Three Generations

Three Generations

The pretty little three or four year old girl was alone…….almost. When her father intervened in a dispute between two men they turned on him and killed him. Soon thereafter her mother was killed by lightening. The child had ear infections.

The oldest of her three brothers were teenagers. The four lived in a mud house with a straw roof in a remote village. Relatives decided an orphanage wouldbe best for her. Maybe there she would get medical attention for her ears. She didn’t.

In 2007 then eight year old Fetlework and a six year old deaf boy, Yonatan, “came home” to their forever family in America.

Four years later the location of the biological brothers and the village had been found and a visit was arranged. There was a large extended family of poor subsistence farmers who live near the brothers, among them her paternal grandmother!

Grandma's Kitchen

Grandma’s Kitchen

Grandmother, eighty nine, is blind and spends all her time on a hard ledge in her little mud house.

Her only comfort is an animal skin cover between her and the “bed” where she sits or reclines. Nearby is an open fire of twigs or cow dung to keep her buna (coffee) warm.

Grandma’s “Stove.” The fuel is twigs and cow dung

Surrounding the fire on ledges and in niches are her earthen cookware, a few modern artifacts and gallon plastic oil cans.

The cans are used to carry muddy water from the watering hole in the valley.

Ethiopian Child will help Gurane Village dig a well. The clean water will help keep Grandmother and the small children healthy. You can help by donating. Click “donate” in the column on the right.

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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?

Reunion at Agohelma orphanage

It was a typical ride through the city. There were near misses with taxis, buses, donkeys and people. A cacophony of sounds (and sights) assailed our senses as the driver maneuvered the ancient, overloaded Toyota mini van taxi through the chaos that is the streets of Addis Ababa Ethiopia. He missed the final turn. I informed him, he backed down the street against oncoming traffic and miraculously was able to carry us to our destination unscathed.
We had arrived at Agohelma Orphanage where four years ago we loaded then eight years old Fetlework into a thirty year old little blue and white taxi and whisked her away to another world.
I was honored to accompany daughter Rebecca and her husband Vernon for that experience. Now we had returned in the process of the adoption of two more Ethiopian orphans. Fetlework and Yonatan, both deaf, joined Mom and Dad to reunite with biological siblings and visit other memorable locations.

We entered the compound and disembarked. Down the slope (almost nothing is level in Ethiopia) we saw a group of ladies who were obviously American or European. They looked up and one exclaimed: “Just a few minutes ago I said I guess I’ll never see Fetlework again!”

They were a group of from a Lutheran ministry in Sweden visiting locations where they sponsored children and had just looked at photos of Fetlework on the wall from when she was a small child. A few minutes after they exited the room there was Fetlework walking toward them.

Hugs, kisses, introductions, photos, more photos and it was time to go.

Ain’t God good!!!!!!!!

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.

Clean Water, Living Water

 

Dogachow and Zerihun Tebebu with Charlie

October fifth 2010 Ethiopian Child will embark on a journey to Ethiopia. There Charlie will meet up with Alayu Kebede. The two will deliver clean water by introducing Sawyer Point One water filters to the people of a small, remote village. Mr. Kebede is an Ethiopian man who works for Blair Foundation to introduce the word of God to villages in his native land. He will introduce the “living” water of the gospel (John 7:38) and interpret for Charlie who will deliver and demonstrate the filters for “clean” water.

The village is near Debre Tsige, North of the capital city of Addis Ababa in the heart of the area where the Oromo people live. Three teen age boys, Zerihun, Wondeson and Dogachow Tebebu have lived there eight years with no mother or father.

It is also planned to honor the people who have helped the boys survive by sharing a traditional Ethiopian meal with them.

It is a ninety minute walk to Debre Tsige and there are times when the Jemma River valley is flooded and they are not able to cross to town. Half way to town is the dirty stream where all their drinking water comes from.

Zerihun, now nearly eighteen, has expressed a desire to open a “shop” in the village, where he can sell needed goods to people not only in the village where they live but to others in the vicinity. We will help make that happen if, when we explore the possibilities, it seems feasible.

We will also deliver story books, clothes, medicines, bandages, school supplies and visit LeaMcD Educational Services for the deaf of Ethiopia.

THE GLOBAL WATER CRISIS

  • More than 1 billion people-approximately one in six-lack access to safe drinking water.

     

    At the watering hole

  • Every 15 seconds a child dies from water-related disease.
  • Approximately 443 million school days are lost due to water-related illness
  • For children under five years old, water related diseases are the leading cause of death.
  • Millions of women and children spend several hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources.
  • At any given time half the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from a water-related disease.
  • 1.8 million children die each year from diarrhea-4,900 deaths each day.
  • Every $1 spent on water and sanitation creates on average another $8 in costs averted and productivity gained.
  • From Water Partners International: Kansas City, Missouri

Ethiopian Child will be visiting a remote village in the central highlands in the fall.

Access is only by a ninety minute brisk walk from the bus station across a valley. There is a creek in the middle of the valley that supplies all the water for the area. Water must be carried in jugs to the villages for cooking, drinking and bathing.

Please consider sponsoring a small very effective filter That will make as much as 100 gallons of water per day of up to 99% pure water. The filters are small enough we can carry several of them in a suitcase. We can purchase buckets that stack together for ease of carrying.

The filters sell for $60.00. Ethiopian Child is able to purchase them for $50.00. This amount will include a bucket.

Other items we will take to the village are books for children and Bibles in the Amharic language which will be purchased in Ethiopia.

We will be investigating other methods of payment but for now contributions can be made to: Ethiopian Child

1452 Park Shore Circle #3

Fort Myers, Florida 33901

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.