Archive for ‘AAI’

January 28, 2012

Some days…

The latest:

We raised more than enough money for these girls to be SAFE and taken care of.  We are already working on a long term plan for them to be within a loving family in Uganda.  THANK YOU to everyone that donated and shared.  

UPDATE from Facebook: 

We are quickly coming to a solution for the seven little girls who are living alone in central Uganda.  The short story is that the two malnourished babies (age 2 and 7 months) will be temporarily going to a malnutrition rehabilitation home and the five older girls will be going to boarding school. A bandaid on a very complicated situation but the girls need care and safety NOW. We need sponsors to step up and cover the cost of the girls boarding school. Urgently, we need $200 USD per child for the first term and the necessary books, uniforms, etc. Donations came be made on the AAI website (www.adoptionadvocates.org) and please note it is for the “7 Sisters in Uganda”. AAI is a 501(c)3. Please send me a note and let me know if you’ve donated so I can keep track of what has come in. I really hope to have all five girls in school by the end of the week. Please share with anyone who might be able to help.

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Some days I feel like my heart just can’t handle anymore…the pleas for help, the stories of children in need.

Yesterday, Linda (my friend and the one who runs our work in Uganda) went on a community visit in an area of Uganda we’ve been asked to help. She told me briefly about a situation she came across. I want to share their story with you.

She met a family of seven little girls.  The oldest is 13 and the youngest is 7 months.  The baby is very malnourished.  Their dad lives and works hours away in the capital city.  Their mom died.  For weeks at a time these seven little girls are alone.

ALONE.

A 13 year old girl is the head of their house.

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, I was told: “the kids get attacked at night by strangers”.

And my heart broke.

She didn’t elaborate on details but I can only guess what can be happening to these seven little girls who are alone.

Can you just imagine for a moment being 13 years old and being responsible for the lives of your six little sisters? 

These precious children, how vulnerable they are.

The thing is, I don’t know how to help these little girls.  They need to be somewhere safe now.

We’re researching our options for getting them out of this situation and into a safe place.

For now all I know to do is pray for them and ask you to pray as well.

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” – Psalm 82: 3-4

November 4, 2011

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June 29, 2011

Uganda Trip continued….

Day 4:

Ok – can’t find my trip notes so my trip posts are going to be different. I’ll post about general things that happened during the trip and not specific days – because honestly, I can’t remember what days we did what! It was a BLUR! :)

We started working a little later this day as we spent some time running around trying to fix some paperwork for one of our adoptive families who had court that day. We spent several hours sitting in a probation officers office working on a letter that needed delivered. We got as far as we could with the letter then headed to court to deliver what we were able to get. Met the adoptive family (fun) and sat with them for a bit in court as everything was being prepared.

We then headed out to see some more orphanages, meet with some more people, meet some children waiting for families and deliver care packages for kids in the process of being adopted. We did some shopping for some of the orphanages and delivered food, diapers, soap, and other necessaties to some of the homes we’ve been working with.

I think I mentioned this before, but the homes and caregivers get SO excited when we show up with donations. We try to find out what their immediate needs are and help with what we can. Sometimes its diapers, sometimes formula, sometimes school fees. We don’t have nearly enough money to cover all of the needs but are usually able to help with some of the needs at each place we visit.

Linda, Patrick (our driver and new friend) and I had dinner this evening at a new (to me) place called Bamboo Nest. YUM. We had a fish eating lesson where Patrick enjoyed the eyeballs and brain while I tried to hide my gagging and shuddering. ;)

Here’s a fun video of a traffic jam we came across one day:

Traffic Jam from sister haiti on Vimeo.

June 25, 2011

June 2011 Uganda Trip Day 3

Day 3:

My overnight flight from London to Uganda was decent.  I had a bulk head seat and slept about four hours.   We got to Uganda at about 8am.  The visa line was long.  The immigration officer looked at my passport and asked why I was only staying for 6 days.  I explained it was only a short trip and I couldn’t stay longer.  He pointed to my visa renewal stamp (my visa expired last year when I was in Uganda for so long and I had to get it extended, a huge pain!) and said that he didn’t want me to have to go through that again if I decided to stay longer so he gave me a 90 day visa.  :)

I’m always nervous my bags will get lost but all three were there!   I got my bags loaded on a cart and headed out.  Linda was out front waiting for me and it was so good to see her again!  We found Patrick outside in the car and made our way to our first stop – my friend Robin’s place!  I had a ton of stuff to deliver to Robin plus we had to see one of the sweet babies being adopted by one of our families.  We spent about an hour there sorting through donations, getting some pictures and catching up before heading off to our next visit.

