Archive for October, 2006

Let’s Say Thanks

Posted in Army on October 31, 2006 by Avery

Please take a moment and say Thanks!

If you go to this web site, www.letssaythanks.com, you can pick out a thank you card, and Xerox will print it, and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You cant pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services.

This is a great site.

Please send a card.

It is FREE, and it only takes a second. 

Whether you are for or against the war, our guys and gals over there need to know we are behind them

Plus the cards were designed by kids from all over the country and some of them are quite cute. You put in your name and city and pick from a bunch of prewritten messages or you can write your own. It’s pretty cool stuff and as a Veteran I have to say it’s a great moral booster for the kids they have over there fighting for our freedom, t 

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70%

Posted in Adoption, africa on October 30, 2006 by Avery

The UN states that 70% of the worlds orphan population lives in Sub Sahara Africa.

It’s estimated that Ethiopia has over 5 million orphans, that’s nearly 15% of the population of Ethiopia.

And they are one of the poorest nations in the world with no means to care for this enormous burden.

Yet my kids are stuck behind bureaucratic red tape, ignoring the fact that these are lives and families, not pieces of paper that they are holding up in court.

So this Wednesday at the unction of several others we are having a group fasting. If you would like to join us, cool. We are praying for a true miracle on this court date, read last weeks post for more details or head over to my wife’s blog, she actually has a much more eloquent post than this one about the same subject.

Prayer Request for Our Family

Posted in Adoption, family on October 27, 2006 by Avery

I received so many words of encouragement yesterday, so many prayers and I can tell you they were appreciated and very felt. Thank you all for your support and love. This grew longer and longer as I typed, the prayer request is in the last paragraph.

I know it’s hard to fathom what an adoptive parent feels in the process unless you have been there yourself. It was for this reason that I started my website, although it has morphed over time it’s still about the journey I have gone through on this adoption. I know that I have found out so much about myself through this process and that our family has changed so dramatically it’s hardly recognizable any more. There is truly a deep part of God’s heart that I believe can found in the journey of the adoption, I know Heather and I have entered into a new intimacy with God through our new understanding of God’s love for us through His adoption of us through the blood of His Son Jesus.

When we began this process in early 2005 I thought my kids would be home by Christmas that year. Our love for our children was growing even before we knew who they were, the call on our lives to this process was that strong. In September of 2005 we accepted our referral of Yosef and Mihret, and nearly immediately the adoption courts in Ethiopia went into chaos. I don’t know that I will ever fully grasp the reason for this journey on this side of eternity, but I can tell you I have seen the power of God and His sovereignty. We have made new friends that are very dear to our family through this process. We have been able to stand with other families struggling through their adoption process and celebrate with them once they have completed their journey. We have been a part of the discussion with other families helping them start the process of beginning their adoption journey. And we have seen God move miraculously in the lives of many.

Obviously Christmas came and passed without our kids coming home. But through the year we continued to watch our children go from the famished street kids, to happy fed kids. It’s been hard to watch our kids grow through photos, especially knowing there is so much more we could do for them without the 2000 mile gap between us. But it has been part of our journey. As you know earlier this year I was given the gift of a lifetime and I was able to travel to Ethiopia and spend a week with Yosef and Mihret. Honestly words don’t describe this time with them. Yosef and Mihret went from being photos and short videos to being real kids I could wrap my arms around, and trust me I did.

Father’s often try to describe the first time they ever held their child after birth, and we stumble for the words to explain the instant love we feel for our kids at that moment. As hard as it is to fathom the sensation is so very much the same for that moment when I first saw my adoptive kids. I wanted to wrap my arms around them and never let go, but at the end of the week I had to and saying good bye was one of the most heart wrenching moments of my life. It was in this moment that I was able to truly empathize with the families that have to make the choice of watching their children die, or to give them up for adoption. I knew my children were going to be safe and fed, but I also knew they were going back to being separated from me. I will never know the pains of a parent having to make that choice, but I also know that this empathy has driven me even more so to advocate for justice for extreme poverty so that the choice is faced by fewer people.

