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Sunday, January 23, 2011

why ethiopia?




Saw this on several other blogs.  Oh it breaks my heart and reminds me why it lives there!  Love that A Glimmer of Hope sign is in there (next to girl at water point).  Makes me love my little boys a little more and thankful that the Lord has allowed us to partner with Glimmer to prayerfully change those statistics for all living in Dube Bute! 
Thursday, January 20, 2011

abes people


Abe has people.  When you are one of them, you know.  He has his big smile and then he has the smile reserved only for "his"!  It can seriously change your mood and make your day.  It can reduce me to tears quicker than anything to see him with one of his peeps.

I didn't grow up with anyone that had significant special needs.  I know now that it was my loss.  They aren't called "special" for nothing.  Because of my experience, I don't take it personally when someone is awkward or unfamiliar with how to approach Abe.  I understand it.  I love when people will ask direct questions as it gives me a chance to explain what a blessing he is and how the Lord is continuing to work a miracle in him!

While I completely understand those that are uncomfortable, words can never express what happens to this mama's heart when people LOVE my son.  Like delight in him, consider it a gift to hold him, talk to him!  TO HIM.  He knows too.  When one of his friends walk in a room, he glows.  He kicks his legs and throws his arms wildly in the air!


One of Abe's friends is Chris Webb.  Chris and I met our first week of college.  Just the greatest guy.  Fast forward a few years and he marries a friend of mine from Kanakuk days.  As the Lord would graciously do, he moved them to A-town.  Chris is a SWAT bad-a in Big D (Hill and Wick are mesmerized by his stories) and Rainey is a DA in Ft. Worth.  Arlington was the perfect location for them to move.  Right next door to our dear ML and Tommy to be exact.

Chris loves Abe.  Abe loves Chris.  One night over the break, I looked over my shoulder and found Chris and Abe cuddled up in a big chair.  Chris was having some deep conversation with my boy.  My boy was simply giddy.  I couldn't stop the tears.  Is there a greater compliment to a parent than someone loving your kid?? It's even better when that kid is special.  Difficult to hold, drools or "spills" as Eyasu says, can't talk back (but will be very vocal with you).

(this may or may not have sealed the deal on Chris' love for Ethiopia)

Chris and his team are participating in grueling 26 mile march in honor of the Baatan Death March from World War II and is raising money for Dube Bute in the process.  Click here to see his page. 

Below is what he had to say:



"But those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:31
I am often inspired by the strength of others. I stand in awe of people who are able to do things they never imagined were possible. I have felt this way watching our friends the Alexander family step out in faith for this campaign. I see it being used to change the lives of the people of Dube Bute. While I have never stepped foot on African soil, I have met two boys who have stolen my heart. Abe Alexander has been referred to as the "ripple maker" of this project. Without him there would have been not been a second trip to Ethiopia to adopt Eyasu and no discovery of a tiny village with a great need. But this one child has changed the lives of so many. He has for sure changed me. As a police officer I unfortunately see the very worst in people. I see how lives are tormented by drugs, greed and hate. I have witnessed things that I will never be able to erase from my mind. But, when I am lucky, I get to steal a few moments with my buddy Abe. As he sits in my arms and smiles that contagious smile of his I know that world is right. There is still good in people and there is HOPE even when we feel overwhelmed by all the difficulties of life.
I wanted to use my ability to raise money for this campaign but I wasn't sure how to do it. I found the opportunity in the inspiration of another group of people. During World War II a group of brave soldiers were responsible for the defense of the islands of Luzon, Corregidor and the harbor defense forts of the Philippines. The conditions they encountered and the aftermath of the battle were unique. They fought in a malaria-infested region, surviving on half or quarter rations with little or no medical help. They fought with outdated equipment and virtually no air power. On April 9, 1942, tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were surrendered to Japanese forces. The Americans were Army, Army Air Corps, Navy and Marines. Among those seized were members of the 200th Coast Artillery, New Mexico National Guard. They were marched for days in the scorching heat through the Philippine jungles. Thousands died. Those who survived faced the hardships of a prisoner of war camp. This became known as the Bataan Death March.
Every year teams of competitors travel to New Mexico to honor the memory of these heros by participating in a 26 mile march. I will be traveling in March with my team and I believe this is the perfect opportunity to raise money for this project in Ethiopia that has become so dear to my family's heart. I am asking for your support as I participate in the march. Each dollar you donate will inspire me to not only honor the memory of the brave soldiers of the past, it will literally save lives of the people in Africa in the future.


