Saturday, March 31, 2007

About Abigail and Emmanuel

On January 10th, 2007 we were matched with Abigail and Emmanuel (or A&E as I like to call them) as our children. It was Abigail's 7th birthday when we found out. A & E are biologically brother and sister. Their father is still alive and lives about 20 minutes outside of Monrovia where AFAA's foster home is that A & E will stay in until we bring them home. We don't know what happened to their mother. They have several other older siblings who we hear are mostly in their teens and 20's. It is common for parents to drop their children off at orphanages in an effort to get them fed in Liberia. We don't know what the circumstances were that got A & E into the system. We do know they have been at the AFAA house since at least early December. Both children are healthy by 3rd world standards. That means they are not HIV positive but could have some malnutrition issues. At the time we were matched with them, Emmanuel was smaller than Annie by 2 inches and five pounds. He was born in 2003 but we do not know when his birthday is. Emmanuel also has a droopy left eye lid as you can see in the pictures. He was able to be examined by a doctor and does have sight in his left eye. We have learned his father has the same condition. A & E were both given small albums in mid March when our agency director, Cheryl traveled to see them. (There is no mail system in Liberia so this was our only opportunity to get something to them. All the adoption paperwork is done through DHL.) They have now seen photos of us and both sets of grandparents as well as gotten some pictures drawn by Annie. We have learned through a girl who was adopted in PA and was with A & E in the AFAA house that Abigail is obedient and likes to play with dolls. Emmanuel apparently enjoys making funny faces at the foster Moms and likes to get up early so he can have first pick at the toy cars.

Friday, March 30, 2007

How it All Began, Learn about our Adoption Agency

It didn't take us long to pick our adoption agency, Americans for African Adoptions. The Executive Director, Cheryl Carter-Shotts found her son after watching the news! Did God need to hit us with a rock to tell us this was the one or what? Read her story at: http://www.africanadoptions.org/media/indystar/afaacheryl23.html
Visit our agency website at: www.africanadoptions.org
AFAA as we like to refer to them, is based in Indianapolis, IN. They work with Liberia, Ethiopia, and have just started a program in Lesotho (a small country in South Africa). Very few countries in Africa allow international adoptions. In fact Lesotho's first experience with international adoptions will be with AFAA. The first referrals (matching of families and children) are just coming in. Cheryl has worked through the endless paperwork of African Adoptions for 21 years. Their fees are nowhere near what other agencies charge. They make helping a child a reality for almost everyone! Peace, Food, and Clean Water!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Richardson Family Web


Hi all! Thanks for visiting.

We're going to do out best to keep you posted on the events of Annie's life as she grows. We know you're all a great distance from her and we hope this will help bring us all closer together.

Also, we're going to use this space to introduce you to Abigail and Emanuel. We're still getting to know them ourselves. The first pictures of them arrived today and we couldn't be more excited!! They are beautiful children and they bring a ray of sunshine to our lives that is profound.

These pictures of them were taken right off our television. We received a DVD video of the two today and had to get pictures out to all of you ASAP. As Sue may have mentioned in her email to you...they were singing like crazy on this DVD!!! They seemed so happy and Abigail in particular was just beaming with joy. Emanuel seemed a little more reserved. You could tell that he was a happy boy. There were several other boys who were his "groupies"...they were always at his side.

Feel free to leave comments for us and to check back often. We'll update this site as frequently as possible.