Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why Ethiopia?

Several people have asked us why we have chosen to adopt from Ethiopia, not in an accusatory way, or negatively, people are just curious and I understand that. I have seen these statistics on several other blogs and I hope it is okay to "borrow" them to place here:

• One in ten children die before their first birthday
• 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
• The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years
• 1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world)
• 720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone
• 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)
• Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school.
• 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.
Sources: Greening Ethiopia, Ethiopia’s Children, Global Income Per Capita, CIA World Facts

Believe it or not, Haiti was actually my (Jon wasn't ready to say yes yet) first country of choice. I knew the orphanage I wanted to adopt from near Port-au-Prince and followed their website regularly. Then about a year and a half ago, the laws in Haiti changed that you could only have 2 biological children to be able to adopt. All along I had prayed that God would open those doors He wanted us to walk through and close those that He didn't. This was an obvious slam in the face and I needed to start looking for a different country. Ethiopia was a new program with All God's Children at the time and because of the great need, the parameters meeting our family specifics, and the travel time being realistic for our family, I began to pray, study the above statistics and research Ethiopia and God said yes!

When Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.', we believe adoption from Ethiopia is what Jesus was talking about for us.

I love this quote "The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." F. Beuchner

I know my calling was to be a mother. I know there is tremendous hunger in Ethiopia, the two fit together perfectly- Praise God for leading us here!

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