by Joy Casey 

My time at our Joyful Place orphanage was too brief, but I was comforted knowing I will be back in 10 days or so.  The care center seemed rather empty with only 13 little ones.

The previous week three were adopted – two to one family — and the day I was there I had the joy of placing 11-month-old Bedaso (renamed Muse – Amharic for Moses) into the arms of his new mom, dad and sister.  A low census in an orphanage is a good thing!  The memorable words of one pastor ring true:  If we (the Christian church) are doing as God commands, this orphanage should be empty.  Unfortunately, we probably never will be empty because sad scenarios that bring children into our care are all too frequent. But we rejoice and thank God when little ones leave us in the arms of their very own family!

Ashenafi and Worqitu (Wor-GEE-too) live in Shashemene (the town where our orphanage is located).  Ashenafi is a banker and Mom stays home.  They came to get their son with their only daughter (age 17 in the 11th grade), a couple of aunts, a niece, and granny.  This little guy will have many mothers caring for him!  After visiting the orphanage several times, Muse’s big sister chose him for their family because she thought he looked like her … and he does!  Adoption day is always a happy occasion that I never tire of being a part of.