How did we pick Africa?
Many of our friends are considering adoption. Several of them have asked how we decided to adopt from Africa, specifically Uganda.
There are some practical reasons. Adopting from Africa is somewhat less expensive than adopting from Asia or Eastern Europe. Most adoptions from Africa take one or two years, while families adopting from China may way five or more. We have three biological kids, so while we considered adopting domestically, most agencies told us it would be difficult. So practically, Africa made sense.
At least in some ways. In other ways, adopting a child from Africa is sort of crazy. It is still very expensive and difficult!
We are adopting from Africa because we feel a sense of calling to adopt from Africa. How have we known this was God’s call for our family? The best answer I have is that we followed our hearts. I have read stories of orphans in need of families all over the world, but nothing breaks my heart like the children in Africa. I have learned about poverty around the world, but again, nothing touches my heart like poverty in Africa. I have researched many different medical conditions related to adoption and nothing breaks my heart more than HIV/AIDS.
This is not to say that poverty in Africa is worse than poverty in Haiti or Latin America. It is not to say that children who have HIV are more in need of families than children who have cleft palate or children who are blind.
It is just that this is how God has shaped my heart and my desires. God has broken my heart and filled me with love for orphaned children in Africa, specifically for the little girl who will be our daughter.
So for all of you, my friends, who are considering adoption but are not sure where, who or how, I would encourage you to pray and learn. Pray asking God to break your heart for the things that break his. Read stories and see where your heart goes. Trust that if God is calling you to do something, he will give you a desire and a burden for it. Remain open and trust God’s hand in the process.