’d like to see them try and stop me.

The morning my dad and I would leave for Ethiopia, I woke up that morning, terrified of the fight that lay before me and even more terrified that I would fail and would have to leave my son in the orphanage. Again. I prayed for God’s strength and courage. Then it occurred to me that I should check my email one last time since the internet is unreliable in Ethiopia.

I had an email from the US government that’s title said “your adoption decision.” I couldn’t breathe. I had been told hundreds of times that I wouldn’t hear from them for close to a year. I opened the email and read the words that forever changed our family. He was ours, and we were approved to bring him home with us in a few short days.

I fell to my knees and cried out in gratitude to the Lord. The timing was miraculous. My son came home a full year before the other orphans stuck in the shutdown. We were together for his first birthday and home, forever, all four of us, in time for Christmas. What began as a hopeless situation became one of hope as I gained the confidence to fight for my miracle. For the deliverance of my son.

Although we’d had his name picked out for years, I grew to understand its wisdom and truth through this trial and through this miracle. His name is Yohannes, which means “God is gracious.” Hallelujah.

This Easter season, we’re exploring pages of scripture and stories of real-life transformation. Follow along with us as we celebrate hope.

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