Friday, December 29, 2006

Letters from Dear Daughter #2

These are two of best quality pictures we received from dd #2's disposable camera. I don't know if the sunlight was a problem, the quality of the camera or the inexperience of the photographers...In the first picture, she is standing beside a friend who has also received a package from America. The second picture seems to be of her in her room, holding a stuffed bear. They seem to have a table in there stocked with supplies (toothpaste, etc). Below you will find some of what she had to say in her letters. Through the letters we've received, she looks to be the creative, artistic one. She always has pictures and many colors of marker around the pages. She likes to write in many different colors of ink and has also taken on the task of writing letters to us from dear son #2. I don't know if he actually knows she's doing this, but she's made sure there's letters to us from herself and him. It also seems she had taken possession of dear son #2's disposable camera. There is one photo of ds#2 and his friends but the rest seem to be of the girls. Dd#2 likes to take pictures of herself, close-ups! It's fun to see some personality from these kids- I wonder if they will be anything like this when they come home??

"To my beloved Mom,
I want you to please send some of our pictures that we we took so that we can share with our friends when we are leaving Liberia. We love you and we cannot wait to see you soon. We all just have to be patient, and wait for God- His time is the best.
From your daughter

These are all my friend's name:
Patience, Yamin, Princess, Olivia, Martha, Lydia, Pauline
Mom, they all say hi to you and the others. Mom if you are writing to us, I want you to please write each of them a letter so that they will know you. They also said that if I leave Liberia they will miss me a lot. Mom, I love you and I cannot wait to see you soon.
Love always,
Your daughter

Dearest Dad,
I thank you so much for the lovely letter you were able to send me and I was very happy to receive it. I was so excited to receive it and I enjoyed reading it over and over. Dad, if ******* is coming to Liberia, we would like you to send us some little money for the seasons that are coming so we can buy something. We pray for you every day and night that God will bring us together soon. May God bless you and keep our family safe. Dad, I want you to please give my little brother and sisters hugs and kisses on their lovely faces. May the Almighty God bless you and keep you safe and sound.
Love always your daughter

*This letter has yellow, orange, green and purple marker EVERYWHERE!! :)

Dearest sweet mom,
Special greetings come to you in the name of Christ. My reason for writing you this letter is to tell you that I love you but God loves you the best. Mom, I was sooooooooooooo happy to receive the sweet and kind letter from you again. For each day of the week, the teacher works out the weekly theme in scripture in subjects for praise, thanksgiving and petition and a brief reflection. Mom, I want you to know that I am very excited to be part of your family. Mom, I want to tell you something that happened to me and my family. I was very little when I came to this mission and I have stayed here 10 years. Today, God has answered my prayers to be part of a family. I have not seen you, my parents, yet but I am so grateful to God for answering my prayers. I pray the paperwork will go quickly. Mom, my brothers (ds#1 and ds#2) and my sister (dd#1) all say hi to you all.
Love always from your sweet daughter

*This letter has black, orange, yellow, green, brown and purple symbols written around the entire border of the page. The symbol seems to be that on the side of the buildings at the orphanage.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Letters from Dear Son #1

These photos are from the disposable camera we sent to Liberia for ds #1. He took many pictures of himself and his friends- the quality is so-so, but in these two photos you can see him pointing to the state of Arkansas and a picture of all 4 children together. We were able to speak with him on Christmas Day. We'd been trying to reach his orphanage for 3 days and finally were able to connect and speak with him. It was very nice to hear his voice, although we could hear a bit of sadness from him. We believe he just wants to be home so badly that this waiting is wearing on him. We are sending letters/packages out to some friends today. They will be traveling to Liberia Jan. 4th. Please pray for their safety and that they will accomplish all their goals while in Liberia. Below you will find some of what ds#1 had to say in his latest letters. Have a wonderful week and a Happy New Year!