Thank you Chris for being one of Abe's peeps and bringing Hope to Dube Bute.  Head on over there and help him out! :)






Monday, January 17, 2011

Idea Camp

How are we addressing the orphan crisis...?
Friends from around the country will gather at the end of February in Northwest Arkansas to answer this question.  The Idea Camp is going to be a beautiful few days of sharing ideas, sharing stories and sharing lives.


For Emily and my sons, Eyasu and Abe, the orphan crisis was solved with their adoptions.  Praise God indeed.  However, that's not the answer for all of the 147 million orphans worldwide.  Below is our story of hope, a hope that no more children will be orphaned, at least in the beautiful region of southern Ethiopia.  A story of bringing hope to Dube Bute.

Four years ago, our family began a journey that none could predicted - nor had we planned on - but God did.
Our dear friend Kristin went on a mission trip to Africa and sent us a video of highlights.  As our family watched the beautiful work she and her team did in the orphanages, our children began asking if we “could bring one home”.  Then they began to ask us if we you pray about it.  That was the winter of 2007.  15 months later, we received an email with a beautiful picture of our son Abe, wearing a Texas Tech T-shirt.  We knew God has His hand in this journey. Three months after that, our family, traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to bring home Abe.  That is when we first began to fall in love with the country. 
Kristin chronicled the trip through pictures and made a beautiful video of the day we first met Abe, using the song “Mighty to Save”.  Because of that, the song has become our anthem.  Abe immediately became our “ripple maker”.  I like to say that Abe is the large boulder that came crashing into our otherwise very calm pond.  Those ripples reached new heights six weeks later, when we received the devastating news that Abe had a severe brain injury from an in-utero stroke.  Those were hard days of suffering, but we have a God who is faithful, whose love and grace sustains.  Good friends and family walked through those days - our faith grew deeper, our love for Ethiopia grew deeper and our desire to give something back to this country grew.  
Just over a year ago, Emily and I went back to Ethiopia to bring home our son Eyasu. We had the privilege to meet his biological uncle who cared for him after both of his parents died from TB.  The uncle cared for Eyasu and his biological brothers until he was 23 months old, and on the verge of dying from sickness and malnourishment.  Also on this trip, we first met the staff of  A Glimmer of Hope and began this beautiful relationship.  From the very beginning, we had been looking for an organization to partner with.  Once we met these guys, we knew this was the group doing big work, effective work and sustainable work.
Emily traveled back to Ethiopia in June to see completed projects of Glimmer - and the dream of returning to Eyasu’s village was born.
Another reason, Emily traveled in June, was to lay the ground work for EthiopiaSmile.  In the spring of last year, the idea came to return to Ethiopia and use the gift of dentistry to love the people of Ethiopia,  God moved in the hearts of over 60 people to join with us.  Abe’s ripples just exponentially increased!  So this passion for Ethiopia and it’s people reached out to our community.
Last month, we visited Dube Bute, Eyasu’s village, we saw the need, we saw the extreme poverty, we saw the lack of clean water, the dilapidated schools, the lack of basic health needs.  Trusting God to do big things, we partnered with Glimmer to bring hope to Dube Bute by fundraising to provide 27 water points, a health post, 12 new classrooms, a vet clinic, necessary latrines and a bridge to make all of this possible.  By God's grace, almost all of the funds are raised and construction is set to begin!
That’s what this is all about - a beautiful story of redemption, taking a dear orphan out of a dire situation, using him to inspire a community to make a difference in the lives of people a world away.
Saturday, January 15, 2011

idea camp





We need you!!  I am not a "camper" but this camp is right up my alley.  A group of people, coming together to collectively share ideas, and ultimately bring about change in the orphan crisis.  An idea camp is only as good as those who come to participate.  If you have vision, passion and a heart for the millions of orphans in the world, this is for YOU.

