Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why Ethiopia?


    It’s so much fun talking with friends, family, and strangers about our adoption journey.  We're  overjoyed with the support and encouragement so many have offered, and we’ve already had some great dialogue about adoption.  I thought it would be helpful to post a few FAQs in case you’re wondering some of the same things.  The #1 question is, “Why Ethiopia?” so let’s start there!

     When we first began researching adoption, we actually started looking at the needs right here in our own backyard.  Do you know there about 100,000 children needing forever families right here in America?  A really mind-boggling statistic is that we have approximately 300,000 churches in the U.S.  If one in three churches had just ONE FAMILY that could take a child into their home, there would be NO MORE ORPHANS in the United States.  We definitely believe in the power and call to domestic adoption, but we also felt God nudging our family to keep researching.  Here’s what we discovered: 

  •   There are 143 million orphans in the world today.
  •  Approximately 1/3 of the world’s orphans live in Africa.
  • 15 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS
  • 5 million orphans live in Ethiopia alone. . . that is 5 million McKenzie’s, Luke’s, Jake’s, and Sam's without a mom or dad in that one country alone.
  •  AIDS, famine, and war are the main factors of why so many orphans don’t make it very long.  It’s literally a matter of life and death for these kids!     

     Many orphans in Ethiopia's care system die each year due to not enough food, clean water, or medicine.  I mentioned this in a previous post, but it’s worth saying again:  While we have the luxuries of American culture, around the world 26,000 children are dying EACH DAY from preventable diseases and starvation.  Many of these kids have a death sentence from the very beginning of life.  There is a great need for adoptive families in every country, but Ethiopia is somewhat unique because there are more orphaned children than there are people willing to adopt them. 

     We honestly didn’t choose Ethiopia for shock value, but it’s funny how Africa seems extreme to American minds.  We simply recognize a need and believe God has called our family to this country for this season.  Every orphan needs a family no matter where they live – in America, Ethiopia, and everywhere in between.  God doesn’t love us any more because we’re going across the ocean to join His work, and He also doesn’t love the orphans here in the States any more than the ones on the other side of the globe.  While I love the Red, White, and Blue, I’m ultimately a citizen of God’s kingdom, and I feel certain that there are no borders, racial distinctions, or other man-made barriers. 

     Christ came to redeem the entire world, and He is sending the Forrester family to Ethiopia to love on some of His children there.  It’s a lengthy process and it comes at a cost, but we are desperate to get there quickly and have complete faith in God’s sovereignty.  We are really excited and so very humbled that many of you want to join us in this adventure.  I can’t wait to post more of the FAQs so you can get involved in this humble effort!  Until then, thank you for your generous prayers and cheers of support.

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