I think I'm gonna just start typing..

..and not worry about how this post sounds, or make sure I have enough white space, eye grabbing title or sharp,to the point, flow. Or worry I will be misunderstood or judged.

See, I just don't know how to express all my thoughts and feeling about Ethiopia. I am a passionate person. Going to Africa has been my dream for so long, but going finally has really tore my heart up.

I still don't know what to do with it all.

I felt so wrong for leaving behind a country so impoverished and at the same time so rich. I saw exactly why people there are angry at rich white Americans taking their children. Sure, I was so happy that just on our trip alone, if I count all the families adopting with our agency and others that shared our flights, 17 kids were no longer Orphans, they now had families. So that is so great, God did that. But MILLIONS are still without parents in JUST Ethiopia. MILLIONS, like 4 MILLION. And I do not believe us going over there and adopting them all is THE answer. I do believe it is ONE answer but it can not be the only thing we even consider.

So many times on this blog I feel like I am a broken record about sponsorship, clean water, adoption, Orphanage development, etc. But now that I have seen what I have always been passionate about, it's almost too much for my heart.

I want to scream at everyone at the mall, "she was sleeping on the sidewalk with her TWO toddlers!!! TWO toddlers!! They lived there!"

We saw so many people living on the streets. Here in America Orphans have many government programs to take advantage of. We also have welfare,free clinics, grants for education, etc, etc. There, you have none of that. And the little bit of welfare type organizations are overwhelmed by the 59% of the population that is unemployed. Yes, 59% are unemployed.

Johnny our desk clerk at the Guest House told us that he works, eats, sleeps that's it. But he is one of the lucky ones who has a job and he is very grateful.

But also I saw such wonderful hope and happiness. It made me just so disgusted with all we think we have to have. We had extensive training before we went on how to act while we were there because so many Americans go over there and act like complaining spoiled brats. Insulting their country and treating the people as if we are doing them a favor by taking their children. They don't think so. Many wonder why we don't spend the money it takes to adopt one child from there (15-20 thousand dollars) and use it to help THOUSANDS of Orphans. I understand why it needs to be done in many cases, but I also see why it upsets the people.

That is why sponsorship has to be as much of a focus as adoption in my opinion. If groups like Watoto, World Vision, Compassion International, Mocha Club, Childrens Hope Chest, and many others were all completely funded, and every child sponsored, then more such organizations could start up and more children could stay with their families or extended family.

Sure, there are Millions of abandoned babies, children without living relatives, AIDS orphans, etc that need to be adopted, again, I think it is one answer, but like I said it is not the only answer. If a child living with an impoverished grandmother could get a sponsor that pays for school, clothing, food, etc, then they could stay with the grandmother.

I don't want anyone to feel sorry for Ethiopia, I am just trying to express what I am thinking and feeling right now after being there.

It was shocking. When a 10yr old boy walks up to you on the busy street saying "shoes mother?" and I look down at his huge filthy feet, that messes with you. When you look into the eyes of a crippled man crawling on the side walk, or a pregnant police officer as she swats away street children from your car, it messes with you. When you spend time in a home with no yard the size of a small town home, that 26 kids live in who have no parents, that messes with you. When you take them from such a wonderful, beautiful country because you know it's right, it still messes with you that they had to leave.

Why didn't I buy more gum from the street kids? I should have,they weren't begging, they were trying to earn some money to eat.

Why didn't we spend every dime we had at shops ran by little Ethiopian woman who made beautiful things? It would have helped their lives and their economy.

Why didn't I bring more pads for the ladies or more snack bars to hand out to begging street children?

All this and more runs in my brain.

Every night Abel and I watch the picture slide show, he always wants to watch it. He says "oww" when he see's different pictures of the landscape of Ethiopia. He kisses his fingers and puts them on the screen when he sees Tes, the little girl he loved who now lives in Indiana with her new family and he cries sometime because he misses her.

I'm glad he's here. I'm glad he is now home and a part of our family.


So many of my own thoughts and conflicts....why wasn't I more generous? would our daughter be better off if we could have just sponsored her and she could have stayed with her birth mother? how in the world can Ethiopia get out of the pit of poverty??

beautifully tragic....
Erin Moore said…
pit in stomach, tears in eyes.
Archie Mck said…
Beautifully written, I am moved to tears.
Keep on going Carole, we Christians need people like you :-)
Anonymous said…
Amen! Adoption is one answer among many - there is so much that needs to be done to care for the orphans of the world! Thanks for this fresh reminder, fresh from your trip. It is so helpful to hear these things again and again!
Anonymous said…
Amen! Adoption is one answer among many - there is so much that needs to be done to care for the orphans of the world! Thanks for this fresh reminder, fresh from your trip. It is so helpful to hear these things again and again!
the Matt family said…
thanks for this... if you dont mind, i'm going to copy it and post it on my blog. some people i know need to read it.

you are amazing.

MaineMom said…
My sister-in-law and best friend, Erin (T5M), sent me the link to your blog. We are going to Ethiopia in April and while I am excited, I am very scared. Scared of how I will be when I return. I have an understanding that I will never be the same.

Just knowing that I will see what you described brings tears to my eyes.
Adopting1Soon said…
This pst reinds me of y post a coupl of weeks ago http://ethiopian-adoption-journey.blogspot.com/2009/01/kids-in-us-need-help-too.html

Unless Americans and Europeans see it wit hei OWN EYES, they are not gonna GET IT. And toofew travel over there to spread the word for more to travel over and see it themsele. Thank goodness for the Bonos and Bob Geldofs of the world who mobilize masses of energy and aid.
But when I rcently asked a friend for toy donations... she prefers to donate to the goodwill here. Which is great. Yay.

She doesn't get IT either.

Any person in a country with drinking fountains, who hasn't been over to deveoping countries, just isn't going to understand the level of need.

Was this your first time over there?

It's a shock. You got culture shock. It gets a SMIDGE better the more often you go over, but that is just denial creeping in to protect you.

Just keep spreading the word and telling ET's stories. Maybe you can mobilize your church to go on a mission trip or something.
Adopting1Soon said…
Ugh sorry I did not spell check my comment! My keyboard is dying.... Sometimes I post with such exitement I forget to go back and check that all the letters were felt by the keyboard. No, I'm not illiterate although it must seem I am close to it! I just don't want to buy a new laptop after spending my life savings on this adoption!
Elysa said…
Oh, Carole. I so understand. I often feel like an alien now living here in what is supposed to be my home. I used to love going to the mall...now I can hardly stomach it most of the time. I feel like a crazy person over so many issues. It's hard. It does mess with you...it wrecks you...and yeah, what do you do with it?

I'm praying that God uses me stateside as an advocate for those Africa orphans and I'm begging Him to one day let me go back and pour my life out for them there.

If you ever need to talk and just vent to someone who totally empathizes, I'm here.

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