This weekend we shared some news on our fundraising page. If you follow there, you may have read some of this already. If you don’t, head that way for some more of the back story.
We’ve been praying for the past three months for the Lord’s clear direction in our adoption. Just this past week, we felt much confirmation and peace to officially move forward in pursuing international adoption from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)!
It strikes me that even when our minds were spinning with information and research, God’s mind was never spinning. He does not falter or waver.
We truly trust that He is leading us and are so grateful we don’t have to “just pick” the details on our own.
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom. – Isaiah 40:28
So Why Congo?
When folks wonder why we would adopt from Congo, the 100% most honest reason is that we feel the Lord has led us to this place. If you are open to adoption, I believe praying will lead you to the place God has for you, too.
Adrian and I have always had a burden and heart for Africa. Neither one of us has been but we have longed to go. Our two sponsored children are in Africa. We have read books, watched documentaries, and followed the work of ministries on the ground in various African nations. We’ve prayed and cried over this continent. Most of our friends who have adopted have adopted from Africa and we always imagined that this might be the place. And with varying adoption requirements between different African nations, Congo was the nation whose requirements we met most naturally.
Then there’s the country itself:
DRC is a huge country, the second largest nation in Africa that covers approximately 1/3 the size of the continental US and is home to 71 million people.
UNICEF and other sources say that there are upwards of 4 million, possibly over 5 MILLION orphans in the DR Congo. Of note, UNICEF classifies an orphan as a child who has lost at least one parent; this means that not all of these 5 million children are double orphans (children with no parents). The number of double orphans, children who have lost both mother and father, in DRC is estimated between 800,000 and 1 million, according to UNICEF reports.
photo: AP / Jerome Delay
- One in seven children in DRC dies before reaching the age of five. Mothers die in childbirth in 13 out of every 1,000 deliveries. (UNICEF)
- Nearly one quarter of children are underweight. Malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are responsible for nearly half of deaths among children under age five. (UNICEF)
- DRC is one of the very poorest nations in the world. According to some sources, it is the poorest, with a per capita GDP of $365. By comparison, the per capita GDP is $3,944.30 in India, $5,164 in Guatemala, $12,843 in Romania, and $49,601 in the U.S. (source)
- Less than half the population of DR Congo have access to clean drinking water.
- Famine, civil war, sexual violence, poverty, and HIV/AIDS have ravaged the country and left many orphans.
photo via AFP/Getty Images
- The Second Congo War is the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II, killing 5.4 million people since 1998. 90% of those deaths were not in combat, but from preventable diseases “aggravated by displaced populations living in unsanitary and over-crowded conditions that lacked access to shelter, water, food and medicine.” Nearly 50% of those deaths were children under 5. (source)
photo: AP / Karel Prinsloo
We are learning so much about this country. I have much more to share but for now, this is our update. Will you pray with us?