1.18.2011

an amazing sacrifice.

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.

111 comments:

  1. Wow girl, I am impressed. You and your hubby are truly selfless people and it's nice to "meet" you! I found your blog through Joanne's blog and can't wait to read more.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a powerful post! Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow Emily. That gives me goosebumps! What an awesome God we serve that he would give Elsa this gift of photos and give Elsa to your family. Amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a beautiful thing you guys are doing, and how special that she will have a picture to remember her birth father by. You have a way with words, by the way. I got tears in my eyes reading this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. amazing. treasure. for. sure. Beautiful picture that she will always treasure:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's an amazing feeling when our prayers are answered, isn't it? Congratulations to you and your family. I'm sure you've thought of this, but wouldn't it be special to also give those photos (and photos of your whole family) to Elsa's father for him to stay connected in the future? Having lived in a developing country myself, I quickly learned how prized photos are to families that live in poverty. They most likely have never even seen themselves in a photograph, let alone own any....and to many of them, a photograph of family is like gold.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow. What a powerful, amazing story. I am speechless. That photographs is beautiful. What a answer to prayer and such a blessing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i have the chills, and i am currently crying in my waffles.

    adoption is such a perfect example of Christ's love for us. so happy you are bringing us along on this journey with you.

    and SO happy elsa, and all of you, will have these treasured pictures forever.

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. wow, that's pretty amazing. what a gift from the Lord!

    ReplyDelete
  10. love it. So glad you got that precious moment. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. what a painful and beautiful experience. i know your elsa will treasure the pictures and the way you honor her birth father well throughout the years.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a precious treasure Elsa will have.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow. That is overwhelming - from her birth father's choice, to God's total sovereignty and attention to the desires of your hearts in having the birth father there and available for pictures. What a sweet testimony to God's grace in your lives. Elsa is just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you so much for sharing that amazing story. I was tearing up just reading it but I can't imagine being able to experience it.

    What a blessing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You guys are truly an amazing and beautiful family. I love seeing other believers listening to God and doing whatever he tells them to do! You are such a real person and I know you inspire a lot of people. I'm praying for you, your family, and your beautiful new family member (:

    ReplyDelete
  16. What an amazing example of God's love for us. That picture is amazing! And much like Danielle above I am now crying in my oatmeal :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. This was so, so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Crying in my coffee here. Wow. How heartbreaking for that father but what a precious gift these pictures will be for Elsa someday. And for your husband to be able to look him in the eyes and thank him, it's beyond words. Thanks for sharing this precious, private, intense moment with us.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Beyond words....nose is now drippy and eyes are now teary. AMAZING, absolutely amazing, what a wonderful experience.

    ReplyDelete
  20. SO crying my eyes out right now. my heart is so full knowing what an amazing gift this has been to you and your family, and i feel blessed to be a bystander watching and supporting you from the sidelines.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh my! This post made me cry! I love the precious picture! It will mean so much to Elsa one day to have the pictures of both of her daddys together. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    ReplyDelete
  22. How absolutely moving. What a sacrifice Elsa's father is making for her. She will be well loved and taken care of in your home and become part of your family. I pray the same things for him- that he may see Jesus in this situation. Bless his heart.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow, amazing picture! You can see her birth father is holding on tight to her arm! But he looks like he has a sense of relief!

    ReplyDelete
  24. i'm fighting back the tears! elsa is so lucky to have met you guys. i can't imagine how painful it must be for her birth father to lose his wife first and then his daughter, but as you said it's a big sacrifice that he's doing and it's all for elsa's good.

    ReplyDelete
  25. God is so good. She will cherish that picture forever. I bet you just cant wait to get her home!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have been reading your posts, and haven't left a comment before, but this post really touched my heart. Elsa is feeling the love, and someday she will know how much her "fathers" love her. Simply beautiful. xo

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a beautiful post. I wonder what the father was thinking about. How heartbreaking. I hope he finds peace in knowing that she is with your family. This post was so touching and brought tears to my eyes:)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Emily....I LOVE THIS!! Something we will never have as our precious little one was found on the roadside. Though I am thankful that we are all she will know as a family I will always wonder about where she came from and the circumstances that led them to leave her. God is so faithful and I know He orchestrated every detail of her life. I'm thankful as well that these moments of Elsa with her father and her daddy were captured! SO sweet! What a gift.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh Emily, I am brought to tears. I am adopted and now being a mommy of 3 kiddos, lately I've been craving to know more of biological parents and the story that led up to them making the courageous decision they did... Elsa is so beautifully blessed. Following your journey is a highlight of each day.

