why ethiopia?

africa-map.480.494.sA question I often get is why Ethiopia – why not adopt domestically, or foster a U.S. child? In all my research and from what I’ve heard in adoption meetings domestic adoption can be tricky and the timeline more unpredictable than an international adoption…and trust me, international has it’s own unpredictability as well.

As a single woman, I discovered that my choices are very limited in the countries where I can adopt from. The order I was interested in was China, Ethiopia, and Russia. Through the many months and hundreds of agency websites, I created a spreadsheet of each country and some facts about the adoption process. Then I attended an informational session to get the current up-to-date info on the countries because they can change each month. As of right now, China is closed to single women unless I want to adopt a child with special needs. Well honestly, I don’t feel comfortable with that and feel as a single woman that would be a very difficult road for me. Russia I found out is one of the most expensive countries to adopt from so unfortunately that was crossed off my list. Maybe if I was married and had two incomes, the cost wouldn’t play such a role in my decision, but it does. Ethiopia is less than Russia and China and are still allowing singles to adopt. So I prayed about it each day and night, and every time in between, wondering if adoption was for me. Am I doing something that in the end will never happen? What if I can’t afford to do this? What if I will never become a mother? I was hoping for a sign to point me in the direction I was meant to go in. I do believe that I was always meant to be a mother. I kept praying.

One weekend I had those clear signs…and they pointed to Ethiopia. I had two dreams about adopting from Ethiopia, I watched three shows and movies that all referenced Ethiopia, and everywhere I looked seemed to have some reference to Ethiopia. I’ve never felt so sure about the choice as I do now. Ethiopia is an amazing place with so much culture and heart and He led me on this path. I must listen.

The following is some of what I read:

– 44% of the population is living in poverty

– life expectancy is around 59 years

– 166 out of 1000 children die before reaching the age of 5

– only 17.5% of people have access to clean water

– roughly 6 million orphans

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