While the Pie Challenge funds are continuing to be distributed I figured I really really need to stop procrastinating on this video. However I really was just at a loss of how to convert the DVD video that was shot of my PIE in my face to video able to be used withing a video. (does that make sense?) Then.... wooohoo I got a wonderful email form my cousin! " I see you have been having technical issues with your video. I just got a new video program " So tonight we sat and created the long awaited PIE Challenge video from the PAP's. I big hooot and thanks out to Kevin for putting this together. And again many many thanks to all the PAPs that donated to the Pie challenge. And last but not least to Sergey for the exclusive video of the kids with Torte, Suzanne for The awesome pics in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, Kimberly and Syd for their great pics and hilarious funny faces, Lisa for bundling up and heading to the banks of the Mississippi River, my niece Theresa, and nephews Paul and Noah for their awesome commentary and for hittin me in the face with our PIE. Thank you to everyone who is distributing the gifts for the folks in Central Asia. You are all amazing!
"I'm watching her grow up from far away"- Flint woman waits two years for daughter she loves in Kyrgyzstan By Beata Mostafavi Flint Journal January 08, 2010, 5:45PM
Angela Sharp, of Flint, stands in the room she has set up waiting with clothes her adopted daughter Mia has already outgrown while stuck in adoption limbo with Kyrgyzstan because of paperwork delays. Sharp is among 65 families in the same situation. She met her daughter Mia in April of 2008, expecting to bring her home six weeks later. Mia is almost 2 and still in the overseas orphanage because of the hold up. Sharp and others are calling on Hillary Clinton and Obama to step in. Ryan Garza/The Flint Journal FLINT, Michigan — Mia-Angelina’s room is ready to welcome the baby girl home in Flint, with a pink and green polka-dotted bed set, a closet stuffed with tiny dresses and shoes and Dr. Seuss books lining the shelf.
The brown-eyed orphan was three months old and just weeks away from being officially adopted when she met her mom-to-be Angela Sharp in April 2008.
But Mia has outgrown the never-worn ruffly outfits. She has never slept in her pastel-hued crib or played with the stuffed animals in the pink bins in her nursery.
Mia is among at least 65 children stuck in adoption limbo in the central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan because of a moratorium the Kyrgyz government placed on all international adoptions as it overhauls regulations to its adoptions system.
“It just makes you think of what almost was,” said Sharp, 35, through tears, touching price tags still hanging off pajamas bought in preparation for Mia’s expected arrival nearly two years ago.
Sharp is among dozens of heartbroken families who were just days away from becoming legal parents before the adoption halt and are at an indefinite standstill as their intended babies — many with special needs— pass milestones in orphanages thousands of miles away.
“The judge asked me ‘Do you like this girl?’ I said ‘I love her,’” Sharp recalled of her trip to Kyrgyzstan in 2008. “She said ‘I see no reason why you two should not be together. You even look alike.’
“Now I’m watching her grow up from far away.”
Sharp holds Mia for the first time in Kyrgyzstan. Adoption reform there has stalled Sharp’s efforts, as well as those of more than 60 other families. On the visit, the two spent hours together. Sharp fed, changed and cuddled with Mia who was stiff at first because she wasn’t held often in the orphanage of more than 100 children.
Mostly, they just stared at each other.
“The lady at the orphanage said ‘You two have your own language,’” recalled Sharp, a local hair stylist who is single. “She had these big brown eyes. It was instant love. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. She was beautiful.”
When Sharp left, she promised Mia that the next time they walked out of the orphanage’s gates together, she would be bringing her home.
That was only supposed to be less than six weeks later.
Mia turns 2 on Jan. 22.
“I told her to be brave and that I would be back soon,” Sharp said, wiping away tears.
“I worry about her,” she added, looking at a photo of Mia with her single-candle topped cake on her first birthday. “I wonder is she happy? Is she eating well?”
Sharp and other waiting families who have connected through the Internet have written hundreds of letters to lawmakers, foundations, even Microsoft founder Bill Gates for help.
They’re now calling on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barack Obama to get involved to urge the Kyrgyzstan government to allow them to bring their intended children home.
