Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Why Ethiopia?

I'm getting involved with something called the Red Letters Campaign. It's worth checking out if you haven't already. As part of their "Blog Buzz", I'll be answering one question per week on my blog. This week, it's the age-old "Why-did-we-choose-Ethiopia?" I honestly love sharing our process, our journey, in hopes that it might open eyes, minds and hearts to this beautiful East African nation. Everyone has their reasons for choosing a particular country. We are no different.

The Need

Orphans belong in homes, period, regardless where they come from--whether it's on the other side of the world, or right next-door. But we were especially and utterly compelled by the AIDS and orphan crisis in Africa. It is devastating. Some have called it the scourge of our time. Completely unfathomable. We saw this as being an extremely urgent need, and we wanted to help.

The Culture

Ethiopia is an amazing place filled with amazing people. Their love for God, love for children, joyfulness in the face of terrible adversity, dignity, and pride they take in their country are so beautiful to us. Travelling there, we fell in love even more.

The Stigma

As "popular" as Ethiopian adoption seems to be, statistics reveal that the overwhelming majority of international adoptions come from other places (in spite of those adoption programs generally being more expensive, time-consuming, and difficult). While there are surely several reasons for this, ONE of them is that it is less "socially acceptable" for a white person to adopt a brown-skinned child, so people don't want to do it. This, to me, is a tragedy. There will always be ignorant, prejudiced people. I just can't see letting that be an obstacle to a child finding a family.

The Process

I feel very, very strongly about ethics in adoption. Human trafficking and "baby buying" are serious, and they happen, and they put all international adoptions at risk. Adoption is business. There's a lot of money at stake. Impoverished people are easy to exploit. We knew we only wanted to support a program and agency that was above-board and committed to finding families for children...not the other way around. One that had an established, stream-lined process that was free from corruption. Adoption Advocates International's Ethiopia program was well-established, they were extremely involved in humanitarian work there, and helped co-found an orphanage for HIV+ orphans.

If you know me, then you know that bringing Yosef and Biniam home from Ethiopia has been life-changing. I can't wait to go back with my sons...I can't wait to adopt again...Part of my heart is in Ethiopia. Might yours be also?


Kristen Borland said...

It's definitely one of the top choices for us as far as countries go for our future adoption.

darci said...

thanks for this! i am going to get involved in this, too. (once i figure out how, lol). we too are adopting from ethiopia. it is amazing how so many people have NO idea what the world 'out there' is really like. thanks for sharing. darci

darci said...


The visitation of the fatherless and widows in their affliction is not left optional. It is not to be the privilege of a few worldly men who give all their substance to orphanages. Every Christian is bound to wear his part of the external dress of religion, that is, charity. This charity is to be manifested especially to those who need it most, whose need cannot be a matter of imposture, but must be real. These are the fatherless and widows, during the time of their destitution and affliction, when the orphans are not able to earn the bread that perishes, and the mother has her children weeping around her, and pining in poverty.

--Charles Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit v. 39, p. 391(3rd paragraph into introduction) “Charity and Purity”

Amy said...

Hey Brianna..

Amy Bottomly here...I am part of the RLC leadership... specifically the Ethiopia launch. I have been to your blog many times before...I think I have left comments before too. I know that you already read a ton of blogs though... Anywho, just saying hello! Way to blog about Blog Buzz!

Your fam is beautiful!


joy said...

i love how you share so much about your decision to adopt from ethiopia. i admire your courage to really do something about the crisis. and i love yosef and biniam. i miss seeing your children's smiling faces as we arrived early on wednesday nights. (did you notice, we arrived later and later each week?) :)

Brandi said...

Great blog buzz post! Way to go. . it was so well written and also great information! Thanks for participating. I can't wait to read more of your family on this blog and travel to Ethiopia soon (we are going with Tom Davis in 3 months and I can hardly stop thinking about it!).

Thanks again, I look forward to your future posts!



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