What is it about the name Amy? I honestly don’t think I know a bad one. I’ve traveled to the other side of the world to serve the discarded with Amy Andersen and Amy Norton, have fallen in love with special needs orphans with Amy Hobbs and Amy Haroff, have partied with the stars with Amy Pengra and Amy Coplen, have found words to speak and sing with Amy Courts, have punched fear in the face and found my bravery this summer with Amy Warr and Amy Campbell, and in a month will stand beside Amy Goodwin as we teach Jamaican women just how beautiful courage can be. I think if I could hand-pick an army, it would be an A-team. There are 20 of them already on my list. That’s a wonderful start.
And if I could choose any Amy to be captain of this army, it would be this one. Amy King. She’s fearless in a way I hope to be some day – that gutsy fearlessness that says “I don’t see a bit of pavement in front of me but I’m walking that road into place anyway.” I honestly believe Amy King will one day be a chapter in my first book, Stories of One. I’ve known her for two years now. We met at Idea Camp: Orphan Care in 2009. She had just moved to Austin, Texas, to be part of an leadership residency program at The Austin Stone. Even then, she knew her road would lead back to Salt Lake City. Now, Salt Lake City wasn’t her home – it was the place she and 30 other pioneering souls journeyed to from Michigan as part of a church-planting dream. But there was something else there, a faint spark that slowly illuminated Amy’s world to reveal a dream far bigger than setting up chairs or sound equipment on a Sunday. She found a story about Russian orphans, and fell in love. And Amy the pioneer soon found herself on a plane full of strangers, going to Moscow. Her love grew and her heart was shattered. And she returned to Salt Lake City with a dream – to launch an orphan care ministry.
But launching a ministry isn’t a simple thing. And a good captain knows the importance of cadence. Amy then attended the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in 2008. We talk about just how powerful that conference was – how it crystallized my understanding of adoption, foster care and child sponsorship, and how it was the “YES” she needed to hear. It was there she learned about Orphan Sunday, a nationwide commitment to raising the awareness of orphan care needs in our country and around the world.. And it was there she learned that Utah was the one state in our country not participating.
“It was there I realized my dream was bigger than me. It was God’s dream – and I was just being invited into it. I had a place in His plan for Salt Lake City. I just needed to follow Him at His pace.”
That pace took her to the Together4Adoption Conference, where she met Jason Kovacs – a leader with the ABBA Fund (a adoption grant-writing organization) who had just moved to Austin to work with the Stone.
And so she moved. Packed everything she needed in a Jetta and moved. She knew no none – but she also knew the road was being paved under her feet.
Amy leaves this weekend for Salt Lake City in that Jetta. But the captain isn’t returning alone. She now has the support of hundreds of friends who share her vision. She has the support of the ABBA Fund. She has wisdom and mentors. And she has churches in Utah who are eager for her arrival. The first thing she will do when she arrives is to work on bringing the Chosen Marathon to Salt Lake. And she’ll begin laying out the structure of the Salt Lake City affiliate of the For The Orphan Network.
“I’ve always been a starter. It’s in my blood. But I’ve learned so much from the past 5 years – about breathing and taking time and waiting. And I’ve learned about finding good support. I have community, and I couldn’t have done it without community. I’m scared – but I know this dream isn’t mine. This is God’s. He’s got this.’
Yes, Amy. He does indeed have this.
Now, for the past two years Amy and I have whiled away the hours at Kerbey Lane, a local joint in Austin that stays open 24/7 and serves delightful things like the best queso in the universe. We even thought about trying to stay there for a full 24-hours once, just eating our way through good conversation.
This week, Amy and I talked about what she’ll miss most about Austin. She mentioned Golden Eggs from Walton’s Fancy & Staple (a little restaurant owned by Sandra Bullock). So Amy, in honor of you – here’s the real Golden Egg recipe from Sandra’s baking sister. And yes, you are right. I did cry when I ate them. They are that good, and now there are three dozen of them baked and ready for visitors at CasaRock.
For the Cake:
Nonstick baking spray
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups nonfat buttermilk
For dipping the eggs:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon mixed together in a small shallow bowl
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray your molds with nonstick spray (I, obviously, use egg-shaped molds. You can use a muffin pan or any other small baking molds.)
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with either the paddle or the whisk attachment, whip the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
This can take up to 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of your butter.
As you’re whipping away, stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the butter is incorporated into the sugar.
You can’t make magic without a lot of patience. So keep whipping and keep scraping.
Add the eggs one at a time, whipping after each one until the egg is fully incorporated into the batter.
Scrape down the bowl every now and again as well.
Add the vanilla.
Once all the eggs are incorporated, alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk, mixing slowly.
After they are well incorporated but not overbeaten, take a rubber spatula and fold the batter a few times to make sure everything is evenly distributed and the batter is smooth.
Distribute the batter into your molds, filling each cavity a little less than halfway.
Bake for about 15 minutes. Baking time varies depending on the size of your mold, so check for a very light golden brown color and make sure the cake springs back when you touch it.
Unmold your little cakes and while they are still warm, dunk them quickly in the melted butter, then dredge them in the cinnamon and sugar.
One warning: people are going to call you a stinking liar. They will not believe that these precious morsels aren’t fried like a donut. But that’s the cost of making magic.
If you’d like to know more about how to support Amy as she launches the For the Orphan Network in Salt Lake, let me know and I’ll get you two connected!