Ethiopia Part 1 - Transition Home
Its taken me a couple of months to sit down in sift through my photos and put together this. 2 months of both physically processing my photos and mentally/spiritually processing the sights, smells, and emotions you experience on trips like these. As you are looking through these my goal is not for you to see this give me credit for anything(though I greatly appreciate all the encouragement), I just really want to push you towards looking at ways to help. This is the organization I went with, awaa.org and here is a direct link to how you can get involved to help - awaa.org/advocate/orphan-advocacy.
This group of photos are from the American World Transition Home. Due to some legal stuff I cannot show you the faces of kids that are on their way to being adopted, but I can show you some of the kids living there with special needs, and a few families that are being sponsored through American World. This was the happiest and hopeful place we visited on the trip.
We got to spend a lot of time with the special needs kids living at the home, and it was hard to know that a lot of the time the only movement they got was due to the caretakers feeding them, bathing them, and sitting them up. There aren't electric wheelchairs and other things that we have here in the states. Though it is a difficult life for them, the Transition Home is doing a great job of taking care of them.
Some of the families that are sponsored through American World. Usually it is a single parent that their spouse had either left or died from HIV. The man in a couple of these photos was dying from HIV, and his wife had died from HIV earlier. He couldn't find work, and had 2 sons to take care of. The sorrow and pain his eyes was almost to much to bear. Knowing that those 2 kids would soon be in foster care was miserable, and knowing what to say in those situations is impossible. I pray continually for this guy.
The caretakers each place we went always seemed unsure of us at first. It took a second for them to warm up to us. My theory is that groups like ours come in and either disrupt, or assume stuff isn't right and take over, without observing what is really going on. These ladies are doing the hard everyday work of taking care of children in hard situations. I was very interested in what their lives were like for some reason on this trip. I wanted them to know we were there to help, to give them a break, and not critque them on how they were doing.
We also painted a mural while we were there. Yes, I went to art school...no, I am not a good painter.