Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the Other Side of the World

On the other side of the world lives an 11 year-old boy named Yehune Solomon. I have never met Yehune, but he lives in my heart and he is a connection to the world my daughter left behind.

We "met" Yehune 3 years ago through our adoption agency. We had just recently brought home our daughter from Ethiopia, and in our hearts we struggled with the fact that she was just one of millions and millions who needed a family. It was difficult to try and get through each day without feeling absolute sorrow for the children that we left behind, children who were 6 or 7 years old raising themselves as both parents and sometimes older siblings had vanished. Just a few months after our daughter made her American debut our agency began a sponsorship program in her birth country to support those little ones we thought about so often.

Without hesitation I told my husband we would be sponsoring a child. Our $400 American dollars would mean clothes, food, housing, a social worker and school for a child living in the Ethiopian countryside. Shortly after signing up we received a letter from Ethiopia and attached was the picture of a tiny 8 year-old boy, Yehune. Like more than 5 million other children in Ethiopia, Yehune has no parents. The reality is that an entire generation of people is missing from the Ethiopian population, most succumbed to AIDS, some to war and famine. There are children, and there are adults in their 40s and 50s with almost no other age groups in-between.

For the last 3 years our measly $400 has allowed Yehune to have a childhood. He does well in school, he plays football (soccer), he writes us letters and Christmas cards. He is living life and we are the better for it. Seeing Yehune grow and learn and play and thrive has given new meaning to the value of money. $400 is less than half our grocery bill for the month. I probably spend $400 a year at Starbucks. In Ethiopia all it takes is $400 to save a life, to preserve a future, to offer hope to a child who has seen everything he once had slip away.


I entered this amazing contest and the winner will receive too many HP goodies to name. In the spirit of giving and all that is good with the world if I won I would love to be able to donate a few of the computers and some of the other items to the foster home run by my adoption agency in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They have recently renovated and finally have an internet connection. With more than 30 children living there at one time I can only imagine how much use they would get out of it. They could learn English, they could have web cam chats with friends in America who have found forever families, they could have access to email to keep in touch, they could learn about the world around them, other than just what they see in their walled off backyard and the nannies and staff who cared for these children as their own could see how well they are growing. The possibilities are endless and makes my hair stand on end at the exciting prospect of it. The only thing we would keep would be a laptop, for my pilot husband who travels...a lot.

I hope this season you will find a way to share the spirit and do something, no matter how big or small, for someone who needs it. I have much to be thankful for and I find there is no better way to appreciate all I have then to share.

Wishing you peace and good tidings this holiday season. Merry Christmas to Yehune too, as always.

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15 People Are Feeling Nostalgic:

Christina said...

Congratulations on your adoption. I'm also a mom that went the adoption route (currently in the process w/ child #2), so I have some understanding of how deeply the experience and those left behind affect you.

I wish you the best of luck in winning this contest. I think it would be so amazing for everyone involved to make use of this technology - it would improve the quality of their lives.

Roguepuppet said...

Thanks for sharing this story. As times get rough locally, it is too easy to lose track of how much worse conditions are every day in other parts of the world.
So, is there a child number 2 creeping onto your adoption list, or are you completely busy with your daughter?

Laurie/Mobile Mommy said...

It's amazing how money that in many ways is a "small" amount here, and makes such a HUGE difference somewhere else. I commend you on your involvement and good luck with the contest!

Dee Dee said...

Inspiring and heart wrenching story. Wouldn't it be nice if we could touch them all. I sponsor children through www.mannarelief.org One day I'd like to go to the orphanage where my 'kids' are and give them hugs and love along with the nutritional supplements.
Your gift would truly impact lives. Hope you win!
I had dreams of adopting, but God had other plans. Maybe my children will bless me one day with adopted grandchildren.

Retro Housewife said...

Roguepuppet - If we had the money I would absolutely adopt again. We have two biological boys too, so we are busy, but I would love to adopt an older child 3 - 9ish. Right now the finances won't allow it, but I keep my fingers crossed that we can do it one day.

Thanks for all the comments! Good luck to all of you!

nicólle said...

Proof positive how one person, can affect great change in another's life.

peterifranco said...

wow thats so nice of people to adopt children, i hope the very best for you and your kids . Good luck

Claire said...

I will pray that you can adopt again.. adoption is a wonderful thing and what you are doing.. that $400 means so much. We are going through so much here that we forget that there are people in other conturies who do not have parents or even the luxery of food and water. I applaud you for all that you do. May God bless you and your family.. near and far.
-Claire

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

I love hearing stories from around the world. What a wonderful organization to be associated with. And, what beautiful pictures! I volunteer with a local organization that does work in Kenya. There is something so special about these kids that need so much. I, too, wish I could do more. I guess it is through the small and simple things... like you mentioned about the $400... that great things take place!

Good luck with the contest and enjoy a happy holiday season!

z. Smith said...

The slide show was a really nice touch - I enjoyed the photos. Best of Luck.

Catie said...

What an amazing thing you're doing for that young man. I love your idea!

and, I have an awesome new bookmark to add to my growing collection!

Tina said...

What a great story.. I agree with RoguePuppet.. It's so easy to focus on how bad things are here and lose sight that we still have it so much better than those in other countries..

Ivy said...

Such a simple act makes such a huge difference! Good for you!

Jolly Joan said...

That is so wonderful about your Ethiopia connection, and about how you are looking out for kids who have been 'left behind.' What a tribute to your daughter, and to her native people. You are a great example of motherhood and of compassion!!!

shawnlee said...

Hey it's the work you're doing is astonishing and makes a huge difference - my story just sounds pathetic compared to yours! GOod luck!