"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is my 500th blog post. Crazy, huh?!? I thought I would make it a good one, an important one...at least I will try.
I had a friend message me a couple of weeks ago on Facebook and ask "Do you think adoption is the best way to help all orphans? Should that always be the end goal? Is adoption right for everybody" I did not answer for a while because I really wanted to think about this.
You know, adoption is not right for everyone. For some families, it just is not the right thing. Also, international adoption is not the cure for the orphan epidemic, and thus adoption is not the best way to help ALL orphans. Many orphans will never see an orphanage but will live with family members or may find an orphanage but be ineligible for adoption.
So whether your family is called to adoption, supposed to adopt, frankly whatever.... we can all do something to help these kids. Rather than worrying about chicken sandwiches and Chicago teacher salaries and stances on minor political issues and if UK or UL is better (who really gives a flip), we can actually make a difference in the life of a child (see the quote above). Think about the time and energy and money we waste on things like these yet how easily we could help.
There are so many ways to pitch in....help families adopting (many of you have done that for us), speak out for families, go on trips to build orphanages, work with agencies who help orphans. I want to talk about an agency I feel strongly about.... An organization so so close to us for a multitude of reasons....
Eyes That See was started by our friends Matt and Nikki Ness. They are such amazing people. They have 5 children and their two oldest sons are the boys I want my sons to emulate. (Ironically, they were the couple that started the orphanage where Tedi lived, KVI). Now they run Eyest That See, which has three main projects:
Keziah Project: In their words: The purpose of the Keziah House is to rehabilitate women who are living in prostitution by providing a dormitory living space with intensive counseling and life skills. The goals of this program are to give each woman a safe environment and the tools to make this a successful transition, allowing her to leave her former life. Immediate medical needs will be met, as well as job and life skills being taught, with the goal of each woman being able to successfully live offsite at the end of the program.
10c Dabo: 10c Dabo is our feeding program that feeds over 100 students for the Eshet School. The feeding program began when we learned that some of these kids were completely unable to function at school because they had absolutely no food available. When we asked how much the food costs, we learned that it was just ten cents for a piece of dabo (bread).
Child Sponsorship/Schools: They are now running two schools. As part of this, they are now offering child sponsorship... for $25 each month the child will have a meal at school, a uniform, tuition, and basic medical needs. This is a new program and there are around 200 kids.
My challenge to you....
I know a lot organizations offer child sponsorship. But I am talking to those of you who may follow our blog, do not feel that you are ready to adopt or are called to adopt but always talk of wanting to do more, do something. You can be Christian, Muslim, Hindu, brown, yellow, white, pink, conservative, democrat,.... you can be whoever but just want to make a difference for a kid... I encourage you think about it...$25 bucks is what we spend on coffee, on diet coke, on ONE MEAL eating out.
JT and I talked about it and wanted to teach our boys giving and responsibility and sacrifice so that others may have.....we decided to sponsor two children, one for each of the boys. They can send the children letters (if you count what they write letters) and pictures each month and learn about the kids. When we travel back to Ethiopia, we can easily meet these kids. We want to invest in these kids for these could very easily have been our boys.
So what can you do.... if you are interested: click http://www.eyesthatsee.org/2012/09/sponsor-a-child/. If you have questions, me email@example.com and I can set you up with Nikki. Below is a picture of one of the boys we are sponsoring. Let's see how many children we can get sponsored just through people I know. Seriously, you will spend more than this on trivial things....think about this and change a life.
And his name is Chernt....appropriately so since our son's and Tedi's bio brother also have this name.