We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

For those who want to help me help them

UPDATE:  I'm beginning to cross off items as I get responses for each item. 

I'm writing this blog post to ask for your help.  I don't ask for much from others, other than prayers.  But this time, I'm asking for help.  Not for me, but for the hundreds of orphan faces I saw in Ethiopia.  I can't do it alone.  Will you help me?

When we were in Ethiopia, we visited an orphanage in Addis Ababa.  It was one of many, many orphanages in that city.  What I saw broke my heart.  These children have NOTHING.  Each child I'm posting a picture of today, has NO family.  These are only a small fraction of the faces we looked into.  Hands we touched and faces we kissed.

Before going to the orphanage we stopped by a fruit stand and bought oranges and bananas for the children. We bought about 15 pounds of fruit for the equivalent of about $4.00. 

These kids own absolutely nothing.  They have nothing to call their own... not even a bed.  When they are hurt, no one comes to kiss their hurt away.  No one holds them when they are sick. 

I fell absolutely in LOVE with this little munchkin!
It made me so sad to see these children.  When we went into the orphanage, it seemed dark and damp.  We went into the toddler room, and there, sitting on a blanket, were 16 toddler orphans.  Each of them with a runny nose, and some of them with a cough.  There were two doctors who came to the orphanage with us.  They were adopting children with our agency as well.  Two of the children they said, were malnourished.  None of the children had socks on, and all were damp.  It was chilly for me being in there, and I was dry and appropriately dressed.  I felt the feet of many of these children, and they were cold.  Some were even red from the cold.  It's not that it was that "cold" in the orphanage, it was that they were damp.  One little girl, who was not potty trained, did not even have a diaper or underwear on.  She just had a bare bottom. 
 This little boy fell in love with Tim

We went up to the baby room - there were several baby rooms.  I don't think I have ever seen more babies all in one place...not even in a hospital nursery.  They were all in cribs - two or even three in a crib (for the tiny ones).  Two in a crib for the ones who were a bit older.

 This little one above, I believe had Down Syndrome.  Such a sweet little one!

These children need love, just like our children.  You may not be able to see it through the photographs, but they are desperate for love.  As I picked up each child (and I could not pick them all up - there were just too many) I told each and every one of them that I loved them.  I told them that Jesus loved them!  But then I had to put them back down.  I didn't get to hold each of them very long...I wonder if they believed me. 

The conditions in the orphanage hurt my heart.  I had never been to an orphanage before and I was sure I never wanted to see one again.  I was awake the entire night, in tears, having heated conversations with God, questioning Him, asking Him why He allowed these innocent children to live this way.  My answer came in the morning - God didn't do this, we did.  Our sinful nature did.  God also showed my heart that as much as I didn't want to go back and face this, I needed to step up and truly be the hands and feet of Christ.  To love these children like He would love them - with their runny noses, bare bottoms, infections, sores and all.  EMBRACE them - which is exactly what  I did.  And my heart felt much better once I looked past the poverty and dispair and saw them as children Jesus would and does LOVE! 

So, this is where I need your help, because I can't do it all on my own.  Tim and I are hoping to travel back at the end of October for a November 4th Embassy appointment.  We will get to bring our Sara Joy home.  That appointment has not yet been confirmed, but we should have it confirmed soon.  Our Sara Joy was one of these children!!!   When we go, we want to go armed with supplies.  There are a couple things we want to do...we want to provide things for the children, and also for the people who care for these precious little ones. 

For the children, Tim and I are going to try to take on a special project.  We want to put a basketball hoop along with a cement pad at the transition home.  This would be to give the older children there something to do.  Everyone wants to provide for the little ones, but the older ones tend to be overlooked.  The assistant at the transition home will be e-mailing us information on the cost of putting up the basketball hoop and pad. 

