by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
written on 10-13

It is 8 o’clock in the evening here in Addis Ababa. My plane touched down a little before 7 this morning and I am feeling the effects of the long flight and a full day. Even so, I am eager to tell you about my time with two incredibly precious birthmothers I had the honor of sitting with today.

For those of us who have had relatively normal lives with the “American Dream” such a part of our DNA we cannot disassociate from it, it is hard to put ourselves in the shoes of mothers who make an adoption plan for their child because of unresolved health concerns or poverty the likes of which none of us will ever know. Choosing a family in a country on the other side of the world to raise your child plays second fiddle in selflessness only to heroes who forfeit their lives for someone else. Adoption is incredibly sacrificial and a portrait of love.
The family who adopted Desalech’s* daughter when she was 5-years-old made a sweet photo book of pictures that I had the joy of handing to her. The first thing she did was kiss K’s picture and then together we looked at all the photos. Desalech also brought a picture of K’s birth father who died when K was very young. She wanted K to have it. She is going to write a letter to K and her family that I will take back to the U.S.
After Desalech left, another familiar woman came to our office and I was once again struck by Momina’s* dazzling smile and gentle ways. It took me back five years ago when I first met Momina. I helped her with the process of transitioning her daughter to the adoptive family, and we have had yearly meetings with her since then. Her daughter is growing big and it brought tears to her eyes to learn about her activities, her tender heart for the Lord, and how she loves people. The pictures B’s family sent to her were carefully tucked back in the envelope and carried away. I can guarantee that those pics will be well handled not only by Momina but by everyone in her community who remembered B as a little girl.

*not her real name