As the wait to bring home a child from Ethiopia became more and more elastic, stretching from six to nine months, to twelve, then eighteen, and finally reaching a whooping twenty-four months (two years for those of you who do not measure time in thirty day increments like waiting parents-to-be, and prisoners held in solitary confinement) the adoption agency, at one of those month juncture’s, suggested I move my application to their newly formed program in The Congo.
The pluses were numerous: the wait far shorter. The fee quite smaller. The children just as needy, just as brown-skinned, and almond-eyed as me.
A few days later, over drinks with my good friend Beryl, under a veil of tears weighing me down I listened as my news producer pal—way more plugged into the world and its woes than a heartsick writer who’d give just about anything to finally, at last, become a mother— spoke flatly over her glass of chilled Pinot Gris.
“The Congo is different than Ethiopia. The children are orphans not because of famine, not AIDS, but war. And that makes them very different.”
Now a year and a half later, I am so grateful that I listened to her with my mind, not my heart.
Please click on the link below and read the heartbreaking tale of orphans in The Congo from The New York Times courtesy of Nicholas Kristof’s blog featuring Amy Ernst.