I thought I would dedicate the next few post to the questions we have been asked the most in the last few days. We hope this will give a clearer picture of our thinking, the process and what to expect. The top questions we have been asked are: Why Ethiopia?, Do you know him already?, Why does it take so long?, How do the girls feel about it all?,(and one that we haven't really been asked yet, but want to answer anyway) How much will it cost? If there are any other questions that you have, please don't hesitate to ask. We would love to share any information we can with you.
So, here goes. . .
The short answer is that we strongly feel God's call to adopt from Ethiopia. I won't stop there though. Hopefully I won't drag on too long!
We always knew we wanted to adopt again, we were just waiting for the right time. In the last few years, every few months we would get "the fever." We would pray about and discuss the options. At one point, we prayed about going back into foster care. There were even a few times when we were contacted by various people about a possible adoption, but each time didn't seem like the right time or roadblocks were thrown our way. We really never looked closely at international adoption until about a year and a half ago. I guess we always thought it was too expensive to consider. One day, I happened upon a website that mentioned that Ethiopia had recently opened to international adoption. I immediately felt the "tug" and mentioned it to Matt. He felt the same. We still felt God telling us to wait.
Then came January of this year. January 3rd sitting in church the Lord was speaking to us.Both Matt and I looked at each other and basically said "It's time" It was uncanny! We immediately began looking at various agencies and all possible countries. After looking at as much information as possible, the choice was clear. There were several factors that contributed to our decision:
- Age--We really would like an infant this time around and children 1 month-15 years are available in Ethiopia.
- Cost--Even thought it is pricey, Ethiopia is on on the lower end compared to other countries we considered.
- Wait Time--Although 12-24 months sounds longs, it is nothing compared to some other countries (the wait time for China is about 4 years!)
- Travel Time--Many countries require at least one parent to be in country for up to 3 months and make 2 or 3 trips before taking your adopted child home. Ethiopia, as of right now, only requires one weeklong trip to pick up your child. There is a chance that we will have to make two trips, but even then, each trip will only be about 7 days.
Those factors alone made the decsion quite easy and as time has progressed, we have learned so many things about this country.
- Ethiopia is home to roughly 4.6 to 5 million orphans, or 12% of all children. That is the same number of children under age 18 who reside in Massachusetts, New York State, and Washington DC combined. If every parent in those places died tonight - that would be similar to Ethiopia's orphan crisis.
- One out of ten die before reaching their first birthday
- Life expectancy in Ethiopia 39 years for males and 42 years for females. The leading cause of death is communicable diseases such as malaria, typhoid, meningitis, cholera, AIDS, tuberculosis, yellow fever.
- Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa
- Half of the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school
- Coffee prices (Ethiopia's only major export) declined 40-60%from 1998-2002
These statistics are staggering. We feel that God directed us to this country. In a short time we have developed an indescribable love for Ethiopia and all 4.6 million orphans in it. It warms my heart to know that soon, the Bobo's can help by making that number 4,599,999! That's only if we can handle coming home with just one!
Sorry this post was so long! Next time I'll tackle the questions Do you know him already? and Why does it take so long?