By Julie Kouri

Matt and I have been in the Ethiopian adoption process for 2 ½ years and finally in October we were able to bring our toddler daughter home. She joins her two brothers who were adopted from Russia several years before.

Between the two of us, Matt and I have had the great privilege of taking several trips to Ethiopia. We value the culture and love the people of Ethiopia so much more because of our time spent there. As we transition as a family, it has been wonderful to be able to see the cultural traits our Ethiopian daughter brought with her even as a toddler.

When we brought our daughter home, it was just after Ethiopia’s rainy season. During rainy season, power outages are very common. The lights and electricity go in and out throughout the day or the lights may go out for days as the rain comes down. Having her most recent memories of Ethiopia during this rainy season, our daughter was surely used to the lights going on and off in her baby home.

Knowing this, I found it interesting how she responded one day when I accidentally turned the light switch off when she was taking a bath.

I had our middle son in the bath tub and she was in a small tub in the shower. They were both splashing away when I hit the switch accidentally and the lights popped off. My son yelled out of instinctual fear of the dark and complained of the inconvenience of not seeing his bath bubbles. Our Ethiopian daughter, who had been in our home for 2 weeks, did not flinch. She kept right on splashing.

I switched the lights back on. My son did not respond to this at all. He started playing with his bath boats. My daughter, though, looked up, squealed with delight, and clapped her hands in celebration of the lights coming back on.

Because I have had the pleasure of knowing many Ethiopians as my friends, I see this as a likely common practice – they celebrate the good things in life, but they do not complain about the bad. My daughter demonstrated this in not noticing the lights had gone off, but cheering when they came back on.

How often do we do this? How often do we complain to God in the bad times, but during the good times ignore Him?

This story relates to the $100,000 fundraising goal we recently set for the end of 2012. It would be easy to focus on the $20,00 that we did not reach. BUT we do have $80,000 MORE than when we started in September to donate toward the future and hope of orphans and widows in Ethiopia, and we are thankful for the generous supporters who gave towards the goal. We are still on track to meet our broader goals. And even better, we can celebrate the continuous and amazing spiritual, mental and physical progress being made by the partnership, both HERE and THERE.

So let’s imitate the example of Ethiopians for a while and praise God, not for what we are missing, but for what we have. He is good!

But What Can I Do?

Hope in Ethiopia is attedning the Together for Adoption Conference this week in Arizona.  This is a post from Noel Piper mentioning HiE and our good friend Dawn Patterson.

But What Can I Do? By Noel Piper

There are millions of orphans in the world–163 million, I heard yesterday at the Together for Adoption Conference.

What can I do? That is exactly the right question to ask–twice.

First time: What can I do–what can just one person do? That’s the normal feeling we have when we learn about such a widespread, huge pain that seems to need millions of people working to make a dent. [Read more…]