Friday, December 25, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Now, here I sit, with a cup of coffee. I'm preparing to watch a simulcast with my family for Orphan Sunday. I encourage you to have a cup and to pray for the orphans.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
There are two others that I'd like to mention:
Thank you for continuing to help care for the over 140 million orphans in the world today.
Friday, October 23, 2009
This whole coffee experiment...I just can't do it.
I can totally get behind!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Everyone knows by now why I am doing this coffee experiment but I have had an unexpected bonus to this. With each cup I drink I notice that I am very conscious of why I am doing this. Each cup provides for me the opportunity to stop, to consider the orphans of the world, to pray for them and to ask myself in what other ways can I be an advocate for the children.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I have been asked, why I don't just give money to an orphanage? Why drink the coffee? You must remember that the coffee that I'm buying is fair trade coffee. This means that when buying fair trade coffee in which the profits go toward an orphanage I am accomplishing two things at once. The orphanage gets the money but the farmers in Ethiopia are earning a living. This is one of those, give a man a fish and he can eat for a day, teach him to fish and he can eat for a lifetime deals. It is great to support the orphanage but if we can also support the economy of an impoverished nation then perhaps the day will come when there are less orphans.
So, drink coffee, support an economy, and provide for the orphans.
By the way, here is a link for some fair trade coffee that helps support orphans: http://gobena.org/
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Then we adopted these two boys from Ethiopia where drinking coffee is second nature. I thought as a good Father I should have coffee in the house because the boys would like it. I figured if I was ever going to buy and make the stuff I should at least be able to drink it. Unfortunately, even the desire to be a hero Daddy who makes coffee simply could not bring me to even tolerate the stuff.
Then the other day I saw a bag of fair trade coffee from Ethiopia. I thought about this for a while and began to consider that if I can help my fellow Ethiopians (yes, I consider myself part of the Ethiopian family) simply by drinking coffee, well, then that my just be worth it. To take it a step further there is a good chance that where our Compassion child (that is the child we sponsor through Compassion International - compassion.com) lives, her mother could possibly be employed by a coffee farm. Now, we are dealing with something on a much larger scale. This is no longer about being cheap, or even being a "cool" Dad, this is about helping out the widows, the orphans, those who without the ability to produce and sell their coffee would be in poverty. I have also found a fair trade coffee in which the proceeds go toward orphan projects.
So now here is my plan: I am going to drink at least 1 cup of coffee a day for 21 days (it is said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit). It is my hope that at the end of the experiment I will actually enjoy coffee. Coffee that I can drink and know that in doing so I am helping the people of Ethiopia and the orphans of the world.
Going now to make me a cup. Let's pray I can swallow the stuff.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Brotherly love- nothing like it!
Monday, August 24, 2009
With that as a backdrop you may understand why I was quite confused when Feromsa, on the way to get his haircut, continued to ask me, "Hush-for-Sunday?" I was assuming he was trying to say something about the great deal of time we had spent at church this weekend.
Finally after several more attempts at getting me to understand "hush-for-Sunday" he decided to describe this mysterious "hush-for-Sunday." Apparently a "hush-for-Sunday" is ice cream with chocolate on top. You may know it better as a hot fudge sundae.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The other day Feromsa was doing something that was not all that bright (he was trying to close the fridge door without closing the drawer that he had opened). While he was struggling to accomplish his task I looked at him and said, "Feromsa, close the drawer. Use your head, boy."
To this he thoughtfully replied, "I can't think all the time."
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
1. Out of the blue Feromsa began to discuss being at Kids Care Orphanage. In this discussion he made this comment, "In Kids Care I pray, 'Please give me nice mommy and nice daddy' and now I have nice Mommy and nice Daddy!"
2. In another discussion about being in Kids Care Feromsa offered this observation, "The big kids know that people don't want them. They want the little kids. I was scared I too big."
I don't think any commentary is necessary.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
July 15, 2009. Legislation: CAP Supports Three New Bills Before Congress. CAP Supports the Foreign Adopted Children Equality (FACE) Act (S. 1359; H.R. 3110). This bill will give U.S. citizenship to internationally adopted children as of their adoption, rather than, as now, when each child comes to the United States. It will restore citizenship to internationally adopted children who were not covered under the Child Citizenship Act or whose position was jeopardized by the 1996 Immigration Act. It would also confer on foreign born internationally adopted children of U.S. parents all the rights of biologically born children of U.S. parents, including the right to become president.
CAP Supports the Families for Orphans Act (H.R. 3070) which is designed, in the words of the bill itself, "To encourage the development and implementation of a comprehensive, global strategy for the preservation and reunification of families and the provision of permanent parental care for orphans, and for other purposes." This legislation will create a new U.S. diplomatic and economic initiative to support existing families and to provide permanency for unparented children. It will replace the current decentralized and sometimes contradictory, government efforts with a consistent, pro-active approach led by a State Department Office of Orphan Policy, Diplomacy and Development. For the first time the development of a continuing strategy to ensure that all children grown up in permanent, loving families of their own would be part of the State Department's responsibilities.
CAP Supports S. 1376 which will allow adoptive parents to obtain their child's immunizations in the United States after travel, which is standard international adoption procedure for Hague countries. It also conforms the age requirements for siblings adopted internationally to a consistent standard.
