06 July 2007


"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him."
1 Samuel 1:27

On July 3rd our friend Judy shared this verse with us and then on that same day Martha from All God's Children called us and asked, "Are you sitting down?"
My first thought was, "OH NO! Something went wrong already."
Then Martha said, "I have a referral for you!!"

What an incredible shock! Just mere days into the months of waiting for which we were emotionally preparing ourselves, the Lord gave us this incredible gift of an absolutely gorgeous baby girl.

Ethiopian name: Betelihem (Bethlehem)
Estimated birthdate: January 31, 07

Birthplace: Yeka, near Addis Ababa

After much ado, we've decided her new name is Elianna Ray. The kids are already calling her "Ellie". Elianna is a Hebrew name, appropriate for a girl named Betelihem at birth, which means "my God has provided". It is further a combination of Elizabeth (for Grandmother Elizabeth Anne Ortlund) and Anna (my middle name). Ray is for Granddaddy, Ray Ortlund.

Elianna Ray was brought to Hannah's Hope from Enat Alem orphanage. All of her medical tests came back negative and she appears to be "normal" and healthy, well-nourished. She's doing well at HH, smiling, cooing, lots of interacting. It's a fantastic report!

Elianna is now 5 months old and has chubby cheeks and bright, dark brown eyes, and she's adorably bald. We are so thankful to the Lord that He is allowing us to be her Forever family! And, yes, we've done the math... Evangeline and Elianna Ray are just five months apart. This is what we get for praying for twins years ago! God has a great sense of humor.

When Margie heard the news and saw her pictures she burst into elated tears and said, "Oh, I'm going to knit her a blanket right now!"
Ricker "And I'll draw her some pictures!"
Jackie, "I'm going to... teach her self-defense!"

What's next? So far we hear that we'll likely travel to Africa to bring Elianna home in October or November because the Ethiopian court closures in August and September delay the normal amount of time between referral and travel.

Prayer requests:
  1. First and foremost, for Elianna Ray, for her health and well-being, for safety and a sense of security while she's at Hannah's Hope. Pray for her foster mother as she loves on our daughter.
  2. Please pray for us as we prepare our hearts and home for this precious little girl.
PICTURES! For privacy reasons dictated by our adoption agency, we cannot share Elianna's photos on this webpage. However, if you would like a sneak peek at our beautiful little daughter you may check out our password-protected galleries here.

Just leave a message in our guestbook on the top right of this page, email, or call for the password and we'll get it to you right away.

THANK YOU, everyone, for your prayers and kind notes, encouraging phone calls, guestbook messages, and incredible support! We cannot express our gratefulness adequately. We are blessed to have such wonderful friends and family.

Michael, Laurie, Margie, Ricker, Jackie & Evangeline

1 comment:

Ryan and Heather said...

We are with AGCI as well adopting from Vietnam. We are planning on naming our daughter "Elia" which is a form of Elianna I think and in our name book it said it means "My God has answered me"
I wish you all the best of luck in your adoption process!