In the fall of 2007, through a crazy set of circumstances, we met a family online who were doing an independent adoption in Rwanda. We realized, if we were to consider adoption, we would want to go to Africa. I started researching, and I determined pretty quickly that Ethiopia was the country for us (as if I'm the one who calls the shots, right, God?). Here are a few facts:
- Ethiopia is about twice the size of Texas;
- There are between five million and six million orphans in Ethiopia;
- Ethiopian children are orphaned by poverty and disease;
- For every child who is adopted, ten thousand orphaned Ethiopian children are not adopted;
- God loves the children of Africa just as much as He loves Allison & Abby, our cherished and blessed, suburban cul-de-sac-living and generally doted-upon American born daughters.
Dave, not unreasonably, requested some time to pray and think....without input or prompting from me. (Who, me? Pushy?) Imagine my surprise when he called me from an airport just a few days later. I could tell by his voice that something serious had happened. In fact, I thought something was really wrong. Turns out, he had come upon an article about U2's Bono--one of Dave's heroes of the faith--and how God used Ethiopia to break Bono's heart for Africa. After reading the article, Dave was shaken and humbled to realize that we "Howletts Four" were about to become the "Howletts Five."
"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." (James 1:27)