Search for “Forever Family”

They are intelligent, engaging, beautiful healthy HIV positive orphan girls. Thirteen other people live in the

"My" girls

same tiny little house in Addis Ababa, Capital city of Ethiopia.

The younger sister plays soccer, the older does hair braiding in her cousin’s shop which is attached to street side of the painted stick and mud house.

The older of the two writes and asks me to find a “forever” family in the U.S.A for them. She tells others she wants “Poppy” (the name our grandchildren use for me) to adopt them. We are in our seventies.

We can’t.

The Ethiopian government only allows photos to be made available to interested parties.

Will you help me find a forever family for them?

Maybe you?

A New House for His Bride

Wondesson, Fetlework, Danychow and Zerihun Tebebu

Threshing as David did.

Threshing at Gurane

The four wheel drive car turned right off the pavement and began to wend it’s way through people, donkeys and occasionally  dogs. Dust swirled around the tires as we began our decent into the valley. Everywhere there are small farm plots being prepared for the rains which (hopefully) soon are to come. We crossed the “river”  which is little more than a ditch and drove across the valley.
Wheat, teff, peas and beans are the main crops here. They can all be harvested and stored. There is no electricity hence no refrigeration.
Finally we arrive at Gurane Village Ethiopia, on one of the many small hills scattered across the valley. At the foot of the hill the ground is level and flat enough for farmers to do their threshing. Animals walk in a circle, their hooves crush the seed heads and separate the grain from the stalk. I am reminded of King David and the threshing floor he bought thousands of years ago. The technology hasn’t changed here.

A few months prior Charlie had visited and asked Zerihun, older brother of adopted granddaughter Fetlework: “How can we help?” Three boys and the youngest child, a girl, became orphans years ago when both parents had died. The girl, Fetlweork, was deaf and went to an orphanage and eventually to our family. The boys stayed in the village.

Zerihun’s priorities had changed from a year before. Then he wanted “seed” money to open a small shop. Now his responsibilities have grown from himself and a younger brother. He has taken a wife.

Zerihun and his Bride, Zenash

We had told him “we don’t give money.” Now he would like to rent more land for farming and buy a second ox which means  he would no longer need to rent someone else’s. He needed a team for plowing. He may even be able to rent out his team instead.

We decided Zerihun is a responsible young man and, contrary to our word, gave him the needed funds with one stipulation: “God has blessed you with this. When your next harvest is complete and you have made a profit you must help someone else.”  We shook hands and it was done.

Now we have returned for, among other purposes, to see his ox. He was proud as he opened the gate and showed us. It is big, black, healthy and strong looking. He did well. So well, he had purchased the ox for less then market price. There was “Extra” money.

Zerihun is not one to waste an  opportunity. Their house is made of sticks and mud.

Current Residence

The straw roof  and walls are deteriorating. It is where they were born.

He can gather the needed poles and when the rains come he can make mud but really, a tin roof is better. With the additional funds he purchased the tin. The tin is in the house for safe keeping, leaning against the wall.

Now he can take down the old one and build a nice new, dry house for his bride.

There are other orphans in Gurane. As we identify them and determine their needs maybe you will help us help them?

Ain’t God Good!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Living Water, Clean Water Initiative 1

Our no longer orphan Granddaughter was born here in one of the typical mud huts.

She is old and can only carry a small amount up the hill

At Gurane Village Ethiopia and surrounding communities water access is…….challenging.

The river is too far and the watering hole becomes only a muddy puddle when rain is scarce.

Will you help us bring Living water and clean water to Gurane?

Living water in the form of an educated, trained pastor who can teach God’s word and help us facilitate construction of a water well and other matters?

$1,600 U. S. pays the pastor for two years after which he should be self supporting.

$1,500 U. S.  will dig the well and install a hand pump.

Our past fund raising endeavors have always resulted in more cost than revenue. We are looking for 31 people to contribute $100.00 each.

Will you help these precious ladies? And the children? Click “donate” in the right column.


It is a long walk and the water is DIRTY

SUCCESS!

Finally!

Ain't God good!

It has required three trips to Ethiopia and multiple meetings but finally SUCCESS.

Three and a half years ago, half way around the planet, we said goodbye to a precious little girl who had been the best friend of  Fetlework, our adopted granddaughter at Agohelma Orphanage in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.

The orphanage no longer “does” adoptions. First Charlie was told:  “It can’t be done.”  He was also told “There are two” (there is a younger sister.) Both are healthy HIV positive girls who receive necessary medications.

On a subsequent visit Charlie was encouraged that it can be done. Now! after many scheduled meetings most of which were postponed. SUCCESS!

Less than a week after return two possible “forever families” have been identified. One is VERY serious!

Please pray with us for continued success and that these two precious girls will “come home” at last.

Below are samples of the artwork of “our” girls.

Successful Deaf Adoptions: Blitch Family

Happy Family

Vernon, Rebecca, Yonatan, Fetlework

“How do you fall in love with a picture?”

That is the question friend Kari Gibson asked Rebecca Blitch after she saw a picture of newborn Zoie sent via internet to the Gibsons who have now added Zoie to their “forever” family.

How indeed! After several years of searching unsuccessfully in the U. S. Vernon and rebecca  Blitch searched the internet, saw some pictures, and several months later they flew to Addis Ababa Ethiopia and “brought home” Yonatan and Fetlework.

Yonatan’s birth father had become ill and died. Widowed and unable to care for a “special needs” child  his mother reluctantly made him available for adoption. She does not regret the decision.

Unable to communicate successfully at age six, Yonatan, now eight, is popular in his second grade class and plays on a basketball team. He has many hearing and deaf friends, enjoys riding his bike and “kidding around.” He communicates well in sign language and when least expected, he will display very innovative thinking.

Fetlework, who was born in a mud hut, is ten. She is in the top of her fifth grade class, is a star basketball and soccer player, and basically excels in whatever she does.

She lived several years in an orphanage, the only deaf child among the one hundred or so hearing children.

Both children have learned basic responsibilities by helping at home.

The future is bright for these happy, well adjusted children. It is the intention of “Ethiopian Child” to chronicle more successes of the adoption of deaf children from Ethiopia. Contact charlie if you know of such a story and we will tell others.

Yonatan

Yonatan and his ugly fish

Ugly fish

Finally the flying was over: the twenty four hour weather delay and the resulting ticket confusion at each stop, the chaos that is Bole Airport, and there, high atop his “new” dad’s shoulders was Yonatan, smiling and waving, a gap where his front teeth had been. His hair was so short it must have been shaved.

He is deaf, can’t talk or read lips but he could smile, and smile he did. We loaded all our baggage into the little blue taxi and, amid smiles and much conversation soon were on our way to the hotel.

Somehow, though during his six years he had been taught no language, he understood what was happening, that he had been “bought” and was going to a different place with a “new” Mom and Dad and sister, also deaf, who was at an orphanage and would soon join us.

Now, two and a half years later his ability to communicate is amazing. He has grown like the proverbial weed, plays basketball, is very strong and likes to tease.

Recently he and adopted sister Fetlework (woven gold) flew by themselves from Missouri to Florida to visit Memaw and Poppy during Christmas break.

I think, if he had remained much longer, the water in the neighborhood pool would need to be replaced because he nearly “wore it out”.  At North Captiva Island we went fishing and he caught a really ugly fish and was so proud.

Their Mom and Dad have now taken them back to their home. The house is quiet without them, a little lonely.

The next time I go to Ethiopia he wants me to take money and “buy” his brothers. Maybe some day he will understand the different between adopting and buying.

I thank God for these little African children He has allowed us to learn from.

Video of a recent visit to birth family of Yonatan.