November 21, 2007

Interview with Sue Hill: Ethiopia Adoption

Ken and Sue Hill have 6 children, ages 11, 9, 7, 7, 2, and 11 months old. Their first five children are biological. Their youngest was adopted from Ethiopia this past February. Those of you who have already adopted or are currently pursuing adoption know the financial challenges involved in adoption. It might encourage you to know that the Hills received a check from Shaohannah's Hope at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert this past September.

The Hill family is currently in the process of adopting a 3 1/2 yr orphan from Africa named Arama. You can visit their adoption donation website here.

1. What initially motivated you to adopt?

In the winter of 2004, I decided to start asking God in my prayers what I could do for Him. I did not know what it would be. But, I wanted to be a vessel for Him in this world. Being a stay-at-home mother of 5, I did not have a lot of extra time. But I kept praying that prayer, hoping God would reveal to me how He wants to use me in this world.

In the spring of 2005, I received an issue of a magazine called "Above Rubies." It is a Christian magazine written by Nancy Campbell. She encourages mothers in their walk with Christ and teaches them how to have Godly homes. In this particular issue, she wrote about her mission trip to Liberia, West Africa. She wrote about the 14 year long war that took place there. This war and its atrocities left behind many orphans. She wrote about these children and the need for adoptive families. After reading this, I knew God was calling us to the ministry of adoption.

So, I approached my husband. Our youngest at the time was only 4 months old. I asked him to think and pray about it. At first he thought I was a little crazy. He said "Sue, we already have 5 children." I again asked him to pray about it and he said he would. We also attended a Kingdom Kids adoption conference. At the conference, Steve and Michelle Gardener, who are adoptive parents, spoke about adoption from a Biblical perspective. This really changed my husband's perspective on things. After 1 year of much prayer and consideration, we stepped out in faith and decided to adopt. There were a lot of unknowns. We knew, however, that our child was in Africa. We did not know how we could afford it financially, but we went ahead and started the process.

2. What kind of responses have you received from extended family and friends about your decision to adopt?

At first, many family members thought we were crazy. Since we already had 5 children and lived on a modest income, how could we do such a thing? My own mother would ask me questions like "What if the child is autistic?" or "What if he is not healthy?" and "What if people retaliate against you because you have a black child?"

We sent out fundraising letters and we actually had a friend of the family write back and say, "I can't support you financially in this adoption, however, I will pray that you and your children do not contract HIV or any other diseases."

Spiritual warfare was definitely happening. Satan does not want to see this beautiful children in Christian homes.

At the same time, I realized that the people in my life that were supportive and happy for us, were true followers of Christ. They helped me through the difficult times when we felt under attack.

3. How do you think the God's story of adoption (i.e. God adopting us as His children) should influence the decision to pursue adopting children?

Oh, our adoption into God's family is a beautiful story. We have been adopted into God's family and I know God wants many of His children to adopt the orphaned into their families.

I had always heard that God loves each and every one of us so much, He even knows the number of hairs on our heads. But, honestly, until our son's adoption I never felt loved like that by God. I now look at our beautiful son and have a greater understanding of how much God does love me. He chose ME to be Daniel's mother. He could have picked anyone else, and He picked ME. We are incredibly blessed by this child. I can't even put it all into words. It is an honor and a privilege to be an adoptive parent.

4. How is the God's story of adoption shaping your relationship with your adopted child?

Our son is not old enough yet to have conversations about anything. But when the time comes, he will know how his story compares to our adoption into God's family. He will also know that he was wonderfully chosen by God to be in our family.

5. Did you or do you have any fears related to your adopted child's future as a member of your family? If so, what were/are they and how have you sought to apply God's story to those fears?

We do have some concerns because Daniel is African and we are Caucasian. We know that he will endure racism and prejudice when he is older. We want to be there for him and help in any way we can. I know God will give us the words to say to him, and will bring other people of color into our lives. He already has. We have been blessed through this adoption because it has also opened new doors and we have new friends that are also adoptive parents and their family composition is similar to ours.

God will always be with us and our adopted children. Their faith will help them get through any difficult times they may have.

I am also excited to announce, that we are stepping out in faith again. We are in the process of adopting a 3 year old girl from Ghana, West Africa. God has truly blessed us. I want to be open to any children that might call us to adopt. Our door is always open.

0 comments on “Interview with Sue Hill: Ethiopia Adoption”

  1. Blessings on your family. We have 3 bio kids and 5 adopted kids--the last two from Ethiopia. Your story is inspiring and a reminder that when God calls all we need to do is be available.

    1. Or we think that they were not good enough to be aopdted by a white couple. I saw a piece last week on a black couple raising a 9 year old little girl. When the girl is alone with her father, people constantly ask her if she is alright or in any trouble. One time people even called the police.

