Friday, March 1, 2013

He Knows My Name....

Two very precious possessions I packed in my suitcase for Africa were necklaces made by my sweet sister. These necklaces carry a lot of meaning from our hearts to the hearts of two Ethiopian hearts that are probably pumping with the same mixture of excitement and fear as ours.  I'll be wearing my own version of the same necklace, stamped with "Momma."  They'll each have a letter to read, that explains in 2 languages each thought and prayer.  When we leave, we'll leave them with our love and promise hanging around their necks.....until we come again....





Dear Asnaku,

We have been praying and waiting for this day for many years, and finally it’s here.  God’s hand has been obvious leading and guiding in all of our lives to bring us together and make us family.  We had this necklace made for you (by your Aunt Kathy) to remind you of all the ways God has been caring for you and planning your future.  And our friend, Aster, who was adopted from Ethiopia when she was 12, translated this letter for us.  We want you to see God’s hand in your past and your future every time you look at the necklace.

You are loved, deeply, strongly and forever….by your heavenly Father and by your new family.  Jeremiah 31:3 says, “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”  This will always be true, no matter what.

The names you and Ruth were given when you were born are no accident and are a beautiful part of your story.  We saw you first on the list of children who were waiting to be adopted because you would be turning 16 soon and then be too old to be adopted.  We felt God calling us to be your family and immediately wished that you had a sister to come along with you so you wouldn’t be alone.  We had hoped from the beginning to adopt 2 children at once but usually the adoption agency will only allow siblings to be adopted together.  We saw Ruth’s picture on the waiting list and wondered if there was any chance you and Ruth knew each other and if the agency would let us adopt you both.  When we got the file of information about Ruth, there were pictures of you and her together!  It seemed like such a miracle that the 2 girls we picked out were actually friends and our agency decided to let us adopt you both at the same time!  After that, we researched the meanings of your names and found another confirmation of God writing this story.  Your name, Asnaku, means “one chosen above the rest” and Ruth’s name means “a companion to go along with.”  Your Ethiopian names describe how we found you, and they are precious to us.

We want to add American names to your Ethiopian names that help tell the next part of our story.  We’ve chosen the name Hope for you.  Your new name will be Asnaku Hope Florida.  Hope is a confident expectation in something.  As Christians we place our hope in who God is, His character.  A hope place in God will never be disappointed and is the source of many of God’s blessings.  We have already seen you living as a person who has a confident expectation in God’s goodness in your life and that is beautiful!  Each of us choosing to place our hope in God has made us a family and we are so happy to get to watch how God’s good plans for your life continue to be revealed as you trust Him!  Ps. 147:11 “The Lord delights in those who fear him,
 who put their hope in his unfailing love.”

This name is a gift to you.  You can choose to use it as the name we call you or a name you carry in your heart to know that you are a blessing that came from our hope in God.  We will be happy to call you either name, Asnaku or Hope, because they are both very special to us.

We love you sweet girl, and we always will!
Dad & Mom



Dear Ruth,

We have been praying and waiting for this day for many years, and finally it’s here.  God’s hand has been obvious leading and guiding in all of our lives to bring us together and make us family.  We had this necklace made for you (by your Aunt Kathy) to remind you of all the ways God has been caring for you and planning your future.  And our friend, Aster, who was adopted from Ethiopia when she was 12 translated this letter for us.  We want you to see God’s hand in your past and your future every time you look at the necklace.

You are loved, deeply, strongly and forever….by your heavenly Father and by your new family.  Jeremiah 31:3 says, “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”  This will always be true, no matter what.

The names you and Asnaku were given when you were born are no accident and are a beautiful part of your story.  We saw Asnaku first on the list of children who were waiting to be adopted because she would be turning 16 soon and then be too old to be adopted.  We felt God calling us to be her family and immediately wished that she had a sister to come along with her so she wouldn’t be alone.  We had hoped from the beginning to adopt 2 children at once but usually the adoption agency will only allow siblings to be adopted together.  We saw your picture on the waiting list and wondered if there was any chance you and Asnaku knew each other and if the agency would let us adopt you both.  When we got the file of information about you, there were pictures of you and Asnaku together!  It seemed like such a miracle that the 2 girls we picked out were actually friends and our agency decided to let us adopt you both at the same time!  After that, we researched the meanings of your names and found another confirmation of God writing this story.  Asnaku’s name means “one chosen above the rest” and your name, Ruth, means “a companion to go along with.”  Your Ethiopian names describe how we found you, and they are precious to us.

We want to add American names to your Ethiopian names that help tell the next part of our story.  We’ve chosen the name Jasmine for you.  Your new name will be Jasmine Ruth Florida.  Jasmine is a very sweet smelling flower that is often used in incense like frankincense.  In the Bible, incense is used in worship as a picture of offering one’s life to God and the Bible says that offering is a pleasing, sweet smell to God.  The sweet smell of the incense is released most strongly when it feels the heat of the fire.  We already see that type of sweet smelling offering to God in your life.  We are so glad that we get to be your family as we watch God make beautiful, sweet smelling things out of your life as you offer all of it to Him.  Psalm 141:2 “May my prayer be set before you like incense (jasmine); may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”


This name is a gift to you.  You can choose to use it as the name we call you or a name you carry in your heart to know that you make our life sweeter.  We will be happy to call you either name, Jasmine or Ruth, because they are both very special to us.

We love you sweet girl, and we always will!
Dad & Mom






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