The Awesome Story of Hermon and Hiyab



In 2010 Haiti was struck with a major earthquake killing up to 300,000 people and leaving millions of others without a home.  At this time my husband and I were happily raising our four young boys in Seattle.  Although we had talked about adoption for years, it was always more of a fantasy than a reality.  The timing never seemed right, we didn’t know how we’d afford it, and our home was already full with four kids.  Yet, seeing the images of children in Haiti on the news pulled at our hearts in a new way.  

Two weeks later, my husband shook me awake in the middle of the night. “We have to adopt!” he said. In my sleepy state I said, “okay” and fell back to sleep.  In the morning he said he couldn’t sleep knowing we had so much to give while millions of children lived in our world with no parents.  A few weeks after that Haiti was closed to adoption, and we were left wondering if we’d dreamt the whole thing.    

The next year we moved into a bigger home. Part of our move included saving a large chunk of money from the sale as an “emergency fund.”  Within weeks we knew the new house could accommodate more kids. We renamed our emergency fund, “adoption fund,” and excitedly began to pursue adoption for real.  We sat our kids down and discussed how adopting would change our lives; they (some reluctantly) agreed. It didn’t take long to find Precious.org with it’s many pictures of “waiting children.”  In our minds we had decided on two girls or one boy.  We didn’t want a baby, we were done with that phase of life, but thought ages four to eight would fit well in our family.  

All of our plans flew out the window when I saw the picture of a little boy with big beautiful eyes sitting in a tiny chair holding his baby sister.  The look on his face devastated me.  Who was he?  Where was he from?  Through Precious.org, I found the agency he and his sister were filed with.  I learned that they from Ethiopia, they were four years and eight months old, and their names were Hermon and Hiyab.  My husband wasn’t quit as sure that they were the ones as I was. “I thought we didn’t want a baby? I thought it was two girls or one boy?” he said.  But, I couldn’t get Hermon’s sad little face out of my mind. 

Within days, after much prayer, we called the agency and claimed Hermon and Hiyab as our own.  We were terrified, yet knew in our hearts that this was God’s plan for us.  Immediately, they felt like they were our children and the frantic race of filling what felt like a million different pieces of paper began.  

Ten months later, after two trips to Ethiopia, we brought our children home.  Nobody could have prepared us for what that first year held.  My little Hermon with the big, big eyes was an angry and scared little boy with the determination of a tiger, and his little sister ate more banana’s than I thought humanly possible. 


The first year home was exhausting, filled with tears (mine!), and often felt like climbing Mt. Everest.  I had many days where I pleaded with God, “Help me! Why did you do this to me!” and doubted whether we had made the right decision.  My little broken babies needed more love than I thought I could give. Although I struggled daily parenting my adopted children, I knew that God chose us specifically to parent them.  It is obvious that Hermon needed us with the stability and structure that we had to offer, and that we needed Hiyab, our only girl.  

We’re now home two years, and the story has changed to one of redemption.  Hermon has become the spunky, funny, ball of energy that God created him to be, and Hiyab is a delight to us all.  We’ve seen how adoption changed Hermon and Hiyab’s lives, but even more so, change ours.   

Submitted By: Adoptive Mom, Erika Stanley

Hermon and Hiyab: Home May, 2011 from Ethiopia


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