    Thank you for having more room in your heart for a little girl who needs it. <3

    ReplyDelete
  30. wow! what a priceless picture!

    ReplyDelete
  31. oh the tears! Yes, what a truly amazing sacrifice.

    ReplyDelete
  32. oh my gosh what an incredible post..so many emotions...so wonderful..so sad...

    beautiful.

    What a beautiful gift elsa has been given by being a member of your family.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm in tears right now.

    That was an absolutely beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
  34. This brought tears of joy and sadness to my eyes. Loved the picture I am sure she will treasure that forever :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. alright, that made me cry. i love that picture. print in ASAP. never lose it. it's an amazing keepsake for your peanut.

    ReplyDelete
  36. tears to my eyes is RIGHT! Oh boy...the sadness so many must go through is beyond my words. I always think of my daughters birth mother on the day they found her 7 1/2 yrs ago...I just can't imagine leaving your child and never knowing where they went. What a blessing for everyone these pictures will be!
    xoxo
    cm

    ReplyDelete
  37. Beautiful photo, beautiful post, and beautiful experience. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  38. This precious story has me in tears. The love to give up your child for a plan bigger than yourself. What a beautiful photo of Elsa and two great men. Thank you for continuing to share pieces of Elsa's amazing story!

    ReplyDelete
  39. That's just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh geez. I'm crying.
    You got something that most parents adopting overseas do not get. What a gift!

    I know that Elsa will treasure this photograph.

    Through our adoption journey, God has been opening my heart to the plight of the birth parent. I cannot imagine that sacrifice.

    So excited for you guys!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I can't help but be brought to tears over every adoption post you do. (as my little girl is playing with my tears:) I am pregnant with our second and through these posts i have spent a lot of time in prayer and my husband and I are both feeling such a calling on our lives to adopt our 3rd or 4th. Thank you for all your information and for being so willing to share so much.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Wow. What an amazing answer to prayer. She WILL cherish these pictures....s

    ReplyDelete
  43. It's things like this that remind adoptive families that as much as we can bless children, it is WE who are so blessed by this.

    My brother's birth grandmother drove him to our house, came inside, and handed him to my mom. What a difficult thing that must have been, and yet, great love made it happen.

    I'm unbelievably happy for your whole family! Yay for Elsa coming home!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Your posts make me tear up 95% of the time. (That's a compliment.)

    ReplyDelete
  45. As an adoptive parent myself, I have MANY MANY tears reading this post of yours. So beautiful and truth filled. While we rejoice that our children can come to our forever home and make a better life... there is pain and loss at the root of all adoptions. But from it comes a world of grace, sacrifice and love. God has a way of finding beauty, even in the pain. Seeing Elsa's Dad is so important and will be such a gift to her as she gets older to truly "see" what sacrifice means and what her bio Dad was willing to do, to give HER life. Her alone. Unselfishly. I weep for her Dad, but rejoice with you and your family as you will soon bring home your beautiful and amazing daughter! Precious child of God.

    Much love, Cami

    ReplyDelete
  46. I can't read your posts in the morning after I put on mascara. So beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  47. This brought tears to my eyes. You guys are doing such an amazing thing!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Absolutely precious. She will treasure those pics always!

    ReplyDelete
  49. My heart goes out to him, how very very sad. That must be the hardest thing he has ever had to do....I am so glad you got to get those photos for Elsa one day though and so happy he is giving her a better life!
    lots of love,
    tara

    ReplyDelete
  50. this is an AMAZING story! i have a heart to adopt one day and this is a very beautiful inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  51. wow, emily..i am a follower of your blog, but rarely comment. you have me in tears =) your family & your story is amazing & inspirational... thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  52. WOW! So amazing! Really made me realize how many times we focus on the family receiving the child, but not on those giving the child up, whatever their reason my be.

    ReplyDelete
  53. This is such an amazing post. Tears falling the whole time I read it, what a beautiful story and memory your family will have and be able to share w/ Elsa.

    ReplyDelete
  54. in December 2008 my mom gave me a picture of my birth mom, who lives in Traverse City, Michigan. She is GORGEOUS, and she looked young and fun... and I ... looked...look.... like her. It was life changing. Up until 2008 I had never seen a picture of her before. I started writing letters to her and she is coming to visit me in February this year. She showed up at the hospital when Jack was born, her first grandchild. Now that my mom has passed away, I have a chance to know this mom. I am blessed to have 2. and Emily, that PICTURE is what did it all. You are SO SMART for thinking that, knowing that... and even being OPEN to that. She will cherish it one day Emily, she really will.