"Dear Mom,
I greet you with love from God our Heavenly Father. Mom, I am very much happy to write you this letter because of the love you have for us. Mom, thank you so much for the camera that you sent for us. I used the camera to take many pictures. I can not wait to be home very soon to see you and my brothers and sisters. Do you think you will win at the Bible game (*I've been playing a "bible game" with him ever since we started writing letters. I write him a verse and then have him tell me what he thinks it means. Then he writes me a verse back and I tell him what I think it means...and so on...), I am studying to win this game! Mom, I am so happy that you and dad are adopting me. Some times when I look at your picture, joy can fill my head and my heart. I love you so much and I can not wait to see you soon. I believe that God can do everything before January 30th that we can be home. I believe my God can do it. Because, with faith God can work.
From your dear son

Dear Mom & Dad,
Thank you for the new name you have given me. I can not wait to come home soon to see all our family and meet my special uncle ****. I am very happy to receive his name, I love this special name so much, when I think of it- joy fills my heart. All praises go to God, the most High, in everything we give God thanks for his good and faithful work to us His children. Please tell my precious sisters and brother I love them and I can not wait to see everyone of them very soon. I want for the adoption paperwork to go very quickly, you can ask *****, she will explain much to you. I can not wait to see you very soon.
Love your son

Friday, October 13, 2006

Project Red/Keep A Child Alive

I happened to turn on Oprah today and saw Bono telling about his new "project"- project RED. Here's a little bit about what he's doing to help the continent of Africa:

RED™ is a revolutionary program designed to eliminate AIDS in Africa. "Lots of people here in the United States have been trying to deal with the problems of Africa in a very serious way," Bono says. "But not everybody has the time to be an activist or put on their marching boots. So we said, 'How are we going to get the shopping malls involved? How are we going to get to where people live and shop…?'"

Bono teamed up with old friend Bobby Shriver to create (RED)™. Bono says (RED) focuses on AIDS because we can make a difference.

"In some countries over a third of the people are HIV positive. Can you imagine that? A third of this audience is sitting there and they know they're going to die," Bono says. "We have these drugs. And they're not that expensive. We think it's a very American thing, it's a very European thing, to say, 'Look, these people are going to die; they don't need to die.' Two Twin Towers a day. A tsunami a month. One hundred fifty thousand Africans die of a preventable, treatable disease every month. They don't have to. And we think the Oprah kind of people will just not have it—they'll do the right thing, they'll do the (RED) thing."

Help women and children suffering from AIDS in Africa by visiting the following (RED)™ websites (or stores).
(RED)™ was created by Bono and Bobby Shriver to empower consumers to shop and do good at the same time.
A portion of profits from the sale of (RED)™ branded products goes to The Global Fund to help women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa, providing access to education, nutrition, counseling, medical services, and the two pills a day they need to help them stay alive.

The Global Fund
The Global Fund is the world's leading funder of programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which kill over 6 million people per year.

Gap is introducing Gap (PRODUCT) RED™—a new, limited collection of clothing and accessories for men and women designed to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. As part of Gap's global partnership with (PRODUCT) RED™,
half of the profits from sales of the Gap (PRODUCT) RED™Collection will go to The Global Fund to finance programs that help women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Emporio Armani is a proud partner of (PRODUCT) RED™.This pioneering initiative will raise money and awareness for The Global Fund through the sales of a RED-branded capsule collection designed by Giorgio Armani.
Over the next five years, 40 percent of the gross profits from (Emporio Armani) RED will go directly to eradicate AIDS in Africa.

It's just a little, red eyelet, but it's the mark of a big idea. That single red eyelet at the top of each pair of Converse (PRODUCT) RED™ sneakers signifies participation in (RED)™, a program designed to help fight AIDS in Africa.

Introducing the new red MOTORAZR V3m. The red MOTORAZR V3m was designed to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.

The iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED™Special Edition holds up to 1,000 songs, 25,000 photos, and a little hope because
$10 from every iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED™sold goes directly to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.

Alicia Keys was also on the show telling about her organization, Keep A Child Alive.

Alicia Keys is a singer, songwriter and a nine-time Grammy® winner who has taken the continent of Africa into her heart in a very big way. Through her involvement with the organization Keep A Child Alive, Alicia learned that in some cases an African child who has HIV can be helped with as little as $1 a day. With the proper medication and treatment, AIDS-infected adults can also live longer, fuller lives.

After celebrating with patients who have been helped by Keep A Child Alive donations, Alicia visited a family who lives in the slums of Mombasa. Alicia says she was overwhelmed when she met Sudi, a young man who was born with HIV and didn't receive proper medication until he was 14 years old. At 17, Sudi stood less than four feet tall. "Nothing really prepared me for seeing Sudi and seeing his family," she says.

About a week after Alicia left Kenya, Sudi passed away. "If we knew him when he was 3 and were able to start [treatment], he would still be alive today," Alicia says. "You can totally turn a person's life around by providing this medicine. … It's the simplest thing to save a life. Every one, single person can be a hero for a dollar a day."