For the younger children, we asked them what they needed and we were given a list.  They need
  • hand sanitizer
  • clothes
  • children's socks
  • diapers
  • formula
  • antibiotic ointment
  • clotrimozole cream
  • tooth brushes
  • tooth paste
  • anti-dandruff shampoo
  • easily cleanable toys (stuff animals, soft toys are not the best as they spread germs easily)
  • wipes
For the workers they needed:
  • pediatric scale (bathroom scale that would handle both small and older children)
  • latex gloves
  • Uniforms for the nannies (they wear nursing uniforms)
Tim and I are planning on taking two large totes of supplies over when we go to pick up Sara.  There are some things that we are better off buying in Ethiopia - things like formula and some of the ointments (because they are much cheaper there and you will get more for your money - also for the formula, it is best to buy the kind the children are already used to).  We are also hoping to buy fruit/vegetables and fresh water for the children.  The other things we can buy here and take over.  If you have gently used clothes or toys that you want to donate, we are happy to take them over.  If you want to contribute to help us buy supplies we would appreciate the help.  You are also welcome to purchase things on your own and send them to us and we will do our best to carry everything over. 

If you know of a local (Florence, SC) store that sells gently used nursing outfits, please let me know.  I would like to go back with some for the nannies.  If you know someone who would be willing to donate uniforms, please let me know.  If you know someone who would be willing to donate anything for that matter, please let me know. 

If you want to help us, please write a comment on this post with a way for me to contact you.  I will send you our contact information and we can go from there.  We will hopefully be leaving for Ethiopia again on or about October 30th, so we will need to have everything before that date.

Tim and I can't make a huge difference on our own, but together, we can.  If at all possible, please help us show these children, who have nothing and no one, that they are loved!

In Christ,


Veronica said...

Charity, I would like to send some clothing for you to take to Ethiopia on your next trip. I will try to get it out this week, if you will send me your address.

The orphanage you visited - are any of those children available for adoption, or will they be one day? So many precious little ones (and big ones, too)!

Heather said...

Hey you world travel person! They can be as big or small as you like. I can make some to glue on hair clips. Hope to see you soon! Love ya!


vstlathon said...

As the mother of five, three adopted, and as a person who has spent time in the orphanages in Romania, I would like to send you a monetary donation to help out - can you accept paypal? My email is vstlathon@sbcglobal.net.

Samantha said...

I think what you are doing to help these children is wonderful. Its absolutely beautiful. (:



The Duvall Family said...

Please email me. I would love to help out any way I can.


Christine Dallimore said...

Somehow came across your blog. Congratulations on your new addition to your family! I would love to send socks...lots and lots of socks of all different sizes! My email is chrisylee12@hotmail.com

deeder6 said...

I too am an adoptive mother. I adopted from the foster care system here in the US. I never entered an orphanage but I have witnessed poverty, drug addiction, abuse and neglect. Seeing the little children on your post breaks my heart all over again. I am not sure how I can help but would like to try and find a way. My email is diane_in_co@hotmail.com. My prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

I would like to help in whatever way I can. I have a couple of ideas. Are you limited to two totes? I'll touch base with Tim. His office is right around the corner from mine. TC

Samantha said...

i left something for you on my blog (:

kmogilevski said...

You are doing amazing things! I hope that someday my husband and I can adopt (we just got married last year). I want to help you! I regularly order samples onlines for myself and I would like to order some to be sent directly to you. I hope to get samples like toothpaste, anti-dandruff shampoo, maybe even some diapers. I know it's not much since they would be sample sizes, but it's the least I can do. Please let me know if this would help you!

kmogilevski at gmail dot com

Deanna said...

Dear Charity, I have just come across your blog this evening and am incredibly touched by the pictures and story of your visit to the orphanage. My family would love to share what the Lord had blessed us with, with these beautiful children. Please send me your information and any items you are still in need of. In His Service, Deanna

Charity said...

I hope you are able to come back and read my comment. I would LOVE for you to be able to help these little ones...you didn't leave a way for me to contact you.

You can e-mail me directly at t_croach@sc.rr.com . I will send you our address and you can send anything you would like. We're still in need of pretty much everything.

Thank you for letting these kids touch your heart. They truly touched mine while we were there!