"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

No News Yet

Well, we are still awaiting a 1st court date-bummer, it is getting hard, but tomorrow is our travel call with our caseworker, Kiersten and I hope she will either give me a travel date, or tell me when to expect it. It was 3 weeks on Monday that we got our referral and by now, most people have travel dates I think.......On a happy note we have gotten several pictures of our baby girl these last 2 weeks as families who were on either their first or second trip for their adoptions, come home from Hannah's Hope. Baby Abigail is now 8 weeks old and getting cuter in every picture that I see-she is amazing!!! We can't wait to hold and kiss her!

Ok-well, another buddy from our AGCI listserve group posted some great statistics on Ethiopia-and I wanted to share them-thanks Angela http://withlovingarms.blogspot.com/
She has been at #1 for 3 weeks now and we are praying that her referral comes quick! :-)
Here is what she found and her thoughts and statistics about Ethiopia:
Available Care. In the U.S., most children are well cared for in family homes (permanent or foster). Over 2/3rds of all infant adoptions in the U.S. are domestic; healthy domestic infants are easily placed in good homes. Institutional orphanages, which are harmful to a child’s development even if they provide a safe and otherwise nourishing environment, are nearly non-existent in the U.S., and young children living on the street are generally accompanied by their primary caregiver. This is often not the case in third-world countries, where over 70% of children are in institutional care facilities (aka orphanages) prior to being adopted. http://www.aspe.hhs.gov/

In a domestic foster care adoption, we are uncomfortable with the reasons that a child may have been removed involuntarily from his/her home - if the reasons are not severe, we would not approve of the removal, but if the reasons are severe, the child may have ongoing challenges to overcome as a result.
After a lot of thought, we have concluded that there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to adoption, just the right choice for our family. If you are led to adopt, adopt! Adopt an infant. Adopt a teenager. Adopt a healthy child. Adopt a child with special needs. Adopt a single child. Adopt siblings. Adopt domestically. Adopt internationally. Adopt with love in your heart, making the best choices that you can, and recognizing that the result - like everything else in life - may be unpredictable and unprecedented.

Ethiopia has a rich Christian heritage.
Fascinating tidbits:
*Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest countries in the world (over 2,000 years).
*The three colors of its flag, adopted in the late 1800’s, have been copied so much by other countries that they have become known as the Pan-African colors.
*The coffee bean, adored by my husband along with tens of millions of other coffee addicts-aka-connoisseurs, originated in Ethiopia. With its rich soil, Ethiopia continues to be the top coffee producing country in Africa.
*The country’s diverse terrain includes breathtaking waterfalls, some of the highest mountains in Africa (4,500 meters), and one of the hottest places on earth (Dallol). It also has the distinction of having the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa.3
*There are various accounts of a romantic relationship between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, whose kingdom included what is now Ethiopia. Some believe the Song of Solomon refers to their relationship; the imperial family of Ethiopia is thought to be descendants of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
*The Ethiopian Empire was founded by Menelik I, said to be the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.8
*There is credible evidence that the Ark of the Covenant is in Ethiopia.
*Ethiopia is in the midst of ongoing crises. Poverty, political conditions, and disease continue to increase the number of lost children within the country, while challenging the resources that are available to care for them.
*94% of births do not have a skilled attendant present; 4% of women will die in childbirth.2
The infant mortality rate is still nearly 7%.2 Of the children who survive birth, another 1 in 16 will die before their 5th birthday.2
*The total mortality rate 0(birth)- 5 years old is over 12%.2,4
*Nearly 5 million children are orphans.2 Child (5 - 14 years) labor is over 50%, as is child marriage.2
*40% of children under 5 are moderately to severely underweight, and 50% are moderately to severely stunted.2
*Only 45% of children attend primary school2, and nearly 60% of the population is illiterate.1
*The GDP is less than $900/year/person.1
*Nearly 40% of the population is below the poverty line, living on less than $1.25/day.2
*70% of children adopted internationally were previously living in institutional group homes (aka orphanages).6

Ethiopia values children as much as we do. Some countries place political considerations ahead of their children, imposing exceptionally restrictive requirements and extended processing times on international adoption, while the children wait. Other countries place little or no requirements on adoption, at times making adoption appear to be state-sanctioned child trafficking. Ethiopia, in contrast, has reasonable requirements and time lines, consistent with the Hague Adoption Convention, that place the welfare of the children first and foremost.

34% (1.6 million) of Ethiopia's 4.8 million orphans are "maternal" orphans who have a living father. 52% (2.5 million) are "paternal" orphans who have a living mother. (The remaining 14% are "dual" orphans who have lost both parents.) Yet 32% of maternal orphans (525,000) do not continue living with their father, compared to 20% of paternal orphans (508,000):

widowed fathers give their children up more often than widowed mothers. While I have had it in my mind that my daughter will either be abandoned or relinquished by a single/widowed mother, if she is relinquished, her surviving parent may well be her father
It is not necessarily more likely that relinquished children who are living in orphanages/available for adoption have a surviving father, despite the statistics: 90% of children who do not live with the surviving parent go to live with extended family, but that may break down differently between mothers/fathers.

For example, perhaps fathers generally rely on extended family more often than mothers, and more often send their children to live with relatives as a matter of course, but children who end up in orphanages/unrelated care more often have a surviving mother without extended family support?

I also imagine that a higher percentage of children under the age of 12 months (our parameters) are relinquished by their mothers rather than their fathers, because a mother who gives birth to a healthy infant is less likely than her husband to die of i.e. AIDs or malaria within the first few months. The statistics do not break down into this much detail... (Statistics published by UNICEF, Africa's Orphaned and Vulnerable Generations, http://www.unicef.org/adolescence/files/Africas_Orphaned_and_Vulnerable_Generations_Children_Affected_by_AIDS.pdf) -----
(1)Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/et.html(2)UNICEF, http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/ethiopia.html(3)Wikipedia.com, Ethiopia, citing various sources(4)World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/countries/eth/eth/en/(5)U.S. Department of State Office of Children’s Issues, http://adoption.state.gov/news/total_chart.html(6)National Survey of Children’s Health, http://aspe.hhs.gov/, http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/09/nsap/chartbook/doc/intro-p.1-8.pdf(7)Based on resources cited by the Child Welfare Information Gateway, http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/s_adoptedhighlights.cfm; http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/s_place.cfm (8)www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/learn/world-vision-ethiopia

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"Although it may not always be obvious to us, there seems to be one distinct moment when God begins a new story in each of our lives. He writes words on our hearts that long to be spoken and strain to be lived out. Then with His own great hand, He begins to write the script. Experience by experience through seemingly ordinary days, He supernaturally orders our lives. Only when we look back and reflect on what appeared to have been the ordinary events of life does it become clear what a miracle the Lord has performed." Jan Beazely

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We Love this family and this video is inspiring!