“Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.” – Matthew 18:5.

Zewditu and her husband had raised five children but felt God was asking them to continue parenting – only this time they were to invest their lives in the orphans of the town where they lived.  But before their dream of adopting could be completed, Zewditu’s husband died suddenly.  She and her grown children were, of course, devastated at his untimely death.  But compassion for children without parents persisted in Zewditu’s heart and she made the bold decision to adopt to honor God’s call and in honor of her husband’s dream.  She and her husband owned a small woodworking business that continues to support Zewditu well and she could easily accommodate … maybe a sweet baby girl?  A friend at church had attended an adoption conference hosted by NLE’s Mana Gammachuu (Joyful Place) orphanage and encouraged Zewditu to contact the orphanage director.

Hangatu was a robust 7-month-old girl when Zewditu fell in love with her knowing she was the one she wanted to take home.

Little Hangatu had a less than optimal beginning, but God’s hand was surely on her.  A homeowner was awakened in the middle of the night hearing unrelenting crying somewhere outside.  Getting out of bed, Shuko braved the pouring rain to investigate and found a naked, newly birthed baby girl alongside her fence.  Shuko brought the shivering newborn inside and called the police who took her to the nearest hospital.

Over the next eleven days she was stabilized, and her primary nurse gave her the beautiful name of Hangatu which means ‘noteworthy’ or ‘worthwhile’ – what a faith-filled name!  She was discharged to our orphanage where she has developed normally with no health issues.

Today Hangatu is enveloped by a loving, extended family with many aunties, uncles, cousins, grandparents and adult siblings.  Zewditu and her husband had 4 boys and only one daughter, so Hangatu’s big sister is thrilled to help her mother care for her baby sister.  Hangatu is settling in nicely enjoying all the attention bestowed on her by a family of her own.