Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I hope you all that read my blog have a wonderful new year!! And that 2009 will be a blessed year for everyone!!
May God Richly Bless You
Thursday, December 25, 2008
So far we are having a great morning...Abby and Anna recieved nice gifts this year my dad and Kate got them their first Nintindo DS thing?? The girls have to share...Anna is kicking butt on the Narnia game...WOW they sure catch on quick!!
Either she's really good at it or it's beginners luck...but it is funny to watch!! She is only 6 and has hardly played one of these things. Aleena even recieved two gifts...we sure wish she was here with us...but she is in our thoughts and our hearts and we pray that she will be here next year!!
Bye for now...Merry Christmas
Friday, December 19, 2008
It will take awhile, for all the paperwork and before we know a court date. At least this step is done. Now we need to settle in and get ready to hear about a court date when we pass court then Aleena will be officially part of our family and if we pass court the first time we can travel 2-3 weeks after. But court right now is backlogged so we may not get a date till March or April.
Several weeks ago, my friend Diana and I decided to host a ladies luncheon at my house for Christmas. December 17th was the day. We had a pretty bad snow storm the day before. And I thought maybe we would have to cancel. But, all my dear ladies came anyway. I spent all morning decorating and setting place settings. Anna wrote name tags and we lit candles. The luncheon was planned for 11am. No one showed up till 11:30am because of the roads. But in walked my faithful girlfriends; Diana, her mom Marjorie, and Diana's niece Kelly. Bev, Karen, Danielle and Carrie. These ladies have been my main support and have prayed, cried, and laughed with me in the last year during this adoption. We were all sitting around the table finishing up lunch. At 1:00pm the phone rang and guess what it was Toni!!
The ladies were talking and I just said, "this is it, this is our referral call!" You talk about some happy momma's and grandma's!! WOW...I was sooo happy that all of these dear woman were here with me. They even got to see her picture for the first time with me...it was like being in the delivery room.
I am so honored to share the moment of the "call" with these Godly wonderful supportive girl friends...So now you know that will be a phone call none of us will ever forget!!
And to top it all off Paul was on his way home...he came right in and saw the picture of Aleena. She is perfect. Just what he expected all along.
You see God does know the desires of your heart. He knows the right time and he knows the place...he knew several weeks ago, when Diana and I were making plans, what day would be perfect.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Thank you for all of your prayers!!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
CHI is closed the 22-2nd and so now referrals will not be given until 2009. I am trying to be positive. I have my good days and bad days. Now, they are saying that court is taking longer. So if we get our referral say around the first of January we may not be able to go until April...that is, if we pass the first time. I am having trouble staying positive. I am kinda aggravated that it is going like this, but I do know that it is out of my control. Adoption can be a roller coaster ride.
There were two referrals yesterday both sibling groups. I'm sure those are the last ones till after the first of the year. So please continue to pray with me and Paul. Pray that Aleena will be kept safe until we hold her in our arms...Pray that I won't be so disappointed...I know in my heart, it is in God's time, but human nature wants to get really MAD!! I want my little girl!!
I also realize that her birth family could be loving on her and enjoying the last minutes with her right now, I would never want to take that away.
Okay so a little venting and an update... have a good weekend!!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
- Make sure to set up a manger scene that includes the Three Magi. Legend has it that the king bearing frankincense was King Balthazar of Ethiopia, .
Infuse the celebrations with the essential oil frankincense, which was traditionally a gift suitable for a high priest. Today you can mix frankincense with spices or seeds to create different aromas, or you can burn frankincense incense.
Attend a local Christian Orthodox service if there are any nearby. Keep in mind that the services sometimes require that men and women sit in separate areas and that services can last up to three hours.
Sing carols and carry candles either during the service or afterwards.
Prepare an Ethiopian feast for the Christmas meal that includes a main course, such as doro wat (a spicy chicken stew), injera bread (flat round bread) and homemade wine or beer. Keep in mind that injera bread is used to scoop and eat food, hence replacing utensils. The Christmas meal, which is served January 7, is preceded by major preparations that include the purchase and slaughter of an animal (typically a goat or cow).
Encourage the children to play ganna or leddat, which is a form of field hockey in which sticks with hooks on one end are used. The game is played by two opposing teams and the stick and ball are made from locally grown trees. In Ethiopia the teams often represent certain regions and the rivalry can be fierce. According to tradition, shepherds celebrated when they heard of Jesus' birth by playing such a game.
