This video highlights the six months I spent in Nepal while adopting my baby girl. During this time, I was able to use my camera to document my daughter’s place of birth and help give a voice to those who are struggling in this devastatingly poor country. As a result of this life-changing experience, my husband and I started www.aashafund.org to help children and families in need. We are currently working with Hope’s Promise to help start a home for five orphans in Nepal.
There are 147 million orphans in the world. Almost 1 million of them are in Nepal. In fact, almost 1 out of every 28 people in Nepal is an orphan. In 2010, my husband and I were able to adopt Purnima, a beautiful little girl from this poor country. We were only supposed to be in Nepal for one month. Through circumstances beyond our control, I ended up being “stuck” in Nepal for six months raising Nima by myself. I experienced firsthand what living in a third world country was like. No clean water, polluted air, power outages up to 14 hours a day, and an extremely unstable government. By being removed from my photography business for six months, I started to see things more clearly. I saw what I loved about my business and more importantly, what needed to change. I became very aware of the clutter and “stuff” that I had filled my life with that wasn’t really enhancing who I was as a person and an artist. I learned I could be content with a lot less and that my identity did not need to be so wrapped up in my studio. I was given a new perspective. I am now on a journey of simplifying my business in order to get my life back. I am learning that saying “No” to some things is exactly what I need to do in order to enjoy the things I want to say “Yes” to more.
Even though I was able to return to the U.S. with my daughter in January 2011, I am haunted by the images of the families and children who are still struggling in this country. As a result of this life-changing experience, my husband and I started The Aasha Fund to help children and families in need. The Aasha Fund was started with the purpose of longevity. Someday, our daughter, as well as any other children or grandchildren we may have, will be responsible for recommending grants from this fund to help people all over the world. Aasha means “Hope” in Nepal. We are currently working on giving five orphans hope by starting a third Hope’s Promise home in Nepal. The mission of Hope’s Promise is to reflect God’s heart in redeeming lives of the fatherless and orphaned children worldwide by establishing homes to feed, heal, teach and share Christ’s love. It only costs $5,810 to start and support the children and this home for one year! Jed and I are committing long term to help support these children and their house parents so they can have a safe and loving place to call home. While living in Nepal, we spent time at one of the other Hope’s Promise homes, where we sponsor a few of the children. I learned their tragic stories and how they came to live at the home. I saw firsthand the love they were now receiving. I know I can’t change the lives of all the orphans of Nepal, but I can start with changing the lives of five children. My goal is to continue to grow The Aasha Fund and spend more time in Nepal working on projects like these.
- To help support or find out more about The Aasha Fund go to www.aashafund.org
- To read more about the six months we spent in Nepal go to www.nimajade.com
- To find out more about the work Hope’s Promise is doing through orphan care go to www.hopespromise.com
As a korean adoptee and orphan of five months, thank you for your advocacy. Your daughter will cherish what you captured during your time in nepal for the rest of her life.
Jeremy- Thank you so much for featuring the Aasha Fund and the story of our adoption on your blog. You are so inspiring. i appreciate the message of encouragement, hope, and the importance of giving back that you give our industry.