Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why adopt? Why Ethiopia? Part 2

Yesterday, we explained why we're adopting as opposed to attempting to conceive through fertility treatments & such.  Today, we'd like to deal with why we're adopting from Ethiopia rather than domestically. 

So...why Ethiopia?  There are so many reasons I can give!  The most important reason is that we simply feel God leading us there.  We could have gone the domestic route - we thought about it & may do so in the future - but we simply feel that for now, God is leading us to Ethiopia.  We believe our God is sovereign & that He ordained that all of our children - birth & adopted - be ours from before the foundation of the world.  The most basic reason that we're adopting from Ethiopia is that our children are in Ethiopia, just as God has willed.  Like I said, we've always wanted to adopt (seriously, like from the time I was 12 & Michael was a teenager), but we thought we would wait until after we had "our own" children.  (As an aside, I detest that phrase now; they won't be our biological children, but they will be "our own" children.)  Then, my sister- & brother-in-law started the process; we were over at their house one night this past January & spent literally hours watching You Tube videos showing adoption stories, a lot of them from Ethiopia.  Watching all of these children who had no one suddenly becoming part of a family was simply extraordinary!  I cried the whole time & was completely drained by the end of the day.  Michael & I drove home talking about how we didn't have to wait; we could adopt now.  One reason we chose Ethiopia is because of how speedy their process is compared to other nations.  But the main reason, other than God's leading, is that as we began researching Ethiopia to get a better feel of the culture, we discovered the dire situation facing these beautiful people.  For Ethiopia's orphans, many of whom are living on the streets, life is a daily struggle to survive.  There are between 4 & 6 million orphans in Ethiopia alone, & most of them don't live to see their 5th birthday; they're dying from starvation, preventable diseases, & subhuman conditions.  More than 26,000 children around the world die every single day from these conditions!  That's 1,080+ every hour, 18+ every minute!  Imagine if our church were representative of these statistics.  In a matter of minutes, not one child would be left alive.  Learning this, we simply couldn't turn our backs on the situation.  We have to save these children.

One of the "flagship" verses of adoption is James 1:27.  As Christ's church, we are all called to "visit orphans & widows in their distress".  We just recently heard a sermon explaining that "visit" means save, as in all the times that God "visited" His people in distress.  He didn't just comfort them & then leave them in their situations; He rescued them from the situations.  We are all called to rescue orphans, whether by means of adoption or by means of facilitating adoption.  You know what's been amazing in this for me personally?  I've never met my children - they may not even be born yet - but I know that before creation, God planned them to be mine, & I love them to the very bottom of my soul.  I may not have them in my arms yet, but they are firmly planted in my heart.

*Our most gracious heavenly Father, please help us, as Your adopted children, to reflect your heart by adopting orphans from all over the world.  These children are so precious, & they need us to rescue them from poverty, disease, & death.  We can't do it without You, though.  Please make Your people - Your bride - burn with a passion for adoption for Your glory!  In Christ's holy name, Amen.