Why Uganda?

As Chris and I prayed through our decision to adopt, we were wrestling with whether we should adopt domestically or internationally.  We realize that there is a need everywhere for children to be adopted, especially here in America. But for numerous reasons, God has tugged at our hearts to adopt internationally and specifically from AFRICA.  He has been preparing my heart especially, as I work with students from all over the world as an ESL teacher.

About a year ago, I read the book There is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene, a book about one Ethiopian woman's journey to care for children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. This book helped define the word "orphan", broadening my very narrow view. Mrs. Haregewoin Teferra is one of my heroes. Her life did not follow the path she thought it would, as she unexpectedly lost her husband and daughter, and yet, through the pain, found the courage to stand up when all the walls in her world came crumbling down. She opened up her home to one orphan, and soon, orphan after orphan began to show up at her doorstep - some healthy, some stricken with AIDS.  This woman did what others would not do... loved the unloved and fatherless. 

1 John 4:19 "We love because he first loved us."

After talking to best friends from college who are adopting internationally, (Jeremy and Julianne Dager) they encouraged us to check out an adoption agency in Texas called Generations Adoptions. This organization facilitates International Adoptions through Ghana, Mexico, and Uganda. We were immediately impressed with this agency and what they stand for.  But we still didn't know where God was leading us to adopt from until...we prayed!
and then...

God answered!

Yes, Uganda! I have to admit that we knew NOTHING about Uganda until we began researching different agencies and looked up websites & blog after blog. I wasn't even sure where exactly it was located in Africa (Chris likes to think he did!) But as we started to learn about this tiny country, we found some startling statistics - statistics that we can't ignore. Here are some facts on orphans in Uganda that really made an impact on us (We put the US in for comparison):
  • Uganda (about the size of Oregon) has a population of about 35 million (US population = 313 million)
  • 50% of population are under the age of 15
  • 2,500,000 total orphans (more info)
  • 1,200,000 orphans due to AIDS (Uganda is ranked 4th highest in the world)
  • 1 in 7 children under the age of 5 will die due to malnourishment and disease.
  • Malaria and HIV/AIDS claim more than 320 deaths per day.

These statistics are hard for us to ignore, first as Christians, but secondly as future parents. Our decision to adopt from Uganda is based on prayer and God calling us to this country - and we can't express enough the excitement we are feeling to be traveling down this road of adoption!

April & Chris