Moody and I are humbled to have been asked to be guides. Love that they don't focus on the speakers, yet the speakers simply help facilitate the sessions.  You are an active participant!

Join us!! February 24-25th  Click here to see other guides.  Here for main page.


ICDC Behind the Scenes from The Idea Camp on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We have some winners!!!!

Abe pulled through this morning.  Opening and closing his hand is a difficult task, but he rose to the challenge.  Words can't adequately express our gratitude for the way each of you stepped up to help bring Hope to Dube Bute.  These people mean so much to our family and we are humbled that so many have chosen to literally transform their lives.  Over $2,000 was raised in this raffle!  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G

I hated seeing so many names in the basket and only having ONE winner.  So we have ONE GRAND PRIZE winner and 5 additional winners.  The others will be receiving a traditional Ethiopian wooden cross.




Congrats to April Reep!!! Grand Prize Winner.  You will receive a large box from me and several additional items from the people that donated them directly! 

5 additional winners!!!  

Rebecca Winter
Davis Mitchell
Savannah Thorne
Becky Ames
Amanda Bush
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

last chance

Last chance to enter the raffle today.  We have been blown away by the support you all have shown for the people of Dube Bute.  Be sure to let me know if you have put on facebook or your blog so I can add your name to the drawing.  Abe is working hard to get his hand all nice and stretched out to pick the perfect name tomorrow. :)

Some of the items donated will be mailed directly to the winner so they aren't in the above picture.



Sunday, January 9, 2011

a few more goodies and joseph hears!!!

The McDurhams have given a great Christmas ornament to the cause! WE loved having these on our tree this year.  The back says "hope". :)
Missy at It's Almost Naptime has donated this great adoption tank! Thank you girl.


 The cute Reeves family has donated their adoption t-shirts!


And Bobbi Jo Majors has donated one of her awesome ya gotta love.....t shirts.  

My dining room table is filling up!! Ends on Tuesday, so there is still time to put your name in the hat!

In a non Hope for Dube Bute, raffle related news.........please take the time to watch sweet Joseph get his hearing aids put in for the first time.  Gwen is a dear friend and we share the common bond of parenting special little ones.  I cried such tears as I watched his little face light!!
Thursday, January 6, 2011

but wait, there's more.......edit (yami cuff pic added)

Kendra has donated one of her adoption awesome shirts.

Rainey at Bow in the Clouds has donated the coziest HOPE fleece vests.  I wear mine all the time.

And here are better pics of some of the items from Ethiopia.
 Magazine bead necklace
 Wooden bead bracelet
 Hand embroidered messenger bag from Alert Hospital (leprosy hospital)
 Traditional wooden Ethiopian cross
 Beautiful silver cross
 Smaller silver cross- used as a Christmas ornament
Necklace with silver cross

There is still time to enter.  You can donate, share on facebook or twitter, blog about it or donate $10 here.  Be sure to email me or comment on the blog to let me know so I can put you in! The winner will be announced next week!  Abe is going to draw the winning name. :)

Here is the pic of the awesome leather cuff bracelet that Lori donated!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

more goods to win!!!! *edit*

I have been so blessed by those wanting to participate in the raffle!! Some really great items have been added.  Read the previous post to see what is already up for grabs. This all benefits the village of Dube Bute, home to my son, Eyasu, for the first two years of his life.  Still home to bio brothers, and extended family.

