Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It all started in Romania

I saw them every time I walked downtown. Two little girls, about eight years old, standing at the corner of a busy intersection. I was living in Timisoara, Romania at the time. It angered me every time I passed them. Who was exploiting these innocent children? Why weren't they in school? Who dropped them off on the street every day to beg?

Occasionally, my friends and I would bring them something to eat; a happy meal from McDonalds or some other treat. We knew that giving them money would do them no good. They wouldn't see any of it. These children were being used by adults. Adults who took advantage of the sympathy these kids garnered from those who saw them begging for money. Tragically, I witnessed children being used like this all over Romania. I hoped that someday, when I married, I could return to adopt a child and prevent at least one boy or girl from experiencing the exploitation I witnessed nearly every day.

Watching the moving "Slumdog Millionaire" brought back all those sad memories of Romanian street children. I found myself reliving those tragic memories over again. Halfway through the film, I leaned over and whispered to my wife, "this is why we're adopting."

At the time, we weren't even thinking seriously about international adoption, but the exploitation we saw in the film stirred our hearts and we reconsidered our options. We were moved by the story of a college friend of my wife who, along with her husband, had adopted two 3 1/2 year olds from Ethiopia.

Since the Romanian government no longer allows for international adoptions (long story...mostly due to corruption in the Romanian adoption system), we decided to look into adoptiong from Ethiopia, home to over four million orphans.

Though I couldn't change the world for those two little girls I saw begging in Romania, we knew we had the opportunity to change the world for a little one (or little ones) from Ethiopia and spare them from the fate I witnessed far too often in Eastern Europe.


Kim said...

That is really awesome! Gladney seems like a good agency (from what I read, anyway) and I really felt lead recently from the Lord to tell some friends of mine who also live in Texas about them. The funny thing was that they had begun researching agencies the previous day!

Do you also plan to have biological children?

Ana L. said...

You and Tracy...rock!