I can actually pin point this story's beginning when we started Sova-Grace's adoption.
We were gathering the documents for India in 2007 when I first learned about Ethiopia...The crisis they were having with orphans there...an overwhelming need- starvation, disease and a very low child expectancy life rate. I was bothered that I was thinking about Ethiopia when we were picking up a little girl in India who was so clearly brought to us by God. So I tucked the thoughts away for 'later.'
Near the end of 2009, a year after we brought Sova home, my heart was being completely wrecked for the orphans of the world again. Mike and I watched a documentary on street children in Russia and I could not get those images out of my head. I literally felt sick. Information on Ethiopia's crisis would somehow always reach my eyes while on the computer. Seriously- blog links to Ethiopian adoptions and headlines would just pop up before me! I became burdened with the thought of this nation where I would literally weep at night. I would hold back tears just talking about the subject with friends. I knew God was doing something in my heart but I did not know what it was. I thought maybe I should just go there! And so I set off on emailing a contact I know who goes there frequently to work in orphanages and I was invited to join her. I really thought- maybe this is it...I just have to go. Mike and I prayed about it but as soon as I really prayed about it- that deep urge and desire to go completely lifted. I knew that was God because I Really wanted to go...and then all of a sudden I just knew that I shouldn't and that was ok with me.
So 2010 comes along and I felt something. I knew there were some big choices and decisions to be made this year about our future. Mike and I were talking about these choices while driving to the airport and we both said we would pray about them.
So we were standing in Disney World, waiting in a long hot line for, 'It's a Small World After All,' surrounded be hundreds of whiney tired kids when Mike turned to me and in a serious matter of factly way, he said, 'when we get home I think that we should start another adoption.' I thought, 'maybe he has heat stroke or has just gone completely mad-did he really just say that?' I mean- yes we have talked about it and we knew that we would do it again but I guess it was just the circumstances- standing in a line surrounded by strangers- that threw me off! Those words to adoptive parents have similar emotions to the words, 'I'm pregnant!' I remember the exact moment where Mike and I decided to pursue Sova's adoption- we were giddy laughing together at the fact that were embarking on this journey to India to pick up this little girl. So yes, we were hugging in the line all lit up and glowing like a newly pregnant couple :) 'It's a Small World After All' now has a special place in my heart ;)
So besides our own personal conviction that Ethiopia is where we need to adopt from here's some more info:
The needs of children in Ethiopia are staggering.
Here are a few facts:
• There are 5,000,000 orphans in a land 1/2 the size of Texas.
• Nearly 15% (800,000)of children are orphans due to AIDS.
• Four out of five people in Ethiopia live on less than $2 per day.
• Ethiopia is listed in the top 10 countries for the worst human development index worldwide.
• Only 6% of births are attended by a trained attendant.
• One in every 10 Ethiopian children dies before reaching a first birthday.
The Ethiopian Aids Campaign lists 5.4million orphans in Ethiopia for 2007.
If the 147 million orphans of the world stood side by side they would wrap around the earth 4 times.