Readoption and Becoming Citizens Part 2

Prior to traveling to Ethiopia, I had been thankful to be an American and live in our relatively safe and very prosperous country. Then I traveled to the Third World for the first time in my life and my thoughts and feelings about America began to change. Everywhere we went in Ethiopia, people told us how lucky our boys were to be going to America. One woman jokingly asked if we could adopt her too, but there was a hint of stark honesty in her request. When people found out that Russ was a university professor, they talked to him about their hopes to come to America to study. There was the man we met at the hospital who earnestly wanted Russ to come meet his son who was studying at the university in Addis Ababa, but hoped to come to America. The social worker talked to him about his hopes to get a degree in business in the U.S. There was also the lovely nurse who wanted a more advanced nursing degree but was the only adult in her family who had a job and would need financial support for her plans to succeed.

America is not perfect, but the comparisons are striking. Children are not orphaned on a daily basis in our country. Little girls of nine are not left to run households and care for children on their own, possibly with the help of a kind neighbor to look in on them. We have clean water, toilets that flush, and food in abundance. I do not go to bed at night fearing that rebels with guns will arrive at my door in the night and destroy my family before my eyes. In fact, I trust that if I pick up the phone and call 911, help will come. I go to the store expecting the shelves to be stocked with food. I know that with hard work, every one of my children will have a college education if that is their desire.

These thoughts and more went through my mind as we prepared for our court appointment that would make my children American citizens. My appreciation for being an American grew, and then grew some more. Before my very eyes, and with no conscious effort, I became deeply thankful for this imperfect country and for being an American. This was a good gift that we could give to our children.

Shortly after we arrived home from Ethiopia, I read a blog post that struck me about what it is to bring our children to America. If you have a minute, take a look at it HERE, it is worth reading.

I still think of the woman in the Ethiopian store who looked at our children and simply said, “God bless you; you do good thing.”


This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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. Sherry
    January 29, 2008

    I have also been wondering these very things about adopting from Haiti. I am so thankful to be an American and most don’t realize or appreciate what that really means. I have traveled internationally quite a bit, so it wasn’t a shock to me when Steven and I went to India a few years ago…but for him it was an awakening.

    You just don’t really understand the poverty and the hardships until you are standing in that third world country face to face with her people. In India EVERY single person that spoke to us either asked or said something about us being ‘millionaires’. It was heartbreaking to me that they would think of us that way when the reality is so much the opposite!

    Anyway, I am enjoying reading your blog and I think it is going to be so helpful to us as we begin to go through a few of these same adoption circumstances. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy