Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In Her Name........

Well...I've gone back and forth about whether or not I should post this...You see...I think good deeds are done to NOT get praise and thanks for...I think when you really give from the heart then you AREN'T looking for a HUGE "pat on the back" and you can quietly "give" and feel good and walk away!! BUT...I then think..."What if I'd never blogged about our adoption? What if I'd adopted quietly and never told the world about Lucy lane?" Well...HOW MANY families would have missed out on this amazing journey of "adoption" if I'd KEPT QUIET?? So, in the end..I decided that having a BIG MOUTH is good at times and I decided to share a project we completed back at the beginning of the summer....I'm sharing in hopes that it brings some attention to an amazing group making a HUGE difference in MY DAUGHTER'S goes:

So...My days of summer USED to look like this:

That is UNTIL I read this:
And, so AFTER reading that LIFE CHANGING Book...Our summer now looks like this:

So..this is HOW it happened and WHAT WE DID: My hubby and I read The Hole In Our Gospel together!! ( i encourage ALL couples to read that book together...amazing) Anyways, during and after reading the hubby and I BOTH felt that WE COULDN'T JUST END WITH ADOPTION!! I knew that 2010 WOULDN'T be a year we would ADD to our I read the book and prayed that the Lord would guide US to WHAT he had planned NEXT!! I prayed that the Lord would CONTINUE to BREAK my heart for what breaks HIS!! AND...most importantly..I WANTED to continue to help my daughter's country!!! So...WE BOUGHT A WELL!!! Yes...INSTEAD of giant blow up slides, a summer vacation, a membership to ANY local pool...we GAVE water INSTEAD of USING so much water!!!

Now don't get me wrong....We had LOTS of fun with our 5 dollar pool: heart continues to ACHE for those we left behind...and I knew "a well" in Ethiopia was our next I started researching...AND...let me tell ya...there are AMAZING well digging organizations out there!! I googled, asked friends for their input....and through all the info I gathered...I FOUND !! And, it was a perfect MATCH!! THEY were looking for someone to purchase a well for their Ziway, Ethiopia school they were building....AND....THEY WOULD LET ME DEDICATE IT!!! I knew without a doubt that I would dedicate any well we purchased in LUCY LANE'S BIRTH MOTHER'S NAME!! Not only does she still reside in Ethiopia...but she gave me the most precious gift in this world...HER DAUGHTER!!! So...we purchased the well...worked on the wording...AND someday (when it is completed) there will be a well in Ziway, Ethiopia with a plaque on it "Honoring and Thanking" the ONE woman in this world that loves my Lucy Lane just as much as I do!!


....we continued to get WET all summer....We didn't even MISS that OLD BLOW UP SLIDE AFTER ALL....AND...NOT ONE child asked WHY we didn't go to the beach....cause instead we were busy playing in the Nashville Flood of 2010:

We played LOTS in sprinklers:

We loved going down to the local creek:

And...our little 5 dollar pool even made its debut at the AGCI picnic...AND..all the kids loved it there too:

And...our neighborhood has a FREE pool the kids didn't even notice or care that we weren't members of the local YMCA:

And, I'm kind of sad to report that I went down to PULL out the Little 5 dollar pool this weekend while the Wright Family was here...AND...well...Daddy said he "thought" we were done with it for the summer...and...well...he kind of threw it away!!! :( He's KNOWN around these parts for THROWING EVERYTHING AWAY....SO....the kids made the best of it...and:And, they created their VERY OWN WATER FUN:
So, they didn't even miss our 5 dollar pool either!! The truth is...we buy those HUGE blow up things and vacation and such MORE for OURSELVES rather than the KIDS!! The lesson is that the KIDS really don't CARE...They are just glad to be together and WET!! BUT imagine HOW MANY children WON'T have to become ORPHANS FROM ONE WATER WELL???? The majority of people in the world are traveling 8 or more hours a day to just bring one bucket of contaminated water back to their families to drink. When the parent is walking ALL DAY to retrieve water that will most likely KILL or SICKEN their family anyways..there is NO TIME or energy left in the day to work...children are left at home all day to be hungry and thirsty by themselves...It is a HORRIBLE reality for SO MANY HUMAN BEINGS!! Yes, these are human beings JUST AS IMPORTANT in the Lord's eyes as YOU AND ME!!! So...we cut back, bought a well...and..I pray children in Ziway, Ethiopia will some day DRINK FRESH water and play at their school and RETURN to their families INSTEAD of being orphaned because of sickness!! NOT everyone that reads this blog WILL ADOPT...but there are SO many other things that can be done to help the LEAST OF THESE...and a Water Well is just ONE OF THEM!!!

