YES! I said three kids. We have received and accepted our referral for three wonderful kids who live in Addis Ababa. Yes, we are crazy! Crazy in love with life! Crazy happy we get to become parents together! Crazy excited to be welcoming Blessings, Shining Light, and Breath into our home. Those are the meanings of their names. And there is a whole lot of all that shining out from their picture. They are 9, 9, and 8, all in third grade. They have been waiting for a family for two years. The same two years it has taken us to (1) mentally prepare to adopt and then (2) take the many steps to make the adoption happen. I'm sorry they had to wait this long for us to be ready to find them. And I'm sure it will take all of the next four or five months of waiting for our court date and travel date to get the house ready. Not to mention learn how to make injera and to braid hair. But, we are so glad the time is getting closer. We can't wait to get them home and head down to Positive Spin to get them bikes. Problem is, they'll be arriving here in the midst of winter, so we'll have to wait on the bikes. We hope to travel in February or March. We also hope we won't have to miss World Party 2009, but if we do, we think our guests will understand.
We've been learning a lot along this journey towards our kids, and one thing we have been learning about is HIV, because so many families in Ethiopia have been affected in some way by this virus. Along with poverty and war, it is a major reason there are so many children who need families in Ethiopia. Yet, there is such a stigma against people with HIV that people fear losing their jobs and homes if others find out they have the virus. About 6,000 children a day in this world lose a parent to HIV, because not everyone is able to get the medicine they need to manage the virus. And it can be managed! There is somewhat of a stigma here in the U.S., too, but things are getting better. Here, HIV+ people can get health care and medicine and are protected legally in many ways. I think it is really important for everyone in the world to understand HIV so I have added a gadget to the left with the basic info and a link to the CDC website. And, if you want to make a difference in the lives of children with HIV, so they can get medicine and education and create a happy life, here are some ways to help.
Lisa Qualls and her family offers beautiful AHOPE t-shirts to raise funds to support AHOPE for Children, a home and outreach service for HIV+ orphans in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
They are now also offering bracelets like the ones in this photo.
Or you can sign up to sponsor a child at AHOPE or simply send a donation directly to AHOPE here.
There is also a new organization whose mission is to help families adopt HIV+ children. They have a great website with some cool ideas for getting your whole family involved in helping a child come Home.
May you be at peace.
May you be at peace.
And may you be transformed!
"Change your hearts and mind, for the reign of heaven is about to break in on you." -Matthew 3:2