Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Big News....With The Diving Board!

Annie did it! She jumped off the diving board and swam to the side without a life jacket and then she did it about 25 more times. "Mom, you can stop clapping now," she said.
I hate not having my camera, but I've been assured it will be fixed in a week
E-man discovered earlier this month he can go off the board and doesn't need a life jacket.

I love the age of 5. I know I say that at every age that Annie is, but I really think 5 will be my favorite age. Yes, she is a bit sassier, but she is also as sweet as ever and tries to smile at me whenever I am in the middle of my head exploding with another child. Annie can do so many things too and is so excited about everything. I love the age of 5.

E-man has also turned a small corner. The ice-cream truck (which always comes right before dinner, who owns that thing?) came by and he pulled out his big jar of money to go buy ice-cream. But he didn't just buy some for himself. He bought for his sisters. Abegail said, "Are you sure?" Of course she didn't want to be expected to have to part with some of her precious money and return the favor. But he was sure and even enjoyed buying something for them with his own money.

I'm reading one of those books that's hard to put down. Don't you love that kind of book? "There is no me without you" is by a fellow AFAA mom who adopted from Ethiopia. It is fascinating and brings such light to the AIDS crisis in Ethiopia. 427 pages of a remarkable woman named Haregewoin who had unimaginable ups and downs. She lost her daughter to AIDS in 1998 and was about to go into seclusion until she was asked by a catholic charity to care for an orphaned teenager.
One of the most enlightening issues discussed was that in 1970 the UN General Assembly agreed rich countries should give .7 percent of their GNP to developing countries. It was not a moral issue, it was viewed that northern hemisphere wealth and southern hemisphere poverty were linked.

Melissa Fay Greene writes 'Africa had been plundered for hundreds of years by the world's elites, with no thought to the chaos, tragedy, and starvation they left behind.'

In 1992 the agreement was made again, but between 2002 and 2005 this is what was given:

USA: $75,853,000 .1%
Japan $40,138,000 .2%
France $31,051,000
UK $29,552,000
Germany $29, 502,000 .3%
Netherlands $16,771,000 .7%
Italy $12, 221,00 .2%
Canada $10, 552,000 .3%
Sweden $9,856,000 .7%
Australia $5,325,000 .2%

Of the world's riches countries, only the Netherlands and Sweden followed through on their agreement. While Denmark and Luxembourg gave .8 percent of their GNP, Norway came in with .9 percent.

'By April 15, 2006, the U.S. government had spent according to congressional appropriations, $275 billion on the war in Iraq. According to the national Priorities Project, worldwide AIDS programs could have been completely funded for 21 years with that amount of funding.'
Of course that can be said about education or transportation and a million other things. But those things didn't leave millions of orphans in one country.

More amazing about the whole thing is how the drug companies held patents for decades to keep lifesaving medications at a price so high it was impossible for anyone in a third world country to think about it.

Finally the story comes to adoption. Orphans wandered around the streets of Ethiopia aimlessly and Haregewoin's home had more than 40 children because there just was no one else. And then it was discovered that while there was a shortage of adults in Ethiopia, there was a shortage of children in Europe and North America. The Ethiopian government worried, they would lose their culture, they may be the only Ethiopians in their town, they may be the only black children for miles around. But they will have families. The babies were easy to get adopted, everyone wanted baby girls.

Greene writes: 'In the adoption world, Haregewoin learned even a three year old was an 'older child,' declined by most prospective parents as possibly too damaged or traumatized by early experiences.'
'But won't someone adopt the older children?' Haregewoin sighed as a Canadian-agency person prepared to depart with a baby.
'Try the Americans'
'What? Really?'
'The Americans will adopt anyone.'
Melissa Fay Greene has 9 children, four are adopted from Ethiopia.
Quotes From Abegail:
A: Mommy, are there stores in heaven?
M: I'm not quite sure...are you wondering if you can go to Target after you die?
A: Yes (laughing)
M: Well I'm sure you can, it's heaven after all. Just ask God for a room next to the bulls eye, I've already requested a room next to the pool.
Happy Birthday Auntie Caroline, may you have decades more of #39


The Googeg's said...

Ahh -- 5 is so fun -- much more fun than 3 in my opinion. Your head explodes? And I thought I was the only one!

Bob, Carie, Taylor, Opie and Friday said...

YAY Annie! That is great and I bet it was so very fun to watch!

I've heard about that book too, on my "to buy and read" list...

gretchen said...

My friend Amy loves that book...she wrote a book about adoption, too, that you would probably love- Ashes to Africa.

I am so excited for Annie. Isabelle went down the big slide and the blue slide that dumps into the 10 foot or whatever at our pool and is very excited about her accomplishments, too. No diving board, though-way to go Annie!

And way to go E-man on sharing money...what a sweet boy!

Enjoy the rest of summer!