We visited another babies home we’re currently working with, dropped off donations, met some adoptive parents in country, got updates on kids and went to visit the orphanage director who was in a local hospital sick with malaria.  Oh yeah, in between that we stopped and got some American dollars exchanged into shillings and went to the market and bought some supplies for the orphanages we were seeing that day.

Robin had told us about a new, poor orphanage in Entebbe she wanted us to check out.   So we took a bunch of food and a million pairs of underwear (thanks to the generous donations of our AAI families!) and set off to see what this new place was all about.  We were greeted at the orphanage by 40-some young children, most between the ages of 2-10.   We were led to the back of the property where we found a renovated chicken coop turned children’s home!

Several months ago a good Samaritan working on the islands of lake Victoria started taking in orphaned and abandoned children.   The story she told us was that she came home, asked her husband if she could bring some orphaned children back with her.   He said OK, how many?   Her reply:  40.  :)  They renovated the chicken coop and boys quarters and they are doing the best they can to care for them.   When we were there each child had ONE outfit (the one you see in the video).   On laundry day, the kids go naked until their clothes are done washing and then they put wet clothes back on.   They don’t have much of anything at all.   But my goodness, this lady is committed to these kids and the kids are seem so happy and full of life!  She showed us some pictures of the kids before they came and the transformation is amazing.    She’s doing a great job with the very little she has and I hope we have the chance to help her with some of her needs.

singing kids from sister haiti on Vimeo.

 

After this stop it was coming on evening and I was exhausted!  It was time to head to Kampala and get checked into the hostel.  It was my first time at Red Chilli, the most popular youth hostel in Uganda.  I was impressed!  I had a private, ensuite room for less than $30 per night.    It is very backpacker-ish so not the best fit for everyone but was perfectly adequate for me!   The bar/restaurant area (also the internet area) can get a little rowdy in the evenings but I never felt unsafe and everyone was super nice.    I ran a personal errand that evening (will come in a seperate post) then settled in for shower and bed.   All would have been almost perfect except the crazy dog outside my window that barked ALL NIGHT LONG.  So another night of not the best sleep but at least I was in a bed!  :) 

Day 4 coming soon!

June 14, 2011

I’m home…

I’m home from Uganda!

I had just NO time to blog while I was there.  It was a crazy trip for work!

I have so much to write about.  Will be working on it over the next week or so. 

Check back!  :)

April 20, 2011

This and That…

  • April is a month of birthdays.  Mayer is not amused that it isn’t his birthday too.  A few nights ago while he was sitting on the potty he announced “Mayer sad.”  “Why are you sad, Mayer?”  I asked.   He replied:  “Not Mayers birthday….”   complete with incredibly sad, pouty face.  He’s figuring out birthdays are once a year.  What a bummer. 
  • I’m planning my next trip to Uganda.  Looks like I’ll be going back in June.  I’m excited to go back, so much work to be done, but sad to leave Mayer.  I know he’ll be fine but it doesn’t make it easy. 
  • We have a Kinect now.  It is FUN.  Really fun.  Mayer kicks some booty in boxing.  He’s good.  :)
  • We have been waiting many months to find out if we have permission to adopt a special needs baby we are hoping to make a part of our family.  Please pray for good news soon.   I’m not great at waiting.
  • Adoption disruption/dissolution makes me very, very sad.   Please keep a specific little girl named N. in your thoughts and prayers. 
  • On a happier note – the first families through the AAI program will be traveling to be united with their children in May.  I’m so excited!
  • K. and F. both started taking tennis lessons.   They are LOVING it.  I know nothing about tennis but I’m glad they are enjoying it.
  • F. starts t-ball and soccer soon.  K. is still in gymnastics.  M. is exceedingly excited about basketball clinic this summer.   Theses kids are staying active and busy. 
  • We tried Mayer in gymnastics.  He has no concept of staying in line and group settings with lots of children seem to be stressful for him.  He screamed and threw a fit for about 20 minutes because he couldn’t jump on the trampoline.  We decided he needed more time before doing group activities like this.
  • We had a playdate with new friends today.  Mayer was overjoyed to have another 3 year boy to play with.   They laughed, ran, and tumbled for an hour in complete bliss.  Yay for new friends!
  • I am still not amused at the IRS.   We have all our receipts ready but can’t fax them because the fax line is busy every time we try to fax.  We’ve tried at different times several days.    I’m going to mail a copy tomorrow and then just keep trying to fax the other copy.  So frustrated!
  • I am so thankful for spring!  It has been a long winter and I’m so happy to see the flowers blooming and leaves on the trees.  Yay!
  • Have you hear about Vanya?  He is 8 years old, HIV+ and needs a paper-ready family ASAP. He has a $16,000 grant!!   He’s adorable!
  • And last but not least, what about Eddie?  This little guy’s smile just caputred my heart.   He is so crazy adorable and has a $16,000 grant for his adoption!  Where is his family?! 
April 13, 2011

