Part 1: Adopting a Daughter from Ethiopia

Our Parents Magazine reader, Marni from Philadelphia, wrote to me about her family’s adoption experience. I hope everyone feels just as inspired about this international adoption as I do!

Marni wrote, ” Our daughter Reby — full name Meskerem — came home from Ethiopia in October. We also have a biological son, Elijah, who will be 4 in May. I’m 30 and my husband Joe is 35.”

After studying several opportunities for international toddler adoption, Marni and her family chose to adopt from Ethiopia for several reasons.  She said, “The government seemed to be doing a better job than most countries of regulating adoptions, especially in a country where there are literally millions of orphans.

We have spent some time in Africa, although not in Ethiopia specifically, and have always felt a tie to the continent. Ethiopians place a high premium on family, tradition, and warmth in the home, which are values that we also hold dear. We were excited to become a multiracial family and to learn more about our daughter’s culture and history, which is so unique.”

How Long Does an Ethiopian Adoption Take?

The length of their paperwork-heavy international adoption took about the average, from all research and estimates I could find, about 26 months total. Marni said, From the time we submitted our initial application to the time that Remy came home for good from Ethiopia, the process was about 26 months.”

Tune in on Friday when Mari describes how long she had to wait to finally hold her toddler daughter, and how heartbreaking it felt to watch the calendar tick by without Remy. Remy and Elijah at right!

Straff Family Update: In many countries abroad, such as India, you may never meet your future child at all until the day you literally pick them up from an orphanage. You receive a photo, often not even an online photo, and you go by that picture , following your heart, for nearly two years. My husband Darrin and I have now narrowed our international search down to India.

More on that next week!

Photo at right: Elijah and Remy her first week home

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