An Army of Thousands

We have been home from Ethiopia for almost 10 months and I am still unable to completely digest what that experience taught me. People say a baby changes everything and they are right, but what if your baby comes from a part of the world that feels forgotten. This will also change everything. I look at my daughter's face and realize she could have been one of the forgotten. Now I understand the huge efforts of the many Charities working in all parts of Africa, yet the suffering continues. I tell people about what I saw and about what I have since learned through books and research, but it doesn't seem to impact them in the same way it has me. Is this because I have an invisible and forever tie to Africa through my daughter? Maybe so.
I am unsure how to process all of this, what do I do next? how can I help? how can I be a good example to my daughter that we cannot sit back and let this continue?
Why is it that mothers in Ethiopia are dying after child birth because of lack of food and water. Yes, we can adopt these now motherless children, but the problem will just persist. I have to believe there is another way!
I have to believe that we ALL, all of us families adopting from Africa, are adopting for a bigger reason. I know the saying, "I may not be able to change the world, but I can change the world for one child", but why can't we also try and change the world? We are now An Army of Thousands, thousands of families who have or are adopting from Africa. One may not be able to change the world, but what about THOUSANDS????????


Angela said...

You've written what I feel in my heart. People of African nations need real help. They have survived corruption, exploitations, disease, severe poverty, and the list goes on.

I want to "save the world" too. There's power in numbers and I'm ready to enlist in this army of thousands.

Lory Howlett said...

I'm right there with you, sister!

We don't know what might be next for our family....but we believe and hope and pray that we're not "done" in Africa.

The burden is on us to tell the world. But as you wrote, it's so hard to people to "get it" when they haven't seen in.

God, use us! We want to be world changers.

Erin said...

I love this post, Leah. I know I can't do all the work required to help Africa or orphans, but I still want to be one of the workers.

Anonymous said...


You are onto something...let's do it!

We are no longer adopting from Ethiopia, but we are still adopting from Africa.

Let's gather the "army" and friends of the "army". ;-)

the truman's said...

Oh Leah,
You are soooo right on! We have given our testimony at church as to WHY adopt, WHY Ethiopia, and what people can do...luckily our church is plugged in with the Eden Reforestation Project over there, but there has got to be MORE! I am here, ready and willing, I am with Lory on this, God please use us! Whatever that means...I cannot wait to forever be changed by a country who has given us such a gift!
Love to you,

SDR said...

This is a question I ask every day, and it seems like no matter what I do, there are always obstacles. I know of so many adoptive parents who have come back and formed non-profits. Are they making a difference? Maybe a small one, but not anywhere near what's needed.

Sorry to be a downer. I'm having a down day, I'll try to post something happy tomorrow :)

Heather said...

The struggles in Africa feel so overwhelming but I agree with Erin - I want to be used. I want to be a worker. Even if it impacts only one person.

We are returning to Ethiopia in May to visit with a group of orphans, living on their own, raising themselves. I feel so humbled to have this opportunity. I posted more details on our blog if you want to know more.

Joshua and Lydia Rich said...

I am in total agreement with you. Everytime I look in my children's eyes, I think of the thousands who are dying from easily preventable causes. We are so burdened that we are starting to look into ways to live in Ethiopia and help make a difference. I refuse to waste my life in middle-class suburbia!

And regarding having three little ones...it can be really crazy at times, but I am so glad we went this route. As they grow, they will be such close friends and once they are all out of diapers, I think having them close in age will be easier than not. Of course, all three will be in college at the same time....

dan and rachel said...

totally agree! one way that we would like to "do something" is every year, on the anniversary of the day we met our child for the first time, we will give back to ethiopia. one cause that is on our hearts is fistula surgeries. maybe as our children get older, they can choose the cause.

i would like to find other ways to do something as well.

Annie said...

I feel the same way you do. I sponsor a child; give to a few charites there, but it doesn't feel enough. People know better than to get me started talking about Africa/ETh because once I start I can't stop...like that video, "I need Africa more than Africa needs me". It changes you forever.

Amber said...

I can totally relate to what you are saying. I am forever changed bu our trip. We visited with a group called compassion and saw some horrific things and most just seem desensitized to it, I dont get it, how can you get used to something like that?
I feel God purposefully had us expeosed to this ministry so we can help.

Jocelyn said...

You are so funny...I didn't actually meet Kelly, we just talked on facebook about IAN!! I actually emailed you at work, I want to talk to you!! Not sure if I had the right email though. Would you email me so we can talk?

Are you guys still coming this summer?? Then you can meet me in all my famousness:-)

Heather Field said...

I just came across your blog via an adoption friend and would love to talk with you about adopting from Ethiopia. Please email me at chkkbcs@gmail.com

boocoomom said...

I would love to have contact with you through email. We are also with Great Wall China Adoption. we live here in TX and I am thinking of completing an adoption in Africa. I have requested an info packet from IAN. I do have some questions. Oh, and our LID in China is 10/16/06. Please contact me, my email is boocoomom@yahoo.com

Thank you and I look forward to visiting with you.
Bridgett Holder

Amber said...

How's my girls? We need a new post with pictures of that cutie!

Aaron & Whitney Pratt (A&W) said...

Exactly! "to the world you may be one person... but to one person you may be the world." -bill wilson-
we've all go t to keep telling people! thanks for your post!