Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Power of Facing Down Fear and Having Faith in Our Global Community

Our "Letter from the Chairs" from this Open Hearts Big Dreams 2014

Every year we come together as a group of volunteers and donors and supporters from around the  globe to make this event a reality. Over a 100,000 kids’ big dreams depend on these open hearts. 

Where did this journey start?  For us, it started with a little girl born in Ethiopia 6 and half years ago.  Michael and I had so many fears and questions about the journey we were embarking on to expand our family with a daughter who would not share our biology but would be 100% our family.  But a belief that this was our path and that we would find answers along the way compelled us forward.

We traveled to Ethiopia that first time with so many trepidations.  They were answered  beautifully by a wide eyed baby girl who stole our hearts.  She reserved her first smile for her new dad and he has been hers completely since.

In thinking about how to connect our daughter to our country and help equalize opportunity there, again the objective seemed so big and so unfamiliar.  Doubts about what could we do rose up constantly but the power of collaboration and an enduring belief, in what was possible when people come together, propelled us forward.  And we are constantly amazed and humbled by what we accomplished together these last three years.

Each time we set the goals and aspirations higher because the kids we serve deserve that, the questions return; is this too big? can we sustain it? how we will achieve this new milestone?  The global community always comes back with an affirmative answer in so many beautiful and surprising ways. 

Going back to see the kids and communities this effort supports this summer also provided many joyous answers to any lingering doubts.  Kids enjoying a school in the countryside where before there was none.  Runners becoming tutors and leaders and discovering their confidence and dreams in the process. Our daughter walking home with new friends and enjoying books together. Knowing she had a part in their smiles and joy and they in hers is priceless. 

When we again visited the original library we planted (with lots of help) in our daughter’s birth town, the school administrator and kids exuberantly thanked her.  She beamed from ear to ear and has since recounted how awesome it is there is a library where she was born because of people from where she lives now; a wonderful circle completed.  

Thank you all for the amazing support and faith you put each year into what we do together there.  It is truly awe-inspiring.  

Happy Holidays!


  1. Does your daughter still remember her language? Don't let her forget her roots, that's who she is!!! If there are Ethiopian communites in your neighborhood, take her there.