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Happy Thanksgiving

The darling printable above is free at A Bird and A Bean
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  Here at Project Hopeful we want to say we are Thankful for YOU.  Thank you for all the support and love.  We hope your enjoying time with your friends and family this year.  We are giving thanks as a staff and encourage you to list whatever your thankful for.  Have a happy day!
“I am thankful for friends who speak truth into my life. True deep friendships that have stood the test of time and through it all have come out stronger.” ~ Carol
“I am thankful for Jesus, who always thinks I’m worth it and that I have a husband who feels the same and always goes along with my schemes. I’m thankful for my crazy kids, family, friends, and roller derby- without whom I would be even more nuts!” ~ Jenni
“I am thankful for grace. I am thankful for second and third and fourth chances. I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful for the wisdom of those who have walked the path before me.” ~ Lyndsay
“I am so very thankful for the people in my life that live out grace, love, and sacrificial generosity and teach me by doing so. I am thankful for Jesus..the ultimate lover of my soul. I am thankful for the privilege to love and serve others, near and far. I am thankful for joy and laughter and friends and family who accept me as my messed up self.” ~ Charisa
“I am thankful for the wise, Jesus-loving women that I have the pleasure of doing life with. I am thankful for the ministry of Project HOPEFUL and all those who sacrifice and […]

Waiting Child Wednesday

Today we are featuring three children on this waiting child Wednesday.  As we sit around tomorrow being thankful for families please keep these three in mind.  If you or someone you know is interested please contact us to learn more.  In addition to finding families we would like to contribute to funding their adoptions, if you feel lead to support any of these children in finding their forever families we would be grateful.  Also pray friends.  There is power in prayer and we need your help praying for these sweet children.

Angela

 

Angela was born in 2005. When Angela was first brought to the orphanage, she was sitting quietly in her bed, smiling gently when someone touched her. When she was taken for a walk, the girl clapped her hands with excitement. Besides, she was in the seventh heaven when she was one of those who could first admire dandelions on an April day, still pretty chilly for a walk. Her smile is touching and makes your heart melt, so she has got bright future ahead of her. There are no doubts about that! For more information contact Mariya (mariya.syemashkina@gmail.com) or Chelsea (justicefortheworld2012@gmail.com) and go here.

Aleksey

Aleksey was born on the 26th of August, 2001. It was just a year ago that Aleksey was unable to walk, he could only crawl. Nowadays he can walk. However, he doesn’t use this skill extensively. The same goes for the toys and other children around him. An introvert would be a good word to describe Aleksey. He can only concentrate on a toy for a few seconds, and his own socks generate much more interest than rubber animals or blocks. For more information contact Mariya (mariya.syemashkina@gmail.com) or Chelsea (justicefortheworld2012@gmail.com) and […]

Holiday Guidelines

Hi friends.  The holidays are coming and it is the most magical time of the year right?  Maybe not for some…as a parent with children that have come via adoption I know that holidays tend to stress me out even more then everyday life.  My family is often traveling, we are in new places, routines get thrown off, there are a lot of people, stress is high and suddenly that special day has become hard.  This is true not only for my family but also for others with children who have entered their families via adoption.  This is especially true if those children have just arrived home or if they have special needs.

Orphanage/Institutionalized care often breeds unregulated or unhealthy eating habits, promotes social awkwardness and might even teach kids the wrong ways to gain attention that they crave. Once children are in their forever homes, parents are working hard to help their children create healthy boundaries with food, social situations and appropriate feelings of love.

As the holidays are approaching and we enter busy season we have asked parents of adoptees what they wish their families knew, without having to explain in detail.  The tips below are from adoptive parents that struggle with these issues at family gatherings or large social settings with friends, please keep these things in mind if your celebrating with a family in these situations.

I wish my family understood…..

1. Food Issues

Many children coming from orphanage settings have food issues.  Some children are picky and eat hardly nothing, they might have their favorite foods and that is it.  Please do not make them eat everything on their plate.  Let their parents help them pick out food and encourage them to eat if they are picky eaters.
Other children coming from orphanage settings will likely […]

Shopping with Purpose

The following post is from Charisa Knight our FIG Awassa Director.  Thank you for considering Project HOPEFUL Awassa during your gift giving!
This Christmas, give a gift that lasts past the newest fad or batteries. Give a gift that impacts lives of children and families in Awassa, Ethiopia!
Below are Project HOPEFUL Awassa’s Christmas gift options.
Click on the links to give and then email charisa@projecthopeful.org to receive a personalized jpg or pdf that you can print off to give to the recipient. You can also give gifts in honor or memory of someone.

