Archive for June, 2006

Good Samaritan


Something exceptionally surprising happened today…  A woman private messaged me on the adoption forum to let me know that when she and her husband recently traveled to Ethiopia to pick up their newly adopted son, they met a 2.5 year old girl, and she thought it was my daughter. 

So I emailed her Rose’s picture (after reading some of her posts on the adoption forum and making sure she was really who she said she was) and she emailed me back two additional pictures of Rose and the following description:

"She’s so adorable and happy! She completely stole both of our hearts with her smiles and playfulness! Every time we were there, about 3 times, she was so happy and playing. The picture of her laughing at lunch was hilarious! Everyone was cracking up because of how contagious her laugh is!  I hope you get a travel date soon! Just know that she is happy and doing so great…even though she still needs her mommy and daddy!"

I can’t tell you how much this totally made my day.  This sort of stuff is kind of frowned-upon by our agency, due to confidentiality issues and what-have-you, but it means so much to hear that she is happy, and I CAN’T WAIT to hear her laugh.  Dillon has this contagious belly laugh that I swear, strangers in the supermarket start laughing when they see this kid.  Speaking of which, he is so excited about being a big brother that he’s taken to telling any family we meet (and I use that term very loosely) that he’s going to be a big brother soon and we’re adopting his sister from Ethiopia.  I’m talking the people getting into the next car in a parking lot, the staff at Kinko’s, everyone at his dance camp and t-ball team: basically everyone he runs into these days.

I’m looking forward to getting these champion laughers together for some fun.  Hilarity will ensue.



At the launch of a report on orphans in the capital, Addis Ababa, recently, Alexandro Concicini, a child protection official with the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, noted that the number of orphans in Ethiopia was rising at an alarming rate.

"The overall number of orphans in Ethiopia was estimated to be 4.6 million, or 13 percent of the total number of children in Ethiopia," he said. "This figure is estimated to rise to 14.8 percent by the year 2010. In absolute terms, this is going to be the largest number of orphans in any country in the world."

"Children orphaned by HIV/AIDS suffer from greater social isolation, stigma, discrimination and social and emotional adjustment problems," he added. "They are less likely to be adopted and have more difficulty in securing employment." (


What a terrible statistic.  Don’t know if anyone caught the Angelina Jolie interview the other night (I didn’t, but I read the transcripts online).  According to some morning drive-time DJs on a local radio station, though, it was "depressing" because it was all about Africa.  I swear, there’s no limit to the level of stupidity in people who manage to get on the radio.

Anyway, just reading the transcripts it seemed pretty cool.  She gives 1/3 of her income to fight poverty around the globe.  I withdraw my earlier disparaging and irritated blog post about her and Brad.

That’s all.

In the giving mood…


A couple of you have asked if there is anything you can do for Rose’s care center.  This is the general piece the agency gave us.  They generally ask you to bring as much luggage as you can and pack whatever you don’t need full of donations because a lot of stuff (particularly medical supplies) can be difficult to get there or are more expensive.

Anyway, I’ll post more if we get asked to bring anything specific. 


Gifts / Donations


You may wish to bring some donations for the foster care center.  Medical donations might include:  Rubber/latex surgical gloves, surgical masks, chewable and Polyvisol drop multi-vitamins, Neosporin ointment, nipples and bottles for children, skin creams and toothbrushes.  Ask your physician or pediatrician if s/he is willing to donate these items. The donation of formula for older children is also useful, as are diapers. Both diapers and formula can be easily purchased in Addis, so if you’d like to cut down on luggage weight, purchase these in country to donate to the foster care center.


Other donations might include:  Age-appropriate children’s picture books, building blocks, Duplos, rattles, mobiles, coloring books and crayons for older children, etc. If you have room to take along a stroller as a donation, you could use it during your trip and leave it behind as a donation. Shoes, either new or gently used are badly needed by the children at the foster care center. Try to bring durable items that can be used by large numbers of children.  You may donate used items, but please ensure that they are clean and of good quality.  You may wish to speak with other families who have traveled for suggestions about the kinds of gifts to bring, so as not to duplicate gifts that have been given recently. 


Other baby care items needed for donations may include diaper pins, new nipples (in all sizes – not nuk/pacifier shaped) and bottles, high-quality disposable diapers, baby wipes, high-quality clothes (all sizes and seasons!).  All clothes should be clean, comfortable and if used, gently worn – avoid lace and other ‘dainty’ items. Bottles, such as the Playtex brand system work well; see that the nipple has only one hole so that the flow is not too fast; additional holes can be added if necessary, using a clean pin.

Sponsor a child


This is from the adoption agency we’re working with.  They are great people, and if you’re looking for a meaningful way to impact a life (for not a ton of money) it might be something worth looking into.


Child Sponsorship Program
We now have 28 Ethiopian children under sponsorship. Each child in the program is receiving a donation of $300 per year which allows them to continue their education, pay for food, medical care and school uniforms. Most importantly it gives them a chance to be a child. For more information on this program or if you would like to help us reach this year’s goal of bringing 100 children under sponsorship please contact Jeff Wigren at 651-255-2299.