For us this has become a challenge that we could no longer handle. Way back 18 months or so we spent numerous hours agonizing over where we should adopt from. Many of you know that we felt very drawn to both Ethiopia and Nepal. We chose Nepal. Believe me when I say that it is tough to not feel that we made a mistake, however it gets us no where and we know that God still has a child that we are meant to adopt. During a lengthy discussion with the Executive Director of All God's Children International (AGCI), Doug, he made an interesting comment that we have felt as a family. He said, "We have been doing adoptions for so long and so often we see that God selects and ordains families. Nearly every family we have worked with says they felt God's pull and force in their lives to adopt." It is a strange phenomenon and one we sort of wished had gone away recently. There have been times we felt doubtful and down about whether this was right for us at all. That feeling comes with the territory but both Bob and I can now say that we feel like a giant weight has been lifted in recognizing that the uncertainty and lengthening timeline in Nepal was not for our family. It is not the thought of adopting we were needing to squelch just the crazy roadblocks we were encountering with Nepal.
So Ethiopia it is and we are thrilled. AGCI has a program that is truly thriving and as we have learned with international adoption over the past year, nothing is guaranteed but the process is a well oiled machine with many families I have followed through blogs going through it before us. The AGCI Ethiopia group is very tight and we will have so many people to guide us along the way. The best reason to choose Ethiopia is the need. There are so many orphans and we can't wait to lower that number by one. AGCI owns and operates an orphanage, Hannah's Hope, in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Abbaba. It is a remarkable place of love and hope for children. It is a place that drew us in several years ago when we were considering agencies and I was exploring the work that AGCI does around the world. It is a place we can return to someday to donate our time and energy. It is the place where we will find a precious little girl who will thrive with three wild and crazy brothers who will love her to pieces. Adopting within Ethiopia is now a simpler process, although it still could take up to a year. We may request a toddler so that may help the process move more quickly. In Ethiopia the main reason children are orphaned is different from other areas of the world. They are orphaned due to AIDS. Many of the children remain with parents until the end. Children are all very well respected and cared for in Ethiopia but sometimes there is no family left to care for them. There are very few countries on the continent of Africa that are open to adoption but it must be the world's hope that more children are allowed to be adopted due to the ongoing prevalence of AIDS. We look forward to better educating ourselves about the "Land of a Thousand Smiles" and thanks to all of you for your support and kindness as we change gears and push forward with great anticipation.
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