Every year when April 9-18 rolls around, our family pauses to remember the week Ryan and I spent in Ethiopia in 2009. We celebrate Selah’s birthday, we remember her Gotcha Day, we touch base with our travel group, and we once again subject our Facebook followers to the videos I made to document Selah’s adoption story and our time in Addis Ababa.

It’s our way of reminding ourselves of God’s faithfulness to our little family while also encouraging those we know to remember, as Pastor Judah Smith tweeted this week, that we should not be content to “live a just-enough life while serving a more-than-enough God.” Instead, we should be willing to risk boldly to do what Jesus tells us to do, fully expecting God to show up with everything we could ever need and then some.

As this year’s ‘Ethiopia week’ comes to a close, I want to re-post an entry from our adoption blog that I wrote on April 7, 2009, just two days prior to leaving for Africa. I hope it encourages you today to risk outrageously by being willing to go after whatever unpredictable thing God is waiting on you to pursue…especially if that “thing” is his Son’s grace.

We Could’ve Missed This

With the realness of our departure to Ethiopia finally settling in, I can’t escape these five words: “We could have missed this.”

I first heard Steven Curtis Chapman utter this phrase two years ago while listening to him tell his family’s adoption story on an informational DVD America World Adoption sent us. And even though Selah’s tiny body has yet to meet my arms, I already feel the weight of Steven’s words. We seriously could’ve missed this. All of this. 

Had we been too afraid, too content, or too unwilling to look at the depravity in the world and admit that we are responsible for helping to remedy it, we could’ve missed the challenge, grace, faithfulness, and resolve that the previous 130 blog entries tell about. Not only that, but we could’ve missed the opportunity to stare at the sweet face above and know with certainty that she has not ethiopia adoptionbeen forgotten or abandoned because the parents who are coming for her know that they serve a God who hasn’t forgotten or abandoned them either. 

Many of you have told us in your unbelievable kindness that we inspire you. While that is flattering and touching, we never intended for this journey to draw attention to us. Instead, our intent has been to show you the source of the light we are humbled to carry, and we hope that in doing so we have painted for you a more accurate picture of Jesus than maybe you’ve seen before. Because of Jesus we have been adopted by God, and the passion with which we have pursued Selah’s adoption is just a small expression of the intensity with which Jesus is pursuing each of you. 

While our pursuit of Selah hasn’t been perfect, the grace by which we have been sustained during this journey is, hence Selah’s middle name. We hope that seeing glimpses of God’s grace in the story he has written through our family is what has inspired you, and that when you think of Selah, you will think of God. 


“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.”  ~Ephesians 1: 4-6