Happy Monday! It is time for some updates. On Saturday, Jake's basketball team won its third game. Woohoo! His team is 3-0. Last year his team learned lessons through losing...they only won one game. I am glad that this year they are getting to experience winning. Elyse got her bangs cut. She has never had bangs before so this was a big change for her! Jonathan's English is coming along. He comes out with full sentences now and it is so cute to hear him talk in English (sort of..). He had his first dentist appointment last week and then an appointment with another specialist. He is recovering from a little procedure he had on Friday and he is doing well. In the last two months, Jonathan has gained 2 lbs and grown a 1/2 inch!
I have started working on Jonathan's "baby" book, a.k.a. Life book, for children who have joined families through adoption. The book that I am making for him will be his first three years of life in Uganda. He did a lot of living before he joined our family and I want to make sure that all of that is documented for him. He loves looking at Jake and Elyse's baby books so I knew I needed to get moving on it. Making a Life book is not the easiest thing for me. Honestly, it is a bit intimidating, but I have found a great resource to help. It is a book called, Before You Were Mine by Susan TeBos and Carissa Woodwyk. Susan is the mother of three internationally adopted children and Carissa is an adult adoptee from Korea. The book gives lots of great ideas and examples concerning how to make your child's Life book. It will be easy to document Jonathan's time since joining our family, but I want to make sure we honor his life before coming to be with us, and I know that won't be easy. Thankfully, this book is a great place to start. The authors list lots of questions to ask yourself before you even begin each part of the Life book. These questions can help you get organized and make sure that you include everything that you can about his or her story. There are also sample Life book pages at the end of the book. I am visual learner so it definitely helps me to see an example of one already finished.
Operation Zipper Pouch has surpassed last year's 28 pouches to a whopping 200 pouches. My friend, Kathy, has worked so hard on this and I am so excited for her. The pouches will be shipped to the 130th Military Police who are currently deployed until July 2013. Incredible!!
24 CHILDREN have been rescued from slavery in Ghana through the work that the Mercy Project is doing. Isn't that the best news?!! Twenty four kids who will be back with their families and going to school instead of working every day in the fishing industry. Theses 24 kids all came from the same village in Ghana and all come from impoverished families. This is what happens every day in other parts of the world...their mother or father "rents" them out to a fisherman thinking that their child will have a better life by getting to attend school, having food to eat and by learning a trade. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The children end up working 12 hour days/seven days a week in horrible conditions. Mercy Project is changing everything. Mercy is not only rescuing children from slavery, but they are working with the parents and helping to develop sustainable economic projects that will eradicate the need for child laborers from the Ghanian fishing industry. To read the full article of the rescue go here. This is the update from Chris Field, the Director of the Mercy Project:
We have indentified parents and/or guardians for all of the children we rescued in September. Praise the Lord for that. This past week, we also identified schools where the first group (11 kids total) will be attending once they are reintegrated next week. Please pray for this process. That the Lord will have favor on the children, the parents, and our staff on the ground in Ghana as they all work through these details for the first time.
As so many organizations focus on getting the word out about human trafficking this month, I can't think of any better news to share that children are free. Please take a moment to go read about the Mercy Project. Modern slavery has to end and it begins with me and you!