    Jenny Anne Scholten

    ReplyDelete
  55. wow, what a blessing to have these photos! God is truly watching over Elsa! He is already providing for her future in so many ways... through providing her a loving family, and through providing this meeting and photo with her birth father. now your husband will be able to tell her one day, "yes, I have met your birth father, and HE LOVES YOU."

    ReplyDelete
  56. it's heartbreaking and so beautiful at the same time. it is an enormous sacrifice for him to allow his daughter to have a better life somewhere else and such a call your family has answered to give her that life.

    ReplyDelete
  57. beautiful. amazing. this post touched my soul. thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'm crying, as in snottin' it up. And I now want to adopt.

    ReplyDelete
  59. wow. totally teared up on that one. so glad that i get to experience God through your story. yay andersons.

    ReplyDelete
  60. definitely typing through tears. I love that she is between her daddies! She looks so much like her birth father to me. Thank you for sharing and treasuring these awesome moments!

    ReplyDelete
  61. you know what i imagine? that someday that scene will be recreated. IN HEAVEN. i can't know if elsa's birth father knows Jesus or not, but i am committing to pray that if he doesn't, he will.

    because her being between both of her early daddies again in the presence of her Heavenly Father just sounds like the way it needs to be.

    thank you so much for sharing. what an overwhelming blessing.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I don't know a single person in this photo personally, yet I feel like printing it out and hanging it in my office on my wall of kids I love. What a beautiful, bittersweet story, with a happy ending in the very near future. I am so incredibly happy for your family, and I also will pray for Elsa's father's heart to heal. The Anderson family AND Elsa's father are a blessing to us all.

    ReplyDelete
  63. total tears running down my face.
    reminds me of another sacrifice made:)
    What a blessing that you have this photo

    ReplyDelete
  64. wonderful post and such a beautiful picture...really enjoy you blog and hearing about your adoption story. although i don't know you...very happy for you, your family and your sweet elsa.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I just clicked on your blog to hear the latest update -- I didn't expect to be at work in complete tears!! What a precious thing -- and how amazing for Elsa to have photos of her birth father with her. Truly a treasure. Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  66. How beautiful - there are tears in my eyes. Elsa is such a blessed little girl!

    ReplyDelete
  67. What a blessing! We adopted our little girl from the foster care system in California when she was 4. We have precious few photos of her birth mom and NO CLUE who the birth dad is. I have watched those pictures, on the rare moments she looks at them, answer quiet questions in her heart. God has used them to bless her beyond anything I'll ever understand. I'm so happy for Elsa....those pictures are treasures.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Well, yesterday you had me laughing. Today you have me crying. What a wave of emotion this blog brings on.

    ReplyDelete
  69. crying over my computer. our God is simply amazing. i am sure she will treasure the pictures. you and your family are an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Goodness...I had to keep myself from crying since I am reading this at work. What a blessing to have those photos...I really do think that she will appreciate them one day. Hopefully one day you will be able to show them to her and tell her about her birth dad and that will help you relate in a very personal way Jesus' sacrifice for us. I can't wait until you all get to hold her and love her...gives me chills just thinking about it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  71. Incredible. Trying to hold back the tears. This is an amazing story. What a gift you get to be a part of it. I'm so thankful that you are sharing this journey God is taking you on with us. It is encouraging and challenging my heart!

    ReplyDelete
  72. What a story, I'm bawling, I can't imagine saying goodbye to my child. What a treasure to have their picture together. Xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  73. AMAZING! What a gift for you to have those pictures to show your little girl. Priceless!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Emily, I am so moved. My mother and BFF were both adopted internationaly as well and this is truly remarkable. Unheard of and totally a sign and wonder from our Father. This shows His favor and anointing tht rests on your husbands shoulders. I am moved to tears, and my mascara is a mess. Ahhh, I have a dinner to get to! lol.

    God bless that baby girl and her daddies both.

    Father God, would you ravish the heart of Elsa birth father? Would your love cover him like a wet blanket as he let's go of both his daughter and her birth mother. God, you love him so deeply and I ask that when Emily see's your face on that victorious day of your return that Elsa birth parents would be there too. I ask all of these thing in the name of your Son, our Savior, our Friend, our brother, our Shepard King J.C. AMEN!

    ReplyDelete
  75. You all are amazing people! I cried reading this. Makes me think about a lot of things! Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  76. amazing. thanks for sharing this side of adoption. so very thankful. now to wipe away the tears...

