Monday, May 28, 2012

One Year Ago We Learned Our Court Date!

We had a wonderful day today, picnicking with friends on the Greenway.  I feel like a hardcore New Yorker, as I took my son swimming in the Hudson.  (Yes, I know alternately YAY and YUCK!...I feel the same way:-)  He LOVED it.  He's a water baby just like his mama!  I am now even more excited for the summer.

Today is also emotional.  I am sitting at home smiling and tearing up at the same time as I remember last Memorial Day.  We spent a wonderful weekend with my BFF and her husband Upstate, drove home on Tuesday, and while we were returning the rental car learned that we had a court date in Ethiopia of July 1.  That phone call ushered in the craziest 4 weeks of my life (planning travel to and an extended stay in Ethiopia, taking the hardest class of my MBA program and on a compressed summer schedule no less, going on a business trip to Russia, and preparing my associates and supervisor at work for my maternity leave that was going to start in just 4 weeks--we had not yet shared our adoption plans since there were so many unknowns in terms of timing and it was not a family-friendly environment) and represented the final leg of our journey before we met B.

Those moments in the rental car parking lot last year were full of pure joy, adrenaline, and excitement.  Later we had more sobering reflections on the gravity of B's birth family's court date and situation, the deep sorrow and losses he had already experienced in his short life, and the unknowns of who this 2 1/2 year old boy would be and what that would/could mean for us, for him, and for our family.  But for a few hot, sunny, surreal moments in a parking lot in Fort Lee, New Jersey we just experienced joy learning that we were almost there, almost with the precious little boy who was an orphan then but was about to be our son.

One year later, my house is full of trucks, cars, bikes, and balls; there is dirt, sand and whatever else lies at the bottom of the Hudson lining my front hall; an overly tired and much beloved little boy is softly snoring in my bed; and my heart is so, so full.  He is my son.  He is our son.  He is God's son.

I am so grateful that I get to be his mommy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I miss the excitement of packing and planning; the anticipation of meeting him, of traveling to Ethiopia and of undergoing a seismic change in our family and our lives; but I don't miss the pain of uncertainty, the fear of being too excited because something, anything, could change at any moment and we could end up not being his parents and what would that mean for him?...what would that mean for us?; the concern that there would be issues at my work (there were but they were so worth it!); or the worry of adjusting to being a family--us becoming parents, him becoming our son.

This Memorial Day weekend, I am tired; I can be overwhelmed by the business of our lives; I think I might have parasites:-( (B definitely still does and is on yet another round of treatment); but I am also so full of joy, contentment, thankfulness, and peace.

This year has been full of so much change for our family I can hardly wrap my head around it:

-becoming B's parents
-living in Ethiopia for 3 months
-Ababa training for and becoming an EMT
-Ababa starting school to complete his med school pre-reqs
-beginning the journey of bonding and attachment
-becoming a family
-parenting B who was at once a newborn (in family age), an early toddler (in developmental and language skills), an older toddler/preschooler (in actual age), and a very old soul (in the depth of loss and transition he was facing)
-navigating our marriage as we became parents
-working out our faith as we were rocked to the core by the intense poverty and need we saw in Ethiopia
-me changing jobs (and leaving my previous job in an unfortunately, and unnecessarily, negative and dramatic situation)
-Ababa starting his job as an EMT
-finding childcare for B after one of us constantly being with him for the first 7 months
-figuring out preK for B (we live in NYC, 'nough said on that)
-trying to maintain contact with friends and family through all of these experiences

Since we got the phone call with our court date last Memorial Day weekend, I feel like our lives have been going on warp speed.  We are trying to slow down, to savor these precious moments, but they are flying by.

Throughout this dizzying, confusing, overwhelming, awe-inspiring, soul-shaking year, we know that we don't have "the answers" but we are holding tight to these truths:

God is good.
God loves us.
We are His beloved children.
He has brought us together as a family: Ababa, Mama, and B

I don't know what the future holds for our family, I don't know when this insane warp-speed experience will slow down a little, if ever, but I know these to be true and I am so grateful.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Children Waiting for Families Now!

Ababa and I are thinking and praying and talking and researching and trying to determine what is possible for our family (we both very much want more children soon, but the realities of only having 2 small bedrooms, childcare logistics and expense in NYC, both of us working, both of us being in school, and B's young age and unique needs, make starting another adoption at this time challenging).

