Ethiopia is one of the top countries for American adoptions. Adopting a child from Ethiopia becomes even more appealing when you consider the beauty and appeal of the children, Ethiopia’s ethnic diversity, and the country’s diverse religions. Ethiopian culture represents Judaic, Christian, and Muslim traditions.

However, Ethiopia also ranks high in the world for less positive things. It’s a good idea to do a thorough medical review of your child’s referral packet because of the maternal mortality, malnutrition, poverty, AIDS, and child abandonment that are common in Ethiopia. Once you have your youngster’s photo, medical report and developmental history, consult with a pediatrician who is experienced with international adoption.

Obtaining Your Child’s History

You can get help from your pediatrician to know whether to proceed with this referral or request another. You’ll be able to ask your pediatrician your pressing questions at any time while you’re in Ethiopia. You can also get traveling suggestions and prescriptions from your pediatrician during your long trip back to the U.S. You and your child will meet with this physician as soon as you return home.

Americans who are adopting children from Ethiopia have the unique privilege of meeting and visiting with the biological family (if they are known) in their villages. Don’t miss out on that incredible opportunity! In addition to meeting your child’s birth family, you will also meet the youngster you only “knew” from a photo. In years to come, your visit to Ethiopia will be the source of tangible information about your child’s ancestry, photographs for your child’s life book, and important medical and psychological information (based on family genetics).

You should send this information, as well as a few strands of the birth mother’s hair, to your pediatrician. (If you can’t, keep those things safe till you get home.) Doctors will use this for future genetic testing. In years to come, DNA will provide a wealth of information to adoptive families, and your doctor will alert you to the latest findings.

Medical Care and Check-ups

While in Ethiopia, nannies, nurses, and doctors will care for your child in an orphanage. An outside physician will also do check-ups with your youngster in his or her office. If you have questions and are uncomfortable with the answers you’re getting, feel free to ask for a team consultation. This is when all the professionals involved with your child come together for a discussion. If you are still concerned after that team consultation, contact your physician in America for clarification before bringing your child home.

Doctors will inoculate your child in Ethiopia. Your child must be in good health to qualify for the U.S. visa. A final check-up in Ethiopia will certify that your child meets the visa’s requirements.

Meeting the Child You’re Adopting

Be aware that, when you land in Addis Ababa, you will be jet-lagged from the long and exhausting trip. Therefore, take the opportunity to get some rest, eat lightly, and be refreshed when you meet the child you’re adopting. You want to feel your very best and be ready for one of the most joyous occasions you will likely ever experience.

As you prepare to meet for the first time, remember that your little one is not accustomed to lots of visitors. They also aren’t used to lots of physical contact with newcomers. It will take time for both of you to get acquainted. Enlist the assistance of the nannies who, although often possessive in the beginning, will offer an abundance of information and helpful tips. Be assertive, and they will quickly understand your good intentions.

Learning about the Child You’re Adopting

Some of the great advantages of adopting from Ethiopia are the streamlined procedures and abbreviated schedule. Your adoption from Ethiopia should be final within five to seven days of your arrival in Ethiopia. So, spend as much time in your child’s care center as you can during the first few days. There, you can observe your child’s feeding schedule, appetite, sleep pattern, and temperament.

Get accustomed to feeding and bathing your child. In a few days, you will gain permanent custody of the child you have been visiting daily. You get to choose whether you stay in the orphanage’s guest house or a hotel of your choice while you wait for your paperwork to finish. Then, you and your child will journey home to America to start your new life.

Final Words of Wisdom

Here is a final piece of advice for when you return home. Minimize the number of visitors during the first few weeks. This is a major life change for you and your youngster. You both need time to rest after the long flight. Your child will also need to adjust to new formula/food and the immediate family. There will be a lifetime for loved ones to celebrate the arrival of your new child with you.