"How can there be too many children? It's like saying there are too many flowers." Mother Theresa

Friday, January 30, 2009

My heart breaks more each day for these sweet children

Amelezeud Gashaw1992-2005

Amelezeud Gashaw was 11 years old when admitted to AHOPE Ethiopia with her two younger brothers. Beautiful and talented, she was a leader among the children, always ready to help whenever needed.She was also an excellent student, earning top grades despite her frequent absences from school due to illness. She learned to speak fluent English as well as her native Amharic despite a hearing loss due to complications from AIDS.

The world lost a child of great promise when Amelezeud Gashaw died of AIDS at age 13 in September 2005, just as anti-retro-viral medications finally arrived at AHOPE Ethiopia, but too late to help her.

Amelezeud is a legend amongst AHOPE supporters and the staff in Ethiopia. Her life, in my opinion, speaks volumes to the importance of AHOPE and orphan care in general. She had many dreams and although they were not realized, her life has come to mean so much to so many.
In her own words:
“After I graduate, I want to be a professor of mathematics. In our country there are not many women pilots, so I may want to be a pilot. I want to learn quickly and I want to grow up. In the future, I want to live in my family’s house. I want to build my older brother a villa and to plant flowers on the gate to make it beautiful. I want to help children without families, like me. I am going to tell them that I like them, and help them the way Mimi and Bibi help me. More than anything, I like to read history books. This makes my life happy.” (Greene 213).
AHOPE for Children is honoring Amelezeud with the next memorial bracelet. We respectfully ask that you join us in honoring this incredible child by wearing her bracelet. They can be purchased for a donation of $15.00 at The AHOPE Store. Proceeds benefit the children of AHOPE – Ethiopia. (this post was written and put together by Marissa Baker).
And a side note from Erin....Amelezeud never got a chance to grow up, to live her dreams, to be adopted and belong to a family again, and to have all of the opportunities that every child deserves, but her two brothers are still waiting for those opportunities. They are two of the many older children we have waiting for adoption at AHOPE.
Greene, Melissa Fay. There is No Me Without You. New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2006

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A good day

Regardless of what side of the Political fence you rest on, today is a great day. Today is a great day for me, the Mother of African sons. My son’s have been studying civil rights and slavery, Martin Luther King and Apartheid. Their skin has been pointed out to them by classmates. One of my sons had a girl come to school and say “I can’t like you because you’re black.” Today is a good day. Today they get to see a man who looks like them become the most powerful man in America.
Though I voted for Obama, I know most of my Christian brothers and sisters did not. Please remember this is a good day for many. Please pray for President as he embarks on this great task. It is, I believe, what Jesus would want us to do.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Bono, lead singer of U2 "God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them."

"Jesus Wants to Save Chrisitians"...

is the title of Rob Bell's most recent book. I highly recommend it. What's it about? Glad you ask...

There is a church not too far from us that recently added a $25 million addition to their building. Our local newspaper ran a front-page story not too long ago about a study revealing that one in five people in our city lives in poverty. This is a book about those two numbers. “It's a book about faith and fear, wealth and war, poverty, power, safety, terror, Bibles, bombs, and homeland insecurity, It's about empty empires and the truth that everybody's a priest, it's about oppression, occupation, and what happens when Christians support, animate and participate in the very things Jesus came to set people free from. It's about what it means to be a part of the church of Jesus in a world where some people fly planes into buildings while others pick up groceries in Hummers.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

copied from one of my cyber friends web posts...

> Dear Families,>> We've never posted, but do stay in the group and read info that comes from> the many folks who are also involved. We have 4 kids adopted from Ethiopia,> as well as 2 older bio kids, and the last one who came to us just about 1> year ago is HIV positive. The other three (came over the last 9 years) are> quite healthy, but HIV is not the thing we struggle with the most, by any> means. We struggle with our son's attachment disorder- really a huge issue> and one that is hard to get good information on and continues to be tricky> at school, in the family setting, etc. etc. We struggle with one of our> daughter's PTSD- every few months she decides she is sick and probably> dying, and curls up in a little ball and shakes and wails for hours or days,> and very little can bring her out of it.>> Before we got our final child we were most anxious about the idea of HIV,> and read everything we could get our hands on and talked to experts and> other parents and felt very intimidated by the idea, the stigma, the> prejudices in the community, etc. etc. Once she came and we figured out the> whole drugs thing, the restrictions (if any), the facts, it receded into the> background and the business of everyday living with 4 unusual kids in the> house, all with different needs and wants and capacities took the forefront.>>> Without sugar-coating the subject, I can tell you truthfully that our four> youngest are just human beings, infinitely interesting, always challenging,> and sometimes frustrating. We love them all dearly, and have very different> expectations for each of them. They are such individuals- just as our older> two kids were.>> I have been thinking about the whole question of "point-of-view" a lot> recently. People often ask us if our kids are hard, if they take extra care> and attention and knowledge to raise. I think people tend to look at the> children and think "can I manage that particular child?" "Do I want to add> that child to my family?" "Will that child be able to fit into our family?"> "Is that child someone I can love?" For me at least, that point of view is> totally backwards. I think a parent had better be very realistic and be> saying to themselves "Am I up for this task?" "Can I be non-judgmental> enough to accept a child, with all of her difficulties and vagaries?" "Am I> ready to drop my traditional expectations?" "Will I be up to the task when> the school calls 3x in a week, I have a cold, and I just want to make> brownies and not worry about what he will do on the playground this week?">> Rather then looking at the kids and asking "Can I love and handle those> kids?" I think we all better ask ourselves "Am I ready for anything? Am I> up to the task? Do I have endless energy and an inexhaustible store of> nurturing left in me?" The parents I know who have done the very best with> adoptions, especially of unusual or special needs kids, are the ones who> truly challenge themselves, and don't expect the kids to be other than who> they are. The old adage that we can only be responsible for ourselves, and> we can first effect change in ourselves, is so true. Many times I would> have liked to change my kids- say something particularly witty or quick, and> bounce them into a different zone. Or take an action which sets them> straight. I need to continually remind myself that I might be able to steer> things a bit with the kids, but it is me I can really effect. This isn't> easy! I'd rather be able to roll up my sleeves and work on my kids until I> had changed them, molded them into happier, more successful, healthier> beings. But it doesn't work that way.>> Just some thoughts I thought I'd share today.>> Yours in snowy Colorado

Sunday, January 4, 2009

That's how we roll!

Wow! Adjusting to one more child in the family is a lot of work. Sweet work though. We had a wonderful first Christmas with Kaleab Mercy Bond. We spent Christmas with the 4 kids and both sets of grandparents, with a few other family members. Adam and Lauren spent Christmas with their Mom and joined us on Saturday. We have had a wonderful Christmas break and it's back to school tomorrow! I can't believe it.
For those of you waiting on an update from the post, Our Journey to Mercy, wait. We should have some news about Selamawit and Guta soon. Lord providing, they will join our family next year. YIKES! 8 kids. Me! No one would have ever guessed! Not back in the days of big bangs, nor even back in the 90's, when I was a making it single Mom to Noah. Obedience is NEVER boring.
Be Blessed!
OOPS! Almost forgot the title of this post. Kalee can be heard saying "That's how we roll," to strangers passing at any random time. Her brothers taught her this expression. It sounds more like " AZ how we oll man," when she says it. After attending Childrens church she added a "Yesus az how we oll!" Gotta love big brothers.