We are finding ourselves faced with a lot of questions lately;). We know that people are naturally curious…..and we are so grateful for the people who ask questions rather than passing judgement. I never dreamed that people would have such big opinions about our decision to adopt. But they do. We have been overwhelmingly showered with support and encouragement. However, we have lost a few friendships, and received hurtful feedback or silence from a few family members. We want to be sure that we are prepared to answer the tough questions. We are hoping for grace when responding. We know that very soon, our son will be watching, so it’s important for us to wade through these things with care;).
Lately we have been asked, “Why have you chosen to adopt from Ethiopia and not domestically? “
It was actually a really easy decision. I have felt called to adopt for some time, and we have never felt so driven by something beyond to do something. This is what we are supposed to do. No doubt, it just is. I can’t use reason to describe, but it’s a faith and direction that has been working in us. So without going totally deep into dreams, and spiritual experiences that have led to Ethiopia;). I can tell you facts that make “sense” to most. And a little disclaimer… I don’t think that one choice is better than the other (domestic vs. international adoption). Each family has to look at the complexities of each and decide which is better for their situation. In the U.S. it is considered best practice for adoptions to remain open to some degree…meaning birth parents are still a part of the child’s life. This is wonderful for the outcome of the child. But can create struggle for adoptive parents….particularly with the rate of birth families changing their minds before the adoption is finalized.
My heart is for orphan care, not exclusively adoption. In the US we have elaborate and experienced social services in place to care for orphans. The reality for an orphan in the US is foster care, adoption, and a handful of services for support and care. Yes there are still orphans, but there are not nearly the numbers as in third world countries. There are 115,000 children in the US who are orphans ready for adoption. In Ethiopia there are 4.5 million. If you are an orphan in Ethiopia, you are fortunate to live in an overcrowded orphanage. The mortality rate for an Ethiopian orphaned child is high. There isn’t health care, education is a luxury, and malnutrition is rampant. Its heartbreaking and the answer is not exclusively adoption. But we can be the hope for one little guy. We feel so blessed to have the opportunity.
The more we learn, we just want their to be a bigger answer for this struggling part of the world. When we jump this hurdle we would like to help in other ways. There are so many ways to help….I will be featuring some ways here on the blog (Orphan Sunday in November;). Yes it was a big decision, but a ridiculously easy one for us;). Thanks for asking, and/or taking the time to read this! We greatly appreciated opportunities to explain it, or clear up questions that people have;).