We are looking into different waiting child situations, as well as learning more about domestic infant adoption and adoption of legally freed children in the fostercare system.  We want to grow our family, we know that there are children who need families and whose only and best option is to be adopted, and we want to make sure that our desire to grow our family is not creating situations that negatively impact children or first/birth/expectant families.

As we grapple with these issues, I wanted to highlight some children who have been heavy on my heart.   If you are a family seeking to adopt, maybe these children are meant to be in your family!!!  Despite all the above issues, if Ababa and I were both confident that we should move forward to pursue one of these situations now we would, but Ababa we are not both there yet so, until we are both ready, it seems clear that these children are not meant for us, at least not right now.

As with everything in adoption, please ask questions, verify paperwork as best you possibly can, and demand verbally and in writing that your agency be transparent.  Ask where your money is going, how your child came into care, why they need to be adopted, why their siblings don't need to be adopted, why their birth family couldn't care for them, what their special needs mean for them and for your family.  Require written receipts for all expenses, meet with in-country staff when you are there, ask hard questions, and try to discern the truth, even if it is not what you want to hear.  

Adoption is a hard and complex process whether it is happening internationally, domestically, and/or through the dense red tape of social service organizations and governments.  There are a lot of grey areas and a lot of hot button issues right now as some of the seamy, unethical, and grey areas increasingly come to light.  Please move forward with your eyes wide open, advocating for children but also seeking the truth and working to improve life for all children, including the much, much larger number of children for whom adoption is not an option.  I am not necessarily condoning any of these agencies, but want to advocate for these children, and for waiting children in general.  With those caveats, please consider these children.  

I know that there are families waiting at other agencies who have specifically requested children with these parameters.  Consider switching agencies to pursue these children rather than waiting to adopt a child who has not yet been born, or who is not legally free for adoption.  

I know that these children are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of children who are waiting for families now, but these are the children who have been in my heart recently.

Sibling group of 4 ages 8, 6, 5, 4 (Boy, Girl, Boy, Boy) in East Africa-Children's Home and Family Services

Brothers, ages 3.5 years old and 8 months old, the younger brother is HIV positive, in East Africa-Children's House International

Baby Girl-1 month old, Spence-Chapin waiting baby with probable significant alcohol and drug exposure

K, girl age 9 in New York Case # 6601100766 (

J, boy age 7 in Texas Case #TX0151295(

Sibling group of 3 ages 8, 6, 5 (Girl, Girl, Boy)link

Register for to view profiles of waiting children internationally and in the US. Visit to view adoptable children in the US Fostercare system.  Consider infants who have significant risk factors (but make sure that you know what those risk factors can mean for the child, for you, and for your family) Waiting Babies.  Call agencies and AAAA attorneys to ask if they have children waiting for families.

Think about it...pray about it...find out some more information...maybe you are meant to be their family?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Great Post re International Adoption...please read this!

This is one of the best posts I have read on what the need for internationally adoption really is...

Sister Haiti (follow the link as the comments are great, but I pasted below in case you are lazy like me:-)

The New Faces of International Adoption?

For several months, I’ve been thinking about a blog series on unrealistic adoption expectations. Off & on, I’d draft rough notes on the topic. But in the last week or so, I’ve really gotten motivated to move forward with the series. One of those motivators was seeing the new movie “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”.  I knew that one of the couples in the movie adopted a child and I was eager to see how that was portrayed in the movie.
Wow. What a disappointing, unrealistic portrayal of international adoption. I know it’s Hollywood, and we shouldn’t expect much, but still, this kind of thing only serves to increase the unrealistic expectations of first -timers thinking about adopting internationally.
(Slight spoiler here for anyone concerned.) The desperate-for-a-baby mother and the freaked-out father choose Ethiopia.  Just a few days or weeks (!) later they get a referral for and a picture of an adorable, six week old, perfectly healthy baby boy. There’s an “awwww,” from the audience, of course.  Months later they travel to Africa and arrive at the care center with a large group of other adoptive families (each and every family carrying an infant baby carrier!). There is a short ceremony where they all stand in a line and repeat an oath about caring for the child and keeping them in touch with their Ethiopian heritage. They then exchange a lit candle for their baby and are pronounced to be a family. More awww’s from the audience.
Easy enough right? Apparently many people assume so.
Here’s a (paraphrased) conversation I had with a prospective adoptive family not too long ago. This is a conversation I seem to have over and over again:
Excited Family: We are really interested in providing a family for a baby girl from Uganda!
Me:  Well, baby girls aren’t usually available for international adoption in Uganda unless you are open to fairly significant special needs. Are you open to adopting a child with special needs?
Somewhat Less Excited Family: Ummm…no….I don’t think we’re equipped to care for a special needs child. We’re really hoping to adopt a healthy baby.
Me:  OK, well, that isn’t possible from the Uganda program. Most orphaned baby girls in Uganda are now able to be adopted in-country.
Deflated but Insistent Family: Umm, ok. But you know, we really feel called to provide a family to a child in need, and we feel like we are supposed to adopt a baby who is sitting in an orphanage waiting for a family. Cause, you know, there are 147 million orphans in the world. We want to make a difference. What country should we be looking at…? 
You see where this is going?
I have absolutely nothing against this family or other families who start out their adoption journey the same way. We shouldn’t be mad at them. Most of the time, they are sweet, concerned families who truly don’t understand that these aren’t the children that arewaiting to be adopted.
Many of these well-intentioned families have seen their friends bring home healthy infants for the past 10 years from China, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Vietnam, etc. They’ve heard the statistics that there are 147 million orphans in the world. Perhaps they went to a Christian conference where leaders were shouting from the rooftop that it’s a Christian’s duty to rescue one of the millions of children waiting in orphanages. Certainly they’ve watched the popular “gotcha day” videos where teary-eyed moms hold their babies for the first time and read the popular blogs. Understandably, they dream of similar videos and blogs of their own. It’s no wonder these families are fired up and ready to rescue a baby. Except that in reality, these waiting, adoptable “healthy” babies just don’t exist.
Friends, it is time to paint a more realistic picture of what international adoption looks like today.
I am not aware of any adoption program, anywhere in the world where healthy, adoptable infants are sitting in orphanages waiting for families.
The fact is that there are far more families wanting to adopt healthy babies than there are adoptable healthy infants. In the U.S. I have heard that right now, for every healthy, adoptable infant, there are 20 – 40 families waiting.  That’s right, families waiting for babies, not the other way around.  I’m assuming this statistic is for white infants. I have recently heard that the wait is less for African American infants.  I don’t have numbers on internationally adopting families, but I know typically they are waiting several years for the “popular” countries.
I suppose there are always going to be families lining up for years to adopt babies, and I’m not going to tell someone that it’s necessarily wrong to do so. I tell the families who contact me that if they are completely set on wanting to adopt a healthy baby, and only a healthy baby, they need to get on a waiting list with a reputable, ethical agency and be prepared to wait a long time.
Or, they can shift their mental expectations from a “perfect” baby  to one who might not make Hollywood’s casting call.
I don’t feel that it’s ever right to try and guilt-trip someone into adopting, but it is good to offer people different perspectives and to challenge preconceived ideas. Not every family can or should adopt a special needs or an older child, but I would ask those families who say they “really want to make a difference” to think about ways in which they can make the biggest impact on one of the thousands of desperate, adoptable children who are waiting, waiting, waiting, right now.
Some of the conditions in which these sweet children wait are unimaginable, and it’s not difficult to find their heartbreaking stories online if we really want to know what life is like for the less than perfect. These are the children with the lists of diagnoses you didn’t check off on your home study checklists. They’re the kids with the not-so-cute referral photos, but who are often old enough and bright enough to understand that they aren’t wanted because of their age or special needs.
Many of them live a tortured existence in adult mental institutions. Some of them are diapered and tied to their beds for the rest of their shortened lives. Can you imagine any child tied to a bed for years? No love or caresses, no kind words, no intellectual stimulation of any kind. And all because they are considered “retarded,” untreatable or sometimes even cursed in those countries.
These children are waiting right now. While people are lining up to adopt babies who won’t even be born for three more years, these children are growing up without a family and some of them are dying because no one will consider them.
Why? Why aren’t more families saying yes to these children?  Without passing judgment, without blaming anyone, I’m just really feeling that it’s time we in the international adoption community begin to bring this issue to the forefront of our discussions.
I’m interested in what kind of ideas and discussions a series on special needs adoption will stimulate. I’m thinking that a follow-up post might be on the most common reasons people give for not being willing or able to adopt older/special needs children and how regular families, just like yours (and mine), have gotten past these obstacles and are providing families for waiting children. I’m really interested in hearing from all of you.
Thanks so much for reading –and considering.
(Please take a look at this beautiful video recently released by Rainbow Kids! )

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mommy Wars? Mommy Wishlists Are Way Better!

This was too good not to share!  Add, "I hope to raise a son who has a joyful, personal, and unwavering saving faith in God" and this pretty much sums up my motherhood wish list:-)

Am I mom enough? A motherhood wishlist.
By Kara Baskin on

It’s so tempting to get riled up by the Mommy Wars, isn’t it? The Time magazine cover story about extreme parentingAre You Mom Enough?, featuring a beautiful mother in skinny jeans nursing her preschool-aged son, is infamous by now. It made me, along with the rest of the Internet, explode with righteous indignation. Mom enough? How dare they! This isn't a contest! But, wait ... what if it is? And I don't even own skinny jeans!
The story also made me think about what I wanted to teach Andrew—I mean really teach him. I’m not talking about the trendy must-dos that crop up each year about feeding and sleeping and discipline, insecurity porn concocted just in time to fill a fresh generation of parents with self-doubt. No, I’m talking about the things that I want to impart in average, totally inextreme moments, when my breasts are covered and my skinny jeans are in the wash.
Here’s my wish list.
I hope I raise a child who says “thank you” to the bus driver when he gets off the bus, “please” to the waiter taking his order at the restaurant, and holds the elevator doors when someone’s rushing to get in.
I hope I raise a child who loses graciously and wins without bragging. I hope he learns that disappointments are fleeting and so are triumphs, and if he comes home at night to people who love him, neither one matter. Nobody is keeping score, except sometimes on Facebook.
I hope I raise a child who is kind to old people.
I hope I raise a child who realizes that life is unfair: Some people are born rich or gorgeous. Some people really are handed things that they don’t deserve. Some people luck into jobs or wealth that they don’t earn. Tough.
I hope I raise a child who gets what he wants just often enough to keep him optimistic but not enough to make him spoiled.
I hope I raise a child who knows that he’s loved and special but that he’s not the center of the universe and never, ever will be.
I hope I raise a child who will stick up for a kid who’s being bullied on the playground. I also hope I raise a child who, if he’s the one being bullied, fights back. Hard. Oh, and if he’s the bully? I hope he realizes that his mother, who once wore brown plastic glasses and read the phonebook on the school bus, will cause him more pain than a bully ever could.
I hope I raise a child who relishes life’s tiny pleasures—whether it’s a piece of music, or the color of a gorgeous flower, or Chinese takeout on a rainy Sunday night.
I hope I raise a child who is open-minded and curious about the world without being reckless.
I hope I raise a child who doesn’t need to affirm his self-worth through bigotry, snobbery, materialism, or violence.
I hope I raise a child who likes to read.
I hope I raise a child who is courageous when sick and grateful when healthy.
I hope I raise a child who begins and ends all relationships straightforwardly and honorably.
I hope I raise a child who can spot superficiality and artifice from a mile away and spends his time with people and things that feel authentic to him.
I hope I raise a child who makes quality friends and keeps them.
I hope I raise a child who realizes that his parents are flawed but loves them anyway.
And I hope that if my child turns out to be a colossal screw-up, I take it in stride. I hope I remember that he’s his own person, and there’s only so much I can do. He is not an appendage to be dangled from my breasts on the cover of a magazine, his success is not my ego’s accessory, and I am not Super Mom.
I hope for all of these things, but I know this: None of these wishes has a thing to do with how I feed him or sleep-train him or god-knows-what-else him. Which is how I know that these fabricated “wars” are phony every step of the way. I do not need the expensive stroller. I do not need to go into mourning if my "sleep-training method" is actually a "prayer ritual" that involves tiptoeing around the house in the dark. This is not a test. It’s a game called Extreme Parenting, and you can’t lose if you don’t play. And, really, why would you play? You have children to raise.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Waiting Families vs Waiting Children

Lara at The Farmer's Wife Tells All had an interesting post today entitled "Children are not Commodities"

I typed a very long comment, which it turns out was too long for a blog post comment (oops!) so I thought I'd paste it here:

Lara-I am so glad that you prompted this discussion.  10 months ago I became the mother of an amazing son who is now 3 1/2.  My husband and I feel beyond blessed to be his parents.  The past year has had many ups and downs, many challenges and blessings, but it is an amazing journey as we are knit together as a family.

