When we first decided to move forward with adoption we quickly became overwhelmed with important decisions that needed to be made. Domestic or International, which agency to use, which country? It was stressful and we didn't want to make the wrong choice. We prayed that God guide us through these decisions and we felt him take over. Many doors were closed and others opened. Ethiopia kept coming up...and I mean over and over and over. It was amazing. He lead us to where we feel we belong. Once we both agreed that Ethiopia was where our son was, I was flooded with the feeling of peace. This is the part I can't really explain. It was beautiful. It was God.
I said I can give some concrete reasons as why we chose Ethiopia. Here they are:
- estimated 5 million orphans
- 13% of children throughout the country are missing one or both parents
- 1 in 6 children in an orphanage will die before their 5th birthday
- 50% of all children in Ethiopia will never attend school
- 88% of all children in Ethiopia will never attend secondary school
- Highest HIV/AIDS population in the world
- Steady increase in street children orphaned by AIDS
- Doctor to child ratio: 1 per 24,000
- Life expectancy: 48
- Only 24% of households have access to safe drinking water
- GDP: $513
I do not see how families adopt without Faith. I am so thankful for this. Not only is our family growing in number, but we are growing spiritually. See, we are not saving our son. God is saving all of us. We are already so blessed by him, and he's not even here yet!
Update: We have completed our portion of the homestudy. We now wait for our agency to prepare and approve it. I am busy gathering documents for our dossier. Our goal is to have this sent to Ethiopia by August/September. Once it arrives we will be placed on a wait list. Then the long, hard wait begins. Most families wait around 12 months. Why? There are so many children that need families? I will try to explain to the best of my ability, and with the help of another ET adoptive mom. Our agency works with a coordinator in Ethiopia. This coordinator goes around to different orphanages and builds relationships. Not every orphanage is eligible for International Adoption. It is very costly for them to have this accreditation. Of these orphanages, most have contracts with multiple agencies so our agency does not get all referrals. Also, our agency has a place called the Transition Home. Once we accept our referral, Townes will be moved to the TH. This home is only capable of holding so many children. The goal here is that he gets better care than at the other orphanages. This is a blessing. Prior to this, families would accept and sadly their child would pass away before the chance to bring them home. Of course this is still a possibility. This is a third world country. Children die every day from things we can not fathom coming from our generous lifestyles. We pray for God's protection over our son. This is all we can do until he is in our arms.
Yes, I said Townes. This is the name we have chosen for our son. We plan to use his Ethiopian name as his middle name. Gosh, I love him already.
Okay, so I am going to go back to writing our Letter of Intent. This is our letter to the Ethiopian Government explaining why we desire to parent a child from Ethiopia. It's much easier to type this here. I want to fully explain our heart yet be completely respectful to their beautiful country. The country that will bring me my son. The country that is already so dear to my heart. Please pray for this land and the people within it. Please pray for my son's family. They sure do need our prayers. Speaking of prayers, thank you. Thank your for all of your prayers. We feel them and it is so comforting to know we have some major prayer warriors lifting us up.