We went to Ethiopia in May of 2011 with Kristy’s sister and brother-in-law on their second trip in order to help bring home their two new sons, Levi and Judah. We wanted to go because it would be a new experience for both of us, and we both like to travel. What we didn’t know is just exactly how it would change us and our family forever.
During the first few days there in Addis Ababa (although we saw it spelled Ababe, Abebe, and other ways; it’s the capital city of Ethiopia) we got the chance to visit an orphanage. Upon entering the orphanage we were swarmed by older children and it became very obvious that these children saw us as potential parents, clinging to us and telling us “I love you”. This is where we met two young girls around the ages of 7-9, or 9-13 (there are no birth records there in ET) who quickly captured our hearts. They are two sisters who have been in the orphanage for almost three years now. They have seen other children come and go, but no one has chosen them to be a part of their forever family. We had even heard of a conversation that Bete, the older girl, had with the director of the orphanage, where Bete stated that her age was the reason she and her sister were not being chosen, so could they please just find a family for her younger sister so she wouldn’t have to grow up in the orphanage. We were moved by this story of selfless love.
We came home from our trip, changed by the people we had met and challenged to do something. We weren’t sure what it was, but we knew that to do nothing was not an option.