Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ella tries to sing National Anthem in Broken English

Ella came home from school so proud of learning the National Anthem. Because English is not her first language and she is still learning she has a ways to go before July 4th but should have it down by then..

Living Water for Girls

I spent last weekend at MOMMY IN TRAINING and had a table next to LISA WILLIAMS..the director of Living Water for Girls...this is an amazing story and there is a huge need for care for trafficked women.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BIrthday with Grandpa Jones and Kids!

I took this video in September when we were in Illinois. My Dad was so funny and so sweet...I then thought I had deleted the video and then found it excited...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

VIDEO of BAYOUSH-First glimpse of MOM in 5 Years

(this pic is of YEMI AND BAN with Grandma Atalay, KIBRU (kids brother sitting), Yidneckachew (in white /red standing behind KIBRU and UNCLE(standing next to Ban)

It has been a beautiful day for us. Tonight we had the pleasure of showing our kids a picture of their mother. When we adopted them in 2008 they were not given a picture of their mom. They had been in the orphanage at Layla House in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for 18 months before we adopted them. Prior to that they had spent at least a year trying to live between their Grandma's house and great grandfather. So, it has been about 5 years since they have laid eyes on her face. About a year and a half ago, my friend Carla took a trip to Addis and was so sweet in desiring to take a long trek to try to get a picture. THis would entail driving to Asela (a few hours away) and finding the great grandfather's house and then trying to convince him to take them to see grandma. Well, we had also given Carla a photo album with many pictures of the kids in it. She handed the photo album to the great grandfather and his friend who identified herself as our kids AUNT....she also took video. But she was unable to go to get the pictures. At the time I was at least happy that we were able to get a photo album to grandma Atalay (great grandpa's daughter). When my kids saw the video they adamantly said "THAT IS NOT MY AUNT..THAT IS GRANDPA'S HELPER!!!" Well we have discovered now that HELPER translated into modern english means MISTRESS...So, we had the HELPER's phone number. Last month our friends YEMI AND BAN (also known affectionately by our kids as family to us) went to Ethiopia. We did not tell our kids but the plan was for them to try to get a picture of mom. They called the HELPER'S phone number and she said she would try to find grandma and the teenage brothers (there is also an uncle who is quite young and very bright). But days went by and she never called. Well, when we had visited in 2008 we had a cell phone number that was given to us during our visit by Getish (Yemi's brother in law). THe young uncle and MARK (who had the phone) exchanged numbers. Well a miracle had happened and a few days after the HELPER (forgot to deliver a message)...the UNCLE called Getish remembering he had the phone number. Getish then said YOU MUST COME TO ADDIS NOW!! And he asked him to bring grandma and Kibru and Yidnekachew, my kids biological big brothers. And Getish said he would pay the travel fees (by bus) if they brought a picture of MOM (Bayoush).

Well they came...and they were elated because they thought we took off with the kids with no desire ever to make contact. The grandmother had been concerned that the kids were dead. She had suffered so much loss/death in her cried with delight in Yemi and Ban telling them all about their lives here and telling the story of how we brought pictures last year. Well Great Grandpa and HELPER had never bothered to tell her or give her the pictures. Grandma now has some pictures of our kids and we now have the correct phone numbers, and mailing address within ethiopia to call to deliver things.

So, last night we had dinner with Yemi and Ban...we still did NOT tell the kids about the pictures. After dinner we had Ban sit down and show the picture to them. At first Ella was unsure of who she was, Grace knew immediately and with pride said I LOOK JUST LIKE HER...I had made oodles of copies because I knew they would want them....Then Andrew is so brilliant and wanted to make sure that I had a picture ready of the only photo I have of Matea with her birth mom ALMA....

So, this was a very sweet and early MOTHERS DAY...we are elated,,,we are relieved. We had spent two years wondering if we would ever have a picture of their mom....When I look into Bayoush's eyes I am in awe. I am saddened. I am thrilled and I am also comforted. I really felt that somehow, in ways that are unknown to me, we had connected with eachother. She will always have a special place in our lives. I have told my kids that LOVE expands like a balloon that never pops...and I want them to feel free to show their love to her, to ALMA (Matea's mom), to all of their grandmothers, aunts, uncles, brothers. It just shows them how vast and extreme God's love is for them. There is no abandonment. There is only an outpouring of God's continuing love for them in the large family that God has adopted for them and for us. It is incredible to see.

The kids placed her picture in their rooms and I know that they slept easier last night knowing that they don't have to worry anymore that they will forget what BAYOUSH looked like. And grandma can also sleep well knowing that she made a wise decision in extending the family of her grandkids. And we are comforted knowing that the boys are thriving and taking care of grandma and that we now have real phone numbers and real make contact with.

