Monday, May 4, 2009

I Think This Article is About Our Baby Girl!

If you've been following our journey you are aware of how we became aware of the need for Nutramigen formula for malnourished Ethiopian babies in our agency's transitional home. It started with our daughter. She came to AW's transitional home severely malnourished. They started shipping soy formula to her and she responded to it, but after some research and talking with our pediatrician we realized that a formula like Nutramigen was needed in order for her to be able to easily digest the nutrients she so badly needs. We immediately started shipping formula to her through other gracious adopting families who were traveling to ET to get their own children. 

Then AW wrote and asked if we wouldn't mind rallying our AW/ET/Yahoo Group together to start collecting a supply of this formula for the many other malnourished babies who have come into the TH since our daughter. Our yahoo group took that rallying cry seriously and on top of that - YOU all took it seriously when I blogged about it. I am amazed at how God can take a simple story, a basic need and turn it into a triumph story of his provision and our obedience. I am humbled, as well, by all your generosity. I currently have 19 cans (donated by you all) of Nutramigen waiting to be packed and taken with us to ET for other malnourished infants in the TH, and it's only May 4! 

But the story gets better! I don't even know all the details of how this came about but this is what I know.... Tom Davis - author of "Red Letters" and "Fields of the Fatherless" has a non-profit called Children's Hope Chest and this non-profit organization is doing a formula fundraiser. Get this! - It is JUST FOR NUTRAMIGEN and JUST FOR THE MALNOURISHED BABIES IN OUR AGENCY'S TRANSITIONAL HOME!!! Their goal is to raise $12,500 dollars in order to purchase 400 cans of Nutramigen for these needy babies!!! 

Let me pause here to say that if you have not purchased cans of this formula yet, but have planned on doing so - instead of shipping it to me you can now simply participate in this fundraiser. Just click HERE!

BUT!!! The story is even more personal than that to our family.... I can't be 100% sure, but I am 99% sure that the article on Tom Davis's blog includes a story about OUR BABY GIRL!!! You can click here to read the entire blog post for yourself. But just so I have the story on this blog for my memory's sake I have cut and pasted that portion below. Read for yourself. I can't share all the details of why I think this is our girl until we pass court, but when I can - I will. The part that is about our girl is where Duni shares a story about a girl she calls "Gracie" - which is NOT her real Ethiopian name. I've bolded the print to highlight it. If you click on the link to read the whole post - know that the picture on that particular post is NOT our daughter and is NOT a baby in our agency's transitional home.

Aria-Lu, your life is already impacting so many - I am just AMAZED! I can't wait to meet you and see for myself what everyone else has said about you who has met you face to face. You must be so inspiring! Love you, baby girl! Can't wait to hold you!

From Tom Davis's Blog: (

May 04, 2009

URGENT NEED: Forumla Needed for Malnourished Babies in Ethiopia

Famine and poverty are increasing the rates of malnourished infant babies in Ethiopia. Children's HopeChest has worked with the America World Adoption Agency (AWAA) on projects in Ethiopia and Russia over the past five years. This request came to us from their transition home where they are receiving severely malnourished babies into their care. This month, in honor of mother's day, I want to raise $12,500 to provide specialized baby formula to this transition home for these malnourished babies. (Please put "Ethiopia Formula" in the note section of the donate page.)

To kick this off, a friend of Children's HopeChest has offered a matching gift for the first $500 we receive toward this project. 

Here's a view from the ground from Duni, an Ethiopian woman working for AWAA at their transitional home:

Even though I grew up in Ethiopia, I never knew just how badly babies suffered from malnutrition until I returned to Addis and started working at the AWAA office there.   The children at our Transitional Home come from very remote areas. Their families are unable to feed themselves let alone their children and usually relinquish them to their local orphanage when it becomes evident their children will die if they don't.

It is hard to see malnourished babies, so tiny, with just skin and bones. I remember the first one I saw, we will call her Gracie. She looked like an old woman in a baby's body. She had big eyes that seemed so wise and testified to what they have seen in the short months Gracie has been alive. 

That was a few months ago, since then we have admitted many more babies in such condition.  And looking at Gracie today, I can't believe she is the same baby. I knew she was a beauty but it really came out once those cheeks filled up. She is still tiny but the pound she has gained in the past week has made a world of difference in her appearance. 

I look at the others and feel the same way I first felt with Gracie, dejection and fear that she may never make it.  The right type of formula for such babies is hard to come by. In fact any kind of formula is expensive and hard to come by. We have babies who need this today so we work tirelessly to get the best formula possible for malnourished babies shipped from the US.

It is not fair for a baby to have sad eyes like Gracie's or for a baby to cry out of hunger and not have that need met.

Worse yet, it is not fair for a baby to die because of malnutrition. And yet, that is what happens daily in Ethiopia.   Today, I am praying for the babies lying still in their cribs. I am praying I will see them feed soon (they are now on feeding tubes). I am praying that their tiny lifeless legs will slowly fill with flesh and will wiggle and play like normal babies do. 

Here's what we can do to help. CHC will raise $12,500 to purchase what is known in the U.S. as "Nutramigen" formula. This type of formula is necessary because traditional formula cannot be digested by malnourished infants.


You can participate by making a gift of any size. A gift of $30 will buy and ship one can of formula to the chidlren in need. Right now if you give $30 it will be doubled to $60! The first $500 we raise will be matched dollar-for-dollar. If we hit our goal, we can send 400 cans of formula to starving infants in Ethiopia.


Matthew Monberg said...

Bill & guys were a big part of the inspiration for this fundraiser. We're also adopting from AWAA, pretty high up on the waiting list, and our daughter may be roommates with Aria-Lu...who knows? We're so excited this fundraiser is happening, and taking off so quickly. Thanks guys!

Amber said...

I am moved to tears just watching God move to help these sweet babies!!!

Rebecca said...

I'm so amazed by God's provision and look forward to seeing him shatter our expectations!

Wife of the Pres. said...

Hi Came over from Jenn's blog. My homegrown son HAD TO HAVE this exact same formula. He just could not digest any other type. Today he is still on soy milk at 10.

Have you thought about contacting the makers of this formula? I wonder if they would make a donation, especially if they could give it to a non-profit (e.g. AWAA)? Just a thought of a way to get even more!

Blessings and let's get more formula to these babies!!!

Marti said...

Cindy, I had been to Tom's site earlier today after reading your post on Facebook. When I got to the part you now have highlighted, my first thought was, "That sounds like Aria-Lu!" I don't know all the reasons behind what you say, but my heart and my spirit agree! I'm praying she will be even more plump and beautiful by the time she comes to you. Every time I think of Libby praying for Jesus to bring her milk I want to cry and rejoice all at once. This little one is going to have such a story of God preparing the way for her coming to your home!

Thanks for sharing, praying, and loving so faithfully. You reflect your Father so well, and I know He is smiling as you count down the days!

Alex and Jill said...

Giving and posting right now.