The U.S. State Department is also working on the families’ and children’s behalf to try to grandfather them in to the new laws being developed in Kyrgyzstan meant to clear out corruption in the adoption system.
The families had passed months worth of background checks and home visits to be matched with children who had been cleared as legitimate orphans after an exhaustive process.
For many families, it was simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I’m asking everyone to pray for a miracle,” said Frank Shimkus, 48, a retired politician and pastor in Scranton, Penn., who has been waiting more than a year to bring home baby boy Aidan Josiah who is in the same orphanage as Mia.
He and wife Gabrielle also believed Aidan would come home with them just weeks after meeting him November 2008, when he was 3 months old. They already had their “baby’s first Christmas” ornament.
They also had lined up doctors to perform needed surgeries for Aidan’s cleft lip and palate which they’ve been told is most successful at a younger age.
Like Sharp, it’s hard for the couple not to get emotional every time they pass the green nursery they prepared for him in their home.
“This is not a political issue. This is about a little boy. He is our hearts,” said a choked-up Shimkus. “We will never give up.”
Sharp made the decision to adopt nearly four years ago.
“I said here I am wanting a child and here are all these children wanting a mother,” she said
But it was a much more complicated process than she’d realized.
She said she pursued the domestic route first but that her single status made her an unlikely choice for birth moms who often choose homes with married couples.
And the wait in other countries was up to five years long.
Sharp started the adoption process with renowned Pennsylvania-based World Links International Adoption Agency in January 2008.
The agency could not be reached for comment.
Sharp has asked for the help of local lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, asking them to sign the letter. The Flint Journal could not reach Stabenow for comment.
Back in Kyrgyzstan, Mia is taking steps, babbling in Russian and growing into a playful toddler while waiting for a mom.
Sharp said she’s holding off on another visit to the remote mountainous country because of the emotional toll she thinks it would take on both her and Mia.
“I just ask people to write their senators and tell them what’s happening so hopefully someone can help us bring our children home,” she said. “The next time I go, it will be when my daughter can come back with me.”
What’s happening in Kyrgyzstan
• International adoptions had been on the rise in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan where the eight- to 12-month adoption process was relatively faster and smoother than in other countries and an attractive choice for families looking to adopt. The waiting lists in other countries, such as China, are as long as four to five years.
• Amidst allegations of fraud by adoption workers in 2008 and 2009, all adoptions abruptly stopped in Kyrgyzstan. That included the adoptions by at least 65 families who had already visited their intended adoptive children and were just weeks away from a court hearing to make the adoptions official.
• The government has been investigating claims of fraud in the adoption process, and is developing new adoption guidelines with the help of UNICEF.
• Senators Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, and Barbara Boxer, D-California, are reportedly preparing a letter to Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev concerning the 65 stalled adoptions, with other senators expected to sign it. They hope to grandfather in the 65 families to new rules.
• The Kyrgyz Parliament is set to discuss the issue again Feb.15.
• How to help: Families waiting for adoptions are asking people to write Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ask her to become directly involved in the situation.
People can write to: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520
Tuesday, January 05, 2010 Just because it is Christmas As I write this My friends in Central Asia are waking up to Christmas eve day... Maybe we should call it the 13 days of Christmas ... Our friends are busy trying to fit in all the Celebrations before the end of the 7th... But just because it's Christmas doesn't mean the hurting stops... The fact is that we are deep into the clutches of winter in a country still gripped by the effects of a world recession.... The hurting goes on... I am so blessed that we have had the opportunity to get around to those children that we know and love, but that doesn't mean the hurting stops we have even been able to bring some special blessings to the hospitals the invalids and the seniors... , and the blessings will continue for a few more days yet, but that doesn't mean the hurting stops.... We have the mattresses made, and are have begun making over 180 blankets for the baby orphanages and the hospitals, and in a few days they will be delivered as well, but that doesn't mean the hurting stops... We have now topped 30 tons of coal we have delivered in our efforts to keep those in the dark corners of society from freezing this winter, and we have another food drop ready for the baby hospital, but that doesn't mean the hurting stops.. If we step back and look at the big picture , we see an incredible movement that is bringing hope and restoring dignity , but if I truly stop for the one in front of me, I see that the hurting has not stopped ...BUT, and this is a big BUT... there is HOPE.... As I have said , our focus has been to restore HOPE and Dignity to those in the dark corners of society....