If you'd like to learn more about LifeSong For Orphans...Or YOU FEEL called to help with the Ziway, Ethiopia school the videos below and READ the paragraph I pasted directly from them below:

Beauty out of Ashes from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

Lifesong Ethiopia 2010 from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

To Learn More about the ON GOING projects in Ziway, Ethiopia...Please Read Below...This is a message straight from LifeSong:

Laughter & Smiles

We all go out of our ways to give our kiddos the very best we possibly can. In Ethiopia, this looks much different than it does for you and me in the US!

Lifesong for Orphans is supporting 3 schools in the Ziway, Ethiopia area. We are currently repairing one of the schools and are in the process of building another, but are hopeful to use all three this fall.

Let’s turn this bare piece of land at the Ziway Lifesong School

Into a place of laughter and smiles!

View all current projects. View all Lifesong Ethiopia videos.

Happy Wednesday to you all, kj


  1. Kristi,

    Thank YOU. I know that God gets all the glory and praise and thanks. But still your family deserves a big hug, high five, whatever your style is.
    You are right on the money here with this post and I want to say thank you. Love your heart!!

  2. So amazing and inspiring! My husband and I will definitely be looking into this! I'm a friend of Alison Schmelzer's (they're in Mississippi adopting from Ethiopia), and I love your blog! :)

  3. You inspire me! In so many ways!! When our adoption is finished I would love to do things just like this to give back to the country where our daughter will come from! I hope you know how many hearts you touch and how truly blessed we all are that you have chosen to share your story!

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! Amazing!

  5. YAY! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post:). The Youngs didn't get in the beach this year we are totally tag-teaming this year!!! LOVE that there is a well to honor the one that gave your LL life. Thank you for sharing friend. AND YES...we totally need to put our brains together when I am in your neck of the woods NEXT month and talk about how we can tag team helping families raise $$$ for their adoptions...bows, fundraisers, we could pick a family a would be so much fun!

  6. THANK YOU for sharing about this. It sounds like an incredible project!

  7. Well ... I am crying like a baby in Hong Kong.
    What an incredible gift and dedicating the well to LL birthmother is so honoring!
    Thank you for sharing all the ways God continues to grow your hearts and expand your territory.
    I am proud to call you friend.
    I too LOVED reading Hole In The Gospel.
    I am going to put it on Tyler's bedside table and pray he picks it up.
    I am feeling restless and ready for His next Kingdom assignment!
    Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

  8. Such a wonderful idea and I'm so glad you shared it. :)

  9. What a wonderful way to take care of the least of these!!! I recently connected with a group who is working to raise funds for the land and well in Korah, Ethiopia. For those who can't afford to do it all by themselves: or

    Sometimes we need to let the world know our own good works, not to brag, but to let others know how they can help.. maybe it's the answer to their prayer.

  10. I reviewed The Hole in Our Gospel for booksneeze on my blog, and it is truly my favorite book. As soon as hubby and I are finished with adoption education courses I hope to reread it and have him join me this time!

  11. Thank you for sharing.... I know you are inspiring so many others to care for the least of these. That is THE book that made us re-exam our lives and look deeper into the real Book, the Word of God and decide what God has to say about our responsibility to the poor. It changed our lives forever. We are always trying to put our pride to death and live more simply so that others can simply live. You have a beautiful heart and I know God gets all the glory!

  12. so glad you posted this. one of my favorite posts of yours ever. the beauty of clean WATER!!! what a precious way to honor ll's birth mother.

  13. I am glad that you posted too. Instead of lots of summer fun, you are giving countless people clean water for years and year. Awesome! I am going out this weekend and getting that book. I have heard from so many that it is great!

  14. Your so inspiring... Thanks for sharing this :)

  15. Such a great idea!! Your family is a great example to's always fun to discover new ways to GIVE!

  16. Okay, I LOVE this post...and LOVE this idea!! And that book is on my shelf just waiting for me to have inspired me to read it with Jody! He picked it up last week at a conference! I can't wait! Love that there is a well named after Lucy Lane's birth mom!!!

