Heart towards Ethiopia

13 Mar

This week  my husband, Lance, is in Ethiopia on a mission trip with some of our college students from our church.  He will be leading pastor training in a church about 9 hours out of Addis until Thursday.  Then they will visit Noel’s former orphanage in Addis and on Friday they will be spending the whole day feeding and ministering to people with HIV/AIDS.   I wish I could have joined him on this trip, but I needed to stay home with the kiddos.

Noel has changed our lives in so many ways.  One of the ways she has is that Noel made the HIV/AIDS crisis personal to us.  An AWAA family, (one of my “bloggy friends”) talked about how orphans and people in poverty became personal to her family.  It was a great post.  It really made me think about how much my heart has changed for the person with HIV/AIDS.  Just about 3 years old I would have never of thought much about the people with HIV/AIDS.  Now I probably don’t go a day without pondering or praying for the crisis in some way. 

I think about all people affected by the virus, but really think about the little infants and children facing this illness without parents in an orphanage.  Noel’s body has had such a hard time recovering from the damage the HIV virus did to her that first year of life before medication.  She is also so delayed from her two years living in an orphanage.  However, Noel is remarkable.  She has a long way to go, but she has already overcome so many things.  She is an absolute delightful child.  We are so proud of her.  We can’t imagine not having her.  We think of all the other little “Noels” with HIV out there in desperate need of a better chance at life.

Ethiopia last week changed some things that would drastically slow down their adoption process.  Project Hopeful sent out an email that shared about this better than I can:

Project Hopeful has been greatly concerned about the recent turn of events in Ethiopian adoptions as the US State Department confirmed that the Ethiopian government plans to reduce international adoptions by up to 90% effective immediately. Some have estimated that this could increase the wait time for an orphan child to be adopted as much as seven years.

It is clear no orphan has that kind of time to spare. They all deserve families immediately. But for orphans with HIV/AIDS the wait could absolutely be the death of them. That’s because institutional life for children with HIV/AIDS is particularly brutal.  Orphanage living increases their chances of contracting secondary infections which can prove life threatening without proper medical care. The limited resources many orphanages face mean their ability to meet the needs of HIV+ children is handicapped. Project HOPEFUL has seen time and again that children who were on the brink of death in an orphanage thrive with the love and care only a family can provide.

This week especially my heart and prayers are turned towards Ethiopia.  I am praying for my husband, but I am also praying for the Ethiopian adoption process and for HIV orphans still there in need of families.

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