by Joy Casey, written while in Ethiopia

There were many Ethiopian families who have adopted children from our orphanage that I wanted to visit on this trip, but time allowed me just one. Abeba and Getahun have a lovely home on the top floor of a condominium in Addis Ababa (and no elevator!).

Mama Abeba (which means ‘flower’) greeted me effusively and immediately placed a sweet 6-month-old girl in my arms. You can read about her adoption here.

Papa Getahun is a construction manager and was tied up with work, but Abeba was delightful, spoke English and was engaging company. With typical Ethiopian hospitality, she offered me something to drink, a bowl of dates, cookies, and apples.

Little Deborah – pronounced Deh-BOR-ah in Ethiopia – was a doll baby! Her mother is having so much fun with her and understandably so. This is her first child. Her husband Getahun has two teen-age boys from a previous marriage, but they live with their mom. Abeba said that after some months they want to come back to the orphanage and adopt a brother for Deborah.

Deborah was born October 17, 2021 and came to our orphanage November 17, 2021. She was 3 months old when this marvelous family scooped her up and gave her a home. She is indeed blessed and so are her mom and dad.

I have worked in the field of adoption for over 30 years, and the families who adopt in Ethiopia have the same emotions as those in the U.S. who adopt… they love their child to pieces, they praise and thank God and almost feel like they have to pinch themselves to see if this is real. Abeba kept saying, “She is such a gift!”  It was my supreme privilege to spend time with this new mother and her baby. Seeing this once-abandoned, fragile child so happy in her peaceful home showered with attention and love is my payday.