The Road to Adoption: Our First Curveball

This is part of our ongoing adoption story; read last week’s post right here!

As soon as we decided to proactively pursue international adoption for our family, we knew Kenya was at the top of our list. After all, Kenya was the place Ken visited when he felt the pull to adopt; the first country in Africa he truly fell in love with…

Yet, after some brief and initial research, we discovered that Kenya was closed for international adoptions, but open for domestic. So, we’d need to first establish residency (a relocation of at least 18 months) in Kenya to pursue an adoption. With a newborn in tow and deep family roots in the Midwest, it just didn’t seem like the best decision for us – not yet, at least.


As a firm believer that everything has meaning, I’ll admit, I felt discouraged. What if we aren’t meant to adopt? What if this first (minor, in the grand scheme of things!) roadblock is a sign?

And then, the email arrived. It was an invitation to visit Ethiopia, a country that had been on my radar since our dearest Los Angeles friends first adopted two beautiful children there a few years prior.

“What about Ethiopia?” I’d asked my husband, later that night at dinner. “Maybe we’re meant to adopt an Ethiopian child!”

We’d agreed that I’d go to Ethiopia, connect with the culture and patiently listen to my heart’s promptings while I was there. Surely I’d have a clearer sense of purpose after walking the same streets of the many children in need of a warm bed and clean water?

And as is the case with most international experiences, I came home with a new perspective, a raw heart. I knew this was a worthwhile pursuit and I felt the pull to adopt then – more than ever.

And so, we began to research agencies. We chatted with friends who had previously adopted from Ethiopia, asked for agency recommendations, began to download preliminary paperwork. We put one foot in front of the other, slowly but surely.

And so, it seemed we were well on our way to welcoming an Ethiopian child into our home…

Tell me, for those of you who have adopted, did the country and/or child’s heritage play a role in your decision? I’d love to hear!

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