Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Why Ethiopia?"

This is a question that we have been asked a few times throughout this adoption process. It's a good question, and I usually give a lengthy answer (I know, shocking!). One of our reasons was that as we (mostly Joe) did research early on, we saw what a great need there is in Ethiopia, especially when compared to that of other countries that are open for adoption. As I was doing a little Christmas shopping yesterday, checking out the fundraisers on the blogs of some other families within our agency who are also adopting from Ethiopia, I came across this entry on one of their blogs.

Why Adopt from Ethiopia?
• One in six children die before their fifth birthday
• 44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old
• 60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition
• The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years
• 1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world)
• 720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone, and there are 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia.
• Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa
• In the 90s the population (3%) grew faster than food production (2.2%)• Drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals)
• Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school.
• Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002.
• Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.
• In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports.

The truth is, there are a number of reasons and influences that moved our hearts to Ethiopia, but the most important is the Holy Spirit's leading and working in Joe's and my hearts to being of one mind in this area. We continue to be overwhelmed with gratefulness that God has allowed us to follow Him on this journey!