Saturday, July 31, 2010

When we first learned about Hiwot #1

This may be a long blog post. Yes, these pictures of our Hiwot. She is so tiny! I thought I would share they story of how we first learned about Hiwot and decided to adopt her. Most of you know bits and pieces, but here is the whole story:

Last September, our agency director Susan was in Ethiopia to check on Arise children being adopted and observe a new orphanage she was thinking about working with. Here is a couple exertps from blog postings while she was in Ethiopia:

Blog 1:
Yesterday was maybe one of the hardest and most rewarding days of my life. We arrived at an orphanage to find one child close to death and 3 others very fragile. I have never experienced such desperate prayer in my life as I held a child of 8 months, weighing 7 lbs, her mouth hung open, stiff body and sagging skin. My wonderful team joined me in a car, each of us holding children that should have been in the intensive care unit of some wonderful hospital, as we struggled to hang onto them bouncing violently through giant pot holes choking fumes of black smoke. 4 babies needing hope and help.

The hospital doctor said that the one I held was 2 hours from death and critical...fever 103, sepsis, pink eye, upper gi infection, respiratory infection, roda virus and a severe case of dehydration...please pray for her. Her name is Hiwot...meaning LIFE.

Blog 2
A big thank you to all of you who have been praying for our children. We were so grateful to have been able to move 9 of the children to HOPE's orphanage where they will be well cared for by trained nannies and a full time staff nurse. Several of them still need to gain some weight and recover from their first months with little nourishment. Hiwot, the 7 month old, was admitted to the Korean hospital where she remains with a private nanny that we secured. I am still fighting images of her tiny frame and wide eyes that could see nothing but told everything. The doctor said that she was severely dehydrated and had very low levels of calcium and potassium. They have not been able to assess her further but I am very concerned about her lack of muscle control and eye sight. She was like a broken doll who captured my heart. It seems all I can do is take her to my Father and beg Him to fix her as only He can.

Back in the US and reading this, my heart ached for Hiwot. It was hard to imaging that a little baby could be suffering and dying from things that are very preventable and treatable. I knew she was something special and she stayed on my heart. It never entered my mind that we could adopt her too That would be crazy since we were also in the process to adopt Chera and Kenenisa.
In November, we got word that there were some problems with Chera and Kenenisa's case. The orphanage did not have a good idea as to when it would be resolved and the director of the orphanage was actually giving families new referrals. It was no question that we would give up on Chera and Kenenisa. They are our boys and we will wait as long as we have too. Susan that if we would like to take another referral, she had a baby named Rabera that was ready to be referred to a family. Ribera was in the group of babies mentioned above that had been taken to the hospital. When they found him, he was very malnourished. We prayed about this, but did not feel God leading us in that direction. Ribera is home now, healthy and happy, with a family in Wisconsin. While talking all of this over with Susan, I asked if anyone had adopted Hiwot. She said that she hadn't planned on giving Hiwot as a referral until she had another update on her health. She was hoping that when another family went over there to pick up their children, they could give the most accurate portrayal of her health. Susan had been given updates that she was medically stable, but was very developmentally delayed. Susan gave us a video of Hiwot that takes place right before she is rushed to the hospital. This was one of the hardest things I have ever had to watch. She was lifeless. No response at all. Just a flat eye gaze. We both cried some very ugly cries watching it.
I am going to have to continue the rest of this post in part 2. Hey, you know the ending!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Leaving Soon!

It's official! We will be leaving for Ethiopia on August 7th! We really didn't expect to leave this early. It is pretty rare that you get an embassy date 4 weeks after you pass court. It usually works out to be 6. We are so excited that we will be able to meet Zoey Hiwot earlier than expected. If you would like to come to the airport for our homecoming celebration, we are scheduled to come back on Sunday August 15th at 6:00.

This is one of the most recent pictures we have of Zoey Hiwot. It was taken while Pat from our agency was there. Also in the picture is a nanny and Endris, an Arise in country employee. Endris has been very helpful and worked very hard on Zoey Hiwot's case. We are very excited to get to meet him when we go.

Thanks so much for all the prayers and support!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Video of Zoey Hiwot

Here is some super cute footage of Zoey Hiwot! This was taken in January when our friends Brittney and James went to visit her. She is such a happy girl! If you want to hear, you may want to mute our music on the blog.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Zoey Hiwot Brown!
Yes, since you are seeing her picture, this means she has passed court and considered legally adopted by the Ethiopian courts. Isn't that the most beautiful smile that you've ever seen? Our next step is to be assigned a date to receive a visa appointment from the US Embassy. Right now it looks like we will travel late August/early September.
We are so excited and thankful that Hiwot will be coming home soon. We can't wait until the day that we are able to tell everyone that Chera and Kenenisa will be coming home too! Thank you so much for the continued prayers and encouragement!