Sunday, January 18, 2009

People often ask...why would you go all the way to Ethiopia with so many children here in America in need of families....I used to believe that it was my responsibility to adopt here in the US if I were to adopt again....then I began truly examining the entire world around me. The opportunity to adopt in Ethiopia provides me not only with the chance to change the life of a child who may not live to see adulthood, but to share with the people in my life what the reality is beyond our borders. I will see first hand and tell the story. I will be able to share my thoughts and experiences of what life is like for children thousands of miles away and know that there are ways that we can make a difference...from our own living rooms. The list that follows is a response to the question "Why adopt from Ethiopia?" It is not something I compiled, but it tells the story and creates a picture of life in the country I will be honored to stand in to bring home our new little brother....

*One in ten children die before their first birthday
* One in six children die before their fifth birthday
* 44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old
* 60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted due to malnutrition
* The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years; the average life span is 37 years
* Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school; 88% will never attend secondary school
* Ethiopia has the highest HIV/AIDS population in the world
* There are 4.8 million orphans in Ethiopia; 1.2 million children have been orphaned by AIDS alone
* Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000* In the 1980's one million Ethiopians died of starvation
* Drought struck the country again from 2000-2002 (1st year no crops, 2nd year no seeds, 3rd year no animals)
* Only 24% of households have access to safe drinking water
* 82% of the population survives on less than 1 dollar a day
* Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002
* Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa* In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports
*In 2006, ONLY 731 children were adopted by U.S. families


Laura said...

That is so funny. I just was having the same sort of thoughts. It's like God wanted me to examine my self and truly put in words why I am adopting and why from Ethiopia. I am currently working on a list of a hundred reasons why and or facts about Ethiopia.

jodes said...

Wow, i stumbled upon your blog yesterday and i had to comment. i think that is an incredible, well thought out, not to mention thought provoking answer. My husband and I are planning to adopt from Ethiopia in the next couple years. These stats are heart breaking, i would love to know where you found them! jody verhagen at yahoo . com

Kate said...

Those statistics are mind boggling. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again... I feel so proud to call you a friend. You and your family are doing an amazing thing.

Cheeziemommie said...

Read this today and wanted to share:
PS the "smiling" pictures Alina shared with us are beyond precious!