Ethiopia Today


Over the past year, Logan and I have learned so much about orphans and the rest of the world.  We've been changed by what we've seen and heard.  It's changed our perspective of the world and what is important.  Last night, Angi Cooper made an excellent post on her blog called The Cost of Adoption vs. The Cost of a Child's Life.  I'll share that with you in a minute.

First, I want to say that the number one story on the news this morning is a stranded cruise ship.  The Today Show reported that the passengers, stranded for two days, are surviving on only Spam and Pop-Tarts.  Families are worried about their loved ones on board. 


About two weeks ago, Logan and I woke up and checked the Yahoo Group for our adoption agency and found two messages regarding KVI, one of the four orphanages that work with our adoption agency.  There is a chance that our daughter will come from this orphanage, before being moved to the Transition Home.  This is what the families wrote after visiting:

Hey, everyone-
We (the five families in Ethiopia for court right now) visited KVI orphanage today.   We all walked away with broken hearts, stunned at the reality of life for the kids there.

They do not have any diapers. Yes, you read that correctly. An orphanage full
of babies and toddlers, and there are no diapers. They have rags and ripped
pieces of sheets that the wrap around their bottoms, and keep them in place with
onesie t-shirts. Every single baby we held today was soaking wet (or worse),
their entire outfit. They lay on the floor, soaking wet, and get changed on the
floor...where they all crawl around and play with the few toys that they have.
In addition, they had no mattresses in many of the cribs. Babies sleeping on a
the wooden bottom of a crib. I don't know that I would have believed it if I
hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

So...we pooled our money and they helped us find a place that sells crib
mattresses. All well and good...except for the fact that they are NOT vinyl
covered mattresses like we get at home. Cloth covers.

So, while it's great that they at least have crib mattresses, they're going to
be ruined in short order with none of the babies having diapers. We've searched
high and low, and cannot find any waterproof crib pads here in Addis.

CAN THE FAMILIES THAT ARE TRAVELING FOR COURT THIS COMING WEEK PLEASE BRING AS MANY WATERPROOF CRIB PADS AS POSSIBLE? The best would be the kind that can just be wiped clean, and if possible have the fitted sheet edges to wrap around. But anything waterproof will work! Even if they have the cotton top over vinyl, if we have enough of them at least they can be changed.

The other obvious need is diapers. Even cloth diapers and plastic pants to go

over would work. Just something.

We're finding that yes, the Transition Home is an orphanage. There are still

conditions there that are hard, as parents, to see. But, it's the Hilton of
orphanages. We would just recommend, based on what we saw here today, that you split your donations up...if you bring one tote/suitcase of donations for the
TH, bring one or two more for KVI and Kids Care orphanage. Just our two cents!
Thanks for the help with crib pads and diapers for KVI!

Hi all,
We are here in Ethiopia for court. We visited 2 orphanages today and one broke our hearts and needs URGENT help!!!! KVI orphanage. There were no crib mattresses in the cribs and no babies had on diapers! Pieces of ripped up Sheets in the place of diapers!!! we were so disturbed that we went out and bought 6 crib mattresses for KVI and delivered them. Problem is they are NOT plastic covered so they will get ruined quickly! Babies are soaking wet because of no diapers. We all bring donations for the TH and yes they need stuff but take as MUCH as possible to KVI!!! Please traveling families try to bring this trip if you can!! these are their urgent needs: PLASTIC CRIB COVERS, CRIB SHEETS,

This is the list they gave us: Bed sheets twin and crib bath towels and hand towels blankets for toddlers crocs clothes for toddlers( a definite) tooth brushes/toothpaste kids DVDs Tylenol antibiotic creme PLEASE  tell all traveling soon!!! I am not saying do not give to TH(Transition home) because they take good care of our kids and do so because of our donations but KVI is in major need!! Paige and all the families in ET right now
This is what is going on in Ethiopia right now.  Today.  Yet, the lead story on the news is a stranded cruise ship.  If you weren't looking, you may think that it was the worst thing going on in the world.  For some reason, the people with the power, the connections and the cameras aren't in Ethiopia.  They aren't in the orphanages in Eastern Europe.  They are flying in helicopters around a cruise ship that's stranded off the coast of San Diego.

The orphanages aren't in this shape because they are run by bad people.  The people who open the orphanages do it out of the goodness of their hearts.  There are no government run orphanages in Ethiopia and no government assistance for those brave enough to open one.  There aren't enough orphanages, so the few that they have, are overrun with too many children.  There is no money, no supplies, and not enough adults to care for the children.  This is the best that they can do.  This is where our daughter is coming from. 

When people ask us why we are adopting, we give a simple, polite answer, because it's impossible to paint a picture clear enough to explain to a person in a normal conversation that we are adopting because there are over 100 million orphans in the world and some of them are babies without diapers sleeping in cribs without mattresses. 

Here is a link to Angi's post:

Update to this post:  We have had several people offer to make donations to the KVI orphanage.  I am trying to find someone who is traveling soon who could take our donations with them.  Logan and I will certainly be taking as much as we can with us when it is our time to travel.  For now, if you have anything that you would like to donate, give it to us and we will start a stockpile until we can find someone to take it.  I will keep everyone updated. We could especially use diapers, cloth diapers and plastic diaper covers will last longer, plastic/vinyl crib mattress covers, crib sheets, clothes and pajamas for babies and kids of all ages, diaper rash cream, Tylenol or Motrin, teething medicine, small toys, crocs or flip flops, toothbrushes, toothpaste.  Anything.  You might also keep in mind the men and women who are kind enough to work in the orphanages and the things that they may need. 

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