This book should be on the top reading list for every person. It was recommended to me by a man who has 7 children, four biological and three adopted from Ethiopia. I could not put it down and although it's a big book, the stories of these children and the heroin of it all, Haregewoin Teferra, kept me riveted. I laughed, cried and prayed as I was going through it for although I knew about the problems in Africa, I had not had the opportunity to put a face and name on it. Read an excerpt here.
"There is No Me Without You" by Melissa Faye Greene (hear her on youtube), opened my mind and heart to almost 6 million children in Ethiopia who are true orphans. Although the HIV/AIDS epidemic does have something to do with it, poverty seems to be the primary cause, because three-quarters of children born to mothers infected with AIDS do not "acquire" it at birth. If there were the resources available to get the medicine to these fathers and mothers, they would be able to live an almost normal lifespan.
The other problem is the overall state of the state (and this is true of many parts of Africa). Even those who do go to school and graduate college cannot get the work to get themselves out of poverty. It is sobering and important, especially to the Christian. James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." What a big calling, and only God knows where we should start, and what we can do as individuals and as a country.
It is a very complete look at the problem in that part of Africa, because this book also shows some of the good things that are coming out of it. For example, the provision of God for Mrs. Teferra*. Time and again, He came through when she was most hopeless, when there seemed to be no way to provide for herself or the children under her care. Of course, she was not perfect, making mistakes like the rest of us. But that's enough of that. Read this book, it may cause you to love better and appreciate better. Or it may inspire you to do something great for one of the countless stories out there.
Adoption from Ethiopia has a good reputation for having quick placements, a simpler dossier and somewhat lower costs (relative to the discussion, anyway). Read about some stories if you'd like. At Ethiopia.adoptionblogs.com.
*Haregewoin Teferre died March 17, 2009 of natural causes. It is good that her orphanages are still running smoothly and there are many who will keep her legacy alive.