Tips and Warnings:
There are no Christmas trees in a traditional Ethiopian Christmas. However, Christmas trees, sparkles and artificial snow have begun to spring up in the capital city of Addis Ababa.
The exchange of gifts is not customary for Christmas in Ethiopia. The one exception to this is that some families give children new clothing as a part of the celebrations.
The word Ganna is used interchangeably with the word Christmas to mean the birth of Christ (leddat). A common way to refer to the holiday is "ye ganna baal".
Ethiopia is a country with more than 80 languages and many cultural influences, so Christmas traditions are often diverse and cannot be generalized. The preceding steps represent a few local traditions that may or may not be appropriate for your personal celebration of Christmas.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Paul and I and the girls went to Dale's and then to Beka's we ate and visited and had a blast. We also thought about our little Ethiopian princess, Aleena, wherever she may be. Next year we hope to have a new little addition take to Thanksgiving dinner.
There is so many things to be thankful for I can't even put them all down but here are some...
- My Lord Jesus, my best friend
- My husband a wonderful Godly man and my best friend on earth
- My three girls Abigayle, Anna, and our soon to be Aleena
- The breath that I breath
- Our health and home
- Our family
- Our friends and church
My God shall supply all of our needs...praise his name!!
Happy Thanksgiving 2008!!!!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Not ours yet??
We have had a great week...I have been a little down, getting a little impatient...We are really getting anxious about our little Aleena. I fixed the playroom up and put down some carpet. Anna and Aleen will be sharing a room, Anna won't have it any other way. Right now I am at Paul's office typing this...he has the coolest office, and the Internet runs great!! We saw the Christmas light parade tonight...and got to ride in Paul's patrol car. Abigayle and Anna thought that was awesome!! My sister and nephew came by and had lunch with us...I will post a picture later. Westley is getting soooo big and he love his Aunty.
Okay well I think that is all. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving if I don't have any news to share this next week.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
A couple of ladies and I had a prayer meeting today...had a nice lunch and a good laugh. It was truly encouraging.
So even though we didn't get a referral today...I had a bit of an encouragement with good sweet friends.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
Psalm 121:5 NLT
Secure with the keeper "It was dark and cold that November morning when the Livingstone family woke up to say farewell to their son David. He was leaving Scotland for the heart of Africa. Mrs. Livingstone made coffee; Mr. Livingstone dressed warmly to walk his son to Glasgow. David got the family Bible and read the comforting words of Psalm 121 with the family.A dozen years later, Dr. Livingstone was contemplating a trip deeper into the unexplored interior of Africa along with his wife and children. Just before he left, he received a letter from his mother-in-law, Mary Moffat, who was also a missionary. "My dear Livingstone," she began. "Hitherto I have kept up my spirits and have been enabled to believe that our Great Master may yet bring you out in safety." She said that she was clinging to the promises of Psalm 121 and Psalm 91.
"Unceasing prayer is made for you." Then she added, "Every petition, however fervent, must be with submission to his will."Protected? Yes.
Submissive to his will? That, too.Jesus guaranteed us that in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33).
But no matter what happens, we can never be separated from God's love or God's purposes. He promises to preserve us from evil but not to pave over every pothole in life's road.
I love Dr. Livingston he is truly an inspiration in our lives...a man of God who gave up everything to serve Jesus in Africa.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Oh, by the way...2 more referrals this week!! Congrats to the blessed families.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Abigayle told me tonight while we were eating at her favorite restaurant (Mexican). Mom "patience is a virtue" they have to pick out just the right little girl for us...
If only as an adult we can see like little children!!
Congrats to all who have received there little blessings!!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
The one's I know so far (don't laugh)
Okay I promise I will learn more...I have a horrible time memorizing!! These word for some reason just stuck!! LOL
Next week will be six months waiting on the referral!! I talked with Toni and she said we are 3rd on our age group list...that may be promising news!!
I went to Extrodinary Woman meeting this last weekend (thank you Connie P.) Martha Wells spoke and she did an excellent job!! In the Process to Progress leads to Sucess (Martha Wells)
It was a great uplifting time and I really enjoyed it!!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Abigayle has already brought home test papers with A's and Anna's progress reports are A's!!
We have two good, smart cookies!! Abigayle's teacher is Mrs. Laphoon and she is really nice...she loves to teach she has been a teacher for 31 years!! WOW
No word from the adoption...we will be waiting 5 months the 7th of Sept. It is all in God's timing.
