We hope everyone has a very
Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year!
This little gal and her four siblings live in Guatemala.  Last Friday, when most of us were Christmas shopping, they were found all alone and eating dirt to fill their bellies.  The oldest child of the five, a nine year old girl, is their only mother figure.
On Friday they were taken to Eagle's Nest Orphanage where the Block family live.  We started following the Block family's blog a couple of years ago, because they have the cutest Ethiopian little girl we'd ever seen and we continued following them when they moved out of their nice house, sold everything they had and moved to Guatemala (with seven of their nine children) to work at Eagle's Nest Orphanage. 

The orphanage has three bedrooms and 32 children.  There is no room for these additional five.  But no other orphanage in the area has room for them either.  You can read about that here: No Room

So in order for these five children to stay at Eagle's Nest they need to raise some money quickly.  They are challenging you to donate $10 and share their story with 10 peopleIf you have a blog or Facebook, you can easily share with more than 10 people. 

I know you're thinking, ten dollars is kind of a lot this week.  I mean, we have so many other things to buy this week for Christmas.  That was my first thought and I almost clicked away and left the computer.  But then in my head popped all of the things I spent $10 on yesterday.  Taco Bell.  Dog food.  Christmas desserts. 

If Christmas is really about Jesus in my life, do I want to save my $10 (What if I decide to order a pizza today?  Or need a few more stocking stuffers?) or should I give from my abundance to His children in need?  Five children, with no mommy or daddy, who were just last Friday filling their hungry, empty stomachs with dirt. 

The Block's have found a generous donor who is willing to match your donation.  So your $10 turns into $20.  So please consider giving and please take a moment to share their story on your own blog or Facebook. 

You can link to their story here: Are You Up for the Challenge?

You can donate here: DONATE TO EAGLE'S NEST

About a month ago our good friends Tim and Angi Cooper from Bloomfield finally received their referral for Aerie.  She is 13 months old and absolutely beautiful!  They will be leaving to meet her and to appear in Ethiopian court on January 6th with a January 11th court date.  We could not be more excited for all three of them!  We sure do wish we were traveling with them, but more importantly we want Aerie to come home quickly!

Since the Coopers received their referral we have been waiting at the top of the list for our adoption agency.  Which means that our phone could ring with our referral any day.  Waiting and knowing that the phone could ring, is slightly easier than waiting and knowing that the phone won't ring. But we still don't know if it will be today or weeks or months from now.  We've already seen families sit at the top of the waiting list for months.

In the meantime, Christmas has kept us busy.  We asked our families to not buy Christmas presents for "Sissy," because it would be sad for us and confusing for River.  But we did buy one very special gift for our little girl.  An Ethiopian doll named Rahel. 
Ayalenesh Hussen Yimer
Ayalenesh (pronounced A-lyn-nesh) is 28 years old and lives in Dessie, Ethiopia.  She was orphaned herself when she was very young.  She now lives alone with her three year old daughter.  She feeds her daughter before herself and says that she is "hungry, thirsty and miserable."  She says that she "desperately wants to change her life."  She wants to begin a business by sorting lentils, the good from the bad, and grow that into a shiro (soup) business. 

Logan and I will be supporting her through the next three years.  During that time she will meet with counselors and social workers and will start her own business.  If all goes well, at the end of the three years she will be able to support herself, mentor and give micro-loans to other women in her community.

We'll be in contact with her regularly.  Eyob (the in-country BEMM employee) is actually meeting with her today, delivering her first months sponsorship money from us, a letter and pictures of us.  When we travel to Ethiopia for our adoption, Eyob can take us out to Dessie for an overnight trip to meet Ayalenesh.

Here are Eyob and Steffany (who we met last Sunday) with another mother (not Ayalenesh) who recently received a life-saving surgery funded by Because Every Mother Matters.
If you are interested in sponsoring a mother, please contact BEMM through their website (bemm.org) or friend Steffany Boster on Facebook.  You do not have to be an adoptive parent, nor do you have to travel to Ethiopia.  They are in need of many more sponsors. 
From left: Logan, River, Me, Adam Boster, Steffany Boster, Angi, Alex, and Tim
If you read this blog even somewhat regularly, then you're familiar with my obsession with Because EVERY Mother Matters. 

Last Thursday I got a phone call from an out of area phone number that I didn't recognizeI answered and it was Steffany Boster (the founder of BEMM)She said, "Hey, we're going to be driving through Indiana in a few hours.  Where do you live!?" 

They were coming through Indiana on I-70 and we live about an hour from one of the exits.  So we planned to meet Sunday afternoon on their way back through. 

It was so good to meet them and to talk face-to-face.  Logan is working on a new brochure for them and they were able to talk about that.  Steffany was able to tell us so much about Ethiopia, the mother we are sponsoring, and what BEMM is doing over there.  It was awesome.   We had a blast.

And we owe a big thank you to River, who let us talk for two and half hours, which is longer than any three-year-old should ever be asked to sit still.  And aside from that one little piece of lettuce he threw at Adam, he was a perfect gentleman. 
Thanks to my friend Tonia, who always knows what is cute and crafty, we found out about this super cute ebook.  It has 25 days of scripture and a corresponding ornament craft.  It is adorable!  We made our first ornament tonight.  River loved it! 

Here is the link: www.truthinthetinsel.com
River with his candle ornament - the Day One craft