The most difficult part of preparing for adoption was choosing where we would adopt from. Would we adopt from North Carolina or would we look into international options? It would be nice if we had a spiritual answer for why we chose Ethiopia. We really do not. It was sort of a default choice. Let me explain...
We knew we had a desire to adopt, but we didn't know from where. The domestic options were much more affordable, but they tend to be much more unpredictable and sometimes a longer process. Additionally, we do not know how long we will live in North Carolina, so we didn't feel that a domestic adoption would suit our situation.
So with the decision made to go international, the options seemed to be too numerous to count. However, we quickly realized that our options were actually very small. Each country has certain criteria you must meet if you want to adopt. We realized that our age, our length of marriage, and our income limited us to only two countries: Bulgaria and Ethiopia. After conversations with our friends who have adopted from Ethiopia as well as our agency, we decided that Ethiopia was the right choice for us.
We understand that this means that we will have an interracial family. We aware of the challenges this may bring, but we are trusting in the Lord to provide the grace we need. I will write another blog post tackling this issue in the coming days.
The need for orphans to be adopted from Ethiopia is great. The statistics are staggering.
There are over 5 million orphans in Ethiopia alone
Last year 1,724 of these children were adopted to the US. That's only .0003 percent.
1 in 10 children there die before their 1st birthday
1 in 6 children die before their 5th birthday
Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school
60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition
1/3 of the population survive on less than $1 a day
You would have to take all the kids under 18 in New York, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia - remove their parents and then you would have the number of children who are orphans in Ethiopia.
Check out our orphanage here.