Bev is getting us ready though, her and Roger just got back from the Ukraine on a mission's trip and she has given us fanny packs...money belts, backpacks and a suit case!! We are set in that area...she has reminded me how to pack internationally and what to pack...also I need to get my second Hep B shot...Paul has gotten all of his shots when he was in the National Guard a few years ago so he is set...I have gotten Tet nus, Hep A and Hep B...that is all really that is needed to go on this trip. I have gotten some things for the ladies at the HOH, but still need to get things for the men. I am bringing crayons, and deodorant that Walmart has donated to the children and adults at the HOH.
Now I am going to start getting travel stuff...I figure if I start buying a little here and a little there by the time it is time to travel it won't be so much $$.
Okay gotta go...
You can read it, study it, examine it, and read it again; but unless you live it, and experience it you will never know the magnitude of it!!
Monday, August 25, 2008
By Rick Hampson, USA TODAY
KONSO, Ethiopia — Once, the farmers walked for hours to bring their sorghum and maize here to market. These days they trod the same paths, parched grass crunching under foot, to carry their starving children to a feeding clinic.
Like crops, the children are weighed (in a nylon harness seat attached to a scale) and measured (with a tape to record arm circumference). The most severely malnourished are kept overnight for up to a month; the rest go home with a week's supply of Plumpy'nut, a nutritional paste.
The clinic, part of a system that didn't exist five years ago, will save almost all the children from starvation. But it can't sate the hunger that has shattered their families' livelihoods — forcing them to sell skeletal cows for a few dollars, to eat this year's food reserve and next year's seed, to keep children out of school, to flee the land itself.
"We give birth to the children," says Urmale Kasaso, whose listless 4-year-old son's cheeks are puffed up like apples from malnutrition, "but we can't grow them."
Ethiopia, perennially one of the world's hungriest nations, now faces what Oxfam, one of dozens of international aid organizations responding to the crisis, calls "a toxic cocktail."
Its ingredients: drought that in some places killed the entire spring crop; global inflation that has doubled the price of food; armed rebellion in the Somali region that has disrupted food delivery; and assorted plagues, from insects to hailstones.
Unlike 1985, when images of a famine that killed 1 million Ethiopians shocked the West — "We are the world!" pop stars sang at the globally televised Live Aid concert that raised more than $250 million — this year aid workers say there probably will be no mass starvation. An expensive, elaborate social welfare apparatus, erected largely by the world's rich nations to avert another 1985, will not permit it.
Those good intentions, however, have helped produce another problem: A nation that has long seen itself as the most independent in Africa faces an ever-growing dependence on food aid from countries who now must deal with increasing food problems of their own.
At least 14 million Ethiopians — 18% of the nation — need food aid (much of it from the USA) or cash assistance, according to government figures and aid agency estimates.
Since 1985 the population has doubled to almost 80 million, and per-capita farm production has declined. Meanwhile, the global cost of raising and moving food keeps rising.
It all makes Ethiopia's hunger "a ticking time bomb," says Peter Walker, a Tufts University famine specialist.
The problem is personified by Urmale, who like most Ethiopians is known by his first, given name.
With his 4-year-old son Kusse strapped to his back, he walked three hours to the clinic here run by the government and supported by Save the Children USA, the humanitarian aid agency.
The boy had shrunk to 20 pounds after the family's crop failed and market prices outstripped the cash allowance his family gets from a government anti-famine program. Now he's gaining almost a pound a day.
But Urmale, 30, says the boy's three older siblings have a question for which he has no answer: Why did you bring us into the world if you can't feed us?
"It is sad, but I try to calm them," he explains.
"I say, 'Let me go and search for some food.' "
'What else can I do?'
The hunger has spread across two-thirds of Ethiopia, from the slums of Addis Ababa to the parched countryside around Konso to the "green hunger" region where the rains came only after the spring growing season.
The nation's emergency grain reserve is tapped out, and last month the emergency food ration was reduced by one-third. The government says 75,000 children are severely malnourished. Some people are eating cactus, roots and other famine foods.
Oxfam America staffer Rob O'Neil, who visited the Somali and Afar regions, reports that in one village people pounded their animals' food pellets into a porridge for their children.
Such coping strategies get people through to the fall harvest, but also deepen their poverty.
Dararo Darimo, a widow who walked for an hour to carry her grandson to the clinic here, knows that selling her cow only put off the day of reckoning.
