"Sometimes I would like to ask God, why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it... but I'm afraid He might ask me the same question." Anonymous

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Water Facts... some facts are hard to swallow

The Youth Group at our church (Linton First Christian Church) is spreading the word about
the condition of safe/unsafe drinking water

Did you know...

884 million people lack access to safe drinking water?  That's approximately 1 out of every 8 persons on earth!

2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation with nearly 1/2 of that number having NO facilities at all!

This means that a lack of water to meet daily needs is a reality today for 1 in 3 people around the world.  Either water is physically scarce due to their geographical location or they live in developing countries that face water shortages due to lack of infrastructure to fetch water from rivers or aquifers.

Less than 1% of the worlds fresh water is readily accessible for human use!

Nearly 2/3 of people who lack access to clean water live off wages of less than $2 a day.

People who live in rural areas or slums often pay 5 to 10 times more money per liter of water than their wealthy counterparts living in the same city.

Poverty and water scarcity force people to rely on unsafe sources for drinking water.  It also means they cannot bathe or clean their clothes or homes properly.

To compensate, millions of women and children spend several hours a day walking 6 or more miles to collect water from polluted sources.  Time that could be spent in school or practicing a trade that would benefit their family's current needs and future success.

The situation is getting worse as needs for water rise along with population growth, urbanization and increases in household, agricultural, and industrial uses.

We realize that facts can sometimes be overwhelming or even desensitize us to the issues, as we begin looking at mass numbers rather than individual lives. 

 But the truth is God has placed us in the most wonderful nation on earth.  He has made us kings of the planet, we have the prosperity and knowledge to make change happen for His children.  He has directed us to care for our brother, the orphan, the widow. 
What will we do for our GOD today?  

Check out:

(The above statistics were gathered from World Health Organization and United Nations)  


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our friends raffle ends 11/26. An I-Pad would make an awesome Christmas gift!

Raffle ends 11/26/10 
** Don't miss out... $10.00 gets you an entry ** 
Your odds are 1 in 68!
Certainly the best chance you'll ever have to win an iPad for $10! It's hard to believe that someone is actually going to win this thing at the end of the week!

Donate $10 through Paypal or by a check in the mail by noon on Friday (11/26) and we'll get your name on a ticket for the drawing.  Purchase five tickets and get the sixth one free!

Every donation goes directly toward our adoption expenses.  You can see a complete list of those expenses on the Our Fundraisers link
You can also help us by forwarding this link on Facebook
or with an email.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What do we say when people ask "Why Ethiopia?"

Lately our answer... "Because that is where our daughter is, and if we have to go halfway around the world to get her... then we will". 
Honestly... How can we express in a few words all we know about the condition of where our child lives?  How can others possibly understand the urgency our hearts feel to get to our child? 
Why Ethiopia?  Because the Bible states that we are to care for orphans and widows in their distress, but it is more than that... does it make sense that
we FEEL her distress?  Well... we do.  Call it Mothers instinct if you want, but this almost crazy longing to get to our child almost paralyzes me sometimes.

Once Tim and I realized what is REALLY happening in this world we had no other response than to act. 

If you have been following our Blog you read about the conditions in the KVI orphanage (one our agencies babies come from) here is an update for you from(http://www.wagest.blogspot.com/)
she writes:
Lately we have had parents who are visiting their children in Ethiopia reporting back about the conditions of the orphanages there. We all knew they weren't the most clean places. Happy places. Places where children are well fed and loved. We knew that. But to hear first-hand descriptions of where my daughter, may, at this moment be sleeping --- it brought me to tears several weeks ago - and it brings me to tears again today.

From another AWAA parent's blog:"Tuesday was another one of those highly emotional days. Wow. We started off early in the morning to visit two orphanages. The first one was right down the street from our guest house, and when we got there, we realized that these were the kids we hear singing every morning!! Boy did this place grab a hold of us. We walked in to dozens of older children all sitting in a line outside. Then we went to the toddler room. As soon as I picked up the first child, I discovered that they weren’t wearing diapers and just about every one of them was wet. Their beds were soaked. Some didn’t even have mattresses because they were laying out in the sun to dry. One little boy was so scared when we came that he ran to a corner and faced the wall to be avoided. Then we visited the infant room where we saw a similar situation. No diapers, wet mattresses, 3 to 4 babies to a crib. It was heart breaking. One of the families brought diapers to donate, so the ladies immediately started putting diapers on the kids, covering mattresses with plastic and sheets, and holding each of those babies. I don’t tell you about these conditions to speak badly of the orphanage. The truth is, it’s all they have. I picked up the first baby I saw in the room, and she clung to me for dear life, crying if I tried to put her down. When I could calm her down to put on a diaper, her entire bottom was blistered. We stood crowded in that tiny room as long as our guide would allow us to stay. There were moments when I thought about all the germs, infections, and rashes I was touching, but we all decided it was more important for these children to be visited and loved than for us to get dirty. B and I also spent some time outside with the older kids and they would beg us to sit next to them in their line. When we did, they’d weave their arms through ours and hang on tight to ensure we wouldn’t get up. Some would cry if you didn’t sit by them, some would search our pockets, and one even snatched our camera. An older girl walked down the line with an old rag wiping the tears and snot from their faces all on the same spot. Needless to say, our group gave bins and bins of donations to this particular orphanage. To those who donated from home, THANK YOU! Pictures weren’t allowed, but I just wish you could see with your own eyes how needed this stuff was. You cared for the least of these on Tuesday through your generosity." And this orphanage is, thankfully, being helped by those visiting parents. Who bought those mattresses. Who bought the plastic sheeting to wrap them. Who bought the diapers to put on those babies. And yet - the need is still so great.

