Thursday, May 16, 2013

Operation Abraham - Giveaway

Our boy Abraham is much loved.  And in a day's time (PRAISE GOD!), we came really close to the half way point of the funds needed for his surgery.  

So today Wendy (Abraham's sponsor and biggest fan & advocate) and several others are sweetening the pot with a little giveaway.

(If you don't know who Abraham is, read yesterday's post here).

So.....make a donation and then hop over to Wendy's blog and tell her that you did so in a comment on this giveaway post.  You will then be entered to win one of the many items that have been donated for this cause.  

There are some great items up for grabs.  T-Shirts from Project Hopeful, ONEless Ministries, Visiting Orphans and others.  There is jewelry, genuine Rwandan articles, Ethiopian scarves and more.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Operation Abraham

There are SO many elements of this story that have me in awe of the God that I serve.  There is the absolutely immeasurable value of child and family sponsorship.  There is the element of weaving together of hearts for a cause.  And there is the work that God is ALWAYS doing, even when, at times, it seems that He has, perhaps, forgotten us.  But as good as all of that is, there is a need to get down to business in this post and so that's what I'll do.

Meet Abraham.

Sixteen months ago, a lady I am now happy to call friend, met Abraham and his mother in the trash dump community of Korah, Ethiopia.  Wendy says that from the moment she first saw his sweet face, she knew that God had placed her there in that very moment for a reason.  She told Abraham's mother that day that she wanted to help her and, at that time, her family began to sponsor his through Hope for Korah.  Since that day, she has prayed diligently for him and his precious mother.  But there's more.  You see, Wendy is the mama to two littles with Down Syndrome and, because of that, she knew that it was imperative that Abraham see a physician (something that he had never done in his 2.5 years) and soon.

Eventually, they were able to get Abraham to a hospital and, unfortunately, the news was not good.  Abraham has two large holes in his heart that need to be closed.  In Ethiopia, not only do they rarely do heart surgery on Pediatric patients, but they would not even consider doing surgery on a child with Down Syndrome.

For the past year, Wendy has worked to find a way for Abraham to have this much needed, life saving surgery.  And several times the answer has been "no".  But not this time.

Abraham will be traveling to Tenwek Hospital in Kenya to see if the amazing surgeons (US surgeons traveling to Kenya) can heal his broken heart.  There are two procedures that need to take place.  The first one is right around the corner.  He has an appointment on June 2nd!!!

In order for this to happen, there is an immediate need to raise $6,500.00.  Time is short but God is BIG.  Please....I'm begging....hop over to this site to make a donation; for Abraham.

Click Below to Donate

All Donations Tax-Deductible 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

I had to look back at last year's Mother's Day post.  I never dreamed I would be writing another while still waiting for a referral.

We had a GREAT Mother's Day, celebrating a little early on Saturday evening with my Mom, my brother and sisters and their families.  And then on Sunday, Jeff and the boys and I shared a great lunch and an even better nap.  : )

I look forward to next Mother's Day when our girl is home (still keeping that wishful/hopeful thinking thing going).  As I thought about her over the weekend, the main thing that I thought of was her first Mommy and the sacrifice she has made/is making.  I pray that she always knows that we are thankful for her, that we will always pray for her and that we will teach our girl to know about and love her as well.

I still have a whole Summit 9 post coming up, by the way.  It was a GREAT experience that I want to share.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

If I Had a Dollar

The question that I am asked more than any other is, you guessed it,

"Why is this taking so long?"
I mean, after all, aren't there 5,000,000 orphans in Ethiopia?

I have some answers to that question but I'm sure that I don't have them all.  One very basic reason is that we are working with one agency.  That agency only contracts with, at this time, seven orphanages.  That means of all of the orphans in Ethiopia, only the ones from seven orphanages are "available" to us.  And, to further complicate things, our agency isn't necessarily exclusive to those orphanages; there are other agencies who can "pull" from those orphanages as well.

The other thing that slowed things down for several months was the renewing/relicensing of all orphanages and all agencies.  This process was long and tedious and really held things up for a period of two to three months.

In addition, it has become much harder to declare any child a true orphan in Ethiopia.  New laws and procedures have been put in place in order to discourage corruption (which is a REALLY good thing).  However, in the end, this likely means that many more children whose history can not be traced and paperwork processed will likely never be adoptable; they will live their entire lives in orphanages and, ultimately, age out of the system.  It is such a difficult balance to achieve.  But the end result for us right now is that more paperwork has to be done, more investigations have to take place and more effort has to be made to ever declare a child adoptable.

Our agency has actually been fairly consistently giving out referrals; it's just that they have, for the most part, been for infants.  The truth is that had we been willing to accept the referral for an infant, we would have gotten a referral many months ago.  We were given the opportunity to change and lower our age range but we have always felt led to adopt an "older" child.  There are more families willing to adopt infants so placing them is never a problem.

As I mentioned above, there are many orphans (more than I can ever fathom or care to think about) in Ethiopia (and places like it) who will NEVER know the love of a family.  Many don't realize that this is the case but it is a very sad reality.  That is why, aside from adoption, child sponsorship, short and long term missions and supporting ministries who care for the unadoptable orphan is needed.  We all should be a part of caring for the orphan; it is so near to the heart of God.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Monthly Wait-List Update (a post filled with numbers)

Today was the day that our monthly wait-list update email arrived.

As we expected, we are standing firm at number TWO.

On a (very) positive note, FIVE children were matched with their forever families.  TWO infants, ONE older child and ONE sibling set of TWO (a brother and sister).

On a less positive note, the family who has been on hold at number ONE due to a concurrent adoption in another country, will likely be coming off of hold soon.  I don't know exactly when and my agency is unable to tell me; however, I believe that they brought their newly adopted child home sometime in either December or January and they are required to be on hold for SIX months (unless they choose to remain there longer).  Unless they have changed their parameters, they will rejoin the list waiting for a 0-4 year old girl.  I realize this comes as no surprise to our sovereign God but, I just gotta tell you, this whole waiting thing can really suck the fun out of life at times.

Shifting gears, for the next TWO days, we're going to take our focus off of the number TWO and spend it on NINE....Summit 9, that is.

We are excited to be spending time hearing some great speakers (like David Platt, Michele Bachmann and Dennis Rainey, among others), worshiping with the likes of Nicole C. Mullens, Steven Curtis Chapman and Jason Germain (to name a few) and attending Breakout Sessions about topics like Multi Racial Family, Straight Talk from Adult Adoptees, Human Trafficking Targets, etc.  We will also be screening the movie "Stuck".  My prayer is that we walk away from this opportunity with a heart increasingly broken for what breaks His and that we learn things that will bring value to our family, to our church and to ONEless Ministries.