My friends Aaron and Stephanie are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. Y’all. LOOK.
Her name is Ryah. I talked to Stephanie last night, and she told me that Ryah spends her days sitting alone in her crib because there aren’t enough nannies at her orphanage to take care of all of the kids. Ryah is one of five MILLION orphans in Ethiopia. My husband didn’t believe that when I told him, and went to investigate it for himself. His eyes darkened when he looked up from his cell phone with dismay—“Babe, it’s true.” Five million orphans in a country with little access to clean water or healthcare, where 1 in 10 children die before their first birthday, and 1 in 6 before their fifth.
As Christians, we don’t get to stand idly by and call these people our “brothers and sisters” when we would NEVER allow our biological brothers and sisters to wither away in an orphanage wondering why nobody wanted them. Never.
Isaiah 49:13-16 “For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”
Though this little Ethiopian girl sitting alone in her crib doesn’t know it yet, God sees her and He is rescuing her. Ryah doesn’t know yet that she has a Mommy and a Daddy who are coming for her. A Mommy and Daddy that pray for her a thousand times a day, and even more as they lay awake at night longing to bring her home. Ryah has no idea that Goodnight Moon and pancakes with blueberry smiles are on their way. She can’t yet understand that two people that call her daughter want nothing more than to proudly tape her princess coloring pages to the refrigerator and play tea party and hold her just a little longer than necessary while they rock her to sleep. She doesn’t know yet that she is desperately loved–but oh, she will! She will because God SEES. He SEES that precious little Ethiopian girl sitting alone in her crib, and she is not a statistic to Him. The same God that lovingly created her and saves every tear that she has ever cried has plans for a hope and a future for Ryah. He has not forgotten her.
Ryah’s story reminds me that God has not forgotten you and me, either. We might not see the story He is writing for us, but it is good. And while we might have to sit in the orphanage for a time, He sees. He never leaves, and everything that He authors is good. Even when it feels like we have been forgotten.
Let’s talk about miracles. Do you know what I love about Jesus’ miracles? All of them were restorative. Jesus walked around with us, and his heart just shattered over the brokenness that surrounded him. He saw the world He’d created in pieces-not at all like He’d intended it to be. And so where others ignored the throbbing pain, this GOOD God stepped right into what was broken. He stopped beside a blind man begging, and gave him sight. He told the lame man to get up and WALK. He fed hungry people and raised Mary and Martha’s brother back to life. Why? Because God is in the business of restoring what has been broken. He never created us to be blind or hungry or to get sick or orphaned-and he was giving aching humanity just a taste of the redemption He has in store for us. Jesus was restoring pieces of the brokenness to what He intended all along-something that will be complete when He returns.
Restoring broken things? I can get behind that. And I’ll bet you can too.
Here, you and I have the chance to be a part of Ryah’s miracle. We have a chance to be a part of the redemption and restoration that God is working throughout the world—we have a chance to give a little girl that thinks that she has been forgotten in an Ethiopian orphanage a FAMILY. A Mommy and Daddy to take a thousand proud pictures of ballet recitals and a first day of kindergarten. We can give her drippy ice cream cones on long summer days, father daughter dates, stuffed animal tea parties and Saturday morning cartoons. We can be a part of bringing this little girl from death to life. This is the very heart of adoption and the very heart of God Himself. And goodness, do I want it to be my heart.
Here is what I’m asking. Aaron and Stephanie have been in the process of adopting for three long years-years that have been expensive, and have financially exhausted them. They are close to bringing their little girl home, but they need our help. Would you consider giving any amount of money to bring Ryah home? Whether it’s giving up a five dollar latte or a fifty dollar date night out or a hundred dollars or a thousand-anything at all would be an enormous encouragement to this sweet family, and a precious reminder to Ryah one day that God saw her. God saw her and used us to be a part of rescuing her. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing that is more thrilling to my heart.
Regardless of whether or not you give, would you please consider sharing this blog? The more people that hear about Ryah and give, the faster we can bring her home.
Thank you for considering being a part of Ryah’s miracle. To give, please click here.