Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another 5,499,999

"Who was going to raise 5.5 million children?

Who was teaching 5.5 million children how to swim? Who was signing 5.5 million permission slips for school field trips? Who packed 5.5 million school lunches? Who cheered at 5.5 million soccer games? Who was going to buy 5.5 million pairs of sneakers that light up when you jump? Backpacks? Toothbrushes? 5.5 million pairs of socks? Who will tell 5.5 million bedtime stories? Who will quiz 5.5 million children on Thursday nights for their Friday morning spelling tests? 5.5 million trips to the dentist? 5.5 million birthday parties? Who will wake in the middle of the night in response to 5.5 million nightmares?

Who will offer grief counseling to 5.5 million children? Who will help them avoid lives of servitude or prostitution? Who will pass on to them the traditions of culture and religion, of history and government, or craft and profession? Who will help them grow up, chose the right person to marry, find work, and learn to parent their own children?"
Source: "There is no me without you", Melissa Fay Greene (the book references sub-sahara number of 'twelve' million replaced here by '5.5' to represent Ethiopia specifically)

Who will believe in these 5.5 million kids? I was absolutely struck reading this tonight.

And, that number (5.5 million) represents only an estimate of orphans in Ethiopia. Try searching for sub-Saharan, African or global statistics and I promise you that you can hardly fathom the numbers. How can we even make sense about the difference between 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 million?

I'll be the first to tell you, I can't. It's even hard in some ways to feel proud that we are in process to adopt only 1. One of 5.5 million. Even harder when you acknowledge that the *best* solution for these kids is really to be with their parents, their extended families, in their country... if only that were a viable option.

But, I do feel proud. Honored, even. I'll be a Father to our young boy at the end of this process. One boy. Our boy. I know that at least our little Mamoosh and Kysa will always have me to read them that bedtime story.

/ fredrik

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