AND as a woman who has grown up being photographed by a genetically inclined familial love for photos....I have learned that pictures are powerful and can bring so much peace and joy to a situation. I love the pics..I will continue to take many and VIDEO...and I PRAISE GOD!! for hearing the prayers of our hearts in bringing this one inch photos to us (that we have very boldly enlarged a million times)...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

#Adoption Picture of Bayoush

Well we are so thrilled to finally be in possession of a picture of our kids mom Bayoush. I just said to Mark as we were staring at her two pictures tonight..."It is sacred, sad and satisfying to have these pictures."

Just to update those of you who don't know. We have three Ethiopian children who were orphaned by the death of their parents from AIDS. When we came to Ethiopia to get them they had been in the orphanage for over two years. And there were no pictures of their mother anywhere. Once they were home the younger kids would cry saying "I can't remember her face!' One day we went to a restaurant, I watched as Grace my now 11 year old stared almost pale faced at the hostess. Later she said "Mom, that is what she looked like!" I said "who?" She said "my mom"..I said "oh honey she was beautiful" Grace said "yes she was"...she did not take her eyes off of the hostess that day.

My friend Carla went to Ethiopia and was so generous. She volunteered to go all of the way to Asela (at least two hours out of Addis) to search for the Grandmother. The plan was for her to visit the great grandfather who would then take her to the Grandmother who would have the pictures. BUt when she went to see the Great Grandfather she gave then the photo album we had made of the kids and then because of time/distance they couldn't visit the grandmother. Carla made a video of the grandfather and the so called AUNT and the kids very annoyingly said "that is not my aunt. we no like that lady" was a mistress to the grandfather.

So, my friends Ban and Yemi had finally been given their US citizenship after being in America from Ethiopia for 15 years. This last month they visited their very large and extended family in Addis. We had one phone number of the 'mistress' and a plan. We wanted to find out where my kids teen age brothers were, contact info and pictures of Bayoush. Ban called the lady who promised she would deliver the message to the boys who never called him back. Then Getish (Bans brother in law) remembered something. He said "when Mark and Deanna were here they used our cell phone during the entire visit. The uncle (he is about 18) has called me. I kept his number." So, Getish calls the Uncle and then tells them that if they come into Addis via bus and bring both boys and pics of Bayoush we will pay for their trip. Well they were thrilled because from their perspecive they had NO info on the kids at all. Our pictures which were sent and letters had never made it to them. So, now they came all the way to Addis were given updates of the kids (the pictures we sent didn't upload unto Bans computer) and were able to deliver the pictures....We plan on printing pictures and writing letters to send to them when my friend Carolyn visits in two weeks.

We are not posting the pictures yet. The kids don't know. We want to tell them with Ban and Yemi in the room because we want all of their questions to be answered. All I can say is there is a part of me that is so at peace right now. We do promise to post the pics later. But right now I just stare at the pics seeing all three of my kids in one face...and wondering why did she have to die? Why do I get to mother them? How can we stop the deaths from AIDS in Ethiopia so more women can actually LIVE even with HIV...? My heart is so connected to this woman that I never met. This family loved these children so much and we feel so blessed to have this extended family..Ban said that Grandma cried during the entire meeting. What an incredible woman. I can't wait to get pictures to her. To write to them and to be able to have a phone number to call them if and when we visit....amazing...

She is beautiful really really beautiful!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


STOP TRAFFICKING with FreeSet Shirts

Mother the World is launching a PARTY WITH A PURPOSE (think AVON meets Compassion International)...In a nutshell, we will be focusing on such hands off topics like trafficking, hiv, street kids, domestic violence and of course the massive orphan crisis...all in a cul de sac party....we are researching FAIR TRADE products will be a while to develop and we'll start with our current tshirts etc...but man we were so excited to see this company FREESET....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mother the World: Can't or Won't

I just spent an awesome day on Friday in Atlanta with Carolyn Twietmeyer and Traci Heim from Project Hopeful and Anna Belle Illien and her staff from Illien adoptions. We basically are finding strength in brainstorming in numbers even when we all had to establish a hand raising system because we tend to interrupt at times (guilty guilty and guilty again…said I)…Anyhow, somewhere early on when Traci and I were gabbing and not caring when we would interrupt eachother I said something that was so dead on to my passion in my MOTHER THE WORLD mission. I have trouble being concise. I can write books that need to be edited down because of too many words ..having enough material has never been a problem…being concise and having an ‘elevator pitch’ has always been a struggle.

So there I was with another MOTHER of the World (Traci) and I said it like this and I had to fight stopping dead in my tracks and holding back tears as it came out. I said “ I have a passion to honor the women who CAN”T mother their children by inspiring the women who WON’T mother to take action.” Please know the context of the statement. We were talking about the huge orphan crisis and how to bring the number of orphans hope and love. Do you remember being reprimanded as a child by the dour school teacher who would look up from their glasses and say “you can’t or won’t?” Some people literally can’t …others just Won’t…because they have been insulated and determined never to look at the fostering situation in America, domestic abuse, HIV, Child trafficking, cultural abuse.