How about buying a can of formula for $12? Formula is one of the biggest expenses at the orphanage.  Or make sure children are loved and taken care of by sponsoring a nannies’ salary for a month for $53?
GIVE TODAY

You can also provide training, support, and start-up costs for a business for a widow in our Enabling Independence Program: $250  We have seen the remarkable difference this makes in women’s lives and one of our favorite programs. You can give any amount towards this.
GIVE TODAY

Give the gift of a cow to a family to provide meat and milk for a family: $120   This is a huge gift to families and can be life changing.
GIVE TODAY

A goat can be purchased to provide meat and offspring: $45  This is a gift that keeps on giving!
GIVE TODAY

Save a life by preventing malaria with a mosquito net: $10 each
GIVE TODAY

Give the gift of fresh, clean water. A donation of any amount will go toward our spring water project in the surrounding woredas of Awassa. Our next water project to be funded is in Bensa.
GIVE TODAY

Give the gift of God’s word—an everlasting gift that changes lives.  $5 for […]

Together

This week our founder Carolyn Tweitmeyer and her daughter Selah were on The Doctors.  The show was taped a few weeks ago but aired all over the country on Monday.  The segment can be watched in full at The Doctors site  and we encourage you to watch it.

The title of the segment was “should a child’s HIV status be a secret?” and we believe that decision is a very personal one made by the family.  There are both pros and cons to disclosure.  Jenn M. another guest during the segment and author of, “My HIV Child is Playing With Your Child” has chosen not to disclose.  She is afraid of the impact it will have in the way that others treat their family, specifically her daughter who is positive.  Paige Rawl author of Positive a memoir talked about finding out and sharing her status causing others to bully her through school. Selah and Carolyn talked about being open about the status with family and friends because of the shame secrecy might bring.  Selah said it was a relief that she could be open about it growing up.

Although the segment featured the question “should HIV be a secret?” we all have common ground raising children with HIV, both parents that disclose and those that don’t.  We all love our children  and we want the same thing for them and others living with HIV;  we want a stigma free environment.  We all want to be able to say HIV and not have others flinch.  We all want to be able to openly talk about living with a chronic condition like talking about cancer or diabetes, because in truth living with HIV is easier than those except for the stigma […]

  • SelahT
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    I have HIV and I want you to know it: Selah Twietmeyer Stomps Stigma

I have HIV and I want you to know it: Selah Twietmeyer Stomps Stigma

Our own Selah is featured on Today.com in this post.

‘…The only thing that released me from this prison of shame was when I was adopted. There was no segregation. There were no secrets. I learned about the ways the virus is contracted and how it was not. I was relieved to find out it wasn’t spread via chicken bones (I like chicken). ”

 

Read more by visitng Today.com

 

By |October 6th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Fundraising

We at Project HOPEFUL support fundraising for adoptions because we understand that many families do not have sufficient funds to adopt without help.  We believe that the God of the universe will help people who are taking a leap of faith to give a child – or children – a family.

To that end, Project HOPEFUL established the Families in the Gap Program (FIG Program) to help families raise funds for adoptions.  The FIG Program allows families or advocates to open a tax-deductible fund for a waiting child who meets Project HOPEFUL’s mission (children with HIV/AIDS and other children overlooked for adoption). All donations to this child’s fund will be tax deductible and will be used for a family to adopt this specific child.  You can use a FIG fund to raise money for your own adoption or to help another family.  In either case, funds are earmarked for a specific child and will only be used for that child – never returned to a family.

Since families who are fundraising for an adoption can be met with questions (at best) and criticism (at worst) during the fundraising phase, here are a few things for families to prayerfully consider when deciding whether to establish a FIG fund with Project HOPEFUL:

Should we fundraise or fund the adoption ourselves?

What resources do you have that you could use to contribute to the adoption of this child?  Do you have savings or investments?  Do you have extra resources?  Do you have items you could sell or repurpose?
What resources does your extended family have that they may be willing to give to the benefit of this child?  If you are expecting a large cash gift at Christmas or a birthday, for […]

The Sisterhood IS Love

News from our Director of the Hope + Sisterhood in Uganda continues today with this message:

Today I cried.  You know those full body, all over, really ugly cries.   Yes, that was me.  Let me tell you about it!

Yesterday we gathered with all the sisters….old and new.  Our hope is that the sisters from the first round would be able to encourage the new sisters entering the program.  I wasn’t prepared for the feelings I felt when I saw them all sitting there waiting for our arrival.

As the van pulled up and we began to exit, the women started clapping and jumping and shouting.  When I ran to great them, I could feel my emotions begin to well up to the point that I couldn’t contain it.  I literally felt my body collapse into one of the sisters.  It was too much.  But too much in a very, very good way.

We sang.  We prayed.  We danced.  Sisters shared their testimonies about what God has done in their lives.  One sister shared about how she had never felt loved by anyone in her entire life until she entered the sisterhood.  She encouraged the new sisters to be strong and to be wise with their finances.   She told them not to give up hope.

We distributed letters and photos to your sisters and the smiles on their faces were radiant.  Sisters who could understand and read English translated for those who could not.  They looked at your photos and their eyes lit up.  Most of them simply couldn’t believe a woman on the other side of the world was willing to walk along side of them and bring them hope.

