Hopefully we’ll be attending this conference again this fall. We encourage you to visit the website www.togetherforadoption.org
Category Archives: About Ethiopia
Over the last few weeks we’ve been able to communicate well enough with the kids to start learning about their home in Ethiopia. It started when I showed Fikadu and Tigist the video we created to show when we passed court (see post on Jan 2nd). In it I had a photo of a mudhut house typical to the southern region of Ethiopia. Fikadu’s eyes lit up and he pointed with glee and said, “Fikadu’s house!!” This allowed for a continued conversation about what life was like at Fikadu’s house. ***Edit*** This post will be continually edited as we discover new things out about the children’s previous home.
So far they’ve told us:
At Fikadu’s house there was no shower, and no bathroom. Fikadu said he got to go shint and kaka (pee and poop) outside. Followed up with, “America, no kaka shint outside, no?” Yes, that’s right son, there will be no going potty outside until we take you camping, and then those skills will come in handy! He was also quick to point out that the dog got to go potty outside.
There was also a Big Water (assuming a lake) by Fikadu’s house, he apparently knows how to swim as he performed all the motions of going under water and swimming. He also quickly pointed out that Tigist no swim because she was a baby. Also the big water was where they got fish.
His family raised many cows. Not one cow, but yes, big, big, big cows. Followed by 1,2,3,4,5. . .Big mommy big! (apparently we’ve made the switch from Bus, to big meaning many) He also told us that only girls milk cows, not boys.
A friend named Yacob has a horse. And Yacob’s mommy makes injera. Yacob was Fikadu’s friend.
There was a church near Fikadu’s house and his oldest brother Marcos and his wife took Fikadu and Tigist to church. They sang lots of songs.
There are lions near Fikadu’s house and you don’t go outside at night. This came out when we asked Fikadu if he wanted to go outside with Daddy to take the dog out one night. He looked as us like we were crazy and said, “No, Daddy! Lions! No outside!” We had to distinguish that America has no lions. We haven’t told him about the ones at the zoo.
One morning we saw 5-6 deer out the window and Fikadu got so excited. He used charades to mimic throwing a spear at a deer, slicing its throat, and then eating it. He also told us that Marcos, his brother kills deer, but that he has not killed one yet. Hmmm, well that’s protected park lands back there so please don’t spear any of those ones. But I’m sure when you get older you can go on a hunting adventure with Daddy, Grampy, Uncle Luke and Uncle Aaron, and that if you manage to spear one instead of shooting it with a gun, you will have the best bragging rights on the Blackstone side of the family.
Fikadu also told us that he had a big brown dog, but distinguished that his had a tail (unlike our boxer Belle). The dog helped in hunting deer.
At Fikadu’s house no shoes, no tv, no stove, no sink, no lights, no phone.
At Fikadu’s house there are monkeys! We think he’s trying to tell us that yes, there were lots of monkeys nearby, but that they also had a pet monkey. He’s indicated this my saying, “Belle this house, Monkey Fikadu’s house.” And then he’ll say, “yes many monkeys, one monkey Fikadu’s house”
Fikadu used to climb banana trees with a machete and chop down large bunches of bananas. He told us this when I had a large meat knife in my hand and he said,”Mommy, yes, this knife big at Fikadu’s house. Fikadu, Marcos go upstairs big tree and WHACK, WHACK, WHACK Bananas come downstairs.”
What insight this gives us into what life was like for them. Even though to us it seems so far removed from what we know! The kids both speak fondly of their Ethiopian home and it is apparent that they were well loved and raised in a caring family. I look forward to helping them remember this amazing history that they have, and I’m grateful to God for their first family who took the kids to church and taught them about Him. I pray that they know tonight that Fikadu and Tigist are well loved and cared for. And that we will help them remember their first family and their Ethiopian heritage.
If I ever had any doubts, and yes I’ve certainly had my days. . . please let me never forget God’s faithfulness and unending kindness. If you have checked out our funding our adoption page recently you’ve seen that we still have a lot to save and raise for our adoption.
A few weeks ago we received a matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans. Basically they will match dollar for dollar given up to $4000 giving us the potential to raise $8000 towards our adoption costs. Which is exactly the amount we still needed to send in our dossier, accept our referral, and request a court date, and all by the end of this month.
Well it is with much joy and in absolute humility that I can express that God has provided for our needs! What I considered impossible, He considered possible, what I was hoping for, He exceeded! Are you ready for this? Our matching grant has been matched!!!!
For anyone who still wants to donate towards our adoption costs Lifesong has an account set up in our name and any gifts given to our account will be tax-deductible and you will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Please leave a comment if you are interested and I will send you the information.
This means that all we have remaining to raise is our travel costs to bring the children home! This is still a large amount but as I’m learning and continually seeing, God loves to provide for our needs! And more then that, God loves the fatherless, the orphan, the poor. For a great video about what God is doing in Ethiopia click on the following link and watch the 2nd video presentation. This video is part of the missions video put out by our church. We can’t wait to visit Covenant Life Church in Addis Abba when we travel to Ethiopia. Enjoy! www.missionvideos.org
These are some facts that I’ve copied from the Gibson Family site. I wanted those who read here to have an idea about some staggering statistics in Ethiopia.
Did you know in Ethiopia:
- One in ten children die before their first birthday
- One in six children die before their fifth birthday
- 44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old
- 60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition
- The median age in Ethiopia is 18 years
- 1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world)
- 720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone
- Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa
- In the 90s the population (3%) grew faster than food production (2.2%)
- Drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals)
- Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school.
- Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002.
- Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.
- In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports.
- Ethiopia has approx. 4.3 million orphans and the country is twice the size of Texas.