For the first time on the same stage, Alicia and Bono perform their duet, "Don't Give Up (Africa)."

Bono and Alicia Keys's duet can be downloaded at
The song costs $1.49, and all proceeds go to the Keep A Child Alive organization.

Just one purchase or donation helps make a difference in the life/lives of a person who doesn't have the resources to stay healthy or stay alive. If you can, please help a mother/father protect themselves and/or their children from this disease that is devouring the continent of Africa. Buy RED.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Just a few names for Jesus

Jesus- Mt 1:25
Almighty- Rev 1:8
Alpha Omega- Rev 1:8
Beginning & End- Rev 1:8
First & Last- Rev 1:11
Amen- Rev 3:14
Anointed One- Ps 2:2
Beloved- Eph 1:6
Bread of Life- Jn 6:48
Cornerstone- Eph 2:20
Deliverer- Ro 11:26
Everlasting Father- Isa 9:6
Faithful & True- Rev 19:11
Good Shepherd- Jn 10:11
High Priest- Heb 4:14
Holy One- Ps 16:10
I Am- Jn 8:58
Immanuel- Mt 1:23
King of Kings, Lord of Lords- Rev 19:16
The Light- Jn 8:12
Lamb of God- Jn 1:29
Living Stone- 1Pe 2:4
Lord Jesus Christ- Ro 1:7
Messiah- Jn 1:41
Mighty God- Isa 9:6
Prince of peace- Isa 9:6
Redeemer- Isa 59:20
Resurrection & the life- Jn 11:25
Savior- Lk 2:11
Son of the most high- Lk 1:32
The Rock- 1 Co 10:4
The Way, truth & life- Jn 14:6
Wonderful counselor- Isa 9:6
Word of Life- 1Jn 1:1

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Refiner

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a Refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about Malachi 3:3, the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "how do you know when the silver is fully Refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy- when I can see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Today is a day of encouragement for me. As I prepare our home for our new children, I can't help but feel lonely for them. Even though we haven't met them yet, they are in our hearts as our other 3 children are. We celebrated Dear daughter #3's 6th birthday on Sunday and as we looked around at all the children eating cake and having fun, we couldn't help but think there were 3 missing. We've just begun this process and have many months to go! We also can't help but think of our Liberian children and how they must long for a family. Being that they don't even know about us yet, they are still praying for someone/anyone to bring them into a home and love them.

I watch the video of them twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. I love to hear their voices and see their smiles and facial expressions. I beam with joy when I see them, just like a mother would look upon her child at a first ballet recital or first soccer game. They are all so precious to me. So, I needed encouragement today to hold strong and be patient during this wait. The poem "Footprints in the Sand" came to mind with the very last verse ringing true in my mind and heart. "God replied, 'My precious, precious child, I love you and would never leave you during your times of trials and suffering. When you see only one set of footprints in the sand, it was then that I was carrying you.' "

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58

My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, higher than the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth. Psalm 108: 1-5

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 being polluted by the world. James 1:27

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

When love takes you in

I know you've heard the stories, but they all sound too good to be true. You've heard about a place called home, but there doesn't seem to be one for you. So one more night you cry yourself to sleep and drift off to a distant dream where love takes you in and everything changes. A miracle starts with the beat of a heart, when love takes you home and says you belong here. The loneliness ends and a new life begins, when love takes you in. And somewhere while you're sleeping, someone else is dreaming too, counting the days until they hold you close and say I love you. And like the rain that falls into the sea, in a moment what has been is lost in what will be. When love takes you in, everything changes, a miracle starts with the beat of a heart. And this love will never let you go, there is nothing that could ever cause this love to lose its hold. When love takes you in, everything changes. A miracle starts with the beat of a heart, when love takes you home and says you belong here. The loneliness ends and a new life begins, when love takes you in it takes you in for good-when love takes you in.

-from Steven Curtis Chapman's "When love takes you in"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Thankful hearts

I just read this on my particular e-group for people adopting from Liberia. I thought it was very appropriate to share.