Dear Cooper friends:
We are beginning to collect donations of baby items that we WILL take with us when we go to Ethiopia.  We will go 2 times, if you want to donate items (or cash to purchase items) for this orphanage we would be eternally grateful.  As we adoptive parents travel we are taking supplies with us that can not be found or purchased by the orphanages. 
Items needed are:
Diapers (#1- item needed)
diaper cream(#2- item needed)
plastic crib mattress covers
wet wipes
Baby Tylenol
crib fitted sheets
Baby onesies
Baby socks
Teething toys
Toys in general
Your prayers
Love you,
The Coopers
"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes. So when you and I hear staggering numbers and statistics about the poor and needy around us and around the world, we have a choice. We can switch the channels on our mega-TVs and continue our comfortable, untroubled, ordinary, churchgoing lives as if the global poor don't exist. We can let these numbers remain cold, distant, and almost imaginary. Or we can open our eyes and our lives to the realities that surround us and begin considering the faces that are represented by these numbers."  David Platt 

2010 Ethiopian Cultural Festival Indianapolis

Tim and myself along with Logan and Brandi Wade attended an Ethiopian Cultural Festival yesterday evening.  The festival was presented by the EthioIndy Church.  We enjoyed traditional Ethiopian food, singing, and dancing.  The four of us are pictured above along with many other families that have adopted or are currently adopting through America World.  It was a blessing to see MANY children that have found their forever families.  We guess there were over 200 people in attendance.  Looking around at the sea of faces and colors made me imagine what Heaven someday will look like: God's beautiful people together worshipping him as one big colorful family. 
You can check out what this church is doing at http://www.ethioindy.com/

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Cost of Adoption VS. Cost of a Childs Life

Some say adoption prices are outrageous. 
Well, $23,000.00-$30,000.00 could seem outrageous. 
You want to know what we think is OUTRAGEOUS?  A people that use 86% of the worlds commodities then determines a child isn't worth $30,000.00 of adoption expenses VS. 143 million orphaned, starving, homeless, poor, lonely, and hopeless babies! 
God's children- children of the KING
Paying $23,000.00-$30,000.00 for a human VS. spending the same EASILY for a car, a trip, a boat, an education... (these are valid things to have, but so is a child)  
Do we sound angry?
 We think, dying, suffering, under nourished children OUGHT to make us ANGRY! 

Passion that changes things comes from the knowledge of injustice.  Anger won't change the orphan crisis, but passion- WHOLE HEARTED, get down and dirty PASSION will!  If we as Christians who know the COST of freedom, who know what SACRIFICE is,

Here is a copied portion of a message I received from 2 fellow adoptive Mothers.  They wrote this when they visited an orphanage where OUR daughter could be.  This is what they saw, let them take you there...

 Hey, everyone-
We (the five families in Ethiopia for court right now) visited KVI orphanage today.
We all walked away with broken hearts, stunned at the reality of life for the
kids there.

They do not have any diapers. Yes, you read that correctly. An orphanage full
of babies and toddlers, and there are no diapers. They have rags and ripped
pieces of sheets that they wrap around their bottoms, and keep them in place with
onesie t-shirts. Every single baby we held today was soaking wet (or worse),
their entire outfit. They lay on the floor, soaking wet, and get changed on the
floor...where they all crawl around and play with the few toys that they have.

In addition, they had no mattresses in many of the cribs. Babies sleeping on a
the wooden bottom of a crib. I don't know that I would have believed it if I
hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

So...we pooled our money and they helped us find a place that sells crib
mattresses. All well and good...except for the fact that they are NOT vinyl
covered mattresses like we get at home. Cloth covers.

