Friday, July 13, 2007

Why Ethiopia?

We've been asked why Ethiopia? (We've even been asked, "Why would we want a baby from Ethiopia when we could adopt a white baby from here?") When we first started researching we looked into domestic adoption, as well as other countries, but we were always drawn to Ethiopia.

Did you know?

  • This country, that is about twice the size of Texas, has an estimated 4.3 million orphans.

  • 47% of children under 5 yrs. old are moderately to severely underweight.

  • HIV/AIDS killed 120,000 people in Ethiopia in 2003.

  • Tuberculosis (TB) killed approximately 550,000 people in the region last year.

  • 41% of Africans live on less then $1 a day.

  • Today in Africa there are 12 million AIDS orphans and that number is expected to climb to 18 million by 2010.

  • 49.2 years is the average life span of an Ethiopian.

  • 20% of deaths in children under 5 are due to diarrhea (mostly due to unclean water - only 22% of the population has access to clean water sources.)

  • ONE MILLION children are killed by malaria every year which can be prevented by a $6 mosquito net.

The statistics maybe daunting and it maybe considered admirable to "rescue" a child from such conditions. Admittedly there is some satisfaction in knowing that we are possibly giving a child a better start in life. However, the reason we "chose" Ethiopia is because we both feel that Ethiopia is where our child is from. We felt called to Ethiopia. We love its history. Did you know that Ethiopia is the 2nd oldest Christian nation in the world? Did you know that Ethiopia has a long history connected to the Jewish faith (i.e. Queen Sheba and King Solomon, Philip and the Ethiopian, and a great legend that has the Ark of the Covenant resting in a church in Ethiopia?) Ethiopia is also a beautiful country with such places as Lake Tana and the Blue Nile (which combines with the White Nile to create the Nile.) Like any country, Ethiopia has problems as the statistics above attest too. However, there is also a lot to be admired about this country. Admittedly, much of this we have learned after we knew that Ethiopia was where our next child would come from. Perhaps that is the key to answering the question, "Why Ethiopia?" We just know that is where we are to adopt from. For those less than religious this may not make much sense but prayer and consideration led us both to know that was the place. It was not so much a case of us chosing Ethiopia as it was that Ethiopia was the only choice. Simply put, our child is there, we just have to go pick him/her up.