It was another cold day. We went to the hospital. Josh and I walked in, holding hands. This was not how I had planned on bringing a baby home. We were walking in with an empty carseat, met in the lobby by caseworkers with gift bags. This twisting in my chest was happening again. I felt so much. There was this woman, who had just birthed this baby…and she had left here without her. Another girl. She pushed and labored. She sweated, and bled. No doubt that she had placed her hands on her pregnant belly time and time again, thinking about the life that was there. She had left this place empty.

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Don’t miss @beerandhymnsoc this Sunday! If you are coming let us know here: http://bit.ly/beerhymnsoc. Please share and invite a friend! (at Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub & Restaurant) High-res

Don’t miss @beerandhymnsoc this Sunday! If you are coming let us know here: http://bit.ly/beerhymnsoc. Please share and invite a friend! (at Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub & Restaurant)

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Just before we flew home from Ethiopia we logged in to see the sponsor count and learned we had met our goal. What an amazing way to end our trip. Thank you, everyone, for sponsoring these families. #lovehope @jenhatmaker @chrismarlow @jillianlauren @brandonhatmaker @bosshogswife @mikerusch

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The tees and necklaces from Africa were alright, but they are mostly thrilled about the roadside packs of banana gum I brought back. High-res

The tees and necklaces from Africa were alright, but they are mostly thrilled about the roadside packs of banana gum I brought back.

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17 hours of flying down, 6 to go. So ready to get home to my family! (at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)) High-res

17 hours of flying down, 6 to go. So ready to get home to my family! (at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD))

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I’m going to miss this coffee. High-res

I’m going to miss this coffee.

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254 sponsors thus far for at-risk families. Thank you!! 46 more to reach our goal. Sign up at http://www.helponenow.org/kids. Photo by @samo4prez. (at Cafe and Restaurant Laphto Addis Ababa) High-res

254 sponsors thus far for at-risk families. Thank you!! 46 more to reach our goal. Sign up at http://www.helponenow.org/kids. Photo by @samo4prez. (at Cafe and Restaurant Laphto Addis Ababa)

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Our adoption gave us more than the family we were longing for; it also allowed us to experience our interconnectedness with people halfway around the globe, the permeability of the membranes between our lives. Since then, Scott and I have been trying to finagle a return trip. We often wonder- what can we do to work toward a world in which children are not orphaned by poverty? The answers are not always easy. Like a lot of people, we are sometimes overwhelmed and confused by the choices. How can we do the most good in a conscious and respectful way? Is there something we can do beyond writing a check? Is there some greater understanding we can gain, some more immediate action we can take?

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A quick and rainy hippo spotting before dinner last night. @brandonhatmaker #timnewberry @jillianlauren @bosshogswife @jenhatmaker @_jacobcombs @helponenow #lovehope  (at Awassa, Ethiopia) High-res

A quick and rainy hippo spotting before dinner last night. @brandonhatmaker #timnewberry @jillianlauren @bosshogswife @jenhatmaker @_jacobcombs @helponenow #lovehope (at Awassa, Ethiopia)

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The minute we walked off the plane in Addis Ababa this morning, the distinctive smell hit me- some mysterious mixture of frankincense, burning trash, eucalyptus, coffee, and bodies. It’s profoundly human and otherworldly at the same time and lets you know unmistakably that you are in Ethiopia- this glorious and complicated place.

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