We were shocked that our then 2 1/2 year old son was a waiting child.  He was (and in many ways still is) such a baby. As first time parents who suffer from unexplained infertility we started the process thinking we would adopt a baby; then we thought a baby or young toddler; then we thought a baby, toddler, or preschooler...and then we learned about waiting children and were matched with our son--who was one of 7 2-4 year old waiting boys and 3 young boy-dominant sibling groups who were also waiting at that agency.

Since children needing adoption in Ethiopia (our son's birth country and the system we are most familiar with) are roughly 50-50 divided between girls and boys, and since young girls have a higher likelihood of being adopted domestically in Ethiopia, it was very surprising to us to see so many waiting boys. Then we became more observant on adoption listserves, blogs, yahoo groups, etc. and realized it seemed that the vast majority of adoptive families have narrow parameters requesting infant girls (0-6 months, 0-12 months, 0-18 months, or under 2) as healthy and as young as possible, followed by healthy infant boys (usually under 0-6, 0-12, or 0-18 months).

There are many, many challenges in adoption as a system/process and they are exacerbated in adoptions between a developed country like the U.S. and the developing word.  From large-scale political/social/financial agendas on the country to country level to the individual dynamics of money, power, and influence between first families and adoptive families, and everything in between.

I think that we would all agree that children need families.  They need love and care and nurturing and hope and faith and all the amazing things that come from being part of a family.

I also think that we would all agree that we don't want to take a child from their first family if they want and are able to care from them, or from their birth country if loving, stable families want and are able to take care of them...

but, adoptions typically fall on a spectrum between these two scenarios.  There are many grey areas, and often making things "better" for one child can negatively impact more children (here is one small example of how that can happen): LINK

The comparatively huge amount of money and resources that adoptions by families in countries like the U.S. bring to adoption players in developing countries, especially orphanages/orphanage workers, can incentivize orphanages to offer children for whom there are the most demand to U.S. (or other powerful, rich, and developed nations) rather than working aggressively towards family reunification, in-country adoption, and/or long-term, sustainable, effective models of orphan care which can have a positive impact on far greater numbers of children than international adoption.

As much as I hate to describe it as such (b/c as Lara pointed out, in reality, children are not by any stretch of the imagination commodities) when it comes down to it, adoption is a very simple business of supply and demand.  If the demand is for infant girls, that is what agencies and in-country orphanages are going to try and supply--that's how they make money and support their operations.  The aforementioned financial/social/political/power inequalities will only serve to negatively reinforce this.  There have been, and continue to be instances of fraud, child recruiting, falsification of paperwork, etc.  In my mind, adoption agencies should be the gatekeeper, going out of their way to not push pressure on in-country staff or orphanages to supply children that fit within certain parameters, as well as to verify children's paperwork and information to ensure it is true...but that is not currently the case.

By requesting very narrow parameters (such as "healthy infant girl 0-6 months") families create pressures on adoption agencies who create pressure on in-country staff who create pressure on in country orphanages who seek to fulfill that demand, and thus begins a very uncomfortable reality of grey areas, and blatantly not grey areas, surrounding child recruiting, false abandonment, incentivizing relinquishment, actively working against in-country adoption, failing to provide for "unadoptable orphans", etc.

In my mind, the main driving issue in his equation is potential adoptive parents having such specific requests.  If the majority of adoptive parents were limiting their adoptions to "nine year old boys with cerebral palsy" it would have a similar negative effect...but they are not...the majority of families are requesting healthy baby girls.  Since we know this is the case, and since we have the power to help mitigate the irresponsibility and greed of many adoption agencies by researching the most ethical agencies we can find, demanding more stringent standards (in ensuring children are not referred until their paperwork is complete in country, they are legally free for adoption, and ensuring that their paperwork is accurate and verifiable), and not putting pressures on them to deliver an overwhelming majority of a certain type of child (e.g. infant girl 0-6 months), why would adoptive parents make such a narrow request?  Furthermore, in pregnancy one cannot choose gender or health of a child, so why should one be able to in adoption?

