When we first started the adoption process, I had no thoughts about the “orphan crisis.” I just wanted some more kids. (Actually, at the time, I just want ANOTHER kid, but that’s another story.) I wanted a larger family. I liked being a mom, and I wanted the chance to do it some more. It was all about me and what I wanted. I wasn’t aware that there are 147 million orphans around the world or that 5 million of them are in Ethiopia. I just wanted more kids. So there you have it…I’m selfish.
Since then, though, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve opened my eyes to the world outside of the sheltered view of life that is presented to us by the media. I’ve learned that around the world there are children living in poverty. There are parents who desperately love their children, but are forced to give them up because they can’t feed them. There are children who die every day because they didn’t get a vaccination or medication that we buy on a drug-store shelf.
So what am I going to do about it?
I don’t know.
Since we came back from Ethiopia, I have known that I need to do something. (No, this is not the part where I announce we’re adopting more kids. Adoption is not the solution to this problem.) I want to make a difference. I want to help those kids, those families. But I’m stuck. I don’t know how. The need is overwhelming, and frankly, there are too many choices. I have considered them all. Yes, we could sponsor a child. That would help one family. Yes, we could raise money to build a well. That would help one village. We could donate to a school, to a group supporting girls, to a hospital, to a medical mission, to a library, to an orphanage, to a group that rescues unwanted children. We could sell necklaces or buy a pair of TOMS. Those things would all help. But it doesn’t feel like enough. It doesn’t feel like I’m doing my part as a world citizen.
So maybe I’m not so selfish anymore. I’m looking for suggestions. What have you done since coming home with your kids to help support their birth country? What would you do if you could do anything? What organizations are REALLY making a difference? And, if you know of anyone who works for an NGO active in Ethiopia who needs a part-time, telecommuting worker, I’m open to going back to work.