Our Ethiopian Journey!

Posted by Ashley Hill
"Adoption was not even in our radar five years ago much less having a third child."

However being a member of Shades has given us a global focus and opened our eyes to the needs around the world. In 2010 Pastor Danny Wood walked us through The Hole in the Gospel shortly after I returned from my first international mission trip to India. For about a year God began placing the call of adoption on our hearts and was so faithful to confirm this big step for our family. Just as we prepared to start the paperwork, the adoption process was changing in Ethiopia that caused the wait time to adopt to go from less than a year to 2 1/2 years for us and now is closer to 5 years. It certainly didn't seem like the time to start the process but we knew that it was a matter of obedience.

Almost 2 years later we were growing weary of the wait and feeling like our life was on hold. Looking back it was 2 years of knowing that this process was out of our control and in God's hands. It was a time of refining and dependence on God like we had never experienced. We made a last minute decision in March 2013 to take our boys on a mission trip to San Francisco to work with Epic Church, a Shades partner. And just when we least expected, in the middle of serving alongside their missionaries, we receive "the call" that we had been matched with the most beautiful 2 1/2 month baby girl whose Ethiopian name is Hanna. Again, God was so faithful to show Himself real in this journey. One of my favorite parts of her story is her name, the name I had been praying for. Hanna, meaning "gracious gift from God" was such a confirmation that she belonged our family with brothers named Hudson and Haisten. Six months, two trips to Ethiopia, many tears and prayers later, she was finally home. She has been such a joy for our family and has taught our family so much about the faithfulness of God. Adoption is not everyone's calling but if it is yours, I am convinced He will carry you through it and do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine.

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