By Joy Casey
Lives are Saved
Shashemene, Ethiopia is a bustling town of 150,000 in the heart of Oromia. Tucked down a side street is a peaceful oasis for babies who have had a rough start to life. All of them have been abandoned as infants.
Mana Gammachuu, or Joyful Place, is the only facility in Shashemene where the police or government officials can bring babies whose parent has left them behind. The majority of those brought to our door are significantly underweight with many needing to be hospitalized for a time.
Upon return to the orphanage, these tiny ones are tenderly cared for by nanny-mommies. The babies are frail, and it takes some time for the good formula and TLC to plump up their cheeks and coax a smile.
It doesn’t happen often, but the sad reality is sometimes a baby is just too compromised to sustain life. When a little one succumbs to death, it is tragic. It is a testament to the tender nurture of the nannies and nurse at the orphanage that most of these “throw-away” babies catch up and thrive.
Ethiopians Are Adopting
Adoption workshops in Shashemene have been well received. We are delighted to report that most of the children at Joyful Place are adopted by Christian Ethiopians. We just sponsored a workshop resulting in five couples stepping forward to adopt. We are at capacity with twenty babies and toddlers – 14 babies under one-year-old! And yet we continually get calls to take in more children.
In order to free up bed space, the adoptive parents will take custody of the child they are adopting and care for him or her until the adoption is finalized. We know when one child leaves, another takes its place.
Adoption – A Spiritual Battle
I have worked in the adoption field for three decades and can testify to the fact that Satan does not like adoption. Just as God rescued us from spiritual death by adopting us into His family, we are rescuing babies from physical death and giving them a family through adoption. Children who have parents to protect and guide them are no longer an easy target for the enemy of our souls.
The prince of this world has insidiously poisoned everything God says is good – including the importance of family, which includes adoption. Mana Gammachuu has a mighty prayer team comprised of folks from all over the United States.
We pray that the Ethiopian government officials overseeing children would lay down the barriers that hinder permanency for children. We pray for a little 2-month-old boy who is battling for his life right now. We pray for more Ethiopians to step forward to adopt and give thanks for those who have. We pray for a child’s paperwork to move forward so he or she can be placed with a forever family. It is on our knees that this battle is fought and won.