Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children
What could be better than an Ethiopian welcome, FOVC style?

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Advent Conspiracy, that is!

Please share with us if you are spending less this year. What are you doing instead? In our family, we are spending much, much less.

Instead, we want to Worship Fully. Spend Less. Give More. Love All.

What about you?

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Divine Appointment with Andreas Widmer (a post by Dave)

Last summer, I devoured an excellent book on economic development in developing countries. The book was In The River They Swim (and if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it). I was particularly impacted by selected chapters written by Andreas Widmer. Andreas is a successful entrepreneur and businessman who is now running the Seven Fund. Despite his business successes, Andreas is often more noted for his duty as body guard to the Pope, which was an experience that helped to shape his strong faith and values today.

Last Tuesday, I had the honor of sharing breakfast with Andreas while I was in Boston. Andreas' faith and vision are contagious. I was delighted to find that I had much in common with him (sans serving as a body guard to the Pope, of course). As many of you know, I have struggled recently with a growing desire to apply my business experience and skills to help develop scalable business opportunities in Africa. For a few moments, I was able to live vicariously through Andreas' charisma and his recounting of encounters with African business people who are building sustainable and scalable business models despite little or no access to capital. He also shared about his program, Pioneers of Prosperity, which seeks to fill the gap that exists in developing economies between microfinancing (e.g., and traditional bank financing.
Microfinance is a good vehicle to help lift those in extreme poverty (i.e., people who can't afford to feed themselves or their families) up to subsistence poverty (i.e., they can afford a means to eat and barely survive). Traditional bank financing is viable for multi-national corporations wishing to expand into developing economies, but traditonal bank financing isn't available to small and medium-size businesses wishing to start-up and grow. In developing countries, there is little to no access to venture financing, so local entrepreneurs can't access capital to build and grow sustainable and scalable businesses. 

Think about it: Over 90% of businesses in the United States are small and medium-size businesses, and they employ over 70% of the workers. In the United States, small and medium-size businesses are the growth engine of our economy. Yet, in most developing nations, the share of small to medium-size businesses as a percent of total businesses is in the single digits, if that. In other words, these developing economies don't have the engine that powers economic growth.  Andreas is working feverishly to develop solutions to problems like this. This is something I aspire to do as well.

I have no idea where it may lead, but this was one of those encounters that I cannot deny was orchestrated by God.

God has blessed me with few encounters in life as rich as this one and I look forward to how He might use it in the future. If nothing else, God connected me to a devout follower and brother in Christ who inspired me to make the best use of the time, talent and treasure God has given me. I pray that I will get the opportunity to use these gifts in service to the people of Africa.

Andreas, thank you again for your time and I look forward to what God has in store for both our futures.  God bless you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


We passed court! All thanks to God---and everyone He works through to make these miracles called adoptions happen.

It appears we will be offered an Embassy date of January 13. Because we will do some traveling in-country before our court date, we would leave the first week of January.

The next prayer need is for USCIS (United State Citizenship and Immigration Service) to move on our paperwork! We haven't even received our fingerprint appointment yet.

If we don't have Bereket's immigration paperwork in time, then our Embassy date would be January 27, which means we would leave around the 20th.

We are rejoicing today!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009



Ours and Bereket's court appointment in Ethiopia will happen as we sleep tonight.

Hopefully, we will hear sometime tomorrow whether or not we passed.

Will you join us in praying that we will pass on this first try?

It is becoming really, really real that we are going to have a little boy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What Allison Told....

...our adoption social worker, when she asked how fourteen year-old Allison feels about bringing another little one into our family:

"You see, we have made this discovery in our family. We have figured out that love multiplies."

Friday, November 13, 2009

One Week and EEEEEKKKKK!

In one week we will know whether or not we passed court in Ethiopia. Yikes! Two families from our agency--both returning adopters who are bringing non-babies home, like us--passed court yesterday. Yea!

In other terrifying news, Abby was suprised to meet a mouse out in our garage pantry this morning. (She says it was big and she says it was a rat....but I just can't go there.)

Apparently it was on a shelf and it SQUEAKED at her when she saw it. Abby's typically a steady-as-she-goes kinda gal; I don't think I've ever seen her move so fast as she did when she streaked back into the house. Poor Abs!

Alas, Dave is still out of town. And I'm not going to the garage to deal with it. EEEEEKKK, you know. So, the ol'minivan is parked safely outside, in the driveway, until Dave comes home and saves us. In the meantime, I have done my part by thoroughly vacumming every shelf in our real kitchen, lest any kitchen crumbs entice Mr./Ms. Mouse out of the garage and into the house. EWWWWW!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Next week...

...we can say our court date is "this week!"

(It's only 10 days away now!)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Everyone Loves a Parade (Especially Pink Poodles!!)

Allison's middle school band marched with Longmont High in the Halloween Parade Saturday.What follows is a pictorial for your viewing pleasure:

Here is a super-cute pink poodle, with some people cleverly disguised as middle-aged suburbanites.

This is so super-fun!

Even better, mayhaps, than a parade? Discovering donut holes!

I love me these donut holes!

Are those fleas on the pink poodle? Nah, it's only donut hole sprinkles.

Abs and the Morganizer take a coffee break!

I love hangin' out with the big girls!

I'm experiencing a bit of stimulation/donut hole overload here!

Here comes a cute little kitty...I mean, my sissy!

There goes my sissy!

I love my sissies!

But this parade stuff wears a poodle out!