    ReplyDelete
  77. Beautiful...simply beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  78. emily. God is freaking awesome. cannot stop staring at this picture and praising Him for this amazing gift. AMAZING GIFT.

    yes, what a sacrifice. praying for him now...

    ReplyDelete
  79. Only a father with a heart for his child, could ever give her this most precious gift. I cannot help but think of our Heavenly Father giving HIS Son to us-for love. May Elsa always know what a gift she truly is. You are inspiring Emily.

    ReplyDelete
  80. talk about Him who is able to do more than we can even imagine! wow. amazing. precious.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Oh Emily, this is so amazing! Elsa is so blessed to have a family who understands the need to have some connection to her birth Father. You continue to encourage me so much through your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Whew, this made me cry. Having kid(s) yourself really makes that sacrifice real in a whole new way. So blessed for you and your sweet Elsa.

    ReplyDelete
  83. What an amazing answered prayer! I just had a friend who came home on New Year's eve with twin boys from Ethiopia and similarly, they were blessed by getting to meet the father before they left. You're right...it's difficult to know or understand giving up one's child but thankfully we can trust in God's plan for all of us(Jer 29:11).

    ReplyDelete
  84. Wow. God is so good in so many ways through this story of Elsa's! I'm so thankful Mr.Anderson could meet him and capture a few pictures of him and Elsa together. So meaningful.

    ReplyDelete
  85. this picture speaks a thousand words, all I have are tears of joy. I am truly moved.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Made me tear up. What a wonderful gift for Elsa to have these pictures, but also for her father to see and meet with the wonderful man who will be caring for her into adulthood.
    Dana

    ReplyDelete
  87. Not a surprise but still always amazing how everything plays out according to God's will. I've said it before...your family and what you're doing for Elsa is an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Hello Emily, my name is Mercedes, and I just discovered your blog about a week ago. I like it a lot. I wanted to share with you that I am adopted and I would have love to have a picture like the one you got for Elsa. My mother died while giving birth to me and that is all I know. Maybe one day me and my husband will adopt too. For now I am enjoying the blessing of motherhood with my first baby girl Adiel. Thank you and read you soon!

    ReplyDelete
  89. ok this made me cry. God does answer prayers, even little ones, how amazing their court dates were the same day, just minutes apart. i'm excited for your family's newest addition and of course, pray for Elsa's birthfather's selfless choice to give his baby girl a better life. this will be a sweet/precious memory photo for all of you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  90. What a beautiful post, your family have been truly blessed, with your prayers being answered. How very wonderful for Mr A to meet and have photo's of Elsa's birth father - these will be truly treasured. Hugs Jx

    ReplyDelete
  91. Emily what an amazing story. Such an excellent reminder to bring all our burdens to Christ in prayer!

    ReplyDelete
  92. Wow. I am crying. What an incredible picture for your sweet girl someday. That truly is an amazing sacrafice for her biological father to make for her. Wow.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Love this post! God is so good! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  94. Words, if I could find them I would type them.

    The only ones I know I can say is, love ya girlie.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Completely moving and evident of our precious God! I definitely shed a little happy tear.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Wow, this post gave me chills. So happy you got these priceless pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  97. crying, crying, crying. So beautiful thank you for sharing your journey.

    ReplyDelete
  98. All I can say is WOW! Amazing - what a precious gift you will have for her one day.

    ReplyDelete
  99. This is such a touching post:)

    "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15

    ReplyDelete
  100. What a beautiful picture!! God is truly amazing! Totally sobbing right now! :)

    ReplyDelete
  101. WOW. There are no words. Just WOW.

    ReplyDelete
  102. God is amazing, ain't He? That picture will be cherished by all. Maybe even one day, Elsa can go back to Ethiopia and show that picture to the people of that town and people will recognize him. She could meet up with him again or hear stories about him. What a treasure!

    ReplyDelete
  103. wonderful. absolutely wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  104. It takes an amazing man to give his daughter a better life. I am crying like a baby right now. She is going to treasure that picture forever, as I'm sure all of you will.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Em, Thank you for your post... Great picture - it's something I would treasure for ever!...

    ReplyDelete
  106. this is such an amazing happening. it's clear that God was working in this story--i bet it's something that you and and mr. will remember forever!

    ReplyDelete
  107. I just found your blog and am going through some of the old posts while at school. What a beautiful picture - I'm finding it tough not to tear up!

    ReplyDelete
  108. Amazing, that's really all I can say about such a situation :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for saying HI! If you ask a question, please check back here for your answer!