Winner!!!

You guys, we have a winner!!

Congratulations to….

rainy

I’m absolutely thrilled that Rainy is the winner.  Do you remember the post I did about everyone having a story?  (If you don’t….well….I suggest you follow my blog so you get to read all my posts….)  I truly believe that every single one of us has an important, interesting or inspiring story to tell, so let me tell you a little bit about Rainy’s.

Rainy is a young mom of 2 little ones:  a boy and a girl.  She and her husband are gold.  They are 2 of the most delightful people I have had the pleasure of knowing.  I have known Rainy for only a short time (a couple years at most) but her genuine spirit and soft and sweet presence was enough for me to say, “Yep, I wanna be her friend.”  Last summer, Rainy told me that she and Chase (her husband) were starting the adoption process.  They had decided to adopt a child from Ethiopia and just knew that this was what was meant for them in their life.  A “calling” as Rainy describes it (but she’s not too ‘out there’ or spiritual with her calling, although she knows it was a deliberate nudge from God).  She gave some heart wrenching statistics:

“There are an estimated 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia.  One in six children will die before their fifth birthday.  720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone.   Half of the children in Ethiopia will never attend school.  Ethiopia’s doctor to child ratio is 1 to 24,000.”

Ouch.  Those are staggering numbers.  They are hard to look at at hard to understand — we are so, so lucky here, aren’t we?

They began the adoption process.  Paperwork and raising money.  They knew their little boy was waiting for them somewhere in Ethiopia and they worked their tails off to get the process rolling.  But life isn’t always simple and paths aren’t always clear and obstacle-free.  Rainy and Chase know this.  Through their journey, they learned many things, a few of which made their decision and goal and plan of international adoption a harder and harder decision to follow through with.  Certain government organizations were no longer in favor of international adoption.  Children who were given up for adoption were not always ‘abandoned’ as their paperwork might state.  Through stories and conversations with other adoptive families and people working with them, they were told some heart-wrenching things:

” [when asked his opinion on Ethiopian adoption, a  searcher, or someone who makes a living working with families going through adoption]… responded, “My heart is heavy for most birth parents, as their children were adopted without them knowing about it. I know there is a need, but I don’t think these agencies address where the need is.” This was a punch in the gut for us, and a blaring red flag to keep our eyes wide open.”

After a lot more research, prayer, and conversation, Rainy and Chase made the decision to not continue their Ethiopian adoption journey and instead go another route.  Yes, a new baby is definitely in their future, but not from Ethiopia.  And while some of you may think this is no biggie because they’ll be adopting anyway, it is.  Think for a moment.  For months and months, you have a picture in your head of your new baby waiting for you.  Your son is somewhere in Ethiopia, waiting for you (and you, waiting for him).  And in the end, your plans get twisted and turned upside down. I know this decision was devastating to them, but I also know that their incredible hearts and determination won’t keep them away from Ethiopia.  On her blog, she says: “We are not ready to close our eyes to the extreme poverty and social injustices in Ethiopia, and will not be turning away from it. I will just have to fix my heart on mothering a little one in a new way.”  Uhm….she’s pretty great.

So to Rainy and Chase and her 2 little ones at home and that 1 who is out there and waiting, I cannot tell you how happy I am that you’ve won my giveaway.  I know it’s just a small thing in your life, but I hope that this little pair of moccasins sitting and waiting for your new baby will bring you excitement and happiness!!

Please check out Rainy’s blog:

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