I will say without reservation, that I don't think there is any place for gender selection for waiting families in adoption, that age requests should be very broad (I would suggest at least three or four year spans, e.g 0-4, 5-9, 10-14, etc.), and that adoptive parents should carefully, thoughtfully, prayerfully, and intelligently consider the negative impact that narrow parameters can have, particularly on adoptions from the developing world.

I fully agree that God can call one to adoption and will admit that there is a possibility that in very rare instances that that call could be as specific as "healthy infant girl 0-6 months", but I also think that far to often the "call" that we hear from God can be the voice of our own fears/desires/insecurities.  God doesn't call us to "care for the infant girls" He calls us to care for orphans and widows and it seems that they are the ones who are most underserved in the current adoption system...

Why are legally freed, adoptable children around the world and in the U.S. waiting for families while families wait for years to be matched with an infant?  What call from God do you think the waiting children hear?   I am willing to bet that it's not "healthy infant girl aged 0-6 months" and more along the lines of "God sets the lonely in families".

This is a polarizing issue for adoptive parents, and prospective adoptive parents.  I say all of this from a place of having adopted an Ethiopian child and as a mother who is currently seriously considering beginning a second adoption (Ababa is still not totally on board so we're not ready to move forward yet--I'll keep you posted:-).  We do not feel called or equipped to specifically pursue the adoption of a child with severe special needs or who is a teenager at the time of placement (Ababa's upper age range is 3-4 years old and mine is 10), so clearly we have set some parameters and are praying and thinking about what that would mean if/when we move forward with another adoption.  We are grappling with these very real issues too!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Help Orphans and Vulnerable Children in the DRC!

I volunteer with an organization that works in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help provide care for orphans and vulnerable children.  Tumaini/Reeds of Hope specifically works with children whose mothers have died and whose families are temporarily (and in some cases permanently) unable to care for them.

The purpose of Reeds of Hope is to care for children during the critical infant/toddler years (when a can of formula can cost more than several months wages)...literally saving these children from death.  Children are reunited with their families as soon as possible, usually by age 5 and ideally between 1-2 years old.  In some circumstances, these children are not able to return to their families (and they are not eligible for adoption for a variety of reasons) so Reeds of Hope provides for their ongoing care and school fees.

Tumaini/Reeds of Hope was founded by a dedicated and capable woman, Holly Mulford, who lived in the DRC for 4 years and adopted twin daughters while she and her husband (who was the in-country director for the NGO Food for the Hungry) and two (slightly!) older children were living there.  Her tireless work through Reeds of Hope has transformed the orphanage.

There was already a main donor for the orphanage.  But because of trouble fully funding the orphanage's needs, the babies were not getting full strength formula, they were not getting any formula after 6 months old, little to no milk was given to any child over age 6 months, and there were about 2 mamas (caregivers) to 30-45 babies and toddlers!  This meant children couldn't sit by age 14 months or walk by age 2 1/2 because of malnourishment and under-stimulation.

Reeds of Hope provides sponsorships that provide formula for babies, fortified milk for toddlers, school fees for older children, and 7 additional mamas to care for the children, and is fully funded by donations.  All funds (minus the Children's Hope Chest processing fees) are directly used for orphan care in the DRC.  There was recently a significant influx of infants to the orphanage (because the local Congolese are beginning to recognize that children at the orphanage are now living and thriving and getting the care they need during the critical early years when formula/feeding/infant care is often financially, emotionally, and logistically impossible for the grieving single fathers and extended family).

We need your help to continue serving these children:

  • 14 more partial sponsors at $25/month (or just 7 more sponsors at $50/month)

  • $1700 for school fees for more than 80 children (the trimester that begins in August).  This includes high school and university fees for a few older children, as well as books, uniforms, and tuition for younger children.

Tumaini/Reeds of Hope is almost done with its 501c3 certification, but in the meantime, is accepting tax-deductible donations through Children's Hope Chest.  Please consider supporting these vulnerable children and families.  Your gift can literally make the difference between life and death!  


Ababa and I are making it our mission for the summer to try and raise the fall school fees.  This is a huge stretch for us but we are going to try.  So...stay tuned for info regarding a tag sale:-)  If you are not local to NYC, or don't need any more stuff:-) we would be thrilled if you would consider making a donation here just post "August School Fees" in the notes section.