Day 5 was supposed to be our last day in Ethiopia. It was for Brad, but not for Makaria and I. We had to wait another 6 days for some visa stuff to be cleared up. Ironically, it wasn't the Ethiopian or Chinese embassy giving us a problem, but the ever so efficient US government that couldn't figure out what to do. Long story short, 2 laws contradicted each other. So I'll blog about day 5 a little, but more on the organization Mercy Ethiopia.
We did the traditional coffee ceremony with some of the other families before they left. Even though we only spent 5 days together, you feel really knitted together with the group. So it was hard to see everyone go. It was also hard because most of us don't know if or when we will make it back to Ethiopia. There are mixed emotions when leaving for sure.
These are the cows that I talked about in the last adoption post. As weird as it was to battle in traffic with them, it was even weirder to me that they were in full stride. These cows were running! The 3 or 4 herders were all around them trying to get them in some type of formation. It was awesome.
It's rainy season in Ethiopia, so most days we saw some rain. It stated to rain right as we got to Mercy House. This is the place that is a home for street children. They get kids off the street, work with them and hopefully send them back to their families in a more healthy state physically, emotionally and spiritually. Most kids will stay at Mercy House about 1 year. These kids have learned some horrible 'survival' tactics on the street.
Here's a group shot of all the kids. Most of them range in age between 7-12. We walked in and they were working on some type of project. They went around the room and introduced themselves. The counselors there work with the kids to get them caught up in school too. After their 1 year is up, Mercy House talks with the schools and gets reports on how each child is doing. Most of these kids would not even be in school at all because they can make more money by living and begging in the streets. I'm looking at their progrees reports with the director.
These sweet boys are playing checkers. The one on the right was so excited to show us his grades that he ran into his bedroom and looked under his mattress for his report cards. He has straight A's and wants to be a teacher.
This organization is amazing. I love that their vision is to grow healthy families that function and succeed in Ethiopia. The kids that don't have a family, stay at the House. They are looking into adoption for some of them, but it's a relitively new organization, so they are still working with the government on the logistics involved in adoption. As we talked about how to help them, they mentioned several things. It's about $460/year to sponser a child for food, housing, school, clothes....everything. It's about $250/year to sponser a child's education. For most of us, that is an amount that we can handle. They are also looking at doing some auctions and fundraisers to raise money for these kids. It's a very modest house but with a full-hearted vision for these street kids. And if you want to buy my cookbook "Made in China", all the proceeds go to Mercy Ethiopia which sponsers this home. So, pray about it and let us know if you have more questions. It's nice to know exactly where your money is going. We the home, met the people and laughed with the kids.
We got the camera out and I urged them on in their silliness. They are wonderful kids.
That's it. I'm not going to post about the rest of the trip because honestly, there wasn't much to it. It was mostly inviting myself to go along with the next group of parents coming and waiting for our visas. It was hard to see Brad leave without us. But we managed. There's so much more I want to fill in, but I'll leave our journey here. And we'll pick up with Makaria as our lives continue here. Thanks to everyone for all you've done for our family. Adoption is a crazy, emotional, wonderful, gut-wreching, beautifully hard process. So thank you all for your encouragement and support this entire time.