Women who CAN’T in America:
1. Women who are infertile and desire to parent
2. People who can’t due to serious mental or physical disablilities
3. Those addicted to alcohol or drugs

Women who WON’T in America:
1. The women who get pregnant but abort
2. People who believe adoption is not their calling so do nothing
3. People who have no interest in the orphan crisis
4. People who would like to do something but never have due to not being introduced to proper options or ways to take action…

There is a distinct difference though in the mothers that I was talking about when making that statement because I was thinking of the mother of my Ethiopian children. She died and couldn’t mother….

Women who CAN’T in impoverished countries:
1. Women who know they will die due to diseases like AIDS, MALARIA, TB..they know the last possible act of love for their children is to make a life decision for them. Some relinquish them at orphanages due to knowing their pending death is coming.

Imagine desiring to MOTHER with all of your heart and yet knowing you “CAN’T’ because you will soon die because the AIDS MEDS are not coming your way. Or you never even knew about them. All you have known is that women die and there are babies and children without mothers….so, you make a decision for your children out of love….

I will never forget the day in 2007 when I prayed to God to USE me to be the answer to the prayers of a mother somewhere on the planet who could no longer MOTHER because of her pending death…I cried to God to allow me to be her angel and come. Every time I look into the eyes of my 3 Ethiopian children, I see her. Her name was Bayoush. I imagine she was beautiful even though we have no picture. She was young when she died….I think of her often. She is a huge motivation in my starting MOTHER THE WORLD…

My quote or new elevator pitch: “ I have a passion to honor the women who CAN”T mother their children by inspiring the women who WON’T mother to take action.” There are people who won’t do anything and I believe they just need to be educated properly on what they can do…so we need to find them and get to them.

In case you haven’t caught on yet “mother’ is a verb that applies to taking action to love, give, nurture, care for…it doesn’t require giving can take place in adopting, advocating and volunteering..It does always mean though honoring and respecting life from conception to natural death.

My motivation for MOTHER THE WORLD also comes from once being a woman who was one of the ones who “wouldn’t” mother. The underlying inspiration of MOTHER THE WORLD is really from my own wound from NOT mothering and saying NO to mothering in having an abortion as a teen. I was one of the women who I now say are the ones I am determined to inspire to take action. So, here I am now healed and with a deeper understanding of who I am and of what it means to ‘adopt God’s heart.’ These days the women who CAN’T haunt me …because there are too many of them. And although it is a blessing that I get to honor God by serving them in mothering their children, something is still not right.

One of the things we talked about in this little ‘consortium’ as Anna Belle Illien called us all, was in helping women with HIV/AIDs to live longer lives in places like Ethiopia, India, Guyana by investing in them and offering them hope …obviously offering ways for them to get their meds but also in finding ways for them to have longevity, to dream for a future where they can be the ones to see their kids graduate, get married.

What can the women here who WON’T do? Well I think with the right motivation they will turn into women who WILL make a huge impact in changing the planet by changing the lives of many. First, it would be great to see more people adopt and we are planning on ways to offer education and information to dispel the fears of adoption to many. But it also would be great to have more resources to offer life and sustainability abroad for women like BAYOUSH…imagine if she would have had the right meds and the right resources through micro-financing, business opportunities, education…We can help the women here who WON’T or haven’t taken action to participate in making major changes in the lives of women they will never see. So, I am praying everyone stays tuned as in the next several months we come up with ways to hopefully create options in a world that currently offers so little to the women internationally who CAN’T but would love to MOTHER their children into old age. And if you know of women who WON’T …well we also believe we have ways to inspire and transform them into active humanitarians even without ever leaving their cul de sacs…my plan is to allow them to MOTHER THE WORLD without missing their kids soccer games…but if they are really bold they can travel way outside of their subdivisions and come to some exotic places with us if they’d like to…

So my new elevator pitch is once again this: “ I have a passion to honor the women who CAN”T mother their children by inspiring the women who WON’T mother to take action.”

Mother the World: Can’t or Won’t?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Donate to Mother the World and Get Free TSHIRT

To become an official MOTHER THE WORLD Sponsor donate $20 or more and get this MOTHER THE WORLD Tshirt for free as a THANK YOU(a great gift for Mother's Day)...Also, there is a link to additional gifts for mom at the end of this post...I am seen here with Elaine Bateman MRS. KENTUCKY in our MOTHER THE WORLD T-shirts

Promotion Product Options
Mother The World-2010 Promo

If interested in more Tshirts feel free to buy these from our link below. These are additional purchases outside of the promotion listed above...

Child Witches in NIgeria...Pray for their Safety and to End This

This is not Christianity but rather a perfect example of how local tribal belief seeps its way into indigenous churches that claim Christianity but create their own rules based on satanic teachings as well from generational cultural practices. Jesus abhors this and cherishes children. Please pray for them..