Adoption Photographer | AFRICA | At Covenant House

Our first day at Covenant House was filled with so much… it’s hard to believe we were only there for two days. Colby and Nebeyu bonded instantly as brothers…

The children played and had a great time. There is no language barrier during play. They all got along great!

Wendi shared her family album with Nebeyu so he could get to know the people he was going to meet in the US…

The kids danced and sang for us. All their music, all their dancing, is about the Lord. They have an amazing heart for worship…

And they have so much joy – really unexplainable, given their circumstances, to see such smiling faces.

It was so beautiful to watch them be so thankful and praising God for His love.

At dinner, we all had our hands washed by Nebeyu. I really wanted to find one of these rad washbasins, but no luck…

And the ladies cooked us a wonderful meal.

We also got to participate in a “coffee ceremony”, where they take raw coffee beans and roast them for us…

It smelled AMAZING.

After the beans were roasted, they ground them by hand with a mortar and pestle…

and brewed them in that cool black pot over a fire…

Then each of us was served a cup with steamed milk and sugar. MMMM

They brought out their best china just for us. πŸ™‚

And also, while we were there, we got everyone’s handprints on a cloth that will be made into a quilt for Nebeyu… everyone also signed their names in English and Amharic.

During the afternoon, Gerald and I visited the nearby village to take some pictures…

and of course, he was the Pied Piper, sharing music and song and bringing a smile to their faces. πŸ™‚

Something very special happened too… we had a visitor to the orphanage: Nebeyu’s sister. She has been gone the last 5 years working as a maid in Dubai, but she happened to be here in town this week.

She was so excited and grateful to hear of Nebeyu’s adoption. And this is something really cool: Wendi wore a ring here that was actually the first ring Rick gave herΒ – a promise ring. A few days ago, Wendi had told me that she felt like she might be giving the ring away while here, but she didn’t know to whom she would be giving it. When she met Nebeyu’s sister, she knew it was for her. Wendi gave it to her and told her that this is a promise that she will care for Nebeyu and watch over him, and it is also a promise that she always has family in the US that will love her and pray for her. It was such a beautiful moment.

Our first night ended in such an amazing way. Nebeyu’s pastor came over and prayed an amazing blessing on Nebeyu and the family. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place as everyone outpoured their love for Nebeyu and their thankfulness to God.

I still have so much more to share… Thank you for continuing to read!!

March 14, 2010 - 2:34 pm

Erin I know this experience was life changing for ALL of you…I have cried numerous times during this journey that I was able to experience through this blog. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.

March 14, 2010 - 2:34 pm

MaryKay Niedermeyer Thank you for that wonderful picture of Tamirat! I would love it if you would email it to me. I haven’t seen that smile yet and it is a great smile!!!!

March 14, 2010 - 2:46 pm

MaryKay Niedermeyer Did he know that you were taking that picture for me?

March 14, 2010 - 3:19 pm

Shauna Hi! I am Shauna Vaughan – Mama/Jaija Kathy’s daughter in law. This last picture is possibly the sweetest picture I have ever seen! EVER! How can I get a copy? Of course I will ask Wendi but I just think it capures adoption and the hope that comes with it. I just LOVE it!

PS – We appreciate all that you did at Redeemer House – what a blessing you all are.

March 14, 2010 - 3:54 pm

Shari Jessie – the colors in that house remind me so much of you, they are used all over your website. Once again, another great story Jessie. I’m glad you had a chance to be part of this journey. πŸ™‚

March 14, 2010 - 4:09 pm

Corrina Church This is a beautiful caption of God’s hands at work. As tears stream down my face I see the beauty of God’s awesome power happining in your lives and I am encouraged and honored to share just a glimpse of this life changing experience with you! You are im my thoughts and prayers!

His love Always, Corrina.

March 14, 2010 - 6:50 pm

shontell Brewer sniff. we are no longer friends.

March 14, 2010 - 10:00 pm

Erin I am officially a blog stalker.

March 14, 2010 - 11:00 pm

Sarah Hoffman Hi, Jessie! I started following your blog when you were in India with Tisra….we are in the process of adopting from the same orphanage in India, so we were very interested. The images you have captured here (and there) are amazing! We also have a son from Ethiopia, so these photographs and the work that God is doing there at the Covenant House is so touching. Praising Him for His goodness and love! And praying for the sweet little girl in the picture, that God will raise up a family for her who can love and cherish her as a reflection of God’s love and affection for us. Keep up the good work, adoption photographer! I love this new gig for you…..awesome!

(By the way, I cried reading your post this time…you have a gift not only for photography, but also for words. I pray that you are able to continue being given the opportunity to communicate the story of adoption in such beautiful ways!)

March 15, 2010 - 1:32 am

God works in such amazing ways. I love that you found a perfect home for your promise ring too. That is so special.

March 15, 2010 - 7:42 am

Christina I have to say, I have never seen such happy people in the tears are just running down my face with joy and love for all these kids and wonderful people caring for them… Jess, thank you for being there and sharing this with everyone as your doing… Blessings, manny blessing will come your way….

March 15, 2010 - 9:17 am

Heather Davis I just can’t believe it’s you guys in these pictures, what an amazing thing you guys are diong!

March 15, 2010 - 10:02 am

Tisra I’ve read this post two times and still find it amazing, miraculous, and inspiring! WOW! The love being poured out is so great and God is rewarding all that praise, all that sacrifice, all that servanthood. More. More. More!

March 15, 2010 - 1:30 pm

angela hannaford Welcome home! Today we were writing in class… I feel lucky because…Cooper was excited to write “I feel lucky because I have a new brother named Nebeyu!” I can’t wait to me you, Nebeyu! Love, Mrs. H.

March 16, 2010 - 4:40 pm

Annette Ruiz I am so happy that you have shared these pictures and beautiful stories with us. I loved reading about Wendi giving the ring to Nebeyu’s sister I just cried and cried!

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