"What else can I do?" she asks. "I don't want to see my grandchildren die."
Gale Kalalo, a young mother whose breast milk has dried up, says her family has only a few days' food left. After that, they'll sell their three goats, one by one. After that, they'll leave their farm and move to the city.
The hunger will be waiting.
Urban Ethiopians traditionally were untouched by the hunger that droughts brought to the nation's subsistence farmers.
Now all Ethiopians face annual food-price inflation of more than 75%; only Zimbabwe's problem is worse, according to World Bank economist William Wiseman.
Messret Tesfay, 27, lives with her daughter in a slum of Addis Ababa, the nation's capital. Her husband has left her. Her home is a one-room brick mud hut wallpapered with old newspapers. But she's always been able afford to make injera — the spongy flatbread on which (and with which) Ethiopians hand-eat their meals.
Now, however, even this national staple is denied her.
She says the cost of teff, the iron-rich cereal from which injera is made, has doubled in the past year to more than $2 per pound. That's forced her buy small pieces of cheaper, pre-made injera, or to make injera with a substitute, such as sorghum or rice.
For a moment, her stoicism cracks. "Too bitter," she says of the alternatives, making a face. "Too hard."
Even some middle-class residents of Addis Ababa, the capital, are being forced to put off weddings, carry lunches to work and eat two meals daily instead of three.
Bassie Terefe, 28, a program officer at a humanitarian aid agency, doesn't go out to dinner any more with friends. He knows that sooner or later he'd have to pick up the check, and he can't afford to.
Instead, he stays home nights, reading newspapers.
"You isolate yourself," he says. "You feel ashamed."
Hallelujah Lulie, 24, a freelance journalist, says food prices have postponed his plan to leave home and get his own place. At this rate, he says, he'll never become independent, much less get married.
"I need to learn some life skills," he says. "Now I'm dependent on my mom."
Famine detection, prevention and alleviation have become a major industry here.
The USA alone will give about $460 million this year just in food aid, part of a $1 billion non-military foreign assistance package. (Ethiopia is the second-largest recipient of U.S. aid in sub-Saharan Africa, behind Sudan).
With each famine, the industry grows.
In 1985, when scenes of emaciated babies and open graves galvanized world opinion, international groups such as Doctors Without Borders and CARE came to stay.
After the drought of 2003, in which more than 13 million people needed emergency food, the government and foreign donors created a system designed to make famine history.
Its components include the Productive Safety Net, a public works program that gives food or cash to more than 7 million poor Ethiopians; the Famine Early Warning System, which uses local indices — rainfall, household income, the average price of a cow — to alert government and aid agencies; a national network of government health extension workers, with two workers per locality, to detect and treat early signs of malnutrition.
In the 2003 drought, Ayelech Echetu's 18-month-old daughter, Hagira, wasted away. "We didn't understand malnutrition then," she says.
But this spring, when the drought hit, a community volunteer visited her home. She examined Ayelech's 4-year-old son, Mattios, and told her to take him to a government clinic in Tulla.
The boy has gained several pounds on Plumpy'nut, but his mother has no illusions about the future. She has sold the family's only goat. The cow is next. Then, she says, "we pray."
A bottomless dependency
Beneath the system designed to stave off famine, Ethiopian agriculture is weaker than ever.
Per-capita farm production has fallen by more than one-third since the famine of 1984-85, largely because the population has doubled — up to an average of 5.4 children per family — and the average farm plot has gotten smaller and drier.
The "green revolution" that transformed agriculture in Asia and Latin America after World War II largely bypassed Africa.
Most Ethiopians farm as their ancestors did — with oxen, wooden plows and rainfall. Farmers agree the latter has become increasingly unreliable.
"In my grandfather's time there was rain. In my father's time there was rain," says Urmale, the farmer who carried his son to the Konso clinic.
"But now the rain is decreasing and decreasing and decreasing. … So there is nothing to eat," he says.
Walker, the Tufts University famine specialist, says the nation also suffers from a centralized agricultural policy that does not encourage small private enterprise or even allow small farmers to own their land.
He says federal officials "issue well-meaning edicts (such as), 'Increase food production 30% in your district.' " Local officials may report good results, Walker says, but "the reports we get is that production is down."