  17. What exciting news - love your heart!

  18. Hi there,
    I recently came across your blog through one of the many others that I follow and have really enjoyed your posts. But today I am completely THRILLED to read this! You see, we recently raised funds at our church's VBS for the Ziway Lifesong School for a new playground and school supplies. It was an amazing time of seeing 300 kids giving so much to care for the children in Ethiopia. We are leaving in 4 weeks to go to ET with Children's Hopechest and it is looking like we will be stopping by Ziway and the school on our way! I am SO excited and just had to share that with you. What a blessing for them to have clean water, much needed school supplies and even a new place for the kids to PLAY! LOVE how God's family works together when we don't even know it!!! :)Blessings~!

  19. Oh this just made me cry! Thank you for sharing your story and continuing to inspire us to keep reaching out to those in need!

  20. thanks for this did good by posting it and I believe God used it not only to speak to my heart but to many others...a reminder that we can go beyond adoption and keep giving and loving and serving and getting rid of our comforts more and more for the kingdom of God!

  21. YEA KRISTI!!!!! YOU GO with your wet self!!!

    We are big Lifesong fans too - we just found out that we got a 4K matching grant from them for Bethie! YEA!

  22. Great post Kristi, I love Lifesong for Orphans.

  23. To God be the glory! Thank you Johnson family for your advocacy, your dedication to the Lord, and for allowing Him to break your heart for what breaks His!

    -Christi @ Lifesong

  24. Isn't it just absolutely fulfilling to DO stuff like this! Makes the "american dream" seem a bit boring & empty, eh? :-)

    Thanks for ADVOCATING!!!


  25. So yes...I already commented. But I just had to share...We just received our update from Lifesong: Ethiopia about what they are doing in Ziway. It made me smile knowing how much more they have coming thanks to you guys! =)

  26. Hey Kristi! Just wanted to let you know I saw your video on youtube back in Feb, and b/c of it and the other "coincidinces" the Lord placed in our lives we decided to adopt from Ethiopia. I just watched your 1 year update video and saw all the other families that were inspired by sweet Lucy Lane as well. We are within a couple months of sending off our dossier and finalizing paperwork. I hope and pray that our story will inspire families to make the leap towards adopting, just as yours has for us. Its so funny how the families that I meet or read about that adopt become so changed by it. Its like their lives are changed and they can't go on living as they did before. Anyway, I am excited for the change to continue to happen in our life as well. Thanks for sharing your journey. Lucy lane is precious! Our blog is
    Liz Horn

  27. Such a great story that will surely inspire others! Can you help me get the word out about an orphan project we are working on? We're trying to hire 24 caregivers for the severely understaffed govt orphanage in Addis- Kebebe Tsehai. It's on my blog! Please promote as I know you have a big audience!

  28. Impossible not to be changed by adoption! And then read a book like that! The last 2 books I've read were that one and Radical. God is doing amazing things through people who say YES. It's not always easy, but soooo worth it. I love the well in LL birthmom's name. Beautiful.

  29. That is just amazing and beautiful ! i say all the time, no you may not want to adopt or be in a position to adopt but that doesnt mean you CANT help an orphan, a family, or a widow :) The book is AWESOME ! We read it here, and my hubby read it and THAT is actually what opened his heart to listen to GOD and he knew then we were meant to adopt Taya :):) and now BENJI !!

  30. Loved seeing what the Lord is still doing in your life and how he is using your family to be the hands and feet of Jesus! How amazing it is to be apart of something so much bigger than us! So neat that there will be a well in Africa with Lucy Lane's mother on it! Too cool!!! This puts life into perspective! Thanks for sharing!!

  31. Christi here, responding on behalf of Gary and Peggy Ifft in Ziway, Ethiopia. Their internet connection is slow at best and blog sites are restricted, we sent them your post and their response is below:

    "We thank you for this generous act of providing water for our school here in Ziway. It is a great display of selflessness and love, to give up American excesses to help those who can’t even fathom water slides or even $5 plastic pools. For many of the children here in Ethiopia , the word “water” conjures up images of backbreaking carrying of water in jerry cans from the stream for drinking, cooking, and bathing.”



Thank you for your kind words!!