These are some of the reasons I am accepting donations at this site. Some are just dreams, but others could and need to become a reality. Now that I have met both of my birth parents and have traveled great distances to see them both:
1) There was a time that visiting my parents meant a six hour drive to Omaha. Now that I have two more parents to visit- one in California, and one in Nigeria- travel costs to visit all of them has become a very expensive proposition. Especially with my wife and two kids. (Especially Nigeria.)
2) The past couple of years have been less than a stellar financially. My goal has always been to take my whole family to Nigeria so that my children can see "where they come from." I am working hard to make the trip a reality but it is slow going. They are at an age where this trip can and will have a lasting impact on their lives.
3) This one is probably just a dream, but man would it be cool. I would like to have a family reunion. But not just any reunion. It would definitely be a dream come true if I could bring my three families together for a family picture in front of my house. That means bringing my mom, dad, and sister I grew up with in from Omaha, my mother and my two sisters and their children in from California, and my father, his wife, my six brothers and sisters and their families in from Nigeria. If I could get as many Aunts, Uncles, and cousins as possible, it could end up being over 300 people.
Yes, I know... major logistics. But it would be an incredible feat. If this one would ever happen, it would have to happen within the next few years as none of my parents are getting any younger. we would also probably have to have some sponsors.
4) The Nigerian Electrical Power Authority(NEPA) is extremely unreliable as a provider of electricity. One of my favorite jokes in Nigeria is that NEPA really stands for "Never Expect Power Always." Thus most people also have generators at their homes. It is my opinion that my father needs a new one. I would like to get one for him. (And perhaps one really big one for the entire village.) This should probably be number one on my list, as it would really help my father out.
5) My father was in the United States in 1963 getting his Master's Degree in Education so that he could eventually take over and run the school that my grandfather founded in the village of Aboh Orlu. There are probably a few hundred children that attend this school today. It would be an incredible gift to provide them school supplies each year, and perhaps even some computers. I'm sure that somebody out there could find some refurbished p2 or p3 computers to donate to a school. (Who has connections? I'll find a way to get the stuff over there.)
I will continue blogging about my experiences with my new super-extended family for as long as possible and keep you up-to-date as to my progress in all these endeavors. I will try to keep it interesting and include lots of photos.
I will continue in this format for now, though I think that I may need to upgrade to a format that is more user friendly- in other words, I plan on including a lot more photos, and perhaps even video. Thus, I think that I might need to upgrade from the free blogger.com site I am currently using, to a more tech savvy, self-hosted site with more graphics friendly software. (Note- I am open to suggestions on how to work this. )
What's in it for you? I will do my best to keep this an interesting blog. Look- if you have liked this story so far, you haven't seen anything yet. There is so much more to come. Especially as I start to explore this reunion idea AND especially if I am able post from Africa the next time I go. PLUS- we are also flirting with the idea of producing a documentary about my story. We'll get into that later. Have I mentioned the book or movie guys yet?
Finally- I know that asking for donation on a free blog site can sometimes border on tacky. If you are inclined to donate, bless you. If not, I'm still glad you're here. And if it is only a couple of bucks or a whole lot more, I know it's the thought that counts and you will be the object of my heartfelt gratitude. On behalf of me, my wife, my children, and my entire super-family...