We are re-working our Uganda program so that the […]

Hope + Sisterhood — Uganda

Hope + Sisterhood Director Dawn Patterson is currently in Uganda leading a group of women who were excited to meet their Ugandan sisters who participate in the Hope + Sisterhood program!  Today she writes the following:
It would be impossible to put into words the transformation in the lives of the women in the Sisterhood program.  Where I once only saw sadness, anger and despair…..I now see HOPE.  I see joy.  I see transformation.

It’s amazing how God can multiply the financial support given through the HOPE+ sisterhood.  Your gift of $45 a month has been multiplied into hair salons, retail stores, poultry rearing, cattle purchases, tailoring shops, and more.

God asks us to care for the least of these.  Read Matthew 25:40.  Read Isaiah 58:10.  Read Proverbs 28:27.  Read Luke 3:11.  Read Proverbs 31:20.  Read Galatians 6:2.   Go ahead…do it now!

If you feel God tugging on your heart strings to love one of these women from the other side of the world, please email dawn@projecthopeful.org.  We are going to have many sisters available that need YOUR love, support and prayer.

Parenting a Child with Down Syndrome

So what’s it like to parent a child with Down syndrome? How long do you have to read this article? Because I could probably fill a book with the myriad of answers to this question. So for the sake of blog etiquette, I’ll keep it as succinct as possible.

My personal experience only goes so far. Our son, Kirill, was adopted from a Russian institution at the age of five and he’s been home with us for 2.5 years. So a lot of our experience has been influenced by the neglect and trauma of living in an orphanage for the first five years of his life. Our experience is vastly different from many of our friends who have biological children with DS, or who have parented their adopted children with DS from birth or soon after.

First, let’s talk about the medical stuff because people are always concerned about that. Kirill doesn’t currently have any additional health complications that sometimes accompany DS. However, we had to do a lot of testing to rule out any of these common issues AND we had to do a lot of interventions and therapies (still do) to help him learn to do many age-appropriate skills. Medically, we had special X-rays of his spine in case there was any sign of instability, extensive heart testing to make sure there were no issues there, and a swallow study. At first, Kirill couldn’t swallow normally and we had to thicken all of his foods and liquids to make sure he didn’t aspirate on them. We worked with a speech therapist and an occupational therapist on swallowing skills for a few months and these issues quickly resolved for him.

Kirill also had a lot of […]

Sometimes

I am “for” adoption.  I think we established that in my last post.  But as I referenced there, I’m only for adoption when adoption is necessary.  The last resort.  Sometimes. 

I’m FOR families.  And first families are, well, the FIRST families.  I believe that birth mothers are due deference.  I believe that wherever possible, they have the inherent right to parent their children.  We do not.  I’m not at all threatened by appropriate deference to birth mothers.  After all, isn’t that how God designed it?  We birth children who we then parent.  It’s kind of the natural order of things. 

But I don’t think that means there isn’t a place for adoption and I don’t think it means that adoption is “unnatural.”  To the contrary, I believe adoption is a necessary piece of God’s plan in this fallen world.  Sometimes, the last resort must come into play.  Sometimes, we do get to support a child who has no one else.  Sometimes, we have the incredible opportunity to love as our own the child of another woman’s womb.  The question is:  when is “sometimes”?

In the United States, sometimes happens in the Foster Care system when a court of law has determined that two parents are unfit to parent.  Once parental rights are terminated, those children are orphans under the law and need parents.  The child did not do anything wrong in this situation; parental rights are not terminated because a child is a delinquent.  Typically, bad things have happened and no amount of intervention has righted the wrongs; new parents are needed.  Sometimes, arises in the foster care system.  Would you consider being the answer for a child who needs parents in our foster care system?

In private […]

Pearls, anyone?

A post by our FIG director, Traci Heim:

I’ve been thinking about orphans lately.
Shocking, I know.
I talk often with people about all aspects of adoption, and cost is something that always comes up.

Always.

So today I’m thinking about orphans and cost.

I will tell you that cost is a widely misunderstood concept; most often because its scope has been minimized to something as inconsequential as dollars and cents.

As in: How much does the typical adoption cost?

In monetary terms, one could say that the average eastern European adoption of an HIV+ child lands right around $24,000 to $27,000.

Is that it?
Is that the cost in its entirety?

I recently heard a TV evangelist caution people considering adoption to “count the cost.”
He eluded to mental illness, sexual abuse, and behavioral issues as things to very carefully consider. It was clear that he considered it far to high a price to pay; the underlying message was that in his mind, these children weren’t worth the cost.

Here’s the thing.
He wasn’t wrong to identify those areas as areas that cost something.
They do.
Where he was absolutely wrong was in assuming that the price was too high.

The true answer to what an adoption costs is:

IT COSTS EVERYTHING.

IT COSTS YOUR LIFE.

IT IS WORTH IT.

What we all need to understand is that every person,
every child,
every orphan
is worthy of the cost.

We know this because Jesus paid for our salvation with his life.
How can the redemption of someone else not cost us the same?

He died to redeem us.

In adoption, we live to redeem them.

Matthew 13:45
The kingdom if Heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all he had and bought it.

Matthew 19:14
But Jesus said suffer little children, and […]

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