Sunday, November 1, 2009


That is a logical question. It is especially true when someone tells you they are going to do something crazy like adopt a child from a third world country. This is not a spur of the moment decision for Natalie and I. We have discussed international adoption from the beginning of our marriage 6 1/2 years ago. We always assumed that we would have our own biological children first, then adopt. How selfish of a "dream" that seems to us now. Our plans quite often do not match up with God's.

Natalie will complete med school in December and begin her three year pediatrics residency in June 2010. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, for Nat to be pregnant during her residency. We have struggled with choosing the right time to start a family as there never seemed to be the right moment. About two months ago, Natalie met a man named Paul through her work. They were making small talk when Paul told Nat that he and his wife had adopted a set of brothers from Ethiopia to add to their family of five. Almost simultaneously, I began to think that now would be a good time to start our family. I told Natalie that I would never ask her to go through a pregnancy during her residency and we both decided that we should look into the adoption route to begin our family. We were blindsided by how quickly we realized that God was calling us to do this. There is no looking back now. This is our destiny. We have no idea where our child is now. Is he/she alive already? Is he/she suffering? We have no idea what he/she will look like (although I am sure he/she will not inherit my lack of pigment-haha). What we do know is that he/she is deeply loved by his/her Mom and Dad. It is so surreal to type that but, as I said before, it is what God wants us to do- and do it now.

There are certain questions that I am sure you are wanting to ask us. Let's go ahead and answer them...
"Why is this blog titled '5 Million Minus 1?'" It is estimated that there are 5 million orphans in Ethiopia. That is greater than the population of Los Angeles (which is second largest city in the US). Stop and try to imagine that. That is only Ethiopia. We are trying to make a VERY SMALL dent in a VERY BIG problem.

"How much money is this going to cost?" The real, organic answer is we don't care. Our child is half a world away. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to rescue our child from the dreadful amount of suffering that is going on in Ethiopia. Now, those of you who know me know that I strive to be a pragmatist. I know that my love for this child will not pay for all the fees associated with an international adoption. The amount of debt that Natalie and I have accrued while she worked to become a doctor is astronomical. Dave Ramsey would faint if he had to check our finances. We are told it costs between $15,000 and $20,000 to adopt from Ethiopia and we do not have one cent of that. What we do know is that $20,000 is nothing to God. The money will take care of itself.

"Why Africa?" I could write for days on this question. The situation in Africa and Ethiopia specifically is staggering. I challenge you to google "orphans in Ethiopia" or "AIDS in Africa." If you are not blown away by the destruction, poverty, and death that is occurring in that beautiful continent, then you have no heart. We have read that only 1/6 of Ethiopian children have access to clean drinking water. Read the quote by Rich Stearns at the bottom of our page. That sums up the way we feel.

"How long is the process?" We are told that it normally takes between one and two years from the beginning of your journey to the time when you can travel to Ethiopia and pick up your child. I am told that the first thing you realize on this journey is that you are not in control of the process and it is very frustrating and wrought with unexpected delays that test your patience and faith.

On Friday, November 6th, we will attend a meeting with an adoption agency in Louisville to meet some families who have adopted from Ethiopia. We are really looking forward to meeting these awesome families and having some of our questions answered.

1 comment:

  1. We will keep you in our prayers. You are embarking on an awesome journey~Joy