Sisay Tadesse, a spokesman for the government's Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency, denies that local officials tell higher-ups only what they want to hear and were slow this year to report the drought's impact: "The situation on the ground is known by everybody. We are working transparently and closely with our partners," foreign governments and aid agencies.
After some hectic scenes at underprovisioned rural feeding centers this spring, "all the stars are aligned now, and the situation is stabilized," says Glenn Anders, head of the U.S. aid mission.
But hunger remains a touchy issue in Ethiopia. The famine of 1973-74 brought down Emperor Haile Selassie, and the one of 1984-85 marked the beginning of the end for the regime that ousted him.
Moreover, the nation's reliance on others for food undercuts its sense of itself as the only African nation not colonized in the 19th century, and the only one to conclusively defeat a European power: the Italians at the Battle of Adwa in 1896.
Being synonymous with famine "hurts the image of the country," says Sisay, the government spokesman.
That may explain why Ethiopian leaders sometimes seem to be in denial.
In June, long after drought had created a food crisis, the country's health minister told reporters: "We don't need to beat the drum of hunger for Ethiopia every year."
Ethiopia can ill afford to play down its food needs; other nations' own economic worries have left them less willing or able to feed the likes of Ethiopia.
"We're past the time when food was abundant and cheap to transport," says Charles MacCormack, president of Save the Children USA, who points to spring floods in the Midwest and the price of oil as signs that U.S. largesse is finite.
This year there's been "push back" from food donor nations, says Anders, the U.S. aid mission chief: "There's this fatigue: 'Here's Ethiopia again, looking for food again.' "
He says Ethiopia and other African nations need agricultural development: hybrid seeds, irrigation systems, market roads, storage facilities. But foreign aid largely goes to keep people alive, with food or medicine (notably AIDS drugs). Only 0.7% of U.S. aid to Ethiopia goes to improve farm production.
So Ethiopian farmers will continue to wait for the rains — and the hunger.
Although some farmers gather in the fields at night for traditional rain-seeking rituals, Ayelech Echetu is a Christian who does her praying in church. Why, she is asked, did God not send the rains this spring?
She smiles and says what Ethiopians have been saying for a thousand years: "God is very kind. He will give us rain."
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Dibaba Kenene won the gold for the ladies.
Kenenisa Bekela is the gold medalist for the men.
(L-R) Seleshi Sihine (silver), Kenenisa Bekele (gold) and teammate Haile Gebreselassie celebrate. (Photo credit: Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
In the six weeks to mid-July, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treated 11,800 Ethiopian children for severe acute malnutrition. At a tented hospital in the town of Kuyera, 50 out of 1,000 died, double the rate MSF expects for a full-fledged famine. "It's very bizarre," says Jean de Cambry, a Belgian MSF veteran of crises from Sudan to Afghanistan. "It's so green. But you have all these people dying of hunger." The verdure around Kuyera is misleading. It is the product of rains in June, too late for the first of two annual crops. From January to May, the fields were parched and brown. And one failed harvest is enough to turn Ethiopia, a nation of 66 million farmers, into a humanitarian catastrophe.
Hunger has swept East Africa this year, spurred by poor rains and rising food prices. The U.N. estimates that 14 million people urgently need food aid, including 2.6 million in Somalia and more than 1 million in Kenya. In Ethiopia, 4.6 million people are at risk, and 75,000 children have severe acute malnutrition. Nearly a quarter-century ago, an outright famine led to Live Aid, an international fund-raising effort promoted by rock stars, which produced an outpouring of global generosity: millions of tons of food flooded into the country. Yet, ironically, that very generosity may have contributed to today's crisis.
Over time, sustained food aid creates dependence on handouts and shifts focus away from improving agricultural practices to increase local food supplies. Ethiopia exemplifies the consequences of giving a starving man a fish instead of teaching him to catch his own. This year the U.S. will give more than $800 million to Ethiopia: $460 million for food, $350 million for HIV/AIDS treatment — and just $7 million for agricultural development. Western governments are loath to halt programs that create a market for their farm surpluses, but for countries receiving their charity, long-term food aid can become addictive. Why bother with development when shortfalls are met by aid? Ethiopian farmers can't compete with free food, so they stop trying. Over time, there's a loss of key skills, and a country that doesn't have to feed itself soon becomes a country that can't. All too often, its rulers use resources elsewhere — Ethiopia has one of Africa's largest armies.
