Monday, February 23, 2009
Our little boy, Parker Lelesa, is from Kamashi, Ethiopia. Kamashi is part of a larger region of Ethiopia known as the Benishangul-Gumuz Region and is about a 14 hour drive from the capital city of Ethiopia.
From everything that I have read and pictures that I have seen, Kamashi is unlike any area I have ever encountered. According to one source, in 2004 none of the 67,000+ inhabitants of Kamashi had access to electricity. That has changed to some extent, due to the construction of an orphanage in Kamashi. The orphanage was constructed in 2006 and has room to accomodate up to 500 children. The orphanage is equipped with electricity, plumbing, classrooms, and a bed for each child.
We are under the assumption that Parker is now, or soon will be, one of the fortunate children living in the orphanage until the time that we pass court. At which time he will be moved to our adoption agency's transition house in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. Once we arrive in Ethiopia we will be taken to the transition house to meet our son.
This process that we began as an effort to grow our family has become much more than that. The more we read, the more pictures we see, the more we feel that we need to be giving back to people in need. We have been fortunate enough to grow up in the United States with families that loved us, free of diseases, in homes with electricity and plumbing, with schools that we took for granted, and with every other luxury that we have become so used to. This journey has changed us. We find ourselves talking about how we can give back. We ask each other: Is it enough to adopt one or two children from there? Is it enough to sponsor a child or an orphanage? Should we save money and travel back to his region on a mission trip? How can we provide the most help to those in need? These questions have gone unanswered to this point, but we will find an answer and follow through with it. We owe it to Parker to try to help those left behind as he makes his way into a life as a member of our family.
Pictures I have found from Kamashi