2013 has been an eventful year for our family...
In July, Pete suffered a near fatal heart attack when a blood clot formed after routine outpatient sinus surgery. Thankfully, he was still in recovery on monitors and doctors were able to act quickly to prevent permanent heart damage. He is “graduating” early from cardiac rehab - with honors - and will miss some of his octogenarian friends.
Our oldest daughter, Natali (23), has had Crohn’s disease since 2008. After major medications failed, we took her to Mayo Cinc - four times in ten months! This November, she had major surgery. (Total Proctocolectomy with Ileostomy: Terms to Google for the medically curious; Just big, obscure words to ignore for those of us who are squeamish.) Complete recovery will take some time, but she is thrilled to have a much less painful life again and is looking forward to getting back to school and work.
Just last week, our little foster guy, Dominick, left again. He first came to us at 18 months old. Unfortunately, he bounced back and forth several times. We were willing to adopt him into our family, but God had other plans. Two days before Thanksgiving, we hugged him and kissed him and prayed over him and cried our eyes out as he left our family for good. He will be living with extended family and we trust that God has a wonderful plan for him, even if we cannot see it right now. There are valuable lessons in loving and letting go; in risking your heart because people need you to care about them - care for them - even if it hurts. Dominick was with us for over nine months this time. He will be missed.
Our patients are healing and our house seems quiet. We have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to.
Four year old Hezekiah became an official Smith kid in May. He has a new Social Security card and will have his passport very soon! He is PURE JOY every single day.
In October, a family road trip took us to Florida to attend a wonderful missionary conference on living overseas with kids. A generous person made it possible for us to spend a few extra days of family fun in Orlando. It was a blessing to have Dominick with us
at that time and Natali only suffered one really bad day. We returned by way of Alabama to spend precious time with extended family and made a stop in Indiana to visit dear friends.
In light of all the chaos of 2013, God has been faithful to confirm and redefine His call on our lives. We have recently connected with individuals and organizations willing to educate us and support us, both here and in Ethiopia.
The next step on our journey is to take Tatum (14) and Brogan (9) to visit Ethiopia. They have yet to experience this country they will call home. A Buy One, Get One Free deal through Ethiopian Airlines will allow me (Lori) to take them both at the same time – AND – bring Natali along as a second adult. She will be four months post-surgery and is already investigating ways to connect with individuals living in Ethiopia with similar medical challenges in hopes of advocating for them.
We are now increasing our efforts to share the vision and excitement we have about serving in Ethiopia! Fundraising for our One Time Moving Costs has hit 31%, while commitment for our Monthly Support is hovering at 13%. We are looking forward to seeing who God has selected to actively partner with us in carrying out his plan to reach kids living in orphanages and on the streets of Addis Ababa. Our desire is to tangibly share the love of Christ with them to make an eternal difference in their lives.
If you want to learn more about our sending agency or dive in to SEND and/or SUPPORT us, please click HERE.
Lori (847) 650-7144
Pete (847) 650-8022
Our Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are an ordinary family simply trying to follow where He leads. We want YOU to see the amazing things HE is doing...