We were ecstatic when we found out we had a court date, ask our family and friends that we called in the middle of the night to tell them we finally were on the final leg of the adoption. It was then, when we pulled out our paperwork to put in our bags that we discovered our paperwork expires in the last week of November. For this reason rather than wait for the court date we contacted our travel agent, a true God send if you have ever tried to “work” with Ethiopian Air, and scheduled our flights. Unfortunately our case didn’t go through and we have had to cancel our travel plans. Thank you all for your love, your calls, and your prayers as we received this devastating news.

We were informed that there is a marginal chance that we may have our court date next week. The agency is on hold as the courts are in the process of re-approving the adoption agencies in Ethiopia, this is all American and European and Australian agencies. They won’t know if our case will be heard in court next week until the director walks into court to pick up the approval papers. A more probably course will be that they tell her to come back in another week or two for the cases to be heard. It will take a miracle to have our case heard next week. It’s a good thing I serve a God that is in the business of miracles and justice.

Luckily I know of a few people that are willing to join with us in prayer and petition to ask for the supernatural move of God on this court date, granting favor from the eyes of the court upon this case. Please join with us as we pray for a miracle, specifically that our case will be heard next week and the final hurdle for this adoption with be over. The second half of the prayer is that we will either be able to find a flight in and have an embassy appointment before our paperwork expires, or that we will be given favor here with our American government and they will expedite our paperwork enabling us to travel in early December. Please join us in prayer as we long to answer the question Yosef has been asking, “When is my Daddy coming back to take me home?”

Bad News

Posted in Adoption on October 26, 2006 by Avery

We received an e-mail from the director of our agency telling us that rather than having a court date today our agency was put on “hold”.  We have been told every agency has been put on hold, and that they do not know when the system will start moving again. This means we are back to having no idea of when our family will be complete.
 
I was hoping to be able to send good news out today, instead my world has sunk.

WIBMAID – revisited

Posted in Adoption on October 24, 2006 by Avery

I’ve been asked a few times now to bring back one of my favorite original post, so I decided to repost it with a few minor additions: 

Well Intentioned But Misinformed Adoption Ignorance Disorder

Otherwise known as WIBMAID

We have all suffered the loving words of our fellow WIBMAID’s and many times they are the people we were depending on the most. Unfortunately WIBMAID is a disorder that only shows it’s signs of infection when those who have WIBMAID open there mouths and speak around those that are adopting. Equally as disturbing is how contagious it is, and how fastly it can spread.

Some of the more common signs of WIBMAID are:

-referring to the difference between biological and adopted as “real” and “other”

-imagination of an instant bonding process that the children fell like they owe you their love and gratitude for “saving them”

-explanations of why birth mothers deserve FMLA for the birth of their kids while adoptive mothers need to remain at work

-any conversation including the theme of “bringing bad blood into the family”

-the mentality that the adoptive children should forget their birth heritage and ethnicity and become only the new adoptive families heritage and ethnicity

-the assumption that because you adopt you must be infertile

-the assumption that all adopted kids grow up to be social inept or criminals
-morons that use racist language (about your child’s race) around you because of your ethnicity

-use of the terms Oreo, ladybug, Klondike bar, or any of the other derogatory racist remarks that denote they are one race on the outside, but another on the inside

-the mentality that ones grammar, education, personal likes and dislikes determine ones ethnicity

-the refusal to acknowledge the love of the birth family for the child

-the insistance that you are placing your family at risk by the adoption

-the insistance that you are being a bad parent by traveling to your childs birth country

Some of the more common people to be infected with WIBMAID are your best friends, your parents, your siblings and your religous leaders. Although you will run into the symptomatic displays of WIBMAID from total strangers in the mall and grocery store, it will not have any where as near of an impact as when you find yourself sittin on your own couch hearing it in your own living room.

There are no quick cures other than what I refer to as Pavlov’s Dog meets Churchill’s Stick, but this method has a tendency to wind you up in jail. But for the sake of remaining scientific in my approach to this I will explain. It’s a very simple process. Go to the home improvement store and buy a 2×4 about 4 feet long. Take a knife, a saw, anything with a blade will work and create a handle that you can comfortably grip with both hand on one end of the 2×4. Carry this 2×4 with you at all time and whenever anyone shows any of the signs of WIBMAID swing as hard as you can aiming directly for the side of their head. When they regain consciousness explain to them they are showing signs of WIBMAID and you will have to continue this treatment process every time they exhibit any signs of the disorder. Pretty soon you will notice less people show signs of WIBMAID and that people have a certain respect that can only be gained by carrying around a bloody 2×4. You may also find your self having fewer conversations with fewer people, and I hear that Social Workers don’t look too kindly upon receiving jail time mid adoption process.

