Why We Adopted and Thankfulness

The sad reality is that there are between 4.5 and 6 million orphans in Ethiopia who need families. When people ask me why we adopted our children I tell them that once we knew the tremendous need, God told us there was something we could do in response, we could make some of these children our own. They would be orphans no longer.

We read verses in the Bible like this:

Psalm 68:5,6b – A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families.

Psalm 82:3 – Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.

But here is the real “kicker” for me. This verse sits heavily on my heart:

“…Once our eyes are opened, we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act…” Proverbs 24:12

We were called to bring these children home. It wasn’t even a matter of our “choosing” to adopt, or even “choosing” our children, they were chosen for us by the Lord of heaven and earth who knew from the beginning of time that they would find their place in our family.

I am awed by this. Sometimes I ask myself, “Why these children? Why us?” There are millions of orphans in Ethiopia, but He chose Dimples, Eby, and Little Man, to be our children. There are millions of people capable of adopting children, but he called us. Did God really think I could be a good mother to ten children? Apparently He did and He strengthens me for the task, because it is the most important work I will ever do.

Last week I read this in my Elisabeth Elliot devotional:

Today we may find ourselves summoned to a task which we know is quite beyond us “Me, Lord?” we quaver, “Who am I?” God answers, “I am with you.”

I am incredibly thankful to God for bringing us this far on this journey. I wonder what He will do next?


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Anonymous
    February 20, 2008

    Thanks Lisa, this was very encouraging for me today, as life is kinda crazy.

  2. darci
    February 21, 2008

    never mind about the address! found it. darci 🙂

  3. darci
    February 21, 2008

    beautiful.thanks lisa. the verse from proverbs is so…big.
    please send me bonnies’s address again. i’m sorry..horrible disorganized homeschooling mom here. (do i have any excuse in renovating, building a house and having a not so newborn?? sigh). 🙂 darci

  4. Brianna Heldt
    February 23, 2008

    wow this is SO encouraging to me right now! (i’ve been reading your blog for awhile, not sure if i’ve commented yet. we have twin 3 year old sons from ethiopia, in addition to two biological daughters.)

    lately i’ve been feeling so overwhelmed and NOT up to the task that is mothering four little ones. my heart feels so encouraged right now, thank you so much! you have a beautiful family!

  5. Kawakaze
    February 24, 2008

    Thank you Lisa. Your blog is such an inspiration to me and just reading about your life makes me want to be a better person. You truly are blessed.

  6. Taylor Family
    February 29, 2008

    Hi, I’m Bethany. My husband and I just started the adoption process and I came across your blog as I was looking for Youtube videos of Ethiopian adoptions. Thank you for your faith towards God and the grace that is so evidently displayed in your posts. My heart is encouraged as we begin stepping out on this journey! I’ll be back visiting you blog frequently!

  7. Audra
    March 10, 2008

    Hi! I am Audra. We are brining home 3 orphans from Ethiopia sometime by the middle of June (we hope)! An 8 year old boy, 5 year old girl, a 4 year old boy. I have 4 kids already, 2 of which are 12 mo and 15 mo (the 15mo old is domestically adopted). People ask me how I can do it with 7 children and all I can say is “How can I not?” I feel the same… being a mother to orphans is not an option it is a God given calling for me and I am happy that we are finacially able to bless these dear children and our family! Thanks for your blog and your beautiful slideshow! I am so happy for your new addition! I tell people I am done having kids at 7… but I am honestly not so sure ;)!


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