Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Adoption: Loud & Proud!

During the past 15 months as an adoptive father, I've been in countless social situations (grocery stores, ball games, birthday parties etc.) with my little girl (Gigi) and have noticed a strange pattern in our culture. People (this includes anyone from friends & family to the average Joe on the street) have a bizarre tendency to talk about adoption as if it's some sort of solemn secret - in fact the volume of their voice will noticeably decrease when they say the words 'adopted', 'adoption' etc. It's like you can be talking to the loudest guy in the room and the conversation will go a little something like this:

Loud Guy: "Wow that little girl's beautiful, where's she from?"
Me: "Thanks. She's from Ethiopia."
Loud Guy: "Ethiopia, oh wow awesome! Is she adopted? "
Me: "Excuse me I couldn't hear you, what did you say? No she's not adopted, she's ADOPTED!"

Don't get me wrong I'm not judging Loud Guy - we've all made a mistake of this type in one-way shape or form with other people who are 'different' than us. My point is that we (as adoptive parents, relatives and/or friends) must break this crazy cycle and interrupt the old cultural pattern. If not, what kind of message are we sending to our adopted children? What kind of message are we sending to others and ourselves? Do you think our children notice these subtleties? You better believe they do!

Simply put, adoption is one of the most beautiful expressions of love that God ever created. It deserves to be celebrated, honored, published and shouted! So say it loud, say it proud!

- Pete


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Orphan Care: Get Rich Quick!

I was recently talking to a friend of mine at work and told him that I had a great idea for him to consider. The conversation was quite revealing to me and it went a little something like this:

Me: Man I've got an idea that I want to talk to you about.
Ben: Is it a get rich quick idea Pete? Because that's what I need right now.
Me: Well no it's not, but is that really what you're looking for? Would you really like to know how to get rich quick Ben?
Ben: Absolutely!
Me: Do you really want to know Ben, or are you just asking?
Ben: Yes, yes, I'm serious Pete, I really want to know.
Me: If I could guarantee you wealth beyond your wildest dreams, with a minimal upfront investment and minimal time would you promise me that you'd consider my strategy?
Ben: Who wouldn't? What's the catch???

Well the answer is there is no catch - it's absolutely true. What I told Ben that day is that all he needed to start with was $2000 and ten days of his time and I promised him a feeling of wealth like he'd only dreamed about. Not a huge investment of time and capital for instant wealth - do you think? Would you invest $2000 and ten days of time for abundance like you've never known before?

I invited Ben on a 10-day adventure to Ethiopia (Africa) with Children’s HopeChest ( to visit and care for hundreds of orphans located in six orphanages throughout the country. An opportunity to invest in the lives of children desperate for the love and attention of a father/mother figure. An experience guaranteed to change his life forever and rock his current model of the world.

Dejected and annoyed, he declined my offer and passed it off as a joke, a farce of an idea.

But I was not joking!

For those of you who’ve been to Africa, experienced the circumstances and spent time with orphaned children, you realize that I was absolutely not joking and that my promise was legitimate and sincere. You understand the simple fact that “you can never shake the dust of Africa off your feet”. You realize how little we need and yet how much we have. You comprehend that our day-to-day complaints (like I’m so busy and stressed because I’m having a sit down dinner party the same night as my kid’s Pump It Up birthday party and I’m still not sure if I should order the Sponge Bob or Scooby Doo party favor theme). PLEASE!

For those of you who’ve never had the experience of traveling to Africa and caring for orphaned children - please consider joining us on a future adventure to care for Ethiopia’s beautiful orphans. I can not promise that the trip will be easy and without heart wrenching experiences, but I can promise you it will change your life forever – for the better. You will obtain a perspective that blesses you and those you have the privilege to touch. And I promise it will provide more eternal value to you and your family than any get rich quick scheme ever could.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ethiopian Adoption & Orphan Blog Christening

So this is the maiden blog post that I've been putting off for months now (that’s right months!). Why? Well I might as well be honest with you and me right from the get go – fear:

Fear? That’s right I said it – fear! I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth. Isn’t that the reason we put anything off for long????? Oh yeah I could have come up with a list of believable excuses that could have passed as ‘truth’: “Well I never did anything like this and I just didn’t know where and how to begin blogging” (decent excuse don’t you think?) How about, I’ve been so busy that I didn’t have time to get started (oldie but a goodie). And finally, I don’t even really know what to say or do on a blog (whatever - there’s about 10 million of them on the web to learn from!).

So yeah, fear of stinking up the blog world with a lousy blog was holding me back. Fear that what I had to say might offend you was holding me back without me realizing it. In fact I had no idea of this until I finally sat down to post this entry. Ahhhhh, I feel better now that I cleared the air with that. I’m already liking the therapeutic effect of this blogging thing – now let’s get down to business……

Now that I’ve come clean with that, here’s the bottom line on this whole blog thing for me:

I’m a proud father of three (soon to be four) amazing children – two are biological (girl & boy), one is an adopted girl from Ethiopia and is home with us, and the final is a little boy we’re expecting from Ethiopia some time late next year (2010). Simply put, God used the miracle (yes miracle) of adoption to absolutely transform my life and set me on a course that I could never of imagined just a couple of years ago. As a matter of fact if you told me three years ago that I’d be the father of two African born children - I would have told you that you were out of your mind (though not quite as polite as that). Further if you told me that not a day would go by that I didn’t think about these poor orphaned children halfway around the world, in dire conditions with nobody to protect them, nobody to comfort them and nobody to guide them in this world – I’d a believed you were certifiable (i.e. nuts, crazy etc.).

But I am the father of one (soon to be two) former African orphans, and I do think about those beautiful kids left behind every single day– and it’s been one of the greatest gifts of my life. I want this blog to tell a father’s story of a heart changed by the grace of God and the resulting journey to care for some of the orphaned children who are left behind.

So in closing there are two key journeys I’m going to chronicle on this blog:

Our journey to bring home my son Mathew from Ethiopia
Our journey to care for those left behind – beginning with a mission trip led by Children’s HopeChest along with a crew of amazing friends (soon to be family) to visit and care for “the least of these” in Ethiopia.

It’s my privilege to have you join me on this journey and my prayer is that your heart will be even further opened up to the spirit of adoption and the needs of the orphan.

- Pete


Children's HopeChest

About Me

A simple man on a mission to promote the beauty of adoption and care for the needs of our orphans

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