By Susie : Four years into our marriage, my husband, Will, and I suddenly wanted nothing more than to become parents.
Neither of us had a particular desire to have children who looked like us, so the fact that there are millions of kids in the world in need of families prompted us to look into adoption.
Little did we suspect what a life-changing journey we were embarking on.
Two long years after signing our local adoption agency’s application form, we were handed our beautiful infant son in the sitting room of a transition home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Abdu was a very energetic and happy child, and was simply thrilled to have two adults lavishing attention on him all day long.
He immediately began attaching to us, and we to him. Like it is for most new parents, the transition into parenthood was rewarding but hard. The lack of sleep and nonstop activity left us more exhausted than we’d ever been before. But at the end of each day as we stood and watched our son sleep, Will and I also felt happier than we’d ever been before.
As the three of us became more confident in our new roles and routines, Will and I realized that raising Abdu would not be the same as raising a biological child would have been. Our little family was now one third Ethiopian, and our family culture would need to reflect that. But a strong Ethiopian- Canadian identity is not something we could give Abdu on our own. Luckily I had a good friend who is Ethiopian, and she often invited us into her home.
Over traditional Ethiopian coffee she introduced us to Ethiopian families who had children Abdu’s age.
In addition, we looked for a part-time caregiver who was Ethiopian. And so, a year after arriving in Canada, Abdu began to spend two days a week with a wonderful Ethiopian woman who fed him Ethiopian food, spoke to him in Amharic, put him to sleep by carrying him on her back, and just simply loved him like he was her own.
Incorporating a new culture into our family routine has enriched our lives in so many ways.
The many new friends we’ve made, both within the Ethiopian community and within the adoption community, would likely never have come into our lives had we not adopted Abdu. The food, celebrations, art, music, literature and rich history of Ethiopia are all things that Abdu has brought into our lives.
www.choicesadoption.ca / 250.479.9811
November is Adoption Awareness Month
By Holly Allen : CHOICES Adoption is happy to celebrate adoption this month with families and the community. Adoption awareness month is a wonderful time to celebrate adoption locally and internationally. While we know children wait for families around the globe there are over 1200 children who wait for families in BC. Adoption continues to be an extraordinary way to create your family. CHOICES is excited to be out in the community celebrating adoption. We will be walking in the Santa Clause Parade in Victoria, sharing stories with families, decorating a tree at the Festival of Trees and fundraising with a Krispy Kreme donut drive. This month I have decided to choose an adoption story, “Bean Trees” for my book club. How will you celebrate adoption this November? Our Executive Director, Cheryl Fix and all of us at CHOICES want to wish you a happy November. Adoption awareness month has been a part of the community for over 30 years. View the North American Council on Adoptable Children for more information on the history of adoption awareness month: http://www.nacac.org/
Here are a few facts about adoption: there are currently more boys than girls in foster care in BC waiting for a permanent family.
One in three people are connected by adoption. You are never too old to be adopted. Find out more about adoption by visiting our website: www.choicesadoption.ca
November 27, 2011 CHOICES has a free information session at the Vancouver English Centre (250 Smithe Street) from 2pm to 4pm.