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.