Saturday, May 31, 2008

AHOPE Update and our "Forever Day"

Today I was at a work retreat with our families from the HIV clinic at the hospital- it was a really nice day- I was sad to be spending it away from my two youngest because two years ago today was the day they came into our lives (physically) forever. We were in Addis at the Addis Kiddan Guest house and that day- they gave us the boys and they never went back to the CWA care center. Yes- our lives were forever changed. So today is our "Forever Day." But I was with my families from work. This is not always the easiest event for me- I don't even bother bringing my own children anymore- but today was really different and I just enjoyed sitting around talking with the families and hanging out- it was - in the afternoon at least- actually somewhat restful.

So- today I bring you an email update from the AHOPE supplies coordinator- this is the orphanage that I visited two years ago tomorrow and that visit- also changed many things for me- and for many families and for many children- so that is a special day in and of itself- so read on about the recent donations and needs. I see that they credit many recent donations to one of the big agencies which is so great- I hope the CWA families are still staying connected to AHOPE in the way the early CWA families who traveled were- because it truly is an amazing place. Have you ever been to a place and you feel like "This is a God really- that is what this place is." That is the way I felt when I first met K. in her schoolroom and saw her smile.

From Cat Brainerd:

Hi Everyone!

This is Cat Brainerd, the Supply and Donation Coordinator for AHOPE. I wanted to write and thank everyone so much for your incredible support to AHOPE these past few months! In fact, lately we've had more supplies than travelers to carry them! So if you are traveling to Ethiopia any time in the next few months and have any space in your luggage to carry donations, please let me know! Every little bit helps!!! Any extra thanks to Beth and you CHSFS folks - you are really outdoing yourselves between donations and sponsorships. Keep it coming!

Also (here is my request!) AHOPE plans to start a music education program with the children. We are all very excited about this development and think it will be wonderful for the kids! But AHOPE needs instruments. If you have any instruments looking for a good home, consider donating to AHOPE!

Finally, I'll wrap this up by attaching a few photos of recent donations, including a much anticipated medical book, brand new shoes for all the children at AHOPE (yep, that's over 80 pairs of new Crocs!) as well as 100 toothbrushes!. I hope to have some other photos to share soon.

Again, thank you all for what you are doing for the children of AHOPE. We couldn't do this without your support. Thank you on behalf of all the wonderful children at AHOPE!!!

Best Regards,
Cat Brainerd
AHOPE Supplies Coordinator
AHOPE website:
family blog:

and I leave you some pictures of my forever boys:


Brianna Heldt said...

Visiting AHOPE in February of 2006 changed my life as well. I TOTALLY felt the "this is a God place" stronger than I ever had before.

Jennifer said...

Emily -

Happy belated Forever Day! Missing you a lot this week.

I wonder if this organization might be able to help AHOPE

They're based in Ithaca.

- Jennifer (Mark and Zeke)

Mindy said...

Your boys are getting sooooo big!

Heidi W said...

They are just so sweet! And getting sooo big!

Anonymous said...

I did a double take! Yabsera is SUCH a big boy! Wow. Happy (belated) forever day!

Thankfulmom said...

A very belated happy Forever Day to all of you. Of course, your visit to K. changed my life forever - who, but God, could ever have imagined the story that would unfold.


Heidi Mehltretter said...

Wow, Y is SO TALL. I can't believe it. And M, too. They look GREAT. I have to come visit.

Heidi Mehltretter said...

Cool to see Brianna posting - I actually saw them at AHOPE on that visit! Wow. They bought ice cream for the kids, and the kids were thrilled