The simple answer to that question is that God led us there. But, of course, there is a little more to it. Choosing a country from which to adopt can be a really hard choice. The first thing we had to do was find out which countries allow international adoption. From there we considered the qualifications for parents: if the minimum age was 30, then it was quite clear that the country was not for us this time around. We considered the demands of the program, including time required in country, as well as cost.
We have friends that were in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, Ben and Janet Whipple, so we talked to them about their decision to adopt. I remember that early in their process they said to us, “We think you should adopt from Ethiopia, too.” Whether they meant it or not, I do not know, but that statement came back to us. We prayed and looked closely at the Ethiopian program, selected an agency, and got started on our home study.
As we have learned more about Ethiopia, we have thanked God again and again for directing us to that country. Ethiopia is a country of 77 million people, with 49% of the population under the age of 15. 5 million of these children are orphans. 5 million! Many are orphaned as a result of AIDS, others due to extreme poverty, drought, and famine. Ethiopian families band together and do their best to care for their orphaned grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, and cousins, but can’t always provide for all of them. We consider it a great honor to welcome two of these children into our family.