Friday, October 12, 2007

Why Africa?

Kevin and I have been asked that question quite frequently lately. Some also wonder why we are not adopting in the United States. I know that I have not addressed that question as intelligently as I could have or maybe should have. So many issues have been on our minds. It has been a feat to get to the point where we are at right now. So many times we struggled with doing what we thought would be best for our family. There are so many considerations when contemplating adoption. What about the costs? What about the emotional stability of a child who could need intense attention and patience due to a hard first few months of life? What about our kids adapting to a new member of the family? Believe me the list goes on and on. The bottom line is that God put this into our hearts, and we have to be true and honor what we believe God wants to do in our lives. The details will fall into place. That doesn't mean it will be smooth sailing, but it does mean that we have the assurance that God will be with us and give us wisdom when we encounter the waves.

Now to Ethiopia. Ethiopia is leading the continent of Africa as having the most orphans. Currently there are over 4 million orphans. Most are orphaned because of extreme poverty due to drastic drought and flooding, but about half a million are orphaned by parents who died of HIV/AIDs. By 2010 over 18 million Africans will be orphaned by AIDS. When we decided to adopt, the biggest considerations that came into place were who has a need and where is God drawing us to. We knew we wanted an infant, so we felt confident that the babies in the United States have an excellent chance of being adopted. We were first drawn to China, but when the time came closer to making a decision, China became more intensive to adopt from (up to a four year wait to adopt). When we noticed that America World began an adoption program in Ethiopia, there was an immediate feeling of "this could be it". After weighing the options and lots of prayer, we felt like this was where our paths were heading toward. In the scheme of things it may seem insignificant to be helping just one of millions, but I can't help but thinking of how Scout will feel about this some day. To know that she was one in a million who was given a different way out of a desperate situation.


Sandi said...

I feel completely the same way. We will just be able to help one, but one is better than none.

Blessings on your journey!

Kari said...

Kelly, you are an amazing writer!! WOW! Thanks for sharing your heart about why your family chose Ethiopia! I agree...God has a higher plan that we cannot even wrap our brains around! Way to go on getting your workshop out of the are getting closer to your home visit. You will LOVE Shannon Wilson :) Steffany is a great cheerleader & extremely detailed!! She won't miss anything in your paperwork...she's a 10!
Well, it was great to see you Sunday. We need to have a meeting spot so we can connect @ our BIG church! What a surprise..we had no idea you went to JRA! Small world in so many ways :)

C Fleig said...

Kelly, we (especially Delanie, as you know) are so excited for you! I'm sorry it has taken us so long to catch up and visit your blog but we have always been here, praying and rooting for your entire family all the way! We can't wait to have another little girl in the neighborhood!

and now a few words from Delanie:

congratulations, im so happy to meet scout, can't wait!

You will all remain in our prayers!

Ron and Kellie Pellizzari said...

Hi Kelly,
I'm Kellie and my husband and I are also in the home study/paperchasing phase with AWAA. I'm so glad you joined the YG! It's a wonderful resource and filled with wonderful people! May God bless you and your family on this journey and always!
Kellie Pellizzari

Danielle said...

Hi! It sounds like we're on a similar journey. Your thought process from America to China (we were requesting an infant girl) to Ethiopia was our own. I'm so glad you joined the YG and things are moving forward. How exciting.

Blessings to your family,
Danielle (AW)

P.S. Our oldest (6) is a Brady (Braden), too!