Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why Ethiopia?

We get asked a good bit, "How did you end up adopting from Ethiopia?" or "Why Ethiopia?" or "There's kids right here in the U.S. so why didn't you adopt one of them?"

I think I'll start with the last question first. We have adopted from this country through the foster care system. Our daughter is such a blessing & we are so thankful to have worked with such wonderful people along the way, but our hearts couldn't take it again. The goal of foster care is never adoption; reunification with birth parents is the first priority, & it is a very long journey of working case plans, court reviews, trials, etc. Honestly, getting to bring Kaya home from the hospital & ultimately getting to adopt her is not the norm (we didn't know if she would be staying with us 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months???), so for now, we are enjoying not having a revolving door of visits with social workers, having to travel two hours twice a week for visitations and living in constant uncertainty about the future. We do not care to do that again anytime soon.

We never intentionally set out to adopt internationally. Through an amazing chain of events, we found ourselves looking in the eyes of our little boy in a picture. I can't explain it...we just seemed to know. However, as we have educated ourselves (& continue to do so), we have become passionate about the orphan crisis all over this world. I've come to the conclusion that God does not have the borders that we have created in this world. He sees children that need families and families that are open to His leading. That's how we found ourselves adopting from Ethiopia. Here's some information with regard to the orphan crisis in Ethiopia:

Why Ethiopia?

In Ethiopia, approximately 1 in 10 children die in infancy, and nearly double that number die by their 5th birthday, due to infections, tetanus and diarrhea. Ethiopia is considered the 3rd worst place in the world to be born, better only than Burkina Faso and Djibouti. Of the children who survive, many will lose their mother in childbirth and many more will lose one or both parents to HIV/AIDS.

As more and more parents die, the capacity of extended family members to take care of orphans shrinks. Ethiopia has reached the breaking point where orphaned children are now forced into the streets, into difficult working conditions and/or into heading their households.

In 2001, 13.2% of the population, 3.8 million children, was orphaned. In comparison, the 1994 genocide in Rwanda resulted in 500,000 orphans and the 2004 Tsunami in Southeast Asia resulted in 10,000 orphans. In 2006, American parents adopted only 731 orphans. 3,799,269 orphans remain vulnerable. (courtesy of

I, for one, struggle to wrap my mind around this. I try to prepare mentally for what I might experience when I finally get to go bring my son home, but I think I have conceded that there really is no way to. Everyone says it is life-changing, & I know that will be true, but I really can't know what it will feel like. One thing is for sure, I learn more every day that this life isn't about me, I have been changed, & thank goodness I have the opportunities to continue to be transformed if I choose to walk by faith.


Adeye said...

I am so with you, friend, my human mind cannot fathom all. How I long to see more Christians take the journey of adoption. I know you do too.

Carry on being a voice for those who don't have one!!!

Thank you for rejoicing with me tonight :) Soon it will be your exciting.

rrpr6 said...

amen, sister in Christ! God Bless your broken road.........that leads straight to your son :o)

Amy said...

Praying for you as God leads you straight to Ethiopia because that is where He said your son was. :0) Love you!