  2. What a beautiful interview! I am so proud of you guys for staying strong, especially when things got difficult with family and friends. I admire you for everything you have done and accomplished. Keep up the good work!

  3. I have known you for many years. Wow, how you have evolved! I am so proud of you and the woman you have become. I truly admire you for so many reasons. You always filled the best friend role. But now, as I have been witnessing your journey of faith, you have become a mentor. Someone I have learned so much from and try to mimic in my own journey. We've had so many conversations regarding Daniel's adoption. Although your words on the subject have always touched me, seeing it in print like this has truly moved me beyond words.

    1. Angela Horne (of posted the follwoing Comment on California Bill 1325 (Beall and Cook) Discriminatory to Non-native American ADOPTEES . It fits here, too:Submitted on 2010/01/17 at 10:02pm:Angela Horne: Ridicule makes for a bad metaphor for parenting. If you are a ridiculer reading this I will say just one thing to you; it is not for adoptees or inf-suffers (people conceived by donated sperm or eggs) to explain themselves to you but for you to justify your lack of sensitivity. I will never be an apologist. Get cousneling for your issues noting that our issues are perpetrated by your attitudes poor people don't get upset if they have no chidren because there's oneless mouth to feed.All this over a poxy bit of paper! We see a planet falling apart, UNICEF saying to keep war-orphans from being adotped and adults thinking that grabbing one child will save the world when adoption is failing anyway with 143,00 orphans worldwide who are stuck away from mothers for whom orpanages give the child a chance to eat. Note Mercy's Dad in Africa for onoe example of a system out of control.Please ridiculers accept the point of view of those you claim to love. Respect us, because without respect you might as well get a pet to love such is the low level of real concern for the real human condition monitored here.Adoptees want birth certificates that are honest, same as most of ther people have. YOur issues are not our problem but they are yours counseling then..

  4. I just want to say how great our God is!! I don't know you, Sue, but you have blessed me to tears. My husband and I prayed this past weekend, at a youth winter retreat, about opening our hearts to adoption. We have 3 girls. My husband, Tom, is approaching 40 and we have been praying and discussing keeping our little family at 3. Before we even met my husband had dreams of adopting a little girl and God gave us 3. After having 5 miscarriages, we feel that our little boy is waiting for us in heaven. Yet, we having longings to hold a precious boy on this earth. Feeling certain our family was done, God moved me to go to my husband and ask him to pray with me about adoption this past weekend. Am I crazy? I, God moved me for some reason. Then today I check Facebook and there is a nagging invitation to check out Dan Cruver's Ethiopia pictures. The tears just gushed as I scrolled from one picture to the next. I felt like God ripped my heart open to adoption just by those pictures and reading your article. So, with all of that said...thank you for sharing your heart. You have been a blessing.

    Julie []
    Taylors, S.C.

    1. One way in which being adopted has altlacuy affected me more as an adult than as a kid is dealing with the bitterness and rage of APs and PAPs. I don't know if it's fear that their little darlings will grow up to be adult adoptees, or just fear that they will grow up.In most of the world, the term translated as orphanage doesn't mean a place where all the children have no families. It means a place you can temporarily house your children if the family cannot take care of them at that time. Most of the children in Haiti's orphanages were like that. We still don't know who has lived through the earthquake, and now EVERYONE there is equally destitute and hungry. Shipping their children thousands of miles to strangers doesn't serve the Haitians .it only serves the white APs who are so desperate to get their hands on other people's children.The more you think about it, the more disgusting it is. Lola, you are grossly uneducated on the subject of adoption. Spend decades studying it, the way we have, and then maybe you'll have a glimmer of understanding.

  5. Wow,
    I also read Nancy Campells book Be Fruitful and Multiply,so after 7 bio kids and giving up all birthcontrol,I also lost 4 babies in 1 years time.Both my husband and I have felt that God spoke to us to trust him with our family size. We naturally thought that we'd have more bio children ,but now feel God has opened our entire family's hearts to addoption.We are praying for Gods leading,and I came upon this website not knowing about you and your beautiful story. We would also love prayers for our journey in all this.It's kingdom work,for the Lord.I know He is coming soon and we want to do all he asks of us.
    We also have a very meiger income ,but like George Mueller ,and Lillian Trasher we will trust the Lord to supply.
    Warmly for the sake of the cross,Michele Miller Bangor WI.

  6. I taught a prayer conference in Addis Ababa last year.
    The Ethiopian people are so gracious and quite handsome.
    It is a fascinating nation. And the children are so beautiful
    with such big eyes. Thank you for what you are doing among
    those precious people.


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