The other thing leaving me shaking my head is the amount of time us Rooneys have spent on airplanes the last couple of months. One or both of us are back and forth from Portland to Los Angeles on a weekly basis. And we've had to cancel two trips out to Dallas for the past two weekends due to work conflicts for Ted, one of which had him flying first-class to Bogota, Columbia this week where he spent most of the day Wednesday in the role of a deranged mental patient who froze all his cats...and then his wife.
I could never make something like that up.
One upside through all of this is that Abe has become the master traveler. He really is a lot of fun to travel with. Unlike both of his parents, he is an extrovert who relishes the chance to have a captive audience on an airplane. He loves to stand up on the seat to wave at and shout "hi!" to all the lucky passengers behind him. When we got off the plane in San Jose and waited for our stroller to arrive, he'd make eye contact with each passenger walking past us down the ramp so he could make his face. "The face" is the one he's making here:
How fun for both Abe and his mom to watch at least 50% of the passengers smile, keep walking two or three steps, and then turn around to make "the face" right back at us. Abe would squeal in happiness each time he got "the face" from someone. Oh, the joy our son brings to people.
***Only twenty minutes after waking up this morning, I found myself sitting at the computer in tears at the video I will include at the end of this post. While we were in Ethiopia, we were able to visit a few of these orphanages that Children's Hope Chest will be sponsoring. I even recognize many of the faces in this video, and I can tell you that these children are precious, precious, precious. I feel honored to have met some of them in person.
Our friend Joy articulated beautifully what this Children's Hope Chest project is about, and she's allowed me to share with you here her words:
Are you an older married couple who are done with the "kids" stage but desire to be a part of an orphans life?
Are you a married couple who are done having children but want to be "long distance" parents to a little one who has none?
Are you a young single whose not ready for marriage and children but understands the incredible need for caring for orphans and wants to be involved?
Are you someone whose never considered being involved in helping the estimated 143,000,000 orphans in the world but feels maybe this is something you should pray about?
Do you desire to be involved in a community that is part of an orphan care ministry but your church has no involvement?
Well we have an incredible opportunity for you! Children's Hopechest and Red Letters Campaign are partnering to launch holistic orphan care in Ethiopia!! Yes, this is child sponsorship but it's so much more than that! Here are the 5 key areas in which the children will be cared for:
1. Spiritual Development. These kids will have a personal counselor/discipler to meet with weekly. This is HUGE when it comes to an orphans life. Yes, a life without parents, but a consistent adult in their life to show them love and guidance.
2. Physical Needs. This is pretty self explanatory...food, water, shelter, clothes, ect.
3. Education. They will have wonderful education and will even get help in finding and applying to a university! This will also extend to skills training, learning how to interview for a job, ect.
4. Medical and Dental needs. Keeping the little ones healthy. :)
5. Emotional Support. The life of an orphan can be extremely stressful. These little ones will be loved by the incredible caretakers.
All this for $34 a month. $34 a month??!! Just give up a couple lattes and a few other things you don't need each month and a child with no future has hope and love and health and more!
Personal contact with your child will be much more personal than the average sponsorship. You can write them letters and there may even be access to email once in a while. You will receive a couple yearly updates on how they are doing and will be able to give money for them to have a birthday and Christmas gift. Another incredible opportunity will be the annual trip offered to go visit your child and their orphanage!! I think this is an incredible addition and will help build the community even more.
"The Community" that I am mentioning will consist of people from all over the states who are sponsoring a child at the same orphanage as you. RLC will be an online place to go and get to know each other a bit and keep up to date on our orphanage and children.
Without good orphan care these little ones could very likely end up on any of the following paths:
-prostitution (which could very likely lead to death from AIDS)
-drugs (also could lead to death from AIDS)
-death from a preventable illness
But a child who experiences incredible orphan care and knows that someone far away loves them and prays for them...these kids could become the most incredible leaders in their country...the brighter future of Ethiopia. I truly encourage all of you... friends, family, fellow adopting parents, stalkers :), random visitors...to think and pray about this and then ACT!
And finally, if you choose to sponsor a child with this community you will be involved with some really fun people. Like me for instance. :) Or Amy. Or Beka. And of course many other really cool people but I don't want to speak too soon for them. You can email me if you are interested or have more questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Amy (she is in charge of putting this online community together) at email@example.com
We are so so so excited about this opportunity. I love that yearly trips will be made to visit the children in person. I'll leave you with the video that had me crying with joyful anticipation of the hope to come for these little ones: