ethiopian children

Canaan Ethiopian Absorption Center, Safed, Israel, June 29, 2016

My friend is adopting an Ethiopian kid...

Adoption is a good thing. That is what I keep telling myself.

But I can’t help feeling irked when people keep sharing news of an Ethiopian adoption with me. No, I am not blaming Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, or other celebrities that go ‘baby-shopping’ in Africa. They are giving these children a (very good) chance at life.

Nevertheless, I am never quite sure how to respond to the news. Excited because you’re sharing Ethiopian-related news with me? Joyful because out of the billions of kids in the world, you picked an Ethiopian one? Angry because you are taking these kids from their homeland and robbing them of their culture and roots? Don’t expect me to jump for joy because you are not doing me any favors.

I usually just end up nodding and saying, “That’s nice.” I think the problem is that this is how I interpret the conversation:

What the person is saying: “Yeah, so my friend and her husband are adopting two Ethiopian children.”

What I hear: “Yeah, so my friend and her husband just bought a couple of Ethiopian kids.”

Yes, that’s what I really hear in my mind. It sounds like they just bought an Ethiopian child as though it were a brand-named item, like “I just purchased a BMW." 

I feel like 'they’ are robbing Ethiopia’s children, but they’re not. You have to pay for adoptions.


Canaan Ethiopian Absorption Center, Safed, Israel, June 29, 2016