American Public Media’s The Story – Ethiopian Adoptions

From American Public Media – The Story

Ethiopian-American Adoption

Even before Angelina Jolie put
Ethiopian orphans on the front covers of magazines, the African country
had become the latest hot spot for international adoptions. But there
are voices rarely  heard on the subject…those of the children who are
brought to the U.S.


years ago, Keith McNichols read an article about orphans in Sudan that
made he and his wife decide to look into adopting a child from Africa.
The McNichols already had three children, but they thought they could
help one or perhaps two of the many older children orphaned by AIDS. 

wound up adopting two girls from Ethiopia – one 8 years old, the other
14. The girls, Fevan and Tsion, tell Dick Gordon about their lives in
Ethiopia, and what it was like when the McNichols showed up to take
them to a new home in the U.S.

Keith says the transition was not
always easy, especially when tensions ran high between Tsion and
Cayley, the McNichols’ biological daughter of the same age. Eventually
though, the two became inseparable. In 2005, Keith took the entire
family back to Ethiