One of the first questions we often hear is, “Why adopt.” It seems so expensive, you are young (well at least Ashley, she says I am quickly losing the ability for this claim), you have not had “your own” kids yet, etc. These questions are often asked with good intent and many are understandable. So we wanted to give you a brief story of our decision to adopt.
A few years ago, after her trip to East Asia, Ashley began telling me about her desire to adopt one day. I thought it seems like a good idea, and one I agreed to, thinking it would be something off in our distant future. Not too long after, about two years ago, I remember seeing the video below which gave one of the clearest explanations behind adoption I had ever heard. In the video, John Piper (pastor in Minnesota, and someone Ashley and I became familiar with through the Passion Conferences in college), gave a compelling explanation of our adoption in Christ and how that is the foundation for adoption ministry. I am not sure there was anything groundbreaking in the words of this video, they were ideas I knew, but I believe God used this to begin to grow the desire in my heart for adoption. I was no longer a willing participant and supporter, but began to deeply desire to be a part of adoption.
Fast-forward through our engagement and wedding, and our life together is off to a great start. We were excited about the future, but still believed adoption would be later if life. Then a few months ago, our church held its first orphan care ministry event, letting those interested get more information. Ashley and I decided to attend, just so we could know what the steps would look like in a few years. It was a great time, we were very encouraged by all those attending, and signed up for a mentor couple, who would give us help and advice on the process. After this meeting, we really began to consider the idea: should we wait a few years, or is this the right time? Our mentor couple contacted Ashley and let us know they would like to have us over for dinner sometime to discuss our plans. We were surprised to find out our mentors who were in the process, but our same age! After a great conversation of their story and answering some questions, we talked it over and decided we wanted to move forward now. We began looking through agencies and countries, and realized there are many different requirements and rules for various countries, and finally settled on Ethiopia. A few of the reasons why:
-Out of roughly 85 million in Ethiopia, there are estimated 4-6 million orphans.
-About 50% of the population is under 18 due to war, disease and poverty.
-Half of the children will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school.
These are just a few of the many reasons we choose adoption and a country that is in desperate need for people to care for the children there, and we can’t wait to be a part. We are so thankful for everyone who has been so supportive and look forward to you being a part of this process with us!