There are several questions that we get asked a lot concerning adoption. One is "Why Ethiopia?" There really wasn't one main reason we chose Ethiopia, more like several little ones. Aaron has traveled to Africa three times, once to Kenya for 6 months in college, and twice now to Zambia. So, having a connection to Africa was appealing, even though neither of us has been to Ethiopia. Another reason we chose Ethiopia is, you only have to travel once. Some countries require two trips, one to choose your child, and another when the adoption is final, and with little ones, we felt like one trip would be all we could do. We aren't taking the boys with us, but thinking about leaving them for an extended time twice is a little nerve-wracking, not so much for them, but for our gracious family members who would be taking care of them! Also, so far the Ethiopian government has been fairly stable as far as adoptions go. There haven't been, that I have heard about anyway, major issues with the government threatening to shut down adoptions or getting super involved and creating new laws or mandates concerning adoption. We do know this could change at any time, but so far we haven't heard of that happening.
Another question we get is about the cost. Adoption is expensive and international adoption is overwhelmingly expensive. It is so hard to know how to answer this question, we obviously aren't millionaires, but God has provided. That is what is comes down to, all we have is His, and we have chosen to use what He has given us in this way. We have been saving since we got married, not necessarily for adoption, but for something. And we are pretty frugal and aware of how much we spend. Not in an extreme way by any means, but we don't have cable, car payments, or credit card debt. I even feel weird writing that because really, we are doing this because of God's grace in our lives and His providing. We are just trying to be good stewards, and He has laid adoption on our hearts, so we are trying to be faithful to that.
Another question is whether we know the age or gender of the child. We did have the option of choosing the age and gender and we chose an infant, up to 12 months at the time of referral and a girl. In Ethiopia there has to be a year between your youngest child and the child you adopt. We didn't want to adopt a child older than Eli and Micah, and trying to fit one in between the boys and Isaac would be pretty tricky. We will get her referral which includes pictures and as much history as they have about her. Than after we accept it, there will be a court date in Ethiopia which can also take a few months to pass. So, by the time we bring her home, she may be older than 12 months.