"You aren't just adopting because of 'us' or 'the children in Liberia.' You are doing this because of God. He is the One who lays this on our hearts, He is the One we are obeying when we answer the call. They are His children, He is their Father. We do this for Him. Praying that we will bring glory to Him above all. Let's be thankful to Him for all things. And as we rejoice or grieve over each step that is accomplished or not accomplished, let's remember that NOTHING compares to the greatness of knowing Jesus Christ our Lord. Let's show mercy and grace to each other. Grieve with those who grieve and rejoice with those who rejoice, but above all, Glorify Him!"

Mural completed

The mural is now completed. My sister did an amazing job! She left yesterday evening to return home to her family, we miss her and my niece already. It was a fun-filled crazy week, but did we have fun! We made many beaded key chains and I've sold some already for donations. If you'd like to purchase any, please contact me for pictures. The price is $5 per keychain and all the money goes towards adoption expenses.
Sunday night Hubby went before the board at a friend's church. He told them our situation and that we were trying to raise money to bring our 4 precious children home. They were so kind and gracious to him. Our friend called after the board meeting was over and they decided to give a very generous donation. We have also received additional donations through the mail and from friends here in town. We also continue to receive donations for clothes and other daily care items.

Thank you, Father God, for touching the hearts of others that they would give so freely to us.

Thank you again to those of you who have given donations! We couldn't do this without you!

Also, thank you for all the support and prayers. We are so enjoying this process and look forward to standing firm to the end until this journey is completed. We so look forward to the day our children are home and we can start "daily life."

He tends his flock like a shepherd, He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young.
Isaiah 40:11

Friday, June 09, 2006

Mural in progress I knew she was talented-but WOW! My sister has been working late into the night and during the days to get this mural done before she flies home on Monday. As you can see, the elephant and the lion have yet to be painted but everything else is done. The continent of Africa is painted with chalkboard paint so we can write the children's names and mark where Liberia is located.

We hope to get the home study done soon. I'm simultaneously working on the things for the dossier. Once the homestudy is completed we can start filing paperwork and hopefully get the dossier completed to send in by September.

I'll post more pictures when the mural is completed. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


My sister arrived from Minnesota yesterday, what fun we've been having! It's been just about a year since we've seen each other-we've decided we're starting to look old. I guess sisters can say that to each other! :)

We've been busy with children during the days and having fun with "sister-talk" during the nights. Tomorrow we start the big "African mural" project. Our spare room will now become the toy/activity room for all the kids and I had the great idea of painting a mural for our Liberian children. Of course, there was one problem-I don't draw...or paint murals! But guess who does?? Sissy to the rescue...

My sister and her husband came up with the great idea to paint the continent of Africa in black (to look like a silhouette) and then the sunset behind. Along the borders of the continent will be a courageous lion, cute looking zebra and a huge elephant. The black paint will be chalkboard paint so we can write on "Africa." We'll mark Liberia and then write the children's names also within the mural. Sound ambitious? Probably, with 4 children running around the house while we attempt to do this. We'll have fun though-even if we are sleep deprived! :)

We want to start the home study process soon. I have a few more phone calls to make.

I've also purchased some beads to make key chains, necklaces, etc. for fundraising purposes. Sister and I have started putting together some key chains (see picture above) during our nightly sister-chatty-time. If you'd be interested in purchasing any of these items for a donation, please contact me:

I received my first order of Red Palm Oil. Today we made the smoothy recipe-YUMMY! Tomorrow I hope to make rice with dinner so we will try it on the rice. I'll let you know the results. For now, I must bid farewell. Sweet baby is calling me...

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Home Study

Boy, was that an ordeal! I had a few calls in to adoption agencies to ask if they could do a home study for us and how much it would cost. Out of 6 places (in the whole state!), only 2 would do our "independent" home study. I learned so much about Arkansas law and how things work when you don't work with an international adoption agency who is certified to do their own home studies. We need an "independent" home study since we're not going through an agency, the rules are quite a bit different.

We've had some pledges come in during the last few days, once the money arrives we can start paying the required fees and turn in our paperwork. Thank you to those who have pledged money thus far! If we can't get the dossier together by the trip in September, we can send it via DHL to Africa when we are ready and have the funds.

After the dossier is received in Africa, the documents start to be processed and when everything is completed, the children are legally ours! It is after this point that we can communicate with our kids! Some people call the orphanage and speak directly to their children. What a day that will be! We are so excited to be traveling down this road and so blessed to hold these Liberian children in our hearts.

In this short time, Hubby and I are starting to see the fruit of having humble hearts. People have been so generous with their kind words and encouragement. Thank you to those of you who have encouraged us!

