I’m sure if you’re like many others, you’re wondering why Ethiopia? Why not adopt locally? While there are roughly 400,000 children in the US Foster Care system waiting to be adopted, there are over 140 MILLION orphans worldwide. More than 5 million live in Ethiopia. There are several reasons why we chose Ethiopia…
Well it’s pretty obvious that Ethiopian people are gorgeous, isn’t it? I think God sprinkled an extra ounce of beauty on them at birth. True, but this isn’t the only reason we chose Ethiopia!
First of all, I (Kendra) am obviously drawn to Africa a little more so than other continents because of my history. My grandparents lived in South Africa for 46 years and my father was born and raised there. I also was fortunate enough to spend several years growing up there and remember this time as some of the happiest memories of my life. I’m sure if given the opportunity, I would probably live in Africa again.
Secondly, one of the first steps in the adoption process involves finding a reputable agency that you can trust. We researched several agencies and discovered that only a few African nations work with these agencies to perform legal and safe adoptions. One of the more common and more experienced nations was Ethiopia. Some of our resources tell us that Ethiopia adopted out 2200 children last year alone, where as some of the other African nations were less than 50. Obviously, there is a great need there with almost 5 million orphans living in a nation filled with poverty and illness without a chance to be loved and succeed.
Thirdly, our desire was to start a family with babies. Because we haven’t experienced parenthood, we wanted to raise these children from as young as possible. Ethiopia fortunately allows you to request children under the age of one year. There were other countries we were open to adopt from, but unfortunately for us, their requirements would not allow children under the age of 3-5 years old. Some countries also have specific travel requirements such as a 40 day stay before allowing the child to go home with you. This was just too unrealistic for both of us at this point with our jobs.
Finally and sadly, it seemed wise for us to pick a country with a slightly lower cost. Adoption is anything but inexpensive. For example, several eastern European countries are open to adoption, but the cost ranges between $40-55,000. Plus, it’s discouraging to hear of all the corruption among many countries as they turn orphans into commodities. Ethiopia, thankfully, is less at around $30-$35,000. Also, the cost to adopt two at the same time, God willing, will only be about $7,000 more. We are not positive that this will happen, but we are definitely open to the possibility of getting a young sibling group.