Saturday, September 24, 2011


And we prayed, "God, help us to not forget what we saw. We don't want to return to the rat-race of life at home and lose desperation for these people in need. Give us wisdom to know how to help. We want to make a difference. Give us tenacity to act upon what we experienced and to not lose heart for the people of Korah."

On our last day in Ethiopia we visited the poorest of the poor in Addis Ababa...the village of Korah. Left and right, we had been hearing about Korah for the past year or so. It wasn't until this trip to Ethiopia & building a relationship with our translator, Maste, that we decided to get involved. After all, Masti grew up in Korah, so his heart and passion are to help the people there, for he knows the desperation.

On our first home visit we met this 30-year old ___ sitting on a tiny stool in a dark room the size of my bathroom. She has been hiv positive for the past four years, but as of lately, is very sick. Immediately at looking into her eyes we saw she was in deep pain. I talked with her and tried to touch her as much as possible, to show her she was loved. We brought her gifts of cooking oil, pasta, personl hygeine items, & gave her money. We asked her what was on her mind and how we could help. All she cared about were her 3 kids she would be leaving behind when she died. Riley and I promised to sponsor them and make sure they could go to school. I held her (she was too weak to stand alone), wept with her, prayed with her, and said goodbye.
There's so much to tell and I wish I had time to sit down and gather my thoughts a little more, but this will have to do for now. This family was our 2nd home visit. The man above has TB and can't work so his wife is the sole provider for the family. We were able to buy food, etc for this family & their 3 children.
A few facts about Korah:
  • Korah in Amharic means "cursed".
  • 75 years ago the Ethiopian government moved everyone with leprosy to this area of Addis Ababa.
  • Approximately 100,000 people live in the slums of Korah - the "outcasts" of society.
  • The city dump is located in Korah.
  • The people, both adults and children, spend their days digging through the dump searching for anything to eat or sell.
  • God is alive and well in Korah thanks to Pastor Sammy Liben and Project 61 Ministries. They have started an education sponsorship program for the children of Korah.

A teenage boy happily feeding one of the men with leprosy

The beautiful children of Korah

Until we gather our thoughts a bit more, I challenge you to google Korah and Project 61 and read about real need. And read about real testimonies of all the amazing acts people have done to help those living in Korah.
Maste, our fantastic translator, with a couple of the boys

Thursday, September 15, 2011

In da Hood


Our First Moments

Helen, the social worker, bringing "Edilu" to us
He's obviously unsure of us & "what big teeth you have"
Here come the tears
We brought cakes for all the kids & staff at Acacia Village & the nannies made the sign for Sol
Happy 1st Birthday Sol!
Haddush, the transition home director, giving "Edilu" one last kiss.
Sitting on Daddy's belly, warming up to us at the guest home


He is ours!

After much waiting and dealing with "African" time, we finally linked up with Solomon Edilu yesterday. He was hesitant with us at first, followed by all out fright. The nannies there were great and helped him get used to us over the course of a couple hours. Once he had settled down, we had a sweet birthday party for him with the other children, complete with cake and candles. His care givers were obviously happy for him, but you could also see they were sad to say good-bye. I can only imagine the mixed emotions they must go through every time a child goes home. After good-byes all around, we drove Solomon back to the guest house. He was peaceful and content, even falling asleep in my arms on the ride. Within a few hours, he was laughing and playing with us and the other children at the guest house. It was a blessed day!

We had our embassy appointment today and everything went smoothly. We pick up his passport and visa tomorrow and then fly out early Saturday morning. We can't wait to get home and have our family all together again. We are so close... thank you for all the prayers and support back home!

We will post more, with pictures, when we get a good internet connection again.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Yesterday our driver & translator drove us 3.5 hours South to Solomon's birth place of Awassa. We drove through the beautiful countryside & farmland, and I even saw monkeys on the side of the road, before arriving in the fishing town of Awassa. Isn't it fitting that God chose our son to be from a fishing town? Riley's particularly tickled about that one! Here's a picture of some local boys getting their fishing nets ready. Those crazy birds were everywhere! There are also hippos in the lake, although we didn't see any.
We wanted to see Awassa first-hand to get a bigger picture of who Sol is based on where he came from. God really blessed us. Thanks to our translator, we were able to locate the one person that knew most about his earliest days and we also met his initial nannies at the Awassa orphanage. We got a ton of pictures and even some loving notes from those people in a small journal for Solomon Edilu.
Michelle with some of the children of Awassa.

Edilu's first nannies in his first orphanage in Awassa LOVED seeing the book I made him of his recent pictures. They love that boy so we left the book with them.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Pics from afternoon stroll


Ethiopian New Year

Our flights went smoothly. We enjoyed flying into Istanbul and spending a nice layover there. We arrived in Addis Ababa shortly after midnight this morning and ALL of our bags made it (we had 2 bags of donations!!! AWESOME!) Today is Ethiopian New Year so as soon as we stepped off the plane we could smell all the cooking fires, cigarette smoke and rose perfume from celebrations that had just taken place. So most things are closed down today because of the New Year, but we just got back from a long walk and photo shooting the locals around our guest home. Lots of sheep, goat and chickens are being slaughtered today to eat/celebrate for their holiday.

Tomorrow we're hiring a driver and leaving early for Awassa to spend 1/2 day there. We're hoping to visit Solomon Edilu's first orphanage and get photos of his birthplace.

Hoping to visit the local lepers and support them by purchasing some of their handmade items on Wed morning before we pick up Solomon.

We go to Embassy on Thursday and then should receive his visa Friday before we fly out Friday night.

Internet is sporadic so if we get a chance we'll continue to update and upload pics.

All is well and so happy to be here. We slept well this morning and our swollen feet are less swollen :)

Love you all.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Praise God!!!

Our long-awaited days have arrived!!! We're leaving for Ethiopia tomorrow night and picking up Sol a few days later! Our Embassy date is Thursday the 15. Mimi is on a plane right now headed here for a couple of weeks to stay with the kids. I can't thank everyone enough for all your prayer & support through money, donations, meals, time, listening ears, hugs, advice, etc! My mind is a spinning whirlwind right now and my heart is singing! Here we go...!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ultimate Frisbee

Riley and some other guys in the Social Sciences (SOSH) department get together and play frisbee once a week. The kids and I will usually bring a picnic lunch and head out to South Dock to watch the games.


More Solomon Pictures


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Solomon says...

This is one of our newest pictures of Solomon. Riley loves it because it begs for a funny caption. We thought it would be fun to see what you all imagine Solomon saying in this picture.