this book. I’m only a few chapters in, but I love it. It brings back so many sweet and heart-wrenching memories from our trip to Ethiopia three years (!) ago. It reminds me about the things that I loved seeing, and the things that were hard to see.
In There is No Me Without You, Melissa Fay Greene is telling the story of a widow who has taken in countless orphans as her own, and in the process, she provides commentary on: the epidemic of orphaned children in Africa, the history of Ethiopia, and the history of HIV/AIDS itself. Hargewoin, whose life the book details, is a captivating and moving person. At the same time, I have found the author’s story to be equally moving.
The author talks about how, once she found out about the number of children orphaned in Africa (due to numerous reasons – read the book!), she had to do something about it - and she subsequently adopted 4 children form Ethiopia. That was similar to our experience and why we began the adoption process three years ago. But, she also goes on to discuss that simply adopting all of the children (were that even possible with the outrageously growing number) wouldn’t fix the problem. Adoption is a wonderful thing and these adopted kids are able to act as “ambassadors” here for the many other precious little ones across the world who need to have families, too.
Yet, adoption will not fix this gargantuan issue, nor should it. If possible, the best thing in most scenarios would be to help these children remain in their home country with their own extended families. So, now what do we do with that? What do I need to do in honor of my sweet baby boy to help the millions of children like him?
One thing that makes sense as a step in the right direction is the idea of a foster-like system, which would prevent the orphans from being abandoned (as our Little Man was), being taken to institutions, or worse, ending up on the streets as prostitutes or beggars. In the bleekness of this issue, one thing that excites me is that the organization J works for (www.liaint.org) is empowering local churches to enable families within their congregations to love and take care of orphaned children in a family setting. Most of the time it isn’t a lack of love that orphans these children but a lack of resources.
You can check out how they do this by clicking here. They also have things you can do if you click here. I am trying to brainstorm a special thing for us to do in honor of T’s gotcha day, Feb. 24th. More to come on that.
So, I get excited about us, who have much to give, being able to help prevent children from becoming just another addition to the number of orphans in Africa. It breaks my heart to think of my little man being another number. I hope our ultimate response can make the children in his home country thankful he is one of their “ambassadors.”