Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Trip Questions

I don't know if you have seen this video of Sam Welten, the executive director of Possibilities International, over on the PI web site. I thought that it was worth rebroadcasting here....

Sam does an incredible job at answering many of the questions that we are asked daily.... I can even think of a few more. Sam touches on an interesting point.... Often those who ask the questions are not the ones that DO or GO or even support.... As in the question of "Are we not better to just send money ...not people ?" This is a point that I speak on as often as I have opportunity..... Throwing money at a problem is NOT an Answer... it will simply turn into a big pit to through more money.... We need to through people ... By throwing people, we are able to bring that HOPE and Dignity that we so often talk about.... In this Video, Sam is talking about one very small, but incredibly powerful part of what PI does. and un like me, he is able to hold it together and not start crying... or at least not on camera... ... If you are on Dial up, it is worth finding a high speed connection and watching...

Like ourselves, if you ever have the opportunity to take an orphan shopping , or just spend some individual one on one time with them, you will be forever changed... Your life will have a new meaning and a new outlook. That's what happened to Hanna, that is what happens to our mystery traveler, and that is what is going to happen to some of you when you travel with us through this blog over the next couple of months.... I will tell you what I am going to do... I will select one of the kids, we will introduce them have them tell you a little about there story, then we will keep the camera rolling when we go shopping with them, and spend the day pouring into their lives..... am not a documentation or anything, but I know you are going to be moved.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A slideshow for HOPE

I originally wanted this to be part of Hilary and Tim's first post. However I just could not figure out where to fit it in. So I decided to make it its own post! Hilary, I have learned is a slideshow addict! And we are glad. I have put a few of these together. Two are here one on my personal blog. While reading through Hilary's blog last night I encountered many slideshows. I was tempted to become sidetracked and watch them all! This is the latest to Hilary's collection and is a great slideshow to summarize the weekend we spent together in Ohio. Thank you Hilary for putting this together.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Welcome the Marquis Family

Way back in November emails were flying back and forth between four people in three states plus Canada. Nicole and I regarding our upcoming trip to Bishkek, and Hilary and to compose a photo book to give to our coordinator in Kyrgyzstan and John and I organizing what started as a Birthday party for Shelby and turned into an early Christmas celebration of HOPE. The photo book shows pictures of children who have been adopted from Kyrgyzstan thriving in their new American homes. One of the first things I did when I arrived in Bishkek was to show the photo book to Nicole and her friend who was visiting Bishkek. Little did we know, that day was the first day of the three of us working together.

Last weekend in Ohio WE became a core group of 2 (plus John) to a core group of 4 (plus John). Hilary and Tim expressed their desire to help John's efforts from our first meeting them in the Schooler living room. It was Tim's question that impressed on us the real desire to join and help. " Now what? and What do WE do from here? We just knew this was meant to be.

So I have the pleasure to introduce Tim and Hilary Marquis and their children Tyler, Toby, Amelia (Mia) and of course Anara. Anara is a beautiful Kyrgyz little girl adopted August 23, 2007.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A bit of specifics

I promised in my last post I would add a post to be a bit more specific about our activities of the weekend. Nicole and I had obviously been led to join John, Julie, David, Jayne, Ruby and Lynn for a reason and purpose. We had our ideas going into the weekend, but never dreamed how BIG that reason for being there is/was. Talking for hours on Friday we tried to understand what our purpose could be. Friday night was for listening and for meeting and introductions. By the end of Friday night we knew we had only touched on the questions we needed to ask. And we were still in seeking mode.

Saturday afternoon really was nothing short of miraculous. Such wonderful people, all with different stories of why they were under one roof for one purpose; HOPE. Hope for an unknown future, but hope to provide hope to so many people. It takes Hope to provide Hope. And the day full of wonderful conversations did just that; provide hope that projects will be continually supported.

One thing we sought ought was the answer to a question posed by Tim Marquis ( who we will meet more in one of our next posts!!! AAHHH the suspense) Tim asked... Now What? What can we do? Where do we go from here? Armed with those questions and many more of our own were given the opportunity to have a wonderful conversation that started small with just Nicole and Ruby.... And by the end was a full scale meeting with all the lead people in attendance. I have to be honest this is where I sit and listen carefully and let those who are business savy work their magic. Ruby explained to us the work that she and Lynn do with LAmb International. The Systems, developing education, enacting processes that once taught and placed into existance will be the strength of the orphanages, invalid homes and any other organization who desires to learn how to serve the people within the best of its own capabilities. Possibility International and the work of the Wright's is the Soup of the matter. John and his team are the action in the here and now. They provide the concrete, physical hands on work. Changing lives one at a time. They are on the front lines. They have done everything from providing an ear to listen to the needs to digging water lines to transforming homes for individuals as well as groups. The summary of which is they provide HOPE on a daily and one on one level.

