Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gifty Update

I thought that I'd share some pictures with all of you Gifty fans out there! The most recent report is that Gifty is adjusting to life with her new family in the tundra of Wisconsin...much different from life in Liberia, eh? She is happy, healthy, always eating and gaining weight! Her doctors are hopeful that Gifty will get a liver transplant in the next few months. I don't understand how it all works, but she can recieve a partial liver transplant, when and if one is made available. Gifty needs an O+ donor! Please be in prayer with us....that Gifty will continue to thrive and that she will stay healthy while she's waiting for a liver and that a matching, partial liver will be made available. I know Gifty's life has always been in His hands (she's our little miracle), but I also know that when an army of people are praying for a little Liberian girl in Wisconsin, His glory will be revealed when our prayers are answered.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Back On the Ground

Just wanted to let everyone know that I made it safely back to Liberia! I got in around 8:30pm last night. The flights were pretty uneventful--except by the time I landed in Brussels I was sick (sore throat, stuffy head, etc.) and by the time I landed in Monrovia my left ear was completely plugged up. I only got about 3 hours of sleep last night, so I ended up taking a 3 hour nap this afternoon. I'm hoping to sleep better tonight!

It's been so great being back with everyone! And it was wonderful last night when the generator went off and (after Debbie and I laid in the dark talking for over an hour) I could fall asleep listening to the crickets and waves crashing! I've been very surprised by the weather--not as hot as I was's actually been quite comfortable--I woke up almost chilly this morning!

I'm really looking forward to starting the full on tour on Monday and getting to see all of the kids! Thank you all for your prayers and support!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Last Night

So, it's been a crazy day. I've been packing and organizing and cleaning. I went and saw Slumdog Millionaire (really good with just pictures showing real life--and I want the soundtrack) There's been tornado warnings all night with softball sized hail (for real! Deb, now I know, when you hear the sirens, you run outside with an onion in one hand and a knife in the other to watch the hail hit your car--I was making collard greens for the family). I had the traditional "last supper" with my family and best friend and her kids (tonight's menu: lasanga, good crust bread, Liberian collard greens [for the fam] and a big glass of cold milk--all things that I can't get in Liberia).
It's 12:30am. The house is quiet (except for my iTunes). My bags are not packed. My room is a mess. I still have to pick up a few things at the store. There are no sheets on my bed. And, I have yet to list on my flight from Atlanta to Brussels.

That's normal for me. The worst packing procrastinator.

Normally, I would stay up til 4:30am packing. Making lists. Checking them twice. And one more time, just in case. But not tonight. I've decided to turn on my electric blanket for the last time. I'll put some fresh sheets on my bed after I post this. And then I'll crawl into my comfy bed for one last night of glorious, deep and quiet sleep. The next time that I will be in a bed, I will be under a mosquito net, (probably) sweating, listening to crickets and waves and car horns. Oh Liberia, here I come!

But, the other day, Debbie sent me an email, and this is what it said:
This should get you through the next week of craziness... just remember HE is waiting for you. :-)

Yes, Koiboy is waiting for me! And I can't wait to scoop him up and give him a big hug and kiss!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kid Books Recommendations

Time for alittle participation! I have a gift card to Barnes & Noble to get some kid's books for my Love for Liberia Book Drive. I spent over an hour in there today on the floor with some books, and came out with one. I know some of you have already done all of the I'm asking for your help. I'm looking for good books that I can buy for the kids in Liberia that cover topics like: West Africa, Liberia, life in Africa, being special, character building, God's love, being African (ie, like the book Nappy Hair), or just really good, classic kid books (Where the Wild Things Are, Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom) etc.

Here's what I picked up today. I've been meaning to order it off of Amazon, but never did. It was the only book they had in stock that's in my Amazon cart.

Ok, time to cast your votes!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Liberian Librarian

That's me.

I spent some time today going through and organizing the first big donation of children's books. Actually, now that I think about it, I don't even think I've told you about the other big donation drive that I've been doing. The kids at my church are doing a children's book drive to send books to the kids in Liberia! They are tying it into their Valentine's Day party and bringing "valentine's" (books) for Liberia. Anyway, after church on Sunday, I picked up about 10 boxes of books from a woman who's office had chipped in and bought books off of Craigslist. Well, now I have 492 books to ship to Liberia!!

Here's a bullentin board that I made at church to advertise for the book drive.

And here are today's books!

And, I swear someone raided my bookshelf from the 4th grade!

Update on Adoptions in Liberia

President Sirleaf gave a State of the Union address this past week and she briefly mentioned the state of the adoption program in Liberia. I am only reposting this because so many people contact me and ask me about adopting from Liberia.

"The gross mismanagement of the adoption program (which aims primarily at placing orphans in homes in the United States), by both Liberian and U.S. personnel in the concerned NGO is the subject of a report by a Special Committee which I appointed for this purpose. Essentially, we have discovered that many of the children in these orphanages are not in fact orphans but children taken from their living parents on the promise of support and a good life in America. Moreover, we found that young children were being sexually abused at some of these orphanages, while others including officials of government, have used the program to extort money from potential adoptors. We have thus suspended the adoption program until laws, policies and proper guidelines have been established and we have asked our concerned friends and partners in the United States to be patient as we try to correct the serious malpractices which exist. We expect the National Social Welfare Policy and National Adoption Act which will be submitted to you during the course of the year, will provide guidance and prevent such abuses in the future."