One of the most frequently asked questions that we get when people find out we are adopting is: Where are you adopting from? When we reply with Nigeria, we quickly get asked the follow up questions: Why Nigeria? Did you pick that country? Have you ever been there?
The aim of this post is two-fold: to share with you how we came to join the Nigeria program and to share a little bit with you about a country that has been growing in our hearts for the past seven months.
I know that there are many of you reading this who have heard our story, so for some of you portions of this post may be a little repetitive. For that, I apologize.
Once we chose Nightlight Christian Adoptions to be our placing agency, we were quickly connected with a representative at the agency who gave us a small list of counties which they thought could be a good match for us. By small, I mean two. 🙂 As we looked further at these two countries we arranged to speak by phone with a representative from the agency to learn more about these programs. Our first phone call was with a representative about the India program. At the conclusion of that conversation I was fairly confident that we did not need to have the next conversation because that program seemed right to me. However, that first conversation was soon followed by another phone call about the Nigeria program. As the phone conversation continued both Markus and I grew excited for this program. Though there was no lightning bolt from heaven or an audible voice telling us that this was the right program, we both came to the conclusion that we wanted to proceed with the Nigeria program. There were and are so many scary things about adopting from Nigeria, but we both felt a peace about moving forward with this program.
I know that there are some of you reading this post and you are wondering why our list of countries was limited to just two. For those of you who are not very familiar with the current state of international adoption, you may find it interesting to note that, many countries have closed their international adoption programs for one reason or another. Countries that use to be open to United States citizens adopting their children such as Romania, Russia and Ethiopia, and many more no longer allow these inter-country adoptions to take place, and not necessarily because they don’t want them too. International adoptions are down 80% since 2004, and if this trend continues these adoptions will cease entirely by 2022. This is rightfully described as a crisis, and there is currently a petition for the White House to look into this issue and prioritize reversing this trend. (You can sign here – we have! If you do, make sure to watch for the confirmation email to ensure your signature is counted.)
Another interesting thing we ran in to when looking at different international programs was the fact that the countries that remain open have quite a few restrictions, such as how old both adopting parents must be in order to adopt, how many years the couple must be married, the age difference between parents and children, the birth order of children, as well as the number of children you have. These policies can all play a role as to whether or not you are eligible to adopt. It was some of these restrictions that further limited our country options.
If you are like us and didn’t know or don’t know a lot about Nigeria we would like to share with you a few facts (taken from the CIA World Factbook) about the birth country of our future kid(s).
- Nigeria is located in Western Africa and shares borders with Cameroon, Niger, Benin and Chad.
- It has an area that is about six times the size of Georgia and is a little bit bigger than two times the size of California.
- The country of Nigeria is the most populous country in all of Africa, with approximately 191 million people living there. It is made up more than 250 ethnic groups.
- The Lagos metropolitan area (where we will be living) is 21 million people, which is slightly more popular than the New York City metro area.
- Though there are over 500 indigenous languages spoken in Nigeria, you may be surprised to know that English is the official language. This will make things much easier for us while we stay in country and communicate with government officials and judges. It also eliminated the need for all of our documents to be translated into another language.
- Nigeria is 50% Muslim and 40% Christian. The remaining 10% is a mix of indigenous religions.
- That the matching process would go smoothly, and that it would be clear if we are to accept the match when it is presented to us.
- That God would continue to provide more funding for our adoption expenses.
- For the Langdon family. They are the second family from our agency and they in Nigeria with their two daughters waiting to get their U.S. visas to come home – pray for this process to go quickly – it can take quite a while!
So thankful to all of you for your prayers and support!