October 19, 2011

Navy Wife

I LOVE my Sailor, that's no secret!  I love him almost as much as I love being a navy wife.  I grew up as a Navy Brat, and know no other way of life! We live in a town where we are one of about 10 active duty Navy families. It has made me realize that I have enjoyed civilian life for over three years now.  Our time is coming to an end!  We will be transfering next summer and I need to start thinking more of life on base!

You know you're a Navy Wife if…
  • You understand the phrase "your wife doesn't come with your sea bag." 
  • Your kids think that the random Sailor in uniform at the commissary is thier Daddy!
  • You still haven't taken the stickers off of your furniture from your last move two years ago!
  • You can unpack a house and have everything in place 48 hours after your belongings are delivered
  • You need a translator to talk to your civilian friends, because they have no idea what DFAS, LES, NEX, BAH, PSD, PCS, and duty mean.
  • You mark time in duty stations, not years.
  • You might have an MRE in your garage!
  • You've learned to sleep through the sounds of planes, helicopters, foghorns and jets.
  • Someone with a machine gun asks to see your ID before you enter the "gated community."
  • You can leave your kids with the wife next door, after just meeting her yesterday.
  • Your husbands clothes are still folded the way he learned in Boot Camp!
  • Everyone in your family was born in a different state or country.
  • Your drivers licence, licence plates and current state of residence are all different.
  • You know that inspection means you won't be seeing much of your hubby.
  • Your dining table is filled with the CMC, CO and SOY for Thanksgiving!
  • You know who the above are!
  • Sometimes you can't stand the life, but can't imagine it any other way

October 11, 2011

Faith and Works

A few years ago I wrote down John 2:14-17 on a post it note.  Just yesterday I found this little piece of paper and looked up the scripture to see why I had wrote these verses down.  Now I remember.
14My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don't do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you? 15If you know someone who doesn't have any clothes or food, 16you shouldn't just say, "I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat." What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? 17Faith that doesn't lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead!
Many, many times I have been guilty of claiming to have faith and to be a Christian, but lacked the deeds to follow it!  I have seen hungry people asking for food, and said "God Bless," or even worse, judged them by wondering if they truly did have a need. I have claimed to have faith and then worried myself to death, only proving that I had everything but faith.  I have seen the needs of friends and said, "I'll pray for you," only to forget.  
I have also seen the need of the faces of orphans and loved them until they could take no more.  I have fed the hungry.  I have prayed over the sick and oppressed.  I have seen a need, and had ENORMOUS faith that God would provide a way…and He did!

I am on a journey, and I am not perfect!  But I pray that God uses this scripture to strengthen me and you to become doers.  To become servers.  To become givers.  To become goers and senders!  


October 6, 2011

Join Me in Uganda 7/21/12

I'm leading a mission trip back to Uganda, to love on the many many orphans I met this past summer.  I would LOVE for you to join me!  Head on over to Visiting Orphans and scroll down to the July 21-August 1, 2012 trip, and get signed up!

Click HERE to learn more about who we will be serving and loving on and to see the video I made of last summers trip!

October 4, 2011


On my way home from Uganda this past summer, I decided to stay a few days in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Addis Ababa was a lay over city on our flight back to the states and it is also very near to the birth place of our daughter.  There was no way that I could just sit there in the airport without getting out and exploring…and search for my daughter's birthmother.  

The last time I had been in Ethiopia, Brandon and I were busy with our Embassy appointment and getting to know our six month old baby.  We had created a long list of questions a letter and a photo album for the woman who brought our baby into this world.  We drove the almost hour drive to a village outside of Addis Ababa.  We didn't speak a word to each other because we were both overwhelmed at the opportunity to get to meet Marley's Amaye (Amharic for mother).  All I wanted was a picture of us together so that Marley would have a picture of both of her mothers.  When we entered the little orphanage where she was taken at 12 days old, there seemed to be confusion.  As if they had no idea that we were coming.  Our agencies staff argued with the orphanage staff for a few minutes and then looked at us and said, "Sorry, no here."  

What?!  What do you mean she's not here!  "Sorry,  no here" is all she could say in her broken English.  We toured and video taped every room in the orphanage, but all I wanted to do was get back to the guesthouse and cry.  How would I get answered questions for my daughter?  Would the woman that gave her life know how much I loved her?  And I don't have the picture that I've dreamed of for years!  
After being back in the states for a few months, a friend of mine recommended an investigator.  We hired a man in Ethiopia to locate her and translate a letter we wrote and answers some questions.   It was amazing seeing her face for the first time…what a resemblance!  She answered all the questions we had and received all of the letter and pictures.  But I still didn't have a picture of us together!  

When I finished serving with my mission team and we got off the the plane in Addis Ababa, I went through immigration, picked up my luggage and found a man holding a sign with my name on it.  Melke, a driver many American friends of mine had used, waited with a huge grin.  He knew many of my adoptive family friends and that set me at ease. It was night time and he drove me to Melkam Guesthouse, where Brandon and I stayed when we picked up Marley.  I gave him the phone number the investigator had given me for Marley's birthmother and he dialed it.  My heart was pounding out of my chest!  Disconnected!  Oh no!  He dropped me off and said we would try again in the morning.  All night I feared that I had made this trip for no reason.  Would I ever get to take a picture with her?  

The next morning, he drove up and told me, "Elisa, I have good news!  She wants to meet you!"  Ahhhhhh!  Really?!  Was this really going to happen?  Well yes, it did!  I got to meet the woman who carried my child in her womb.  The woman who loved her so much that she realized that she could not provide for her and allowed her to be adopted.  The woman that gave me so much! 

Melke talked to her on the phone and she told us to meet her by a bank.  We sat there for about 30 minutes. It felt like hours.  We were waiting for a woman to walk up and find an Ethiopian man and Ferengi (white person) together.  I had seen a picture of her, but would I really recognize her?  Melke got out of the car and went up to ask a woman if she was the one.  She nodded yes and I jumped out of the car and into her arms!  What an amazing experience!  We held each other and cried.  There was this unspoken bond we shared, like we had been long lost sisters!   She marveled over Marley's pictures, kissing each one, all while hugging my neck with her free arm.  And guess what?  I finally got that picture!

October 2, 2011

An Awesome way to Fundraise!

Visiting Orphans is excited to announce our Go. Be. Love t-shirts for sale now  www.visitingorphans.org/store !

ALSO, our Store Merchandise can now be used for fundraising for your adoption or mission trip!!!  We want to make every way possible for you to easily raise your money for your mission trip to visit orphans or for completing an adoption to help bring an orphan home to their forever family.

It’s easy! All your donors have to do is:

1.        Visit our online store (www.visitingorphans.org/store - please make this a live link so that if you click on Store it takes you there), featuring shirts, belts, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and passport covers.
2.       Select an item for purchase.
3.       Designate the name of who they’d like a portion of their donation to benefit. 

If you are an adoptive parent or a missionary with another agency and would like to take advantage of this opportunity, or if you have any additional questions, please just let us know at store@visitingorphans.org. We can fill you in on the details!