This beautiful lap blanket was made by my friend Jill.  We met at church this summer.  She came up to me because I was carrying my 147 Million Orphan bag!  She has lived in Africa and has a HUGE heart. She wanted to participate and created this amazing masterpiece in 2 days.  Her dear hubby helped.  What a team. :)  Thank you so much!

Amy from Beautiful Brown Eyed Girl Boutique has graciously donated a $45 gift certificate for you to custom order from her handmade creations.  Aren't they the cutest things??





Savannah at Bringing Hope to Ethiopia has generously donated 4 shirts and a jacket! These are great- we have them.  Savannah is the precious 14 year old daughter of our good friends that traveled with us this fall to Ethiopia.  She will make a HUGE difference there, trust me. :)

Fellow adoptive mom, Ashley, has donated one of the cookbooks she sold to fundraise for their adoption!  Yummy. Thank you Ashley.

Lori and her LoPo partners have donated a cool t-shirt for the work they are doing in Korah along with an awesome Yami cuff. (leather bracelet)



Lyndsay has also donated her great adoption shirt!  They are in the process of bringing home the amazing Miss B!  I met Miss B in ET in June.  She is a gorgeous child that is celebrating her 4th Birthday.  Her last as an orphan.

More.........Julie is donating 2 Ethiopia window decals!! Thank you Julie.


Remember to share the raffle on your blog, facebook and twitter.  Let me know by leaving a comment and each way that you share Hope, gives you an entry into the raffle.  You get an entry for each $10 donation HERE as well. You can also get entered by donating something to the raffle.  Thank you for your help!
Saturday, January 1, 2011

starting the year with a RAFFLE for hope!!


Happy 2011!!  We are going to be kicking off the new year with a little fundraiser here at Team Alexander.  It will benefit the people of Dube Bute and of course whoever wins!! :)  2010 was so FULL for our family as we had the blessing of traveling to the very village where Eyasu spent the first 2 years of his life.  2011 is the year that that village receives HOPE in the form of 27 clean water points, new schools, a library, a health clinic and a vet clinic. Here is a way to help bring that hope and win some cool stuff!

We already have some great items to giveaway as Gwen and Suz at 147 Million Orphans have graciously donated a tumbler and a shirt, Kari at My Crazy Adoption has donated an awesome Simply Love T, Erica has donated one of their groovy shirts too! A darling little keychain from DeenaJoely is going to do a custom piece of art for the lucky winner, and there is some Ethiopian jewelry, large wooden cross, beautiful silver Ethiopian cross, a scarf, a messenger bag from the Alert Hospital in Addis, a Hope for Dube Bute hoodie, hat and shirt!





If you have something that you would like to donate, that would be awesome! Just let me know.  Anything would be a HUGE benefit to the village transformation in Ethiopia.  I will continue to add items if they come in!  Anyone that donates to the haul, will get their name in the drawing. :)


So.... here are the rules...and how you can start 2011 by bringing HOPE!
1.  For every $10 donation given through the donate button (will link you to the campaign page)... it buys you a raffle ticket for the loot.  You get 1 entry for any $10 donation or 2 entries for $20 and so on.
2. After you have donated $10 or more, you can get more entries by Facebooking or Twittering or any other social media about this raffle... that gives you 1 more raffle ticket entry (1 entry per social media)
3. If you Blog Post this raffle... that gives you 1 more raffle ticket entry
4.  I can only ship within the United States
5.  Please comment on this blog post letting me know if you bought a raffle ticket, or if you facebooked, twittered, blogged, etc., since clearly I won't know if I'm not "friends with you on Facebook" or "follow" you on Twitter.  You can email me at teamalexander at mac dot com 

More details:
1.  Raffle ends January 11th.
2.  We will have a video drawing of the winner posted on this blog on January 12th.

thank you Heather, I just may have copied and pasted the rules from your recent raffle!  :)

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emily
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from becoming polluted by the world." James 1:27
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