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Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Adoption Journey Begins!!!!

We are happy to announce that we have turned in our initial paperwork to our agency which starts the process of bringing our baby home from Ethiopia! There is a long and crazy road of paperwork and bureaucratic tape ahead of us, but we feel that it is 110% worth the wonderful gift we receive in the end---a child from God.

So WHY are we adopting if we can have kids on our own?
Libby was adopted domestically at birth and has always wanted to pass on the gift of love and family that adoption brought  her down to her children and family one day. Since we met we have talked openly about the idea of growing our family through adoption and began researching the avenues of adoption prior to Mason being born! Adoption and birth are truly the best gifts you can give a child and a family. So if you are able and called to this, why would you even hesitate for a second?

OK, So WHY Ethiopia? There are children here that need forever homes too!
When we started this process we were a clean slate, meaning that we were open to all areas of the world (including USA) for our adoption. We really wanted to learn about the different pathways of adoption and let the Lord guide us to where we needed to go to get our baby. We fell in love with Ethiopia RIGHT AWAY but wanted to research everywhere else to make sure we were going into this with our hearts AND minds. So we did. And after many discussions and T-charts, we knew where we were meant to be--Ethiopia.

        Here are some facts about children living in Ethiopia today:

720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone, and there are 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia.
• One in six children die before their fifth birthday
• 44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old
• 60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition
• Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school.
• The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years
• 1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world)
• Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa
• In the 90s the population (3%) grew faster than food production (2.2%)
• Drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals)
• Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002.
• Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.
• In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports.

OK for the second part--why are you not adopting from USA? We did a lot of research about adopting domestically and thought that is what we would do initially. However, when we spoke to all of the different agencies (way too many to count) and adoption counselors we did not think it was the right fit for us at this time. We felt like the agency we chose to work with was a much better fit. We also looked at the issues that face the children who are given up for adoption here vs. the children in many 3rd world countries and there is simply no comparison. Here children are either adopted right away or are placed in foster care, which although is not always ideal, is meeting the primary needs of the children. The same cannot be said for the children in these other countries. In many places the children do not have food, shelter, or medical care. Many will not even have the "privilege" of living in an orphanage. The health and education rates are much lower for the orphans in these countries than they are in America. All of these facts, plus many more, went into our decision making process of where to adopt from.

We are VERY excited to embark on this journey to bring our baby home!! For those of you that may be reading this that are not familiar with adoption, or just want to learn more, we will work to post some books and articles that you can access.

Here is another link that we think is a beautiful representation of adoption:
Adoption Gotcha Day Video

Thank you all for embarking on this journey with our family! We will keep you posted as things progress!

1 comment:

  1. A childhood friend of mine had a great experience adopting their daughter from Ethiopia. Hoping yours goes just as well!