while in ethiopia, mr. anderson got to experience some big things.
one of them was being able to meet elsa's birth father (elsa's birth mama has passed away).
when we found out our court date, we also found out that her father had the same court date (to relinquish his parental rights). from that point, i started praying that somehow, someway we could get a picture of him. in my heart, i just knew that having a picture of her birth father, might mean a lot to her one day.
so, we asked our agency if we could get this picture.
we didn't care how it happened...if somebody else had to take it for us, then that's fine, we just didn't want to pass up our only chance at getting it.
well, it just so happens that not only did he have the same court date, but his court time was 30 minutes prior to mr. andersons.
because there were a few birth families all there at the same time, one of the agency workers invited them to the care center (orphanage). i've been told that this hasn't happened before.
so, when mr. anderson was finished with court and heading back to the center (for the second day), he walked in to find elsa sitting in her birth fathers' lap.
elsa looked up at mr. anderson and reached for him, wanting him to pick her up.
so, naturally he did.
he held her for a while, and then gave her back to her birth father.
from there, mr. anderson was able to communicate a little bit with him.
mr. anderson told him thank you and shook his hand, and all he could reply with was "yes" in amharic.
he was very stoic looking...and the sadness could be sensed in his eyes.
elsa was able to show him the framed picture of our family.
eventually, pictures were taken...not just of him, but of elsa with him...mr. anderson, elsa and him.
we got lots of pictures---a total answer to prayer.
eventually, he decided it was best for him to wait outside.
so, he said goodbye for the last time, to sweet elsa...handed her to mr. anderson and walked out the door.
unfortunately, we'll never fully know or understand the reasons for him giving elsabeth up for adoption.
most families out there, truly cannot feed another mouth.
while we would never wish any child to be an orphan, we are grateful that he decided to try and give her a different life.
one where she isn't hungry...one where she has a bed to sleep in...one where she has clean, running water.
i pray that God would mend his hurting heart, and through it all, a little piece of Jesus would become more evident to him.
we could never thank him enough, for this precious little life he is giving us.
it's an amazing sacrifice.