Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ordinary Hero

**CAUTION:  This post contains sensitive and graphic information

My new Ordinary Hero t-shirt!
Speak Up.  This command has come to mean many things to me over the last year or so.  For whom do I speak up?  For what do I speak up?  Do I choose to remain silent when speaking up could be uncomfortable?  Do I choose to do nothing because doing something would be hard?  Or worse, choose to say or do nothing because of my pride? *ouch*  Well, God has been gently guiding me along this adoption  journey and I can say that I've finally arrived at a place where saving a baby's life is more important than my pride, ego, or whatever else you want to call it.  I have arrived at a place where I am asking you to please join me in fundraising to help pay for Baby Joaquin's country fee.  Please don't stop reading at this point because I mentioned money!  I know, asking for money and being asked for money and asking how much money you make and asking how much money you spent on something and asking ANYTHING about money is just awkward.  Money is such a taboo subject when it comes to personals.  I get it.  I've experienced all those things as well and sometimes, I find myself judging the ones who are asking-especially if I think their situation is one I would have handled better.  But, I've also learned that God uses money to humble people and even though it's uncomfortable, I've found that being in a place of humbleness = peace.  Because again, I realize that this whole journey is not about me.  It's about God and how God can move mountains to bring an abandoned baby to a place where he can be in a family surrounded by peace, safety, health, opportunity and love.  Where he can grow up in a family without the daily reality of:

30% survival rate until the age of 6
53% chance of being kidnapped by guerilla soldiers and enslaved by armed groups
46% chance of watching his mother/sisters/aunts/female cousins being raped
23% chance of being forced to rape a female family member
1 in 3 chance of being tortured and/or disfigured
80% chance of being displaced at least 3 times in a 15 year time period
75% chance of having his family's source of income (cattle) stolen
66% chance of witnessing the violent death of a family member
60% chance of having one or more of his family members disappear

It's easy to read past these numbers but I encourage you to try and put faces on these numbers.  For every 10 of your friends who have just had babies, 7 of those sweet lives would not survive their 6th birthday.  For every 3 of your friends, one of them has been tortured, hand cut off, burned, if female, experienced tramatic fistula.  In the Congo, rape is used as a tool for war.  Can you imagine living in a world where for every 10 of your friends, 6 of them have witnessed the violent death of a family member? Or 6 of them have a family member that has simply disappeared?  There are no Amber Alerts in the Congo.  No milk cartons with missing children's faces on them. This is their reality.

So, I've partnered with Ordinary Hero to help defray the cost of adoption.  You can see their button at the top right of my blog.  This organization is awesome!  Please take the time to check them out.  The great part is that whatever you buy from the store, 40% of the sales goes directly to my adoption agency and is allocated towards the legal fees of Baby Joaquin's adoption.  His country fee is $8500.  I'm hoping that this fundraising venture will cover half of that amount.  Ordinary Hero makes it very simple, they have great products, and the shipping is fast!  After you select your item and you reach the checkout page, there will be an "Affiliate" pull down menu.  My name, Kristen Williams, is at the bottom of the list.  Please click on my name.  If you don't click on my name, I don't receive credit for the sale.  The t-shirt I'm wearing in the picture above is a unisex size small.  I wore it the other day and it was quite interesting to see people's reaction.  I had 2 great conversations with strangers just because of the shirt!  If you aren't into t-shirts and want to just donate something to help out the children in Africa, there is a Product Donations For Children In Africa category where you can donate aqua shoes for kids, fleece blankets, raincoats or a combo pack.  I will receive credit for these donations as well as long as you click on my name during the check out.

For some background information so you know I'm not a slacker, I've been saving every penny I've earned from my second job waiting tables in combination with a portion of my teacher paycheck (which, contrary to popular political belief, is not very much!), I just recently picked up another shift, so I will be working 7 days a week from beginning of April until the end of the school year.  I'm willing to make that sacrifice because I know that every extra shift I work is one less day he has to be in an orphanage.  When school lets out, I will be picking up as many extra shifts as possible.  So far, everything has been paid for.  I tried to refinance my house but due to our thriving economy, it was not possible.  But I know God allowed that for a reason and I truly believe it was to get me to this point- where I can ask you to be a part of the bigger story.  Will you be a part of his story?  Would you buy me a round of beers?  Would you pick up my tab if we went out to dinner?  If I were getting married, would you buy me a wedding gift? At this point, if I ever do get married I will E-L-O-P-E so you are off the hook for that one! Is $40 worth saving a innocent and helpless baby's life?  Will you Speak Up?

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves... For the rights of the poor and needy" - Proverbs 31:8-9

1 comment:

  1. Hey Girl!!! I am in, but I would rather just send you the money instead of buying something. Is that okay? Where do I send it and do I make the check out to you? :)
    Love you lots!