*Hopefully, you’ve read the “Why Adopt?” page before you found your way here. If not, take a moment and head back that way.
A quick note before beginning. We are avoiding the name of [Home Country] on the blog and in social media. This discretion is at the request of our agency, which has asked all adoptive families to refrain from mentioning the name of the country that we are adopting from on the internet. The agency believes that negative comments or misinformation about the country may jeopardize adoptions taking place in [Home Country] or put specific children at risk for abduction. In addition to not revealing the name of [Home Country], we also will not be revealing any identifying information about the specific child that we are referred to. You’ll just have to wait to meet him in person
Our heart for Africa started in December of 2007, when a man from [Home Country] who attended our church, [A], visited a Bible study that Amy and I were leading and told us about a refugee family that needed help buying groceries. He introduced our study to [P], a refugee from [Home Country] who’d spent years living in a refugee camp in a neighboring country.
That night, several of us went to [P]’s house and met his wife, [H], and their four children (all between 1 and 7 years old). What started out as a trip to buy groceries blossomed into a friendship that has lasted for years. We’ve shared meals and prayed together. We introduced their children to Easter Egg hunts. Together, we visited the zoo and the beach. [P] and [H] improved their English at a much faster rate than I improved my Swahili. And somewhere between trips to the doctor for the kids and Amy being in the delivery room with [H] for the birth of their fifth child, we realized that bloodlines are a little overrated. We both knew that adoption was a part of our future.
Since meeting [P] and his family, we’ve developed relationships with several other families who spent time in Central African refugee camps. The more families that we met, the less abstract that the following statistics on hunger and poverty in Central Africa became:
- By some measures, [Home Country] is the poorest country in the world; according to the World Bank, the GNP/capita is less than $200 per year.
- An ongoing conflict in [Home Country] has led to the deaths of nearly five million people in the last decade, the widespread use of child soldiers, and to horrific sexual violence against women and girls.
- Almost 20% of children born in [Home Country] will not live to see their fifth birthday.
- In the country that we’re adopting from there are more than five million orphans.
When we think about these orphans, we can picture hands that we’ve held, and little voices that call us on the phone to talk about Babysitter’s Club books that they’re reading. Jean-Paul Sarte once wrote, “Evil is the product of the ability of humans to make abstract that which is concrete.” When hands and voices became concrete for us, we were unable to ignore the plight of the orphan in [Home Country].
There are, of course, orphans in need all over the world. We are adopting from [Home Country] specifically because of the refugee community that we have become connected to in San Diego. Even though [P] and his family have moved across the country in search of better job opportunities, we are blessed to speak with he and the kids on the phone frequently and to spend time with other friends from [Home Country] regularly. We’re excited that our son will have links to his home country through our friendships.