Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We are the world, and this time it's personal

Beautiful beaches along the North Carolina coast. Wonderful friends with whom to share memories and dreams. Amazing food and drinks to get us through each shortage of anything we could imagine.

This entire week we are most blessed to have our little Kysa around at all times. Her smile cannot help but place a mirror image on the faces of everyone she meets. It's a household full of smiles this week.

Personally, I needed this vacation. I needed to get away, to relax, to escape work for a few short days. It's been wonderful, a real mental break. I even finished my book... ah, many months in the making. Thank goodness for a vacation, the best time to catch up on that reading I have wanted to finish for a long time. The book I finished is called "There is No Me Without You" by Melissa Fay Greene.

It's impossible to summarize a 400+ page book in a few sentences and do it justice, but I can share my reaction. I hurt that there are millions of orphans in Ethiopia. I feel for the pain those childrens and families have to go through. I praise those before us who have ventured to adopt from Ethiopia and other countries and given those children a chance and some love. I cried.

We sit at Topsail Beach this week eating well, sipping drinks, surfing, swimming and laughing. I hope next summer we will be a family of four. But right now we are also aware of the suffering going on in Ethiopia and the surrounding Horn of Africa countries - a famine worse than in many decades, caused by nature but made worse by inactivity, denial or outright inhumanity by the rest of the world. As of this week, 11.6 million people are in desperate need of humanitarian aid in this part of the world - of which 3.2 million effected are Ethiopians. Those are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Yes, it made the nightly news last week. But what else is being done..what else can be done? 20 years ago we sang "We are the World". As another mother of Ethiopian adopted children said this week, "this time it's personal". Yes, this time it is personal.

Read more about the current famines:

Somewhere 7,447 miles from here a family is living that has had or will have a son, that will one day be our son. Perhaps they are doing moderately well, perhaps they are not impacted at all by the famines.. or, perhaps they are one of the 3.2 million who are either directly or indirectly impacted by these famines. Tonight I think of that family. I want to spread their word. If you read this, please listen and absorb the words don't just let them gloss over like words in a magazine article. If you read this you are obviously a family member, a friend or a follower with high interest in this region or our story. You can help. "Just 50 US cents per day is enough to feed a hungry child or a mother on the edge or survival." - UN World Food Program on help needed in the Horn of Africa.

We contacted our adoption agency for advice. While they cannot endorse a particular aid organization, they did share some names of places that could use your help. I list them here with links to their pages. Now the rest is up to you, as you can see above... it doesn't take much.

IRC (International Rescue Committee) -
World Food Program -
Oxfam -

In addition, we continue to support and believe in the work that AHOPE is doing in Ethiopia with HIV/AIDS children. Read the book I was talking about and you'll understand the importance of this organization too.


Most of you reading this are blessed and are also likely enjoying wonderful time with family and friends this summer. This is amazing, you should enjoy it thoroughly and be thankful. That song 20 years ago was a little corny and today risks sounding very 'old school'. No need to go dig up that old recording or search for it on You Tube or Pandora (although you may get a laugh if you do). Still, we really are the world. It's not a very big place. Somewhere out there a child is hungry...that might be our son. This time it is personal.


/ fredrik

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