Saturday, October 18, 2008

A World of Magic


I got a call last weekend that blew me away. One of my good friends invited my family to Disney World for a few days. Sean and I have talked about Disney before, but didn't have it in the budget anytime soon and now with the adoption, we thought it would be a few more years. Grace and Thatcher are at a "magical" age, but I thought it would just have to wait. Any extra finances are going toward adoption costs and baby items.

What an answer to prayer. My kids and I flew out on Monday and enjoyed Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Sean joined us Wed. night and got to go to Magic Kingdom with us our last day. I tell you what- it was magical for all of us. A dream come true. A fairytale! You get the jist! Grace got to meet Belle and my friend bought her a beautiful Belle dress. She looked like a princess herself and was glowing. Thatcher loved meeting Buzz Lightyear and all the Pooh characters.

Sweet friend, if you read this, please know how thankful we are, and for the rest of you, I just want to say that God is good and rewards us when we least expect it.


Dakota

Well, we found out last week that our sweet Golden Retriever, Dakota, has cancer. She is 9 years old and has had a very healthy and happy life. I was petting her last week and felt her lymph glands on her neck and they were very enlarged. I was hoping for the best when I took her in, but I had a sinking feeling. Sure enough, all of her lymph nodes/glands were enlarged and she was diagnosed with Lymphoma. My poor baby. She was my baby long before Grace and Thatcer came along. It will be very hard to see her go. She has been THE perfect pet, other than shedding, and she just couldn't have been sweeter or more gentle with the kids. The doctor said it won't take long, and that steroids will mask her symptoms and make her comfortable for awhile. In the meantime, her breathing is becoming a little more labored. At the first serious signs of her illness, we will take her in so that she's not in pain and so that we don't have to watch her suffer. Even now, it makes me cry. She will be missed!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Orphans

I copied these stats on Ethiopia's children from another blog I read: http://scottvair.typepad.com/aheartfororphans/ This is Scott Vair's blog, who is a leader of the World Orphans ministry. This is where our little children will be coming from...

These stats are from the ISN Security Watch:

Extreme poverty continues to plague the land, with an average annual per capita income at less than US$100 and life expectancy just 46 years of age.

One out of ten children die before reaching their first birthday, and one out of six die before the age of five.

Only 11 per cent of the population in urban Ethiopia have access to clean drinking water, leaving nine out of ten children to drink unsafe surface water.

Dr. Bulti Gutema, representing the Labor and Social Ministry, told a government and UN initiative…that there were currently 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia - 11 per cent of the country’s child population - and that 12 per cent of them are believed to have HIV/AIDS.The situation is deteriorating and experts predict that by 2010, 43 per cent of the country’s children could be orphans.

Over half of the population reported to be under the age of 18. 18 per cent of households are taking care of orphans, while 6.1 per cent of AIDS orphans are forced to beg in order to survive.

Compounding matters, the UN has also reported that child trafficking still continues unabated despite measures to combat the exploitation of children.

According to a recent UNICEF report, child labor and child prostitution continue to be major problems, as the level of poverty in Ethiopia is so absolute that many families simply cannot support their own children or take on relatives’ children whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS or other illnesses.

Internally, Ethiopian children are sold for as little as US$1.20 to work as domestic workers or prostitutes.

Most of the information we have from the IOM [International Organization for Migration] is of "young girls being trafficked to the Middle East,” UNICEF spokesman Indrias Getacheu in Addis Ababa told ISN Security Watch. “Young girls think that they will make a lot of money and are promised a good job. But when they get there they find that they don’t have any protection, they don’t have any legal status and they end up in a situation of bondage.”

According to the IOM, up to 20,000 children are sold each year by their parents and trafficked by brokers to work in cities across the country.The IOM estimates that 12,000 to 14,000 Ethiopian women are working in Lebanon, mostly in domestic service.“The parents are often deceived with promises of money or that the child will be educated…traffickers pay around 10 to 20 Ethiopian birr [US$1.20 to US$2.40] for each child. We are talking about thousands of children each year.”According to the IOM, trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world; it is believed to net those involved around US$10 billion a year.

Yes, there are problems here in America, and we continue to lift those up to the Lord, but this also weighs heavy on our hearts. It is so rewarding to know that we can bring two of these little orphans home and "save" them from these statistics.

Ps. 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord.... Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them....