So how do they work together? They are interrelated but also seperate. They meet in the middle to help when needed. They work shoulder to shoulder while providing a totally different arm of support. They are both seperate however they have come to find that they both need the support of each other.

So cutting to the chase.... What is missing? Where do we fit in? What now? What can WE do to help? The answer to that question really came as a MAGICAL moment. At this moment in time six people sitting in one small discovered that the missing piece of the puzzle and the WHAT is funding the HOPE. In a perfect world the people on the ground in Kyrgyzstan could spend all their time providing HOPE, but HOPE always comes with a fee attached. So after all the cash is depleted the teams must come back to the United States and regroup, re-fund their work. When Nicole presented to the room what our desires are. There was not a dry eye. Can I start by saying I knew what was coming and I think so did Julie. In a moment in time there was not a dry eye in the room. When we discovered that the What was something WE wanted from the very start truly we were held in a Moment of Magic. I feel like I can't even begin to express what this moment felt like.

Now we know the WHAT and now WE are challenged to help. WE know this will not come easy, but WE now have our own HOPE. To be the source of support that we can provide. There are so many people WE know that want to help. But in this time of our lives we can not be the person spooning out the Soup or the Soap that is cleansing wounds (emotional and physical). But we can provide Support.

Now I am not saying open up those purses and send out cash... We each have our own strong qualities in life. Qualities that working together for the common goal we can raise the support! WE can start by raising awareness of the work that has been done and the work that needs to be done.

John's most memorable quote is everyone can be a philanthropist. And that is where WE can help. A Philanthropist raises awareness of the inclination to provide and increase the well being of others. Thats where WE starts. And Where do WE go from here? Only time will tell!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A weekend of HOPE

The Wright Stuff in Ohio

To share in one post here would probably just be way too much information. So as to not overwhelm anyone I think I will split the weekend up.

Thursday started out with a bit of a hitch but not too bad. Unfortunately Nicole's first plane was a bit late and after a sprint from one gate to the next she ended up missing the flight. Bummer.. But all was good as she hopped onto a red eye flight. After a brief stay in Charlotte Nicole finally landed in Columbus Ohio on Friday morning. A quick east-west coast reunion and we were headed off to Cincinnatti. Nicole, a bit on the sleepy side was in awe of our snow on the east coast. I have to admit she came in on a great day as all the snow was brand new and south central Ohio was beautifully decorated in ice and snow. A real winter wonderland! We spent some time being tourists as I accidentally plugged in the wrong address and we ended up at the location of the Friday night event instead of our hotel. But this gave us a wonderful opportunity to take some really cool snow photos.

Finally at the hotel Nicole opted for a nap. I went off for a luncheon at Jayne and David Schooler's house. And the beginning of meeting just absolutely wonderful people. When I walked in Hilary, Tim and Anara Marquis were already there. No introductions needed. I said " I feel like I already know you guys!!!" Then the moment we were waiting for! The Wright family arrival.

Anara kicks up her feet and relaxes with Dave Schooler

Anara tries to decide which one tastes best...

Julie Wright and Anara
Bekkah and Anara

I have been corresponding with John through email only since May of last year. This was our first opportunity to meet. What a great family. I was able to thank both John and Julie personally for all that they do and most for the planning of the dinner party. Which they were finally able to see photos and videos of. On Saturday we all watched videos and swapped pictures. The Schooler's living room became a huge internet cafe.

On Friday night we all met for the first of two events highlighting the work of The Schooler's and The Wright's. Topped off with dinner at Steak and Shake.
Saturday was a huge exciting day.... We were again invited back to the Schooler's for a luncheon. This time there were about 40 guests. There were three adoptive kids from Kyrgyzstan, (Anara, Andrew and Matthew) and a toddler whose mom is from central Asia. Also among us were Lynn and Ruby Johnston the founders of Lamb International. And Richard and Jane Taylor who have spent 22 years doing work in East Africa.

Hilary, Anara and Andrew
Anara and Yasmine

Anara, Matthew, Andrew and Yasmine

Andrew and his Sisters
Kim, Matthew, and Hilary