Tuesday, March 23, 2010

why ethiopia? why now?

why are we adopting from ethiopia? and why are we starting this adoption now?

well, good questions. after a lot doing a lot of research on international adoption and doing a lot of praying, ryan and i feel that this adoption is the next step for our family. however, please understand that we did not come to this decision lightly!!! we definitely don't have an extra $20,000 in quarters hanging around at our house and we're still a little unsure about how the timing will work out with the boys, but we're stepping out in faith and trusting God that this is His perfect plan for us.

so let's break things down a bit...

why ethiopia??
*ethiopia is one of the five poorest countries in the world with 1 out of every 4 people living on less than $1/day.

*one out of every ten ethiopian children die before their 5th birthday.

*ethiopia alone has an estimated 4.6 million+ orphans.

*ethiopians love children! the orphanage settings in ethiopia are described very differently than orphanages in many other countries. ethiopian children are very revered in their culture and are not generally placed up for adoption lightly or just thrown out like garbage. their families are usually either deceased or unable to care for them because of severe poverty, AIDS, or other diseases. most orphans' families love them so much that they want to give them a chance at a better life. even life in an orphanage is advantageous for some of the children because of the extreme poverty.

*ethiopian adoption seems more stable and consistent than a lot of other countries. {disclaimer: i almost deleted this one because i don't want to jinx us...however, #1 - i don't really believe in jinxing. #2 - i do understand that no country's adoption policies are stable. they are all subject to change, but ethiopia does seem semi-stable compared to other countries.}

*ethiopian children are precious!! we know a few families with children home here in our local area and they are just adorable!

*our agency is local and seems to do a great job of keeping waiting adoptive parents connected and also connecting children adopted from ethiopia with other kids like them in our community.

*after much prayer, debating, seeking, researching, etc. we believe this to be God's plan for our family. if God shuts the door later on, we'll know that it was not meant to be, but for the meantime, we're ready to move forward!

why now??
*well...why not? while we understand that our situation is a little unique because of the boys, we also want to obedient to follow the Lord's leading, regardless of the convenience of timing. we still are very unclear about what will happen with R & P but we have articulated more than once to their social worker that we plan to see through our commitment to them - even to adoption if that ever becomes an option. {we have also talked to R a little bit about our adoption and told him that if he's back with his mom by then, he better come over and visit his new family member(s)! we also continue to assure him that this does not change how we feel about him or P, and that we have enough love to give to them all.}

*yes, adoption is expensive but if we wait until we have an extra $20,000 just laying around, we'll probably never do it! we're trusting that "God will fund what He favors" and we're excited to see how He writes our adoption story!!

*we want our children, adopted and biological, to understand that adoption is not "plan b" for us - it's "plan a". i'm so thankful that God obviously values adoption as "plan a" for the building of His family as well.