Searching For Birthfamily

A gathering of relatives and neighbors

One of our children’s homes in Ethiopia. Our visit came as a surprise to everyone.

I recently read an interesting article on adoptive parents searching for the birthfamilies of their internationally adopted children. You can read it here.

Each of our three adopted children has a different story. We have worked hard to learn their histories and when possible, make contact with birthfamily. Two of them have living extended family whom we have been able to locate and we recently learned that the third one has a half sibling who was adopted by an Italian family. We are doing what we can to make contact with the Italian orphanage that placed her in the hope of making contact with her adoptive family. She is older than our child and I believe she may be worried about what has become of her younger sibling. In a country where many children die, her worries would not be unfounded.

It is a challenge to make these connections and maintain them when our children’s relatives live in a third world country. They have no computers or phones, but in both cases we have phone numbers for a neighbor or a friend that might work for a time. In one instance we made the decision to give a family member all of our contact information and we will very likely do the same with the second. We have also been very fortunate to have friends traveling to Ethiopia who have carried over photos of the children. We want their families to know that we love them, and that the children are alive and well-cared for. We hope that this will comfort them.

Beyond that, we want our children to know that we love and respect who they are, not only as our children, but as Ethiopians, and as the very loved children of their Ethiopian families. They are both Ethiopian and American, our children and their children. We believe their lives will be enriched by this. We already talk about the day that we will journey back to Ethiopia together.


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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. Raskell Party of 8
    November 13, 2007

    Very well said, my friend.


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