Please continue to pray for our family and for our Liberian children.
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Children's Bible School song

Jesus loves the little children,
all the children of the world,
red, and yellow, black and white,
they are precious in his sight.

Jesus loves the little children of the world.

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
Matthew 18:5

Monday, May 29, 2006

Red Palm Oil

I've recently learned about Red Palm Oil, the "king of all oils." I'm trying to learn more about the African diet and what our children might enjoy to eat once they come home. Here's a little info on red palm oil. One single tablespoon of red palm oil contains 10,000 IU of immunity boosting vitamin A which is enough to eliminate the risk of the common cold and the 'flu by 67 %. This oil is incredibly beautiful. It has a rich orange color when cool and a deep red hue when melted. The color comes from its richness in natural carotenoids, tocoplerols and tocotrienols which are powerful super antioxidants.

This oil is naturally rich in vitamin A for a properly functioning immune system. It contains no cholesterol and actually raises your HDL, your "good" cholesterol level while simultaneously lowering your LDL, the "bad" kind. It is naturally rich in vitamin E for a healthy heart. The antioxidants in red palm oil act as scavengers. They prevent and eat up the free radicals that are the instigators of most of our modern diseases-Alzheimer's, senility, rheumatism, heart attacks, arthritis, asthma, Parkinson's disease, cancer, spinal muscular atrophy, macular degeneration, and stroke.

This wonderful oil also makes you slender! It can trim body fat by 27%. Reasearch shows it can melt off those stubborn pounds. "The secret is palmolein, a compound in red palm oil that helps your liver break down sugar for energy before it can be stored as fat," explains nutrition researcher, K.C. Hayes, Ph.D.

You can also heat this oil and use it in cooking/your favorite recipes (substitute for butter). Palm oil is stable for cooking and is protected by its high levels of vitamin E, antioxidants and has a natural resistance to oxidation and rancidity. It is resistant to rancidity. Most olive oils sold in clear jars are already rancid when you purchase them as oils are very easily oxidized by light. Always purchase olive oil in dark glass or tins. Rancid oils cause free radicals in the body.

Here's one example recipe using red palm oil.
Safari Sunshine Dream Smoothy (for entire family)
5-6 fresh bananas
5 Tbs. Safari Red Palm Oil
2 handfuls of flax seed
3 generous handfuls or Tbs. of coconut
2 heaped Tbs. raw honey
Juice of 3 big lemons
1 c. water or water of 1 coconut
3 generous handfuls of ice cubes
-Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Our African children might like to enjoy this oil on their rice, toast, in African meals, or on smoothies, desserts, etc.
If you would like to order some Red Palm Oil or donate a jar to our family, here is the info:
Safari Red Palm Oil
100% natural, virgin and organic!
Not refined, bleached or deodorized.
Order from:
Tel: 1-866-846-0661
Fax: (716) 832-7533

Please email me for our mailing address if you would like to donate some oil to our family:

Have a wonderful day, happy eating!
*all information copied in part from Above Rubies magazine, issue #66

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Ribs or Rice?

Tonight we had a special dinner and celebrated Memorial Day. As we sat at the dinner table and enjoyed our BBQ ribs (hot off the grill!), mashed potatoes, steamed carrots, homemade bread and full glasses of ice cold milk- we remembered our children in the Liberian orphanage. We are told that for breakfast they eat plain white rice, for lunch they eat a plate of rice with maybe a "vegetable"(usually mashed greens), and for dinner they get a "donut" (actually a fried piece of dough). How much do we eat every day? How many snacks do we indulge ourselves to? How many times do we indulge our children to icecream treats or other unnecessary foods? Our Liberian children are greatful for the food they receive each day. To them, they are not starving. They have food in their stomachs. They are growing and are healthy. Children who do not live in the orphanages are dying every day because they have no food or water. Thank you, God, for our blessings and our great fortunes.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Our decision...

After much prayer and discussion, Hubby and I have decided to do an international adoption from Liberia. After our decision was made, I contacted the woman from the seminar and asked for her help to start the process. Our first step is to have the homestudy completed. We have a call in to a local adoption agency who can help us with that.

