Sitting on the stream's bank
Top ten things you learn from 2 yr old Ethiopian after 25 hours on a plane
10. Airplane food is actually really good
9. Seat belts are from the devil
8. Bumpy is fun
7. Fits come in all languages
6. Butter can be consumed as a separate food
5. Flushing the toilet is the bomb
4. Chapstick can be used as leg moisturizer
3. Sleeping is easy
2. Hand sanitizer should applied first to the neck and face
1. When he says "caca", something smelly is about to happen very quickly.
One of my favorite Proverbs is the Lord directs the hearts of kings like a stream of water. It is an odd analogy to say that hearts of kings are directed like streams of water. Why this analogy and not a bit in a horses mouth or a rudder on a boat? Water willing seeks the lowest point. The stream bed draws the water that willingly comes. We were eyewitnesses to this Proverb throughout our 10 days in Ethiopia.
As you probably heard us explain, the process in Ethiopia is a two trip process. In order to adopt, the adopting parents must appear before an Ethiopian court, which sets in motion a series of steps necessary to request a US visa. These steps are taking 6-8 weeks in Ethiopia recently. God had a different stream than 6-8 weeks for Little E. The kings' hearts willingly sped up the process.
As we navigated our way through the Ethiopian processes of getting an Ethiopian court order, a letter from the Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs, a new birth certificate with their new name, a Ethiopian passport, medical exams and US visas, we were not asked, not once, for money to speed things up and we never offered. We just laid out the prayer requests, asked you to join us in our prayer requests and God made a new stream bed. Water flowed willingly. The first four Ethiopian processes were completed in less than 24 hours. The comment from a senior Embassy official was "I don't what you did but I've never seen an adoption move this quickly through the Ethiopian processes." The comment from our Ethiopian attorney who has been processing adoptions for over 10 years "did not think it was possible." The comment from our translator who works almost exclusively with adoptive families "I've never seen anything like this."
In the technical sense of the word, this was not a miracle. It was not a supernatural event like making water into wine or making a blind man see. He chose to work through natural means to bring about His glory. He cut a new stream bed and we watched from the banks the water go streaming by with ease while people remarked how the streams never came this way in the past.
As I'm writing this, we are 3 hours from Houston having just entered US airspace. It has been a long way from Ethiopia with a 2 year old who has no where to run and play. We weren't prepared to find our daughter so sick and weak and we didn't prepare to bring them home this time. However, we are thankful and grateful for His purposes. In Matthew 8, Jesus says that the man was born blind so that God might be glorified. We pray that He has been glorified in the sickness of Little E and the cutting of a new stream bed. This long on an airplane also reminds us of the desperate spiritual condition of our children and the need for a new stream to be cut in their hearts where Living Water will flow.
After we arrived in Houston, we took Little E directly to Texas Children's Hospital. After an initial exam, our doctor determined that she had to be admitted. She had a whole battery of tests run tonight. Hopefully, we have a good idea about the diagnosis and treatment plan in the morning.
We pray that this week has changed us by more than adding 2 more kids to Team Brown. We pray that the Christ dependence of the week in Addis carries into life in Houston. We pray that we will pray for faith and hope in Christ for us and our kids as much as we prayed for their homecoming. We pray we will be diligent in teaching them the truth of God. We pray that our household will be full of grace and patience as we adjust and our new arrivals learn English. We pray that God would give us wisdom as we consider how to discipline them in a Christ-exalting way. We pray that God would use this experience to help us be better advocates for orphans in the world. Pray that Little E recovers quickly and her doctors have wisdom.
Many thanks to all who have prayed for this day and all who met us at the airport today. We feel so loved that you would come join us as brought the kids home to Houston.