African connection Family finds 'light' in Ethiopia

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Russ and Anna Polsgrove picked their adopted daughter’s name before seeing her.
Lucy means bringer of light, and that certainly fits their walking, talking bundle of energy who will turn 2 on June 26.
“She just loves people,” said Anna Polsgrove, 30, “and she’s pretty happy most of the time.”
“Unless she wants something that we won’t give her,” added 33-year-old Russ Polsgrove, youth minister at The Orchard.
Lucy’s parents knew they wanted to adopt, so they asked around and buried themselves in research.
“We had looked at it so much and one day just said, ‘We’re going to Ethiopia,'” Russ Polsgrove said.
They first saw Lucy’s picture in September 2010, then met her during a three-week trip to Ethiopia in January 2011. They returned in August 2011 to finally bring her home.
“We thought that was long,” Anna Polsgrove said. “It takes longer now.”
“There are agencies that haven’t been as forthright as they should have been,” her husband said. “That’s slowed adoptions down.”
Before that wonderful August, the Polsgroves had no children. Now, they have a pair. Rivers Polsgrove was born six months ago, and he’s been a blessing.
“We saw a real change in Lucy after we had him. She saw us as a family unit,” Anna Polsgrove said. “In my opinion, it helped with the bonding. She loves him.”
It’s clear Rivers enjoys his sister, too. His eyes constantly follow her around the room.
They’re a Mississippi family, but they’re also linked to Ethiopia. In addition to Lucy’s obvious connection, the Polsgroves were immersed in the country and its culture during their visits.
“There are three orphanages in the capital city. We saw all three,” Anna Polsgrove said. “The people were doing the best they could, but they’re just overrun.”
She said there’s no single solution to help the orphans in Ethiopia, but a new program shows promise.
Bring Love In hires widows to serve as house mothers for six to eight orphans.
“The hope is they’ll stay together,” she said. “It gives them a sense of belonging, like a family.”
The Polsgroves believe Bring Love In can make a real difference in the lives of women and children.
In honor of Anna Polsgrove’s 30th birthday this month, there’s an effort to raise $30,000 for Bring Love In. That’s enough to support two houses for two years. They’ve raised $8,000 so far.
If you’d like to send some light to Ethiopia, visit Hit “Needs,” then scroll to “Click Here to Give” to donate to “Anna’s 30th Birthday Fund.”
As for the Polsgroves, you might want to keep them in your prayers because they have two kids under the age of 2.
“Our house used to be a lot quieter than this,” Russ Polsgrove said.

Video about the Anna’s 30th Birthday Fund below. For updates: and

The Need
In Africa, nearly 12% of the children have lost at least one parent, and Ethiopia has one of the highest orphan rates of any African country. To make things worse, the orphan population in Ethiopia is growing exponentially as HIV and malnutrition run rampant among the population. The infrastructure simply does not exist to care for the children who are left alone when their parents die.

– From website.

Bring Love In is…

A community of people across the world who are working together to bring love in to the orphans and widows of Ethiopia.

Responding to the biblical call that each of us are made for more.

– From website.

Click video to hear audio