I was so excited when Jamie asked me to write the story of how we knew we were going to adopt from Ethiopia. Everyone has a different story, and I've loved reading how God has worked though each one. God put adoption on my heart in August of 2010. It was almost instantly after I was challenged to pray about it, that I knew in my heart that was what we were supposed to do. My husband did not have the same response. We talked [re: fought] about it for over 3 months. I would pray pray pray that God would change his heart, but God didn't until Stephen started praying that prayer for himself. We went to the Together for Adoption confernece in Austin that October [where the Aaron Ivey Band was leading worship] and that's where it happened. Actually, I went to the conference [Stephen made up lame excuses] and the final day of the conference, he decided to join me. After the biggest fight we'd had about adotion, [and him saying “I want my own kids”] he asked God to show him His heart for the orphan. And through Aaron's worship, God showed my husband His heart. The Holy Spirit literally made him feel like an orphan for one minute. He felt their hurt, their pain, their hunger + lonlines and it was then he knew that God was calling us to adopt. He waited to tell me this [talk about high anticipation] right as we were walking out the doors of the conference at the end of the day. We had gone around to various adoption agency tables + talked about the various countries. I had learned all about the requirements each country had, and I knew that the only countries we really were qualified for were Ethiopia, Uganda + Colombia. Uganda was a new program (which made us a little nervous) and Ethiopia was a strong, well tested program. God started to break our heart for Ethiopia as we reasearched the country, the need, and learned about the orphan crisis [4.6million orphans].

Honestly, I think it took us about a month to decide on a country + an agency. We firmly believed that God knew where our child[ren] were and how we would get them. We prayed over all the agencies we talked to and ultimetly chose an agency and Ethiopia! A few months later, we signed up for a mission trip through an organization we got to know at Together for Adoption [Visiting Orphans] to visit orphans in Uganda + Ethiopia. This would be our first trip to Ethiopia, and we were excited. We knew that wherever we adopted from, that culture and country would become a part of who we are. It would be a part of our family forever. We wouldn't just adopt from there, but we would make it part of our life's mission and passion to serve the country + it's people faithfully. So you can imagine the acticipation we felt when we touched down in Addis Ababa for the very first time. The only way I knew how to explain it in words, is I felt like a school child on the first day of school. So anxious, excited, giddy, butterflies in my stomach. [and everytime I've been since then, I get the same feeling]. Ethiopia felt like home before we even stepped foot on it's soil. Now, it truly is home. The people, the culture, the food, the coffee, the landscape, it's all captured our hearts and become a part of who we are. We headed back in June to lead a Man Up mission trip together for the first time [another dream of mine!] to love and serve the orphans. We truly believe we will be better parents after God breaks our hearts yet again for the orphan. It's our families mission to be a family to the family-ness. and we are so thankful He lead us to Ethiopia.

So, if you find yourself wanting to adopt but not knowing where from – PRAY. God will show you where He wants you + your family. He'll give you a passion you can't explain. He has a great plan for not only your child[ren] but for your family as well. Adoption has been, by far, the greatest adventure of our lives and I can't wait for you to expierence it too!


Wynne is a west Texas girl married to her best friend wildly chasing after God's plan for her life. She's an incredibly blessed adoptive momma to the most beautiful Ethiopian babies she knows, Camp + Asher. Her blog, Gloriously Ruined, is a place where stories are told, hope is given, and the firm belief that anybody can change the world is spoken. Wynne's own life was gloriously ruined by her trips to visit and love on orphans in Africa, and she's using her stories and voice to encourage others to step out of their comfort zone and be ruined too. You can always find her trying to “purchase with purpose”, rocking Noonday Collection, and drinking Ethiopian coffee.  Also find her on facebook + instagram.  

Jamie Ivey