Uncategorized

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
    Permalink Gallery

    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 […]

  • aafc0-cropped_large
    Permalink Gallery

    I know why you THINK you can’t adopt or be involved in foster care….

I know why you THINK you can’t adopt or be involved in foster care….

A post from one of our staffees, Jenny Clark:Orphan Sunday 2013. (On this day last year, I announced on my blog that I was officially starting the process to adopt a child with Down syndrome. I would have NEVER imagined that a short 71/2 months later that baby would be born and become mine.) I know why you think you can’t do it, because I used to think it too. And I know why we think that way. One reason is that we have convinced ourselves that we are not “called”. Our Western churches teach us that we are required to show up for church each week, and give money to support that church. We are required to be “good people” so we can make it to heaven. The rest, we are told, is based on “being called”. No need to go on a mission trip if you are not called. No need to help the poor unless you feel called. No reason to reach out to widows if you don’t feel called. Worst of all we have been taught that we can spread the Gospel just by our actions or inviting someone to church. If you don’t feel called to open your mouth and spread the Good News, then that is cool. Leave it to the missionaries and the preachers who feel “called” to share the Gospel. That mindset is where I believe our attitude towards adoption and foster care was born. It is optional. It is not my problem unless I feel called. Leave it to the people who do feel called. The second reason is very simple. Americans have an idea of what […]

Through Tears…..

A post from Dawn Patterson, Director of Hope + Sisterhood, Uganda.

As much as I love Uganda and truly do long to be there….life in Uganda is hard.  Very hard. Days are long and the work is never done. Most families don’t eat dinner until 8:30 – 9:00 at night and rest…..I don’t know that there is a word for rest in Uganda.

One of our beautiful HOPE+ sisters has cancer. I met Sarah for the first time in January 2013. She is a precious woman with 4 beautiful children. She lost her husband to AIDS in 2005.

We got to see Sarah again in September when we visited her. She was very weak and we were told she had cancer.

But she still had the sweetest spirit about her.

Sarah had a hysterectomy 2 weeks ago. This was done at Mulago hospital in Kampala. I have never heard anything good about this hospital. Apparently, her brother and sister sold whatever possessions they could to come up with the funds to have the surgery. They didn’t ask for help or funds…..they didn’t even share that Sarah was having the surgery. I don’t know why but I suspect it was because they didn’t think there was anyone to help.

Today, my dear brother Richard spent the day at the hospital fighting to get Sarah the blood transfusion she has needed for two days. We have a good friend who is a nurse who just happens to be in Uganda and she went to meet Richard at the hospital to help assess the situation. Here is her message to me after her visit:

“OK. Just left hospital. She does not have uterine cancer, she had cervical cancer. Typically surgery fixes cervical cancer depending […]

Hope + Businesses!

It’s hard to put into words all that we have seen and wrap my head around how such a small financial gift for 6 months can literally change a life forever.
We visited several of our sisters’ projects.  I was moved to tears more times than I can count.  The joy that radiated from these women is indescribable.  I was so proud of each and every one of them.  When I hugged them, I didn’t want to let go.
Edith has a hair salon and it’s amazing.  Annette actually constructed her store HERSELF.  Juliet grew her small road side stand and is now working from a beautiful store.  I could go on and on.  And when I have reliable electricity and more internet, I will probably do that.
Please, please, please consider being part of this amazing program.  You will be blessed beyond words and you won’t regret it.
This is what redemption looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our store is currently being renovated! Thank you for your patience while we update these pages - THANK YOU!