For us, it is a monumental move to step out in faith that the money can be raised for these children. We have some fundraising ideas and are starting to get things together to put these ideas in motion. I'm gathering information and recipes to start writing a cookbook as part of our fundraising. There are so many things we could do, it's hard to choose what would work for our family. You all know I love to cook~ a cookbook only seems fitting... :)

We thought we would ask for a younger boy (around Kaleb's age). When 'the woman' spoke at the Above Rubies conference, she really made a case for the older children as well. She explained to us that Liberia has a 90-95% unemployment rate. If these "young adults" could even find employment, meeting their basic needs would still be difficult. Imagine being a young adult(age 16 in Liberia) and on your own in a country that is in extreme poverty. Not a pretty thought. When I was 16 years old, I was worried about what to wear to school, getting my driver's license and what the latest hair style was. I was fed, had water and I had a roof over my head (and many other luxuries). This is not the case for the majority of Liberians.

We've been in contact with a particular group of people helping us and have chosen our children. I hope to attach pictures of them in the next post. Most children, once adopted, are given new names. This is something we will have to think about.
I'll post more later with their pictures. Have a great day!

About Liberia

Located on the West coast of Africa, Liberia is a small country between Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast. Originally purchased by the American Colonization Society, it was to be home for the freed slaves of America who wished to return to Africa. (Liberia is Latin for "free land.") The first group of freed slaves arrived in 1812, and fighting began then. The newcomers from America wanted to rule, and those who had always lived there resented someone coming in and taking their space. Despite the difficulties, in 1838 the Commonwealth of Liberia was formed. The American blacks held all the important government positions, and it is even reported that some of them owned slaves, and treated them much like the black slaves were treated in the United States. In 1920 the Firestone Rubber company from the America leased large plots of land from the Liberian government, bringing much needed money into the struggling nation, and the economy improved.

With the economic growth, the standard of living also went up. Electrical plants generated power for the cities, and roads were built to accomodate the growing number of cars and trucks. Tourists came on safaris to hunt and explore this beautiful country.

In 1971, William Tolbert became president. Under his rule, the gap between the richer American-Liberian descendants and the natives became wider. Rubber prices dropped, and rice prices increased. Unrest set in amongst the poorer native Liberians, as they became envious of the American-Liberians, who now comprised only 5% of the population. In 1980 men from the military overthrew the government, and Samuel Doe became president. The American-Liberians were no longer the people in power. Samuel Doe had many of the former officials killed and imprisoned.

In 1989 an all-out civil war began. Three groups were at war, two rebel groups fought against Doe's soldiers and against each other. Each group represented one or two ethnic tribes. The entire country was caught up in the conflict as tribal loyalties separated the people. Samuel Doe was killed by one of the rebel groups in 1990, but the fighting did not stop. West African peacekeeping forces came into the country, to help bring about the much desired peace to the war-torn nation. Charles Taylor, head of the rebel group INPFL (Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia) was declared president in 1990. The other rebel group (NPFL) still roamed the land, terrorizing village inhabitants. Anyone from a different ethnic tribe was in great danger. Many fled to neighboring countries, seeking to escape the horrors of war.

Orphaned, abandoned and neglected, they wandered from place to place, struggling to stay alive.

The major cities were destroyed. Power plants no longer operated, and sanitation problems increased. Poor people wandered about, seeking food and shelter. Hundreds of families were torn apart, and the children suffered the most. Orphaned, abandoned and neglected, they wandered from place to place, struggling to stay alive. Many became ill and died. Orphanages were established by compassionate people and International organizations. Many children found refuge in these homes. But the war was not finished. Between the rebels in the bush, and the cruel reign of Charles Taylor, peace still evaded the Liberian people. And the number of orphans and suffering children increased.

In 2003, Charles Taylor was deported, and the people of Liberia are, once again, looking for peace and liberty. The fighting has died down, and the rebels have surrendered their arms to peacekeeping forces, who now have control of most of the country.

In January 2006 Liberia celebrated the inauguration of the first woman president in all of Africa, Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson. Mrs. Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice attended the inauguration. The people of Liberia are hopeful for reform and the opportunity to rebuild their shattered nation under this new administration. It will be many hard years before the country can stand again.

And the children? They are still waiting. Not for elections, or new leaders, but for homes and families. Some of them are in orphanages waiting, and some are still waiting to come into the orphanages. And this is where we hope to make a difference, to help the suffering Liberian people, starting with the children.

Taken from, "About Liberia"

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The 5 of us

Here is the 5 of us. This picture was taken Christmas 2005-before our adoption journey began.
And now for the rest of the story...