by Randy and Sary-Jo Averill
Randy and Sary-Jo recently returned from Ethiopia with their two boys, Fraol and Behayelu. This is an awesome family and here is a bit of their adoption story…
We believed (and continue to believe) that God called us specifically to adopt two older children from Ethiopia and that He led us to the Adoption Ministry of YWAM in a way that could only be God’s way. As we partnered with YWAM, we had little knowledge of the process, despite the fact that we are, shall we say, more mature than most adoptive couples. Following initial meetings and discussions with Joy Casey at YWAM, we downloaded all the materials and went away to fill out the application paperwork. Yes, we actually spent much of our 30th wedding anniversary trip to Las Vegas filling out the adoption application. Seven years with an empty nest was enough!
We began our homestudy and spent many hours reading the biographies of – and praying for – the waiting children. Also, we were aware that the staff of YWAM would be praying for us and we continue to feel God’s comfort. We then seriously explored scenarios for our children – what might they be experiencing as they leave everything they know, travel thousands of miles, and settle in with these strange people as parents? Trying to empathize with them before we even knew their names really helped us and, we believe, will continue to help us as we parent.
During the homestudy we asked how the referral process would work. Specifically, would YWAM suggest children based on their knowledge of us or would we “choose” from the waiting children? In all candor, we really were not prepared for the responsibility of choosing. When we learned that the selection was up to us, we prayed earnestly for God’s direction. How could we choose two of the waiting children and leave the rest behind? It was probably the most emotionally draining part of the entire process, but God gave us unity in our selection. Contrary to what we all expected, God led us to two brothers. Boys! We just didn’t see that coming, but it’s consistent with how God has acted throughout this process – His wisdom rather than ours. We would not want it any other way.
Joy Casey, Adoption Ministry Director and
Tezera Kebede, Orphanage Director with Fraol and Behayelu
The boys with Abebe Getachew,
YWAM’s in-country representative
With Tsebay at the Ethio Comfort Guest House