Saturday, October 1, 2011


May 11 – We accept the referral for our daughter.

July 19 – We meet Rachel Rose at the foster home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

July 20 – We admit her to the hospital in Ethiopia where she is diagnosed with failure to thrive, severe pneumonia and severe malnutrition. She is given a feeding tube, IV antibiotics and nasal Oxygen. Rachel is in critical medical condition. We send emails and facebook messages around the world asking for prayer for Rachel Rose to recover. We are on our knees in prayer often.

July 22 – We pass Ethiopian adoption court

July 23 – Rachel Rose turns a corner medically and starts to clearly recover. PRAISE GOD!

July 30 – Rachel Rose is discharged from the hospital. She still needs nasal oxygen supplementation. We rent an oxygen tank and administer it to her ourselves from the guesthouse.

August 3 – The US Embassy in Ethiopia approves our adoption.

August 6 - We fly standby and arrive home to MN. Rachel Rose meets her new forever family.


In the first two days we were with our daughter we noticed her Ethiopian name spelled four different ways on different types of paperwork. Above her bed, on her hospital papers, her adoption paperwork, at the clinic – everyone had a slightly different spelling. We saw her Ethiopian name spelled Nebet, Nabat, Nebadie and Nebat. I was struck by how despite the fact that there were kindhearted people in her life who wanted good things for her, no one really knew her name. I kept thinking, “She just needs someone who knows her name.” She just needed someone to make sure she ate enough, that she got medical care and medicine as needed. Simple reasonable things. How many children out there don’t have anyone who knows their name? In the Bible God talks about knowing us by name (Exodus 33:17), and how our names are written in the book of life. We are so thankful to be able to give our beautiful daughter her new name, Rachel Rose Halseth.


God rescues Rachel Rose by allowing us to arrive in time to admit her to a missionary hospital in the country. We are told by several medical and orphanage staff that she may not have been able to make it much longer. Prior to meeting her, we had no idea she was even ill.

After five days, Rachel Rose responds to the medical care and makes a turn around. Praise God for the faithful Korean Missionaries who went to Ethiopia and built this Mission Hospital in 2002!

The beurocratic adoption process is expedited due to medical reasons and we bring Rachel Rose home in 3 weeks. The typical timing would have been 2-5 months.

Numerous missionaries living in Ethiopia reach out to us. Our Ethiopian friends we have known for 10 years reach out to us. We have nothing to offer them, but they generously serve us, pray with us and offer hospitality to us.

A friend of a friend connects us with their American friends living in Addis Ababa. She is a Pastor and her husband is the Ethiopia Director of USAID. They generously bring us meals, pray with us and take us to dinner. They have a diplomatic vehicle and driver which they let us use. We are given excellent transportation in a safe vehicle as we travel with Rachel from the guesthouse to the hospital, to the US Embassy, to medical appointments, etc. We feel cared for in a foreign land.

The day before Rachel Rose is discharged from the hospital, an American short-term missionary moves into the room next to us. Her name is Kristyn and she is a pediatric nurse. She generously offers her expertise to us as we care for Rachel the rest of our time in Ethiopia. Total blessing.

We are able to rent an oxygen tank in order to give Rachel Rose the nasal oxygen supplementation she needs while we stay in the guesthouse. On the oxygen she is able to eat and breathe normally. Off the oxygen her color is not good and she becomes too lethargic to be able to eat.

God leads us to fly home despite our ongoing concerns with Rachel’s oxygen issues. As they oxegynate the plane for pre-trip flight preparation, Rachel’s color improves dramatically. She has not had another oxygen concern since! Praise God!

We have to fly standby and all the flights are booked for a week. God miraculously gets us seats on a full flight, and we are the last three passengers onto the plane! We even got a seat with the infant bassinet!

Here in MN, we have taken Rachel to multiple Dr. appointments and she is declared healthy, healthy, healthy!

When we met Rachel on 7/19/11 she was 4 months old and 6.5 pounds, the same weight she was on 3/30/11. Now at 6.5 months of age, she weighs 14.5 lbs— a 130% increase!

Jenni’s 1st interest in adoption was at age 14 in a Haitian orphanage. While we were dating we discussed our mutual interest in adoption. 25 years later God gives us our precious adopted daughter. “A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul.” Proverbs 13:19

Join us in celebrating! We are confident and filled with hope because we know that the Lord has a plan for Rachel Rose’s life. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Isaiah 29:11