To contact your representatives and senators, please go to http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml or http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
We finally arrived at our destination and enjoyed the morning exploring. The trail to the waterfalls was largely made up of stairs. Lots and lots and lots of stairs. Joshua decided that he wanted to collect some river water and then would add more river water to it from other rivers we would see on our trip. He brought a little water bottle and filled it about half way. He then preceded to show his water to everyone we met on the trail.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
4 Boys, 3 Days, 3 National Park Units, 3 State Parks, 1 National Forest, 2 Statues, and Countless Memories (West Virginia Trip Day 1)
It was not long before the excitement grew again. This time it was for the first of 2 tunnels that we would be driving through on I-77 going through the mountains of Virginia. I believe that the word I kept hearing from the back of the van was “awesome!”
Around 11 we made a quick stop to check into our hotel. It was amusing to see that Feromsa is still fascinated by elevators. His excitement over riding the elevator took me back to riding the elevator at the hotel in Ethiopia. A year later, and there are still those things that are so common place for most of us that these young boys from Ethiopia still find amazing. Another example of this was Bereket’s thrill at seeing that our hotel room had a TV.
We left our hotel and headed for our first real stop: Carnifex Battlefield State Park. Here we saw a snake, had lunch, and of course, we saw a cannon. We also used this stop to visit Gauley River National Recreation Area. The battlefield is adjacent to the river and Joshua, perhaps to his regret, asked why they would have a battle on this mountain right next to the river (by the way, this was a battle in the Civil War that helped pave the way for West Virginia to become a state in the Union). History and military strategy lesson was quickly given.
After playing in the New River (which according to scientist is actually the 2nd oldest river in the world – I just mention that for the irony of the name and not to make any Creationist friends mad nor to say that I agree with the scientist) we started to look for a place to eat dinner. Joshua scanned the horizon for a place to eat and suggested we eat at the first place he saw – Hooters. After driving around a little we ended up at CiCi’s Pizza.
Day one ended with us at the hotel. The boys attempted to go swimming but considering the high for the day was in the mid-seventies, the water was just too cold. That lasted all of about 10 minutes before they couldn’t take anymore. Back in the room we spent the evening watching the classic Don Knotts’ movie, The Incredible Mr. Limpet. For those who don’t know, in this movie Don Knotts plays a character who turns into a fish. Feromsa did not seem too bothered by the fact that a man could turn into a fish but simply could not understand how a fish could talk underwater. After the movie, everyone quickly fell asleep for a restful night. Unfortunately, I was sharing the bed with Bereket who felt it was necessary to lay on my side of the bed all night. Several times throughout the night I had to pick him up and lay him back down on his side of the bed. He, of course, slept right through this.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
On the ride home Bereket wanted to make sure that Daddy and I understood what would be going on when school started. It went something like this:
We go to school in August.
Mommy go to school.
Bereket go to school.
Hannah go to school.
Feromsa go to school.
JoTo go to school.
Daddy no go to school. Daddy stay home.
Now repeat about 5 more times.
That was our car ride home.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Anyway, it took us two trips to the courthouse to get things done but they are done (at least for now.) I must say, it is days like today though that I find myself thankful for living in a small town in a small community. Both times at the courthouse we were in and out (faster than ordering food at Taco Bell.)
Thursday, July 16, 2009
With each post-placement report we have to measure and weigh the boys. We discovered that since their adoption Bereket has grown 2 and a half inches and has gained 8 lbs. Feromsa has grown 4 inches and has gained a whopping 16 lbs. No wonder we are always buying new clothes.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
This afternoon we decided to go through the boys' shoes. I can't understand how 3 boys can accumulate over 50 pairs of shoes. (Oh wait, I'm their mom. I know how that happened!) We ended up getting rid of about half of them. Now to conquer the play room.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
And now here we are a year later. Wow! Time really does go by so quickly. In the past year we have seen these boys grow in so many ways. We were all amazed at how quickly the boys attached to our family. It many ways it seemed as if they were always apart of this family. The love they have brought to this household simply can not be measured. We have also been amazed at how much they have grown. Physically, they have literally grown out of their clothes several times. The changes in their personalities as they have learned to speak better English and as they have become more comfortable is simply mind-blowing. Feromsa had always been a very talkative boy from day one. Bereket on the other hand was a very quiet boy - until recently.
In this past year the boys have met and fallen in love with their grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. It is a testament to the caretakers at the orphanage that Bereket who lived at the orphanage for nearly all 5 years of his life is so wonderfully affectionate. Both boys freely give their affection to their new and extended family.
Also, in this past year the boys have swam in the ocean, hiked the mountains, have fallen in love with french fries, Coca-cola, Sprite, Yellow Sprite (Mt. Dew), Wii, swimming, trampolines, and Wal-mart. They have played soccer. They have gone camping and want to go again! In the past year, Feromsa has tried hard to understand how Jesus can be dead one day and then alive the next. Bereket has tried hard to understand just how a mirror works. They have picked apples, blueberries, and have personally eaten enough bananas to keep Dole in business for years. They have been amazed at the "magic" van (it has automatic opening doors). And in the past year they have been nothing short of one of the greatest blessings to this family.
We can't wait to see what the next year brings.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
It seemed quite a remarkable thing really. A judge in Ethiopia, whom we had never met or spoken to, based on some paperwork filled out mostly by other people whom we had never met or spoken to, made a grand decision that forever altered the lives of Dottie and I, our children at home, and two boys in Ethiopia who were now, by the decree of this judge, Raymer boys. These two boys were now part of our family and Dottie and I were now their parents. On June 9th of 2008 Dottie and I were the parents of 2 children. Now comes June 10th and suddenly we are the parents of 4 including a 5 and a 6 year old boys living in Ethiopia.
One phone call, our family grows by 2 and in less than a month we would be on our way to Ethiopia to bring them home. June 10, 2008 was a remarkable day!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Feromsa got a camera.