So, while it's great that they at least have crib mattresses, they're going to
be ruined in short order with none of the babies having diapers. We've searched
high and low, and cannot find any waterproof crib pads here in Addis.

MANY WATERPROOF CRIB PADS AS POSSIBLE? The best would be the kind that can just
be wiped clean, and if possible have the fitted sheet edges to wrap around. But
anything waterproof will work! Even if they have the cotton top over vinyl, if
we have enough of them at least they can be changed.

The other obvious need is diapers. Even cloth diapers and plastic pants to go
over would work. Just something.

We're finding that yes, the Transition Home is an orphanage. There are still
conditions there that are hard, as parents, to see. But, it's the Hilton of
orphanages. We would just recommend, based on what we saw here today, that you
split your donations up...if you bring one tote/suitcase of donations for the
Transition Home, bring one or two more for KVI and Kids Care orphanage. Just our two cents!
Thanks for the help with crib pads and diapers for KVI!

Hi all,
We are here in Ethiopia for court. We visited 2 orphanages today and one broke our hearts and needs URGENT help!!!! KVI orphanage. There were no crib mattresses in the cribs and no babies had on diapers! Pieces of ripped up Sheets in the place of diapers!!! we were so disturbed that we went out and bought 6 crib mattresses for KVI and delivered them. Problem is they are NOT plastic covered so they will get ruined quickly! Babies are soaking wet because of no diapers. We all bring donations for the Transition Home and yes they need stuff but take as MUCH as possible to KVI!!! Please traveling families try to bring this trip if you can!! these are their urgent needs:
This is the list they gave us:
Bed sheets twin and crib
bath towels and hand towels
blankets for toddlers
clothes for toddlers( a definite)
tooth brushes/toothpaste
kids DVDs
antibiotic creme
PLEASE  tell all traveling soon!!! I am not saying do not give to TH(Transition home) because they take good care of our kids and do so because of our donations but KVI is in major need!!
Paige and all the families in ET right now
HELP US HELP THEM... will you help us? 

If you feel lead to help support our adoption you can do so several ways:
Mostly we need your prayers, so does Aerie.
We could use your words of support and encouragement.

If you feel lead to give monetarily to change the orphans situation above you can do so by choosing the DONATE button on the top of this page.
Adoption is expensive...
but consider the result if we do NOTHING...
the cost of doing nothing is too great.  We must act!
We love you,
The Coopers
(If you would like to know more about adoption please comment on this post and leave me your email address- I LOVE to talk about adoption.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Well we have been DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia) for 2 months 2 weeks and 4 days.  Our adoption agency has a Yahoo! Group for Ethiopian Adoptive families and we are all kind-of obsessed with our place on the "unofficial list".  This "unofficial list" is maintained by a fellow adoptive mother, she updates the "list" every time a family becomes DTE, gets a referral, or travels for court/embassy appointment.  All the adoptive families LOVE to watch their names move up the list- IE: closer to a referral for their child/children.  We all rejoice and cry together.  It is an AMAZING community.  We have come to rely on their insights, and encouragement.  Well... when we began this journey a little over 2 1/2 months ago we were #27 on the little girl list.
  WE ARE NOW #13! ! ! ! !  
We serve an AWESOME and AMAZING GOD! 
He has been guiding this adoption and we are totally in awe of his grace, mercy, and love for us and our daughter-to-be.  Please continue to pray for us and Paige.       

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fellow adoptive Mom's adoption story (from buildingtheblocks.blogspot.com)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Adoption Story

I don't know if I have ever shared my adoption story with you all so I thought today maybe I should.

I was adopted at the age of 30 years old into the most amazing family ever.

Statistics show that I was the least likely to be adopted.

I was the child who had waited- far too long- to hear the good news.

I was the child who waited because I had one too many labels, made one too many mistakes, and was viewed as unlikely to succeed.

I was the child who most believed was not worthy of the risk...

not worthy of the effort...

and not worthy of the price.

I was the the child who most people would have never considered.

The child with scars, the child who was dirty, the child who didn't appear to have much potential.

But then one day they told me about The One who was able to see past all of that.

The One who loved me regardless of the mistakes I had made.

The One who saw what I could be- instead of what I was.

The One who thought I was worth it all- so much so that
He was willing to die for me.
The One who saw my worth.

The One who saw my potential.

The One who saw what I could be- if I was given a chance.

The One who never gave up on me.

I am so thankful for The One who paid the price for my adoption.

I know it was expensive.

I know it cost more than anyone could ever imagine.

I know it wasn't easy.

I know that it was painful, that it was hard and it was heart wrenching.

And I know I didn't deserve any of it.

But He came for me anyway...

Regardless of what others would say or think.

Regardless of all of the work that had to be done.

Regardless that there was no guarantee I would love Him back.