For those looking for other remedies you can try education. Most of the signs of WIBMAID can be alleviated by simple education, but this requires your time and their willingness to be open to change. There are many places on the internet that you can point people to to receive this education. I have found that those that have received a copy of this particualr explanation of WIBMAID got the point and either pursued a cure or discontinued the relationship that you clearly  don’t really want to have in the first place. There are some that are so ravaged by WIBMAID that in order for the health of your new family you will need to limit contact with these people. Prolonged exposure to those that suffer from WIBMAID can have very detrimental effects to adoptive children.

Unfortunately WIBMAID is transmitted orally, the young and weak minded are the most susceptible. Although Lysol does work if you spray it directly in the face of those infected with WIBMAID there is no way to know if those within earshot of the WIBMAID outburst have been infected. There is no way to know one is infected until they infection manifest.

Luckily there are varying degrees of WIBMAID. For the most part you will only run into slightly to moderately infected sufferers from WIBMAID. Although you will be tempted to allow their infection to go untreated you do not have this option. You as a parent are only slightly affected by the WIBMAID infection, it causes slight irritation, and blood pressure to rise in the normal adoptive parent. For the adoptive child it causes a sever drop in self esteem, a sense of self worthlessness and feeling of insecurity. As the parent your job is to create a safe and secure environment for your child and they are looking to you to protect them from those that suffer form WIBMAID. Unfortunately is seems as if the ones that suffer from extreme WIBMAID tend to be direct family and very close long time friends. If one chooses to use the path of education you must begin the process well before the child ever meets them. A single comment from a Grandparent with WIBMAID can have an impact on that child that will be with them for the rest of their lives. Many times it is necessary to inform family members that suffer from WIBMAID that they are to have limited or no contact with the child until they are free from infection. With any contact with family that suffers from WIBMAID you must be super vigilant. The child will be watching you to see whose side you are really on, theirs or the sufferer of WIBMAID. Your response to their infection will let them know just how “safe” and “secure” their new home really is.

Please take a stand with me, and sign your committment to the eradication of WIBMAID in our childrens lives. Please use the comment section to sign your support for the eradication of this horrible malady.

monopoly update

Posted in africa, contest, ethiopia on October 23, 2006 by Avery

For those that are wondering, this is the way my board currently looks. I am 1 piece shy on every single category from winning.

I have the feeling this is the way the board will look at the end as well. The “funny” thing is I am the exact same on the on-line game as well. I would love to see the coding they used on the on line die as I know the on-line game is rigged, there is just no way with the number of rolls I have put in on-line that I would consistently land on the same piece every single time I go around the board.

If you want to e-mail your codes to me shoot them to me at konjokids@yahoo.com if you have the winning piece and want to see the money go to help Ethiopia (all monetary winnings will go to Ethiopia) shoot me an e-mail for my address.

I’m a Living Legend

Posted in africa, ethiopia on October 19, 2006 by Avery

So I had the funniest e-mail in a long time the other day, I’m a living legend! 

No I’m not starring in the new porno with Paris Hilton, I haven’t won the $5 million from McDonalds (yet), and David Letterman isn’t going to ask me to come up to New York any time soon. But according to the e-mail I got I am a legend at the orphanage my kids are at.
You see when I was in Ethiopia I convinced the kids that the scar from removing the softball sized cyst off my liver that covers my entire stomach, and is quite ugly by the way, was created when I was attached by and Ambassa (lion). Well the kids would call me a liar,  and I would conceede and tell them it wasn’t an ambossa it was a Djebo (hyena)

Well one of the girls that I really liked finally came home to her new family, where upon she told her family all about Yosef’s daddy who was “bitten on the stomach by a LION” Apparently it’s still quite the subject at the orphanage.

I can’t wait to be back, next month can’t come soon enough.

 And it just hit me while I was typing this that I need to start my Christmas shopping as I won’t be able to really do that once the kids are home!