11 October 2008

today's the big day

If you don't know about our family's Kids Walking Kids Home walk today, it's because we don't like you at all. Or maybe it's just because I missed your name on the mass email I hurriedly sent out last Saturday and haven't had time to go back and check who I sent it to. It's hard to say, but don't get all paranoid about it. I'd be happy to send the email to you now if you let me know I missed you.

Anyway, there's a lot of excitement at our house this morning. It's a gorgeous fall day, and the kids are so excited to help a little Ethiopian boy come home to his new family and the blessing of good health care. We're headed out after lunch. Tomorrow or Monday we'll post pictures from our 3.5 mile trek, but for now I wanted to share a little more about why our family committed to this fundraising opportunity. It's definitely not because we're bored and couldn't think of any other ways to fill our fall weekends.

For several years now I've been following the personal story of a family who adopted a little girl with serious medical needs from our orphanage in Liberia. Their adoption story is full of drama, much more than ours. I've always been impressed by the sacrifices they've made out of love for God and an adorable little girl. Not long ago they decided to adopt again. This time they chose an HIV+ boy from Ethiopia whose face makes my heart melt. Through that process, they became more and more passionate about HIV orphan care and loving the truly hopeless. Out of this passion was born From HIV to Home.

Every year tons of new non-profit organizations emerge in America. Many of them flounder and fail over time because passion alone isn't enough to build an organization. However, I believe that Jennifer has what it takes to build a strong organization that will "pave a road home for the world's HIV-affected orphans, particularly for those children who are themselves HIV+." In a short time, HIV to Home is already making an impact. Jennifer knows that adoption won't solve the HIV crisis in Africa. In a just world, the amazing HIV treatments available here in the US would also be available throughout Africa, allowing parents to stay alive and raise their kids. But we don't live in a just world. Parents and children are dying at an alarming rate all over Africa, so adoption is a tiny bandaid that can bring hope to one child at a time.

We know that our little family can't save the world, but today we have the chance to help one 3-year-old Ethiopian boy and one American family find each other and be blessed through the love they will share. That's enough to bring joy to our hearts and tears to my eyes.

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