Wednesday, April 7, 2010



I have been asked these questions so many times: 
Why Ethiopia? 
Why NOT America? 
Why Adoption at all? 
Why Now? 

And, while I know every adoptive family gets asked these questions...and I have never been offended by such questions...for some strange reason, I felt the need to answer them (in bulk at least---I have never shied away from answering them in one-on-one conversations)....

1. Why Adoption? 
     Well, put simply: James 1:27.   
"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." 
     We believe that, as Christians, we have a call to care for the orphans....and trust me, if you spent anytime at ALL learning about how many orphans there truly are,  it would break your heart.   As adopted children ourselves, we knew it was part of our personal heritage to adopt. As Christians---adopted into God's family, remember?--we are ALL called and it is part of ALL our heritages. Children don't need perfect or rich parents...they need praying, loving, protecting parents.....They need parents who will train them up in the way of the Lord, protecting their destinies and purpose until they are able to care for it themselves....Those are the ONLY qualifications---making a LOT more of us qualified than we thought! My challenge to everyone is to seek God about His plan for your family or better yet, seek Him about His plan for His children--because it's difficult to turn down the call of God when you realize there are children at stake!

2. Why Ethiopia instead of America? 
     There ARE many orphans in America that need families... and I pray every day that each and every orphan finds a loving, Christian household to be raised in...we simply know what we have been called to do this time. And that was Africa. We knew all along that we would adopt--though we hadn't seriously prayed about God's will or timing concerning that. Then we took a 2 week trip to Africa. That changed us. Here was this beautiful continent with such beautiful people, living in worse conditions than our farm animals in America (and we all know what kind of fuss gets made over their conditions!). So we began praying "Why God? Why do we have this pull to Africa? Why does it feel like our hearts were left there?" and we began researching ...countries...orphans...adoptions. God began to reveal His plan for our family in a real a way that makes the slow, lengthy process that much more frustrating. I don't know about you, but when I get a word from God, I just want to take that document and present it as a "pass" through the bureaucracy that we crawl through in the natural to get there!!!! 

    I wanted to share with you just a glimpse of what we found...Here are some facts that touched us and began to break our hearts as we researched:

  • [Cool stat.] Ethiopia  is the only African country to have never been colonized. Christianity dates back to the time of the Apostles (approx 42 A.D.), even mentioned in the Bible!
  • ET has a lower life expectancy at birth than the average of the LEAST developed countries, with only 42.5 years.
  • One in ten children die before their first birthday.
  • Ethiopia ranked 20th in 2004 in the under-five mortality rank (which includes countries currently at war--ET btw, is not.)
  • Malnutrition is the leading cause of more than half of all deaths among children younger than five.
  • More than 80,000 children die from malaria each year (treated mosquito nets cost less than $10)
  • Diarrhea currently accounts for over 20% of under-five mortality rate...Only 20% of all people have access to safe drinking water.
  • The country is home to OVER four million orphans, or 12 percent of all children. More than half a million of these were orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS
  • There are estimates of approximately 5 million additional    "street" children who have, either not been identified as orphans, or have left the system.
  • 38% of children (0-5) are underweight for their age.
  • 3/4 of the population live on less than $1/day

    So, while there is need in America...and someday, I may be posting about our domestic adoption....God had a plan for us, that was set in motion long before that trip to Africa..and that plan, for today at least, is international adoption. 

3. Why Now?   
     We never intended to embark on such a difficult and LONG path as our FIRST parenthood experience (remember this is more like being a pregnant ELEPHANT)...BUT GOD. We trust God to make a way where there seems to be no way, and we trust that this is His plan, and that the child that we are destined to protect, love, cherish, nurture, and raise up...was created to be in our family. We intend to teach all of our children about Africa, especially Ethiopia, and hope that THAT culture (or, for that matter,  the cultures of any of our children's birth countries) isn't just  part of our child who was adopted from there, but becomes part of our entire family's heritage...regardless of where they were born.

    So, I hope that answers any questions people have and, honestly, I pray it puts a burning desire inside of you to, in some way, care for the orphans...of America, of Africa, of anywhere really...They are ALL God's children. I pray that adoption becomes more of a choice than a last resort, and that families all over this very comfortable, free, nation would pursue the honor of being part of a child's life....Because in the end, parenthood--birth or adoption--isn't about us's all about them.



*Ashley Lou* said...
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