Thursday, May 25, 2006

Read it here first...

Hey everyone,

A friend of mine is bringing her little girl home from Ethiopia any day now. The catch is that this girl is HIV positive. Both Ethiopia and the US have started to allow HIV positive children to be adopted. This is great news. Did you know that HIV is not a fatal illness in children in the US, but it is in Africa? Why? Proper nutrition, drugs and health care. It is a shame to let those kids die in orphanages when some families here are willing to adopt them. Thanks to places like the Gates Foundation and the One campaign...these children are starting to get the meds they need to survive. They are even going to school and expected to live into adulthood. That is a very different story then it was a few years ago. BUT, there is always more that can be done. No amount of money or schooling can replace a mom and a dad.

This story is cool because this family adopted a son (not HIV positive) from Ethiopia a few years ago. They decided to sponsor an HIV positive child too (those kids at the time couldn't be adopted). They decided to meet their sponsored child when they went over to pick up their son. They fell in love with her, a young girl named Desta. They have fought long and hard to bring her home. If you have a minute to read a new blog, check out Bringing Desta Home at http://bringingdestahome.blogspot.com/ People magazine sent a reporter over there with them so you will hear about it soon anyway. Desta is now 11. It is a very compelling story.

Another friend of mine visited the same orphanage (AHOPE for Children) when she was over getting HER son. She also fell in love with a little girl and decided to sponsor her too. Now they are bringing her home as soon as they can. Isn't that wonderful? I know that not all of us are equipped to adopt HIV positive children, but isn't it great that for the ones who can, it is now possible for them to find a forever family? What a blessing. I can't adopt an HIV positive child, but I can sponsor one (or get my family to pitch in and sponsor one). I can gather donations for the AHOPE orphanage. There are families from all over the US going to Ethiopia to pick up their children every week and they often bring donations to AHOPE. If I find the stuff, they will find a way to get it over there. I can do something, all of us can. It isn't hard and it isn't even very expensive.......20$ goes a long way over there. Just a thought.

Ok, I am off the soapbox. At the very least it is interesting reading for the evening. Here are some links. You can leave Desta a message on the comments for her to get when she gets home. I know they are keeping a book for her of all the well wishes.

Have a good day!

http://www.ahopeforchildren.org/

http://www.chancesbychoice.org/

P.S. This was a nice contrast the hell that was play group at my house today......will my boy ever stop hitting?

9 comments:

Ana said...

That is amazing, amazing, amazing. So cool. I am so glad you posted this, Bek.

sarah said...

I am so happy they finally are there! I started reading their blog when we started this process but haven't checked it in awhile. I would love to visit AHOPE while in Ethiopia, we shall see (Michael still wants me to stay here with Savannah but I want to go!) I am very glad you posted about AHOPE, they do need all the support they can get!

Julie said...

awesome and inspiring

Fizzle said...

Thanks for posting this, Bek. Makes me think that I'll visit AHOPE when I'm in Addis. I've heard about it, but never thought about stopping by myself....

I don't know how true, but I've also read articles about stockpiles of medications for HIV/AIDS patients backlogged in Africa because of lack of an infrastructure to deliver them. And political corruption every now and then gets in the way...

Bek said...

sadly...that is true. It happened just a few months ago w/ the Elisa HIV test. Ton's of referrals were put on hold until they could be delivered...grrr. That will always be an issue w/ some of these countries. The key is taking it out of the hands of the two governments.....

The good news is that President Bush (love him or hate him) has set aside money for worldwide relief/prevention of HIV (like BILLIONS). That isn't the big news...lots of people are throwing money at the problem...this time he made a good percentage ( about 40%) of it available for religious institutions. Again, love or hate religion, they often have people on the ground to do the work (and not leave it up to a government official in the host country). They also have missionaries that are basically volunteers or self funded. Religious organizations can get more work done and for less money then almost any organization or other type of NGO. It is nearly impossible for a religious based organization to get federal funding in the form of grants, etc. That leaves the private sector....and that is tricky. We are NOT a religious based orgainztion but because we have supported some very conservative bills here in the US...no one will touch us. Sadly, this is the case for many conservative and/or religious groups. Believe it or not...it is very unpopular to teach NO SEX instead of SEX WITH A CONDOM..to the 9 year olds!! There is room for both philosophies..

Over the next few months the money will start being awarded and hopefully, we can get some good things happening....like a church can apply for a grant and then decide to sponsor AHOPE, or a charity like the Mother Theresa Organization can apply for a grant to be able to fund us teaching Stay Alive in a new state or country.....stuff like that.

Very good things are being facilitated....lets hope that SOME of the money gets to where it needs to go.....

You should go to AHOPE when in Addis. One tiny test is all that separates our kids from those kids....

La Yen said...

Um, I only want an African baby if it is born in Namibia to white famous parents who are not African, but apparently control the entire country. Call me fickle, but Ethiopia is SO We-are-the-world-1980.

La Yen said...

And for the people who lurk on Bek's blog who are easily offended, you can email me at getagripiambeingfacetious.yahoo.com

Bek said...

Yen....we all need friends like you.

I totally didn't realize that Ethiopian babies are so passe. Geez, Angelina is the one that MADE it trendy and now she has already made something else trendy...

I need to do my seven 7's...you tagged me....shoot

La Yen said...

About the hitting--My Polly Pocket scratches and pinches when she is mad or frustrated or bored. How do you effectively discipline a 14 month old? "Now, Jooj, that is unacceptable behavior. I want you to Sit in this naughty corner for one minute and think about what you have done. Then write an essay."
PS--tell the North Mexicans that they need a friend like me--I am a loner.