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April 2, 2011

Is this your daughter?

This beautiful baby girl is Princess.  Princess lives in Ghana and needs a family as soon as possible.  Is she your daughter?

This sweet girl is affected by hydrocephalus.  Hydrocephalus is the build up of fluid inside the skull.  It is treated with a shunt which drains the fluid from the head into the abdomen.  Princess had surgery and a shunt placed several months ago.  She is currently living with a loving foster family and doing well.  She interacts with and smiles at her caregivers.  She is still very much like a newborn but no one knows if this is related to her medical condition or if it is because she was laying in a hospital bed for the first 10 months of her life!  She is a beautiful, sweet baby girl that needs a family to step up and claim her as their own.  I just know she’ll make amazing progress with the love of a forever family and proper medical care in the United States.

I have friends with children that have hydrocephalus and would be happy to share with you their contact information if you’d like to talk to someone who is parenting a child with this condition.

Don’t worry about age or family size requirements – if this is your daughter email anita@adoptionadvocates.org
Special needs adoption fees will apply.

November 24, 2010

Families Needed

The AAI Uganda Program really needs families interested in adopting older children (over age 5).

We have many children who will be waiting for families between the ages of 5-12.

Please spread the word and email me if you want more information.  sister_haiti@yahoo.com

October 10, 2010

Fourth day in Uganda

The day after we got back from Fort Portal we got up early.  Today was Jinja day.   Danielle and I walked to the main road from the guesthouse and tried to figure out which taxi to take going to the old taxi park.  We decided to abandon the taxi idea (I find the taxi system in Uganda so incredibly confusing) and just get a boda boda to the taxi park.  So we hailed two bodas and made our way into the city.   We weaved our way through the taxis to the Jinja sign where Linda was waiting for us.

The two hour trip was a piece of cake after our hours and hours on a bus to Fort Portal.  We had a great trip and were able to visit a large orphanage while we were there.  We also took the chance to visit the source of the Nile and meet friends that are in Uganda adopting for lunch.

The orphanage we visited is poor but the kids were a little better off than some of the others we’ve seen.  Of course, the children are just beautiful.   We were able to hand out shoes, underwear, toys, school supplies and other small gifts to the kids here (thank you to everyone who donated!) and they were so happy!  We were also able to purchase them some fresh food and soap.  Two things they really needed.

No many how many times I see it, I never get used to seeing groups of children growing up in orphanages without families.  I’ve said it so many times, but children SHOULD NOT grow up like this.  Children need families.  Parents.   These children are desperate for it.   Many of these children have lost their parents to AIDS, some to other diseases like TB and Malaria.   Some of them are HIV positive themselves.  Most of them have known what a family is like and they miss it.  They don’t want to live like this.  Some of these children have a parent still alive but too poor or too sick to care for them.  The ones that are adoptable…well, most of them will probably never be chosen for adoption.  Either they are too old or they are HIV+.  Or both.  Heartbreaking.  For all of them.