Here is the message I received today from Jengish.... "Hey John Baike, can you give me a call sometime soon. I need to tell you about this guy that is going to get his leg amputated if they don't do some surgery now". I Gave him a call right away... I needed to hear the storey... This man he is trying to help is survivor from Chernobyl... after the melt down he found himself living on the streets in the Capital, against all odds he has survived over 20 years ... with out the proper documents he could never get ahead... then a year ago he came to the rehab centre with jengish where he has been working as a cook... he has done very well there, and although he is finished the program, he will stay on working at the centre... then when he was in the city shopping, he was hit by a car... something any of us who have been on those streets will understand... He now has a serious infection in his leg. The Dr's have said that they could save the leg if they operated, but since he does not have the means, just come back in a few days and they will remove it.... this is where HOPE comes in.. He has asked Jengish to please talk to his friends ( That's you and me ) and see if we could help... he recognises that this is a lot of money , and he is not sure that he could ever repay it, but he is kind of attached to his leg and would like to keep it.... For me, I just think about what life would be like with out a leg in that country. I have been to and visited with the men in the invalid homes, and would give just about anything to get them out of that situation, and now we have the opportunity to save this man from such a fate... I told Jengish that I would share this need and see what we could come up with... what is needed is $250 ...
It kind of reminds me of an email I got last year... it simply said "Our friend has injured his hand at work... the Dr's want to know do we have $700 or should they just cut it off...?" We were able to convince the Dr to begin the restoration process, and buy us a bit of time to find a sponsor... It did not take long before one of our readers heard about his storey, and how close his injury was to her own... it hit home, and she was able to raise the money to save his hand... in an amazing turn of events, she ended up in Central Asia has our friend was completing his physiotherapy.... This is a life and a family that has been forever changed... and now is an ambassador of HOPE in the region ...
I have told Jengish to get me some more information, to talk to the Dr's himself , and to give me a day to see what WE are able to do.... and that our answer will follow.
Happy New Year, dear readers! 31/12-2009 10:00, Bishkek – News Agency “24.kg” News Agency 24.kg wholeheartedly congratulates its readers and all Kyrgyzstanis on the coming New Year’s Day! We sincerely believe that the new year will bring you peace and prosperity. May your holiday be filled with joy and the coming year be overflowing with all the best things in life! Happy New Year to all who believe in miracles! We wish you the biggest slice of happiness and good luck this New Year! URL: http://eng.24.kg/community/2009/12/31/10066.html
I am certainly very glad to see today. I dawn of a new year. Hopefully the dawn of new beginnings for many families and children. 65 of us have about 6 weeks before we hear any new news. In the meantime life still continues to move forward. But with 2009 behind us, a new hope hangs low. A new hope that THIS will be OUR year. This year children will know the love of a family. This year our families will grow. This year America will gain at least 65 new American citizens. This year will bring much love, Much life, and many new suprises. Don't get me wrong... I am very appreciative of many opportunities I had in 2009. I am most appreciative for the support of friends and family through a very long year. And without the wait there are several opportunities I would have missed and trips I never would have been on. New endeavors would not be sought out. So while God knows what the outcome is going to be. I continue to follow only getting glimpses here and there of the why.
One Hundred Years from now (excerpt from "Within My Power" by Forest Witcraft) One Hundred Years from now It will not matter what kind of car I drove, What kind of house I lived in, how much money was in my bank account nor what my clothes looked like. But the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.
I am 41 years young. For the last 20 years I have been a registered nurse working in pediatric critical care. I have many many many children but up until 2010 none of my own, or none of my own that are not the four footed furry, feathered,or scaled kind of children. I have collected quite a menagerie of critters on my farm in south central PA. I have two nephews and a niece who are waiting most impatiently for us to bring home our first (now second)human baby. For many years I thought I would adopt internationally. Hopefully soon this dream will come true.