Grandparents Parenting Again

This is another cool Ethiopian adoption story.

Matthew and Amanda Johnson from Minnesota have two children, both adopted from Ethiopia: Samrawit, 7, and Teshome, 5. Amanda traveled to Ethiopia with her parents last year to bring Samrawit home. Amanda’s parents have talked about “finishing well” for a few years now, and had been dreaming about what that could be. They had been empty-nesters for a few years and loved it.

But that all changed.

While in Ethiopia they met two brothers: Berhane, 13, and Tsegaye, 11. And they decided to adopt them. As Amanda writes:

“And so the last few days of the trip involved a lot of soul-searching on the part of my parents.  They knew they couldn’t go into this for the wrong reasons.  “Saving a child” was simply not good enough.  They knew it meant a total life style change, almost starting over.  They knew it would be hard.  These kids have a lot of grief and trauma.  The kind of stuff you cannot just love away.  …  Then, as it goes, they started to get excited, thinking about all the new things they would get to experience with the boys.  They started to see the boys in a different way, looking at each of them for their strengths, their potential.

“They started the paperwork on the plane home.  Last week they finished their home study.  This week they start their dossier.  With any luck the boys should be home before summer.”

Amanda’s dad is in Ethiopia right now to bring these boys home. Amanda’s parents actually had a chance to meet with the boys last year and ask them if they wanted to be adopted. I can’t imagine making a decision that quickly or being able to jump through the appropriate hoops while in the country. That’s some impressive commitment on the part of these parents, the social workers and agency.

I also can’t help but think how incredible this is for the family. Samrawit and Teshone will have two Ethiopian uncles. Berhane and Tsegaye will have a niece and nephew from their country—and Samrawit was at the same care center. Amazing.

It’s definitely not the kind of thing every grandparent could do.

But as Amanda wrote, “I cannot think of a better way to finish.”

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