The last week or so I’ve really had a burden to pray for Ethiopia as a country. This country is in crisis, like other African nations Ethiopia suffers from a huge HIV/AIDS epidemic, an epidemic that causes parents to be put in a situation where they cannot care for their children. I’ve been reading a book by Melissa Fay Green called “There’s no me without you”. I’m telling you, if you read this book and don’t cry your freakin’ eyes out then you have to be a robot. Plain and simple. Here are some quotes from the book that really got me thinking very differently about this adoption and the people of Ethiopia and my child’s birth parents.
“I am deeply respectful of the families who care for our children,” he said. “But I am so very interested in any help that can be given to us to keep the children’s first parents alive. Adoption is good, but children, naturally, would prefer not to see their parents die.” This struck me to the core. I thought to myself OF COURSE! I’m an idiot for never thinking that way. These parents have two choices....either keep their child in their care where they will eventually contract the virus and even possibly die before their child does or give their child up for adoption where they have a slim chance they can have a semi-normal life. Normal life of course would mean the constant reminder that your parents had to abandon you. That’s a horrible norm in my opinion. Adoption is a fantastic option, an undeniably character building self assessment gut check option, but obviously I’d rather my child be with their mother and father in their home country, healthy, happy and safe. On the same token another quote from the book. “Adoption is not the answer to HIV/AIDS in Africa. Adoption rescues few. Adoption illuminates by example: these few once-loved children who lost their parents to preventable diseases have been offered a second chance at family life in foreign countries; like young ambassadors, they instruct us. For every orphan turning up in a northern-hemisphere household-winning the spelling bee, winning the cross-country race, joining the Boy Scouts, learning to rollerblade, playing the trumpet or the violin---ten thousand African children remain behind...alone.
I guess all of this to say in the beginning of this whole adoption process people would ask me “why not here in America?”. “Don’t we have plenty of children here that you can adopt without having to go clear across the world?”. My answer then was just that the need was huge in Ethiopia, but until I started doing some research I didn’t realize how great the need actually was. It’s not just the need for providing homes for millions of homeless children, it’s also getting some help to the adults that are suffering from a very treatable disease. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do about this. I don’t know what my little hands can do to help. I do know that my God is big....bigger than HIV/AIDS, I know that my prayers go to someone whose hands are truly bigger than anyones.
Psalm 48:10 “God, your name is known everywhere;all over the earth people praise you.Your right hand is full of goodness.”