Well, we have been overwhelmed with charitable contributions over the past week from friends, family and people we don't personally know! Our hearts are sooo full!! God funds what he favors!!! We are going to continue our fundraising efforts until our trip! We still have jerseys left, and of course cash donations are welcome so PLEASE continue to pass the word along about our trip! Cash donations will be used once we hit the ground in Africa to buy clothes, shoes, mattresses, medical supplies, or whatever needs that are unmet once we get there!
Here are some answers to a lot of questions to some questions we have been asked over the past week!
Well, not exactly sure I know the answer to that one.... I found Katie Davis' blog a little over a year and a half ago and I guess that was my first draw to Africa. Then I started talking with the girls from 147 Million Orphans and they too were adopting or had already adopted from Africa. Then we started reseaching all over the globe and there is just such a need in this country. I started reaching out to other people who are helping with the Orphan Crisis and many of their roots are in Africa too. I did meet others who adopted from the Ukraine and South America but my heart just YEARNS for Africa. They have so little and we just have so much. I guess the only way to really answer this is " It is God's plan for us to go and see and feel the depth of what is really going on and how we may help!
Are you really going to adopt from Africa?
Not 100% sure on this just yet, but it definitely feels like a strong possibility. Robby and I are going on this Mission Trip to hopefully understand what God has planned for us in the future.
What does your family think about you possibly adopting a black child?
They think it is wonderful. My mom said "Jesus loves all the children of the world. Red, Yellow, Black or white..they are all precious in his site..." My dad said " a child is a child." When we asked the kids if it would be ok for us to maybe adopt a black child they asked us " why wouldn't it be?" I realize being from the South there will be some stares, comments and who knows what else but we are ok with that. If this is Gods' plan then we are ready for it. My friend Suzanne said that God gives you an extra heaping of Grace when you adopt a child of color into your fold. Bottom line... there are 147 Million orphans out there that do not have a forever family. If we are called to be a forever family for one then I don't care what color they are, period. My kids picked "How to Save a Life" by the Fray for the background music for our blog because Caitlin said isn't that what we will be doing after all? Now, let that sink in. She is 11 and she gets it. :)
Well, initially I was drawn to Uganda where Katie lives. I met up with Gwen and Suzanne who have both adopted from Uganda and they told me about Ethiopia. There is more of a clear adoption path in Ethiopia vs. Uganda. There is also a greater need right up the road in Ethiopia. There are 4.6 Million orphans in Ethiopia alone. And these numbers are estimated numbers from 2006. A lot of these children are orphaned due to poverty and a quarter of them are due to AIDS. This is one of the largest group of orphans in the world, the need is great, and the numbers are growing rapidly. There were well over 2,000 adoptions in Ethiopia last year and again there is a clear documented path here. Also, this Ethiopia mission trip just fell in our lap so I think we are pursuing in the right direction.
Is adopting from there expensive?
Yes, and no we don't have that kind of money hanging out in our bank account! Ha! We haven't figred that part out yet! I just keep telling Philip that God funds what he favors. If it is his plan we will figure it out!!
Why is adopting so expensive?
Well there are alot of factors that go into this. There are agency fees, dossier prep fees, air travel fees and donations to the child's home orphange. Keep in mind that airfare is pricey for where we are going. Mine and Robby's air ticket alone was $1900 each. That does not include meals and lodging. If we adopt we will have to travel to Ethiopia twice. Once to go before the judge to get the adoption finalized by the judge and the second time to bring the child home once their visa is finalzied. That is a large chunk of the total cost. Not all of it, but an idea of what all goes in to adopting a child internationally.
Why are you blogging all of this?
2 reasons... 1) to create awareness of the orphan CRISIS that exists today. To stop and make people THINK of ways they can help. By creating awareness maybe we can open someone else's heart to SAVE A CHILD. On our mission trip with Ordinary Hero we will be advocating for the WAITING child (a child who's paperwork is ready and just WAITING for a Forever family.) Can you begin to imagine what it must be like to sit wondering each day if someone will PICK you today? They watch friends come and go and they remain...why? They want a mother and father to love them, and a safe place to sleep and food when they are hungry. More than ANYTHING they want LOVE. Oh, how this I know IS my purpose is to advocate for them....
One of the adoptive mothers I spoke to said that the children just follow you around and touch you. They yearn for touch and to be loved. She said one of the children just purred as she was touching her. God created all of us to be loved and folks there are children out there who do NOT get this. Now imagine your children "purring for your touch" or anyone else's for that matter. This is why I am going and why I am opening my heart to what lies ahead....
and 2) we want to remember this journey and to be able to share it with our friends, family and who knows who else! We will be updating our blog from AFRICA so it won't feel like those who are not with us are so far away! Even though you can't be there with us we hope to capture as much of Africa as we can through video, photos and our thoughts! Thanks for joining us on our journey!