Or why not adopt from China? Why not adopt domestically? Why are you adopting a baby that isn’t going to look like you? Questions such as these are harder to answer because they require more than a simple one word explanation.
Jonathan and I don’t remember the day when we specifically decided to adopt from Ethiopia. It just didn’t play out quite like that. After a year or so of trying to have a baby, I really started researching adoption pretty heavily and would share with Jonathan what I learned along the way. Jonathan and I had discussed even while dating how we could picture ourselves adopting, so I already knew it was an option for growing our family. I really believe that during the second year of trying to have a baby, God was not only preparing us for adoption, but He was also constantly drawing our eyes to Africa. These two things were kind of developing in our hearts at the same time, and then we started seeing the two together. I say “in our hearts” because sometimes I don’t think we were always aware of this love that was starting to take root. A lot of it was mental and not always spoken.
I think we first started forming a heart for Africa when we were given the opportunity to sponsor a little girl from Uganda a few years ago. We had never really thought about Africa or orphans up until that point. I didn’t realize at the time how much I would come to care for this little girl or how much joy sponsoring her would bring to my life. Like I mentioned before in past posts, I’ve learned a lot about adoption from reading adoption blogs. I didn’t seek out any particular country when researching or reading blogs at first, but I was always attracted to those adopting from Africa. The thing I always noticed was that these families adopting from Africa were all so passionate about advocating for orphans and were doing some pretty radical things in regards to orphan care. They were all so inspiring…like make-you-want-to-sell-all-your-stuff-and-move-to-Africa inspiring. We would read these stories and statistics, and our hearts began to break for these children. After several months of discussing and praying about it, we decided to act on our feelings. We desperately wanted to be parents and these children desperately needed a family to call their own. So why not make it happen? As scary as it was to imagine at first, we ultimately couldn’t say no.
Also during this time we started noticing that each country open to international adoption had specific requirements in regards to age, number of years married, income, etc. Some countries require you to live in-country for a certain amount of time. The age of children available for adoption also varies. Not every country has infants available. All of these requirements sort of limited down the options for us. This is the part where we usually tell people that Ethiopia chose us! We met all the requirements to adopt from there, and the agency we liked a lot had an Ethiopia program. Once we made the decision to adopt, we made contact with the agency and started the application process!
Ethiopia came about so naturally it was if this country was a part of our calling to adopt all along in the same way that domestic adoption or China would be for others. And yes, we are very much aware that our child is going to have brown skin and look nothing like us. We are not naive to think that this will not present obstacles for us at times, but this means so little to us compared to knowing that there will be one less orphan in Ethiopia once our child is home. We don’t need our child to look like us to be ours. Regardless if our child comes from my womb or from another continent, he/she has been chosen specifically for us by God. What more could we ask for? Plus, we happen to think that some of the cutest babies in the world come from Ethiopia.
So there you have it!
By the way, I made the announcement on Facebook, but I don’t think I ever posted anything about our waitlist numbers. For May we are….
144 for a girl
123 for a boy
We will get new numbers at the end of June. Another milestone reached in our adoption process. We have so much to be thankful for!