Regardless of the cost.

And today I am forever changed.

I am no longer alone, scared, scarred, overlooked and viewed as no one.

Today I am a child to the king~ precious, loved, forgiven, healed, whole.

All because of my adoption.

Adoption is the perfect picture of God's amazing grace and love.

It changes lives and saves souls.

Adoption is...

the heart of God.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[a] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will~ Ephesians 1:4-5 NIV
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Current time in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa

Adoption Time-line

02/02/10- Ethiopia adoption application & fee sent.

02/17/10- Accepted into America Worlds Ethiopia Program!

02/20/10- Paid initial AWAA program fee.

Start paper chase...

03/02/10- Ordered our birth certificates.

03/02/10- Spoke w/and chose GLAD as Home-Study Agency.

03/03/10- Got Angi's employeement & life ins. verification.

03/04/10- Received Tim's birth cert. in mail.

03/04/10- Went to courthouse, got Marriage Cert.

03/05/10- Received Angi's birth cert. in mail.

03/05/10- Scheduled Tim's phys. letter doctor appt.for 3/8

03/08/10- Mailed GLAD application letter & fee.

03/10/10- Ethiopia made big change- 2 trips required now.

03/11/10- Rec'd GLAD/AWAA Post Placement Agreement.

03/11/10- Rec'd Tim's Health/Life Ins. letter.

03/12/10- Jack & Annie rabie shots/Home Study Requirment

03/13/10- Rosie & Sara rabie shots.

03/21/10- Began Hague on-line required training course.

03/22/10- GLAD beginning our background checks.

03/22/10- Our HIV tests and Tim's HEP B blood draw done.

03/23/10- Tim's TB Test scheduled for 3/30/10.

03/25/10- Notary notarized all paperwork we've collected.

03/26/10- Kyla, our social work came for 1st & 2nd home visi

03/26/10- Adoption Tax Credit raised to$13,100.00! Go God!

03/27/10- Kyla finished 3rd Home Study visit.

03/27/10- Finished family photo pages.

03/30/10- Tim rescheduled TB Test until 4/6/10.

03/31/10- Picked up Tim's HEP B test results.

04/02/10- Received Archie's referance letter.

04/06/10- Tim had TB test placed.

04/06/10- Angi got bloodwork records.

04/06/10- Re-did Financial Statement/faxed to AWAA.

04/09/10- Tim's TB test results- negative :)

04/10/10- Completed Hague On-line training course.

04/10/10- Dog vaccines done.

04/20/10- Faxed Florida CPS request to FL today.

05/03/10- Had our physical visits today.

05/26/10- Angi's bloodwork drawn.

05/28/10- Angi's bloodwork result- normal.

05/28/10- Tim's bloodwork drawn & normal result.

06/01/10- Our 14th Annivesary- Renee notarized physicals!

06/07/10- Picked up our physicals & faxed to GLAD/AWAA.

06/07/10- Found out GLAD rec'd FL CPS checks 6/4/10.

06/07/10- Requested Dr. letter for Angi.

06/10/10- Picked up & faxed Dr. letter to AWAA.

06/10/10- Waiting for AWAA to approve Home Study.

06/15/10- AWAA read Home Study & requested corrections.

06/23/10- GLAD corrected and sent H.S. back to AWAA.

06/24/10- AWAA approved our Home Study!

07/01/10- Got money order for final GLAD payment.

07/01/10- Met Klya/GLAD in Vincennes, got final HomeStdy

07/02/10- Mailed I-600A application & fee.

07/09/10- Renee notarized rest of Dossier paperwork.

07/09/10- Sent 2 papers to IN State Dept.for Authentication

07/12/10- Fed-Ex package received at IN State Dept.

07/13/10- We rec'd Authenticated papers in mail!

07/14/10- Rec'd Immigration Fingerprinting appt for 8/9/10

07/23/10- Went early-Immigration/Indy. for fingerprinting.

07/26/10- Called USCIS & left msg for Immigration Officer.

07/29/10- Officer Opfer called, USCIS back-logged 3 weeks.

08/05/10- Rec'd I-171H today!Thanks Officer Opfer-speedy

08/06/10- Renee notarized new MOWA letter & I-171H.

08/06/10- Got Cashier's check to go with Dossier.

Paper chase completed!

08/06/10- Shipped Dossier to AWAA by Fed-Ex.

08/10/10- AWAA received Dossier packet.

08/13/10- AWAA approved Dossier, maybe DTE next Fri?

08/13/10- Rec'd U.S.State letter stating I-600A sent to ET!

08/19/10- AWAA Fed-Ex'd our Dossier to Ethiopia!

08/25/10- Dossier arrived in Ethiopia today!

The WAIT begins...