One passage, in particular, really affected me. (I’m about to get super real with you all, so please forgive me.)
"As we pulled up to the orphanage, [he] told us to prepare ourselves. The first time he had visited the facilities and seen the children, he had stayed in his car and wept. Stepping out of the car, I was immediately surrounded by children, ranging from the age of two to ten, many wearing the same turquoise-colored tops. Earlier, I had learned that the orphanage also served as an elementary school: half of the children were local kids, while the other half were orphans. It was easy to distinguish between them. The orphans wore tattered shirts, dirt-stained jeans, and holed-up shoes. When the children flashed me their beaming smiles, I noticed many with enflamed, licorice-colored gums and rotting teeth. Other children had noticeable skin abrasions on their arms and faces in webbed patterns…
I was led into a nursery where the infants were kept. What immediately stood out was the lopsided ratio between children and workers. For every eight or nine infants, there was only one worker to meet their needs. I was saddened to think of how many of those children weren’t getting the stimulation they needed to develop. In addition, I was somewhat taken back by the heavy smells of urine, sweat, and dried feces that stung my nose and eyes. Looking down at my feet, I saw a dirty cot with ten infants almost stacked on each other, all swaddled in mangy blankets, some sleeping, others screaming. The nurse told me there was very little room left for the babies…
I couldn’t help but conclude, This is not the way things were meant to be. This is not the world God created us for."
This book was published in 2008, before adoption from Ethiopia was as popular as it is now. I can only hope that conditions in orphanages have since improved. More people adopting means kids stay in orphanages shorter periods of time, and the orphanages are most likely getting more of the resources they need from agencies.
But still, this scenario is literally foreign to us in the US. That’s why it’s important to spread the word and continue to support adoption.
So, that’s exactly what I want you to do! Please post about Give1 on your blog, Facebook, or just like us! We'll take Tweets and Pins, too! When you do, please leave a comment on this post, and we’ll choose a commenter at random on Friday night. The lucky person will receive a copy of From Ashes to Africa. (And for the record, the rest of the book isn’t this heavy or sad. There is a happy ending.)
Click here to learn more about the Bottomly's journey or to buy your own copy of the book.