Why do we get aid so wrong? Because it feels so right. "The American people," says U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia Donald Yamamoto, "are simply not going to sit tight while they see children dying." Nor should they: a starving man needs to be saved first, before he can be taught to fish — or farm. But as the world rallies again to Ethiopia's aid, donors face a dilemma. "We're not getting to the real problem," says Yamamoto.
What would? Ethiopia thought it had found one answer. In 2005 a $1.4 billion five-year program identified 7.3 million Ethiopians unable to live without free food and gave them jobs in rural projects, such as roads and irrigation. The idea was to create livelihoods as well as to save lives. It was working, slowly. By this year, says a Western economist familiar with the effort, "a few thousand" had left the program and were making it on their own. Then came the double blow of drought and soaring food prices. Of the 7.3 million, 5.4 million suddenly needed extra food aid. The sobering lesson: even the best efforts to eliminate hunger are expensive, slow and uncertain of success. Depressing as it may be, this may not be the last time Ethiopia needs help.
With reporting by Kassahun Addis/Addis Ababa
Friday, August 8, 2008
Some say why would you adopt? Why would you put your whole life on hold stop saving money for retirement?? Why would you possibly go into debt over a child??
My answer: God gave his SON Jesus and Jesus brought us out of the life that we live full of sin and mire. And he adopted us into his family and made us his child. That is the ultimate sacrifice. Yes, we are sacrificing some earthly things for a little while, but oh great joy this journey has been!!
Paul, myself, Abigayle and Anna are learning faith!! We are learning to pray together, we are learning compassion, we are watching God provide right before our eyes, we are learning to walk in his will. Yes, we have had struggles, down times, and worries. But God lifts us back up with a gentle hand and leads us on!! WE ARE LEARNING FAITH!!
No, we have not had a referral yet, it has been 4 months and 2 days since our "official waiting" began. Anytime...God's Timing is Always Perfect!!
John 14:8 I will not leave you as orphans for I will come to you, after a little while. A father to the fatherless a defender of the widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
Having that said, here is a wonderful clipping from: Stephen Curtis Chapman
This man has blessed our lives and lives of many other people more then any one would ever know!! Thank you!!
FRANKLIN, Tennessee (CNN) -- According to UNICEF, there are 143 million children in the world who have lost one or both parents.In America alone, there are half a million children in foster care, and approximately 120,000 of these children are waiting to be adopted. In many countries, children are too often orphaned or abandoned because of poverty, disabilities and disease; every 15 seconds, a child loses a parent because of AIDS. These are staggering facts that can seem overwhelming and discouraging, but I believe that God has a loving plan for each child, and that plan is you and me.Caring for these children is not the job of governments or institutions; instead, it is the job of families, people and communities. As Christians, our compassion is simply a response to the love that God has already shown us. Mother Teresa would constantly remind those who worked with her that the Bible clearly teaches that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Jesus. So in a very real sense, caring for orphans is a chance to meet the person of Jesus in "the guise of human suffering." This is an invitation from the heart of God to know him and to experience his love.Nine years ago, my wife and my eldest daughter, Emily, traveled to Haiti on a mission trip. Having been exposed to extreme poverty for the first time, Emily returned home with a determined passion to make a difference in the lives of at-risk children.Only 12 years old, Emily went on an all-out campaign to persuade us to adopt. She bought a book on international adoption with her Christmas money and would read it to us regularly. She began fervently praying and writing letters to Mary Beth and me, encouraging us to consider giving a waiting child a home. Emily knew God was leading us in the direction of adoption; however, Mary Beth and I were not yet convinced.My wife and I had always supported the idea of adoption, and as Christians, we understood the importance of loving and caring for others. But what I had not yet grasped was that adoption is a physical picture of what Jesus has done for me. I did nothing to deserve God's love; in fact, I was living as an orphan, without hope. Yet God chose to pursue a relationship with me, and through the death of his son Jesus, I was adopted into God's family.My wife and I began moving toward adoption with fear and trembling and asking all the questions people ask. I remember Mary Beth crying herself to sleep at night saying, "What are we doing? I can't do this." However, God kept reassuring us that this was the direction he was leading us. It was a huge journey of faith for us.In May of 2000, we found ourselves in a hotel room in China's Hunan province, welcoming the newest member of our family, Shaohannah Hope. From that moment, we began our journey into the world of adoption, orphan care and Shaohannah's Hope. We went on to adopt Stevey Joy and Maria. Recently, our youngest daughter, Maria, passed from life on this earth and is now safely in the arms of Jesus. We have been completely overwhelmed by the love and support of so many during this time of deep, deep sadness. Through all that we've experienced, one thing we still know is true: God's heart is for the orphan.In our travels to Latin America, Africa and Asia, we have visited many different orphanages. If you look past the surroundings and into the eyes of the children, they all have the same look. They seem to convey, "I don't think this is what I was made for. Where do I belong?" These children are crying out for the hope of a family, for the hope of community, for the hope of a permanent love. Our mission, and the mission of our adoption charity, Shaohannah's Hope, is to show hope to these children and to mobilize people, families and communities to be living examples of God's love for them. We started Shaohannah's Hope in order to connect willing families with waiting children, but the reality is that there are many orphans who cannot be adopted. Even though we may not be able to bring them into our homes, we still have the opportunity to show them the hope we have. If only 7 percent of the 2 billion Christians in the world would care for a single orphan in distress, there would effectively be no more orphans. If everybody would be willing to simply do something to care for one of these precious treasures, I think we would be amazed by just how much we could change the world. We can each do something, whether it is donating, adopting, fostering, mentoring, visiting orphans or supporting families that have taken in orphans. You can change the world for an orphan.
