BENEFITING: Beteseb Felega (EAC)
"I really don’t know what to say about today. The surreal joy of seeing my son playing volleyball was tempered by the heartbreak of other families coming to us with seven or eight-year-old photos, asking if we knew their children in North America. When I hear about mothers mourning and not wanting to eat because they don’t know what has happened to their children, I wipe away my tears and get out my camera and pen, and tell them I will do my best.” – Adoptive mother.
“If I knew that there would be no contact, that I would end up wondering about my children every day, that the pain does not go away…” -- Ethiopian mother, as told to social worker, Kalkidan Alelign.
"It's so difficult for first families and adoptees to get information about each other. I hope that EAC will continue to grow and that more people become aware of the important and much needed service that it is providing. Thanks EAC!!" Ethiopian adoptee Annette-Kassaye.
“If anyone is looking for their child, they should try really hard because their kids want to know them.” – A school-aged Ethiopian adoptee.
“When we visited Ethiopia, seeing the look on his mother’s face when she saw him again after two years apart was simply indescribable. Watching her gently feed him shirro and injera again from her own hand will forever be imprinted on my heart.” – Adoptive mother.
“When I see my child now, I feel at peace again.” -- Ethiopian mother.
Over 27,000 children have been adopted from Ethiopia in the last decade. Ethiopian Adoption Connection is reconnecting families once thought lost to each other through adoption. It aims to help adoptees in finding their roots and to connect Ethiopians with their children adopted abroad. Ethiopian Adoption Connection is a free, grassroots effort to unite families.
What is Ethiopian Adoption Connection?
Ethiopian Adoption Connection is a searchable database connecting Ethiopian families with their children adopted abroad. We maintain a central listing of children and Ethiopian families lost to each other after adoption. Our goal is to assist those with no other means of making contact, including Ethiopian mothers and fathers with no other means of searching, adoptive families who have searched unsuccessfully, and adoptee with little information about their origins. In addition to our database, EAC’s website contains a multitude of information for those considering searching and those who already have contact.
Why are we doing this?
Imagine you are a child taken from all that you have ever known: beloved people and familiar sights, scents and sounds never to be seen again. Imagine you are this child’s mother or father aching to have news of her.
While adoption has helped many children in difficult situations, an unfortunate side effect is that biological ties are permanently and irrevocably severed by law, and in many cases, family members never see each other again. Many caring adoptive families are bridging this gap, but for others, there is no family information to be found. Ethiopian mothers and fathers whose children were adopted often have no information to about where the child is currently living. Without information, finding their child is virtually impossible. Even for families that have some information, making contact can be difficult. This is where Ethiopian Adoption Connection can help.
Who runs Ethiopian Adoption Connection?
Ethiopian Adoption Connection was founded by an adoptive mom, Andrea. She is joined by Kalkidan, a social worker with unique experience assisting natural mothers in Ethiopia; Tracy, an intra-family adoptee and adoptive mom; and Chris, an adoptive mom dedicated to helping families reconnect. All the work we do with EAC is on a volunteer basis; no one receives compensation in any way for their efforts. We are partnering with a local NGO in Ethiopia, and we have contacts in many receiving countries willing to help with connecting families and translating.
What will the money be used for?
The EAC database has connected some families already and matches are being made. In less than a year, dozens of adoptive families have registered with EAC with the hope of locating their children’s Ethiopian families. Ethiopian families are also registering, but understandably at a slower pace as EAC works to raise awareness of this free service within Ethiopia.
To date, all of EAC’s expenses have been paid out of pocket by Andrea’s family. But to effectively spread the word to more families in different areas of Ethiopia, we need your help. All donations go directly to EAC and all work is done by volunteers.
Donated funds will be used for getting the word out to those who need our help:
- In-country transportation and expenses for reaching Ethiopian families
- A phone available 24/7 for Ethiopians to submit their information
- Advertising in Ethiopia (radio spots, newspaper ads, etc)
- Printed material (flyers, ink, etc)
- Website operation and maintenance
Future plans include:
- DNA testing and matching
- travel and search grants
EAC is a 501c3 charitable organization.
Please join us.
In peace and with hope,
The EAC Team