Saturday, July 17, 2010

You've Been Asking

At the store today, another woman asked where Mezekir was from.  She asked why we felt the need to go so far away to grow our family when there are so many children in need of families here in the States.  Fair question.  Just remembering a few of the reasons Ethiopia was the route we chose to grow our family:  

Comparative Human Development Statistics* (where information for the United States is provided in parenthesis):
78% = Population not using an improved water source
16% = Under age 5 mortality rate
45% = Population < 15 years old (21%)
64.1% = Adult illiteracy rate (0%)
77.8% = Population living at less than $2/day
38% = Children under weight (2%)
$21 = per capita health expenditure ($6,096)
6% = births attended by skilled health personnel (99%)
3 = physicians per 100,000 (256)
2 = internet users/1,000 people (630)
$1,055 = GDP/capita using PPP ($41,890)
*Source: UN Human Development Report 2007/08 

So if you were wondering, this should clarify just a FEW of the reasons Ethiopia was the right match for us.  


  1. I'm blown away that people really ask these questions..... I like your response! I always point out that in Ethiopia there is NO welfare system and as a result, children there face great dispair. I brag that im so glad that in America, our welfare system allows for orphans to be provided food, water, shelter, education, medical care and even free library services. I explain that in Ethiopia, survival is a day to day struggle that many dont make it. Thanks for sharing the data, this will help with answering future questions:0)

  2. Honestly, this time, I just smiled and said we are so grateful God leads each person to the child He intends for them. I wish I had all of these statistics in my head. Maybe I should print them and keep them in my pocket. :-) But I have experienced this question A LOT lately. Fair question that deserves a fair response.

  3. Thanks for sharing your insight, Lori. It is really making me think about the kinds of questions we'll encounter.

    You mentioned that is a fair question that deserves a fair response, but in a way, it also seems like an unfair question, because it is essentially a stranger asking you to justify your path to adoption, and that could get tiresome after a while.

    Your attitude is wonderfully gracious, and I hope that I can be so gracious with strangers when I might be more tempted to say "mind your own business"!

  4. Lori-

    I want to thank you as well. We have been getting many of the same questions since we are now taking Jude Fekadu out and about. I usually just say general information about the conditions in Ethiopia but have had a few who were wanting more details and your stats are so helpful.

    Thanks again.

  5. Tracy,
    I think it is fair for a person to be inquisitive and to wonder why Ethiopia versus an African-American child. I would say I vascilate: it either strikes me as a challenging slap in the face OR an opportunity to educate and advocate. I'm TRYING to take the later approach more often. It's easier in blog land that in southern nowhere USA that just accepted the reality of the civil rights movement.

  6. Lori, can I borrow this for my blog? We're not even a month into our newest adoption journey and this question is already driving me NUTS!