Monday, July 21, 2008
We haven't had a referral yet!! But I am sure it will be soon.
We had a very pretty baby heifer July 2nd she was born... Anna named her Buttons.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
April 25, 2008 (Miaziya 17, 2000 Eth. C) is Good Friday of Ethiopia and April 27, 2008 (Miaziya 19, 2000 Eth.C) is Easter of Ethiopia. The CHI Ethiopia office is closed on 4/25.
Wish you happy Fasika = Ethiopian Easter on behalf of all Orthodox Christians of Ethiopia!!!
Fasika is the greatest festival for the devoted followers of Orthodox Church of Ethiopia. People fasts for 56 days and do not eat meat or any animal product like egg, butter, milk….They pray and try to be as positive as possible to others and themselves. No cursing, no gossiping!! Spouses do not share same bed. Fasika has a unique place for Orthodox Church followers of Ethiopia. It is the day we remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the 56 days of fasting is a symbolic representation of sharing His sacrifice for all human beings. People celebrate Fasika with intense joys and food, drink and exchange gifts. Keeping the tradition alive, Children’s Hope International - Ethiopia will distribute holiday gifts to 150 orphans of its own.
April 25, 2008 (April 17, 2000 Ethiopian Calendar) = Good Friday = Siklet
April 27, 2008 (April 19, 2000) = Easter = Fasika
I invite you this Church Song. Enjoy!
Please click here to listen to the Fasika Song.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Pennington's Vanderlinden's, Macers, Turners, and Hughes for the great breakfast you planned for us!! And thank you to all who came and helped and all the prayers and offering!!
God has truly blessed us with a wonderful church family!!
Can't wait for the mission trip this summer!! YEAH! God is working we must listen and obey!!
Demetria and Paul
Monday, April 7, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
This is how this adoption idea started. Several years ago (I won't date myself) I felt a calling to go to bible college and I wanted so badly to go to Africa to be a nurse and start an orphanage. I wanted to make a difference in children's lives who don't have a mother or a father. Well, my life went on a detour but my heart remained the same. I always knew some how that I would adopt a child from Africa. Paul and I were married 12 years ago (this April) and have two beautiful daughters Abby and Anna. I started approaching Paul off and on about adoption, but it wasn't God's timing. Last winter I really started researching!! Our friends Tohnya and Charles mentioned they were adopting from Ethiopia (they already have Josh from Kenya) that is when I started looking into the possibility of Ethiopia. I mentioned it to Paul in the spring of 2007 and still the door was closed. I began to pray and really hard that God would open the door if it was his will to adopt. Finally in October of 2007 Paul came to me!! I still remember him asking, "do you still want to adopt?" "Let's do it!!" So here we are doing it!! YEAH!!
November; The week of Thanksgiving we were accepted to Children's Hope International in St. Louis Missouri.
December; We started all the paperwork
We announced to news to family and friends!!
January; Home study the 15th. All went well. Thank you Nikki. KC staff is super
February; INS office the 22nd. fingerprinted and back round check!!
March; Exactly 3 weeks on March 14th we were cleared and ready to move on
March 17th Dossier done and March 18th sent to St. Louis!! yeah!!
To marrow March 27th, Dossier heads to D.C.
So now you are up to date!!