We have officially decided to adopt two babies from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the DRC. There were many reasons why we decided to go with the DRC instead of Ethiopia, but the basic reasons were as follows:
1. We will be able to adopt two unrelated infants at one time. We only found one agency working in Ethiopia which would allow us to adopt two unrelated infants and they had put a moratorium on requesting girls. This was not the end of the world to us, as we already have two little girls, but I was hoping for another girl, so that did give us some pause.
2. We had heard rumors about Ethiopia closing at the end of this year. With the current time frame for adopting from Ethiopia, we didn't really see a way to finalize adoptions from there by the end of the year.
3. While there are many, many orphans in Ethiopia in need of loving adoptive families, from what I've read, Ethiopian orphans are fairly well taken care of. Ethiopia has been recognized worldwide as a country to emulate in their care for and protection of their orphans. Even those children who will grow up in the orphanages are decently cared for and often loved by their "nannies" and "brothers and sisters" in their orphanages. Please don't misunderstand me. I know that the life of an orphan in Ethiopia is not perfect and being placed in an adoptive family is much better, BUT, overall, Ethiopian orphans are decently cared for.
4. The great NEED in the DRC. We have only just recently even heard of the DRC, but in the past few weeks, my heart has broken for the orphans living in this war torn country. There are over 5 million orphans in just this one country. These children are orphans because of war, starvation, and disease. Children living on the streets generally eat three times a week, when humanitarian aid is there to provide a meal. According to one article I read, the orphans living in orphanages are "the lucky ones" because they usually get one meal every day. Even those children living in the orphanages, eating once a day, are susceptible to sickness because their little bodies are not nourished enough to fight it off. Many die before aging out of the orphanage. According to the the Red Cross, 515 children (NOT just orphans) out of every 1000 children in the DRC will not live to see their 5th birthday.
5. From what I have read, adopting from the DRC is fairly straightforward and the timeframe is 6-18 months between the time you start the paperwork to when you bring your children home for good. Much of this time, if I understand it correctly, is dependent on the adoptive families getting their paperwork done quickly.
6. We have found a few agencies that work in the DRC and one in particular has been incredibly helpful in answering our many questions and answering my e-mails QUICKLY, often within 15-20 minutes.Unfortunately, adopting from the DRC is more expensive than adopting from Ethiopia. But our God is great and we believe he has lead us to adopt, so we will trust that He will provide what we need. Steve's work offers wonderful adoption help, so that is a start. :)
Please be praying for us as we start off on this journey. There are a few things we need to get taken care of before we have our home study, not the least of which is selling our current home and buying a bigger one. Lord willing, though, we will be well on our way to our new children soon. In the meantime, we are making and selling some fun stuff at our Etsy store (see our mini Etsy Store to the right), and trying to gather what paperwork we can before we apply for our home study.
I will try to update this blog as we learn more and as we go further along in the adoption process. We are so excited to see how God is going to grow our family in the next few years.