In ten days, we get on an airplane to go to Elvie. Usually for an Ethiopian adoption, you travel twice, once for court to meet your child, and once for the embassy appointment, when you answer a few simple questions and receive your child’s visa. Between court and embassy processes, there can be months of wait, as the US Embassy investigates the case and ensures that the adoption is legal and ethical before issuing a visa for immigration into the US. In Elvie’s case, her medical needs tell much of the story, and her Ethiopian family will confirm the rest. By the time we arrive in Ethiopia, much of the work that needs to be done to ensure that she does indeed need to be adopted will already be done. So we will travel to meet her, say yes to being her family in court, and go through the embassy process within a very short time. It’s Ethiopian adoption on fast forward, and we couldn’t be happier. (A little frazzled, maybe, by the rush, but still unbelievably happy.)
When I look at photos of Elvie, I see the work we need to do. To make her happy, to get her healthy, to help her thrive as much as possible. I remember looking at Zinashi and thinking the same things. The care children receive in agency transition homes is generally excellent, but it’s not the same as being in a family. Having a family matters, and at the heart of it, this is why we chose adoption.
I can go back now and see how Zinashi transformed, from the time we first saw her face on a computer screen to our landing as a family on US soil. The difference is remarkable. Join me on a trip down memory lane, and see the difference for yourself.
World map clip art credit: Freepik
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