Ethiopia: Meeting Honeybee's Family

Honeybee met her sister for the first time (in her memory) when her family came to say goodbye.

We left for Ethiopia last year in late July and although I had good intentions, I didn’t manage to write much about our trip at all. A week ago I had some serious panic when the external hard drive I had stored our photos on failed and I spent 48 hours thinking I may have lost them all. I hope to share photos and some observations over the next few weeks.

Adding four children to our family expanded us in other ways as well. We now have a deep connection with our children’s birthfamilies. We have been blessed to visit relatives of all four of our children. Eby and Little Man were adopted through an agency that not only discouraged contact with birthfamilies but they actually forbade it. In contrast, Adoption Advocates International, the agency we used for our girls’ adoptions, supported us and made significant efforts to help us meet their families.

The AAI staff in Ethiopia contacted Honeybee’s family who traveled by bus to Addis to meet us. As soon as we are able to return to Ethiopia, we hope to take Honeybee to visit her family in Jimma.

Honeybee’s grandmother told me that she was entrusting Honeybee to my care and she spontaneously and lovingly committed her to me, as you can see in the picture below.

Honeybee and her aunt

After learning Honeybee’s family history, we walked to a local pastry shop.

Honeybee’s grandmother gave us a great treasure. Tucked inside a pocket of folded newspapers were family photos, including one of Honeybee’s mother holding her and a wedding picture of her parents. There were also numerous small photos of uncles and aunts. Not long ago I printed copies of them for Honeybee. Next to her bed she keeps the photo of herself as a baby in her mother’s arms. They were both so beautiful.

(Note: In the attachment and trauma realm, we had a good day today!)

More soon.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. KT
    July 16, 2009

    What beautiful memories AAI is giving these children, not to mention being one step closer to closure and healing by seeing their bio family and adopted family together and in agreement on this HUGE decision that has been made for them. Im sure it would have helped our girls more then we can imagine…

  2. Kathrin
    July 16, 2009

    That is so beautiful. Good for her to have those memories.

  3. darci
    July 17, 2009

    beautiful precious pictures! i can't wait to see (and read) more.


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