First of all, I want to say that I am 100% supportive of all adoption and think it is a beautiful picture of how God has redeemed our lives by adopting us into His family and given us a second chance. I'm not at all trying to minimize someone else's choice to adopt in a different way than we have. This is just the story behind what motivated us:
Why international adoption vs. domestic?
- Andy and I both have a passion for international missions and truly love the nations of the world. Heaven will one day be full of people from every tribe, tongue, and nation, and we think it would be such a privilege to reflect that in our own home.
- As bad as the foster care system can be here in the United States, most of those children will not die of starvation or disease. In Africa, the percentage of children that die before age 5 is staggering.
- As far as I understand, international adoption are closed and final upon passing court. There is no way the birth parents can come back later and try to take their child back. This is not always the case in US adoptions.
Andy and I would love to adopt children from multiple countries and hope to do so in the future. We chose Ethiopia first for a few reasons:
- Ethiopia is one of the few countries that allows parents under the age of 30 to adopt. Andy and I are 28 and wanted to move forward with the adoption now instead of waiting a couple more years.
- Ethiopia is one of the fastest countries to adopt from right now. (Example: Adoptions from China are currently taking 3-4 years.)
- (Warning: this reason may sound strange to you.) Our adoption agency currently partners with 6 different countries. 3 are countries with white children. We wanted our adopted children to have a different color skin than us so that it would be obvious to outsiders that we have adopted. Perhaps this will lead to conversations regarding the beauty of adoption and even opportunities to share about God's love and how He desires to adopt us into His family. The other 3 countries are China, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. China and Rwanda require parents to be 30 years old.