Friday, July 11, 2008

Deciding on Ethiopia

It is a funny thing to decide where you want to adopt a baby from. Charles and I looked into domestic adoption and decided that it wasn't for us, at least not for our first adoption. In a domestic adoption, the process involves advertising yourselves to birth mothers and most of the laws protect the birth mother, not the adopting parents. Many adoptions go sour when the birth mother changes her mind. In many states, the birth mother has a grace period of up to a year to change her mind. I just couldn't put myself through that. As many of you know, I am quite the worrier. Can you imagine what I would be like--not a pretty picture.
We then looked into international adoption. We studied up on the process and interviewed many different agencies. We also had to look into which country we would consider. Many of the agencies only handle certain countries. Some agencies only offer adoptions from China. We factored in cost, wait times and how the waiting children are cared for. After weighing all of our options, we decided on Ethiopia. Many of our friends and family, all very supportive, questioned our decision. Many wanted to know why Ethiopia. To answer that is difficult. For many years, I have been facinated with Africa. Maybe it started when I was little and my dad would talk about his experiences in Africa--Ethiopia and Eritrea. I loved looking at his slides and hearing about the people and the beauty of the mountains. I always dreamed of going there. In a way, you can say that I fell in love with the idea of Africa--wild and exotic. Throughout my adult life, I have read about the many terrible things going on in Africa, Apartheid , Darfur, poverty, starvation, the AID's crisis and more. My heart goes out to the suffering people and I am amazed that our counrty does little to nothing to help these people. Genocide is a word that seems to have no meaning to the American Government. Oops, I will step down from my soap-box.
Charles and I are not those people that are going to save a child from all of those problems. On the contrary, the Ethiopian people care for and respect their children a great deal. They put children up on a pedestal, making sure that all of their needs are met. That along with the wait time for babies is much less than the 3-4 years for China, Korea and Russia. I want a baby now, not 3-4 years from now.
We see adopting Abigail as a blessing for us, if anyone is getting saved, it is Charles and I. I do understand that we will face multiple issues of race and racism, but everyone faces that when rasing children. It is just easier to ignore if you are all the same color.

Why blog now??

Well, after explaining our status over and over again, and after getting a little advice from Christy, I decided to create the adoption blog. I am also compelled to write down what the process has been like up to this point. I feel that everyone who is having a hard time understanding us right now may benefit from hearing what this process is like. I will try and break it down in segments--no one likes or is able to digest vast amounts of information in one entry. If anyone has questions or if you are going through the process and need some frustrations validated, please feel free to ask. I hope that everyone knows that this is a really long and emotional process and we really appreciate your support.