Monday, July 9, 2007

Couple more things for AFAA Families

I already miss all those kids. Parents, you will all be pleased at your children. It's funny just with a glimpse of the albums and then getting to know the kids, God really does pick our kids. Jessie told me every child in the AFAA house right now has a family, except little Emmanuel Tamo, the boy who is disabled. That is great news. Hopefully the next few months will be filled with families picking up their children or welcoming them home. A&E leaving the AFAA house was hard on the children. They had been there over a year. Jessie tried to explain to them their turns would be coming but it is harder to be left than to leave. As excited as you all are for your children, I was surprised that the children are just as excited if not more about their new families. They have such anticipation. They all want to know what state they are going to. I spent a lot of time at the globe showing them where all the states from Kentucky to NY to NJ to MT to UT were. So fun.
The other thing that amazed me in Liberia were how many people thanked Scott and I for taking A&E when they saw us with them. When we were coming back from missing our flight Friday night both of us were really low, thinking what have we done, is this all worth it? And then the cab driver said, you american? We said yes. He said your children Liberian? We said yes. He said thank you for taking them to America. It's funny how God puts little things like that in your life to keep you going. Besides that I can't tell you how many people asked me about AFAA, what they had to do to get in. They either had a friend or a relative who no longer could take care of children. The big thing, everyone was concerned about sending their children to school. I had such reservations about adopting children when a father was still living and well, but after being in Liberia, "I GET IT." The other third world countries I'd been to had a level of wealthy people. Not Liberia, almost everyone is poor. Even people WITH jobs asked me for food. Life is just hard. It rains a lot, it's muddy. It's hot. Even our 140 dollar a night hotel was not a US 140 dollar a night hotel, more like a 40 dollar a night hotel. Don't get me wrong, it was an oasis in the middle of Monrovia and awesome to have internet. But the electricity went off several times a day, along with the one or two tv stations that would come in. They supply soap and towles, no shampoo, mouthwash, coffee maker etc. Toilet paper is used for everything, even as napkins and towels to wipe your hands with. Not having running water absolutely sucks. Most people don't have it. That means pouring water down a toilet if you have one and at the AFAA house with dozens of kids that means several buckets of water because not everything is an easy flush. There is just no way to feel or get clean without running water either. One of the biggest thing for me, it appears there is not a single washer or dryer in the whole country. I asked the Reeds on the way to Liberia if they had one and they don't even have one. That means everywhere you go there are clothes on the line and they are usually still wet if not out in the rain. Life is hard. They are making progress. One day on our way to the AFAA house we all had to pull off the side of the road. The president was going to work. People generally like her and think she is doing a good job. But there is a lot to be done and Liberia may never be the country it was before the war. We found many of the businesses that have come into the country are run by Lebanese people. We have no idea why.

I am so looking forward to being home with a new appreciation for my life and American life. I hope to get photos and DVDs out to everyone this week, BUT bear with me. Please e-mail me individually if you have questions. I hope I can answer them. Of course I cannot post without some random pictures, if you want to see the photos bigger just click on them. The first is a letter Abegail wrote to us. Many of the kids wrote letters to their parents (I will be sending them) so Abegail did not want to be left out. The second is Samuel, AFAA's driver. He drives us and waits for all of us and even took us back to the airport on Sunday. Third, I'm talking with the kids. Then Mary and Jemama watching a video. I thought it was so cute how Jemama had her legs crossed like a lady. Then my troublemaker Eman wearing my glasses and Abegail reading. Hopefully my next post will be from HOME!!


Nancy said...

So relieved and happy to get up this morning and know that you are making progress - one continent at a time. By now you are undboutedly on your way to Philly - huurah! I have thought too a lot about Alexander since you met him, and how you must feel taking away his children, but more imortantly what you are giving him in return: the knowledge that they will see a doctor if they get sick, the assurance that they will go to school, and the biggest gift of all: hope for their future. He didn't have that hope before or they would never have gotten to the AFAA house! This is what he wants too! Abegail and Eman have become his hope for the future! God bless you and all of the other waiting families, and also those Liberian families who are making this sacrifice for the good of the children. We sang "Here I Am, Lord" yesterday in church which was the background music for one of the videos you posted and so appropriate for you and all AFAA famlies "I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart."

Andries said...

You've written such wonderfully supportive comments! Funny thing, we sang "Here I Am, Lord" at church yesterday, too! You don't go to Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, do you?! We are anxious to meet A&E. We adopted an A&E of our own (Alazar & Endalkachew) from Ethiopia through AFAA less than 3 months ago. Sue & Annie were kind enough to come visit us with gifts and food. We look forward to paying a return visit of the same order!
We'll be glad to hear they are home at last!

Nancy said...

Dear Beth,
I had to go back to April in the blog to find the pictures of your family that I knew Sue had posted and to re-read the things she had written. How happy she was to have made new friends on that day! They still aren't home, but are expected this morning, Tuesday, at 10:30, so I am praying, and hoping God is listening! I live in NY not in MN, but feel a sense of solidarity and pleasure knowing that you and I were singing the same hymn on Sunday, one that I think has special meaning for AFAA families. I am truly inspired by you all.