Since we started researching adoption two years ago, we've discovered non-profits, churches and business organizations that work in almost every single aspect of orphan care.  It's not hard to find ways to donate formula, or sponsor a child.  You can even send HIV+ orphans to school for a year.  There are so many ways to help the orphan crisis, but no solution to the orphan crisis. 
So for a long time I have asked myself, "If the parents were getting help, couldn't we prevent the child from being orphaned in the first place?" 

But where are the people who are working to keep the parents alive?  I didn't know.  Until last week.
That's when the Seevers posted about an organization called Because Every Mother Matters.  I read their blog post and then spent an hour reading everything on the Because Every Mother Matters website (BEMM).  I was fascinated with what I read on their site.  And I was even more intrigued when I realized that the organization is run by three American women with no background or education in humanitarian aid.
There is so much that I want to say about Because Every Mother Matters that I am going to break it up into a series of blog posts.  First I want to tell you what they are all about.  Then I want to tell you how we can help them.  Angi and I have already worked out several ideas.  And then I want to tell you how helping them, can actually help us too.

What is Because Every Mother Matters?

They began in 2008 sending sterile birthing kits to mothers in East Africa, where one in eleven mothers will die from childbirth complications.  Currently they are working frantically to fully fund a $20,000 4x4 vehicle to serve as an ambulance for 24 remote villages in Africa.  As of right now they have only raised $1250 toward that $20,000 goal.  So one thing I want to do is help them reach that goal!

BEMM has also created Mother Sponsorships.  Think of a typical Compassion or World Vision child sponsorship, only this is for mothers.  You help support the mother with education, medical attention, and opportunities that she wouldn't otherwise have.  Most importantly, keep her alive for her children.

To learn more about BEMM and the many other things they are doing, go to the About Us link on their website:

I hope you find it as fascinating as I did.  Tomorrow I'll post about the plans we have to help them. 
River, in the middle, cutting the ribbon with safety scissors with his friends Madi, Landyn, Adyn, and Audrey.
On Monday, River had the opportunity to help cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the Born Learning Trail in Sullivan, Indiana.  He and a few of his good friends were on the news and in the local papers.  So far, they are handling their celebrity very well.

Video Here:

Tribune Star Article Here:
We are One Year DTE.
When our dossier was mailed to Ethiopia one year ago today, the estimated wait time for an infant girl was 7 - 11 months.  Waiting a whole year for a referral was never in the equation.  A lot of things have changed in Ethiopia since then.

After a discouraging conference call and an even more discouraging phone call with our family coordinator, we have no idea how much longer we'll be waiting.  We feel like it could be next month or it could be next year.  And that is not to sound dramatic... we really have nothing to go on.  Even our family coordinator said that to tell us a time line would just be a guess.

Yesterday, the Reaser family finally got their infant girl referral.  Which was some of the best news we've heard all summer.  We are now back up to #4 (tied with two other families) the same place we were on the waiting list back in March.  But progress is progress and it feels good to move back up a space. 

Splatter Paint Africa Outline - Acrylic paint on canvas bag with side pocket. $30
Splatter Paint Africa - Acrylic paint on canvas bag with side pocket. $30
Black Africa Outline - Black acrylic paint on canvas bag with side pocket. $18
100% of the proceeds go toward our adoption expenses.  Use the PayPal Donate button or contact me to mail a check.  Prices include shipping.  Thanks you so much for looking!
For 20 weeks we have sat perfectly still on the AWAA unofficial waiting list.  We haven’t moved up one single spot.  We haven’t gotten any closer to our referral.  We’re going nowhere.  Actually, in July moved down the list from 4th to 5th.  So we regressed.  I’ve personally checked our YahooGroup at least 1,000 times hoping to see that someone has gotten a referral and moved us forward.  But for 20 weeks in a row, that hasn’t happened.

Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. 

After 20 weeks in a row of expecting to move forward… and going nowhere… I can say, without a doubt, that I am insane. 

Further evidence that I may be:  Laying in bed at 4 am I realized I could make a cross shape out of the words twenty and weeks with Bananagrams letters.

Also, we spent a considerable amount of time this morning making this chart of our waiting list flatline.

Five months without moving closer to #1.
This one is for the Locals...

I have a friend who makes dresses out of pillowcases and sends them to orphanages in Ethiopia.  Much like this organization, Little Dresses for Africa.

I am mailing her a tote bag this week and I thought I would throw in a few pillowcases as well.  So if you live in the area and have a pillowcase to spare let me know.  Leave a comment or just leave it on our front porch.  I plan on mailing the package on Wednesday.

It breaks down to approximately:

$190 -  World Food Programme
$425 -  Doctors Without Borders

$2,195 - World Vision
$1,085 -  Children's HopeChest  (most of that earmarked for the well at Trees of Glory)

There were also a few donations to Samaritan's Purse and Catholic Relief Services.

This time last week this was just an idea.  I never in my wildest dreams thought we could raise $4,000 in 24 hours.  We learned a lot yesterday and with a few small changes, we are definitely doing this again in the future!

Thank you to everyone who participated.  If you are out there reading this and you have your own idea about how to raise money for famine relief, you should give it a shot!  I mean, look what we were able to do, just by trying!

As of midnight here in Indiana, we have raised...


I am in awe of what has happened through this event today. 

Tomorrow I'll post specifics as to exactly how much money went to each of the four organizations.  I can tell you though, that World Vision was by far the most popular.

I'm keeping the site up through the night for those folks on the west coast.

Thank you EVERYONE!
AWAA Ethiopian adoptive families are working together to raise support for four organizations already working to provide famine relief in the Horn of Africa.

This one day fundraiser allows you to donate any amount (as little as one dollar) to any of four organizations. 

To encourage your donation over $25 or over $50, we have created a list of items for you to shop from.  We have t-shirts, jewelry, even a full-size Scentsy warmer.  Choose your item, show us proof of your donation, and we'll send you the item of your choice.  As long as supplies last.

Please visit our site and have a look around:

Whether you decide to donate today or not... please pass on this website through your own blog, Facebook, email or Twitter.  We sincerely appreciate your support!

Fundraiser ends at midnight Thursday, August 11th.

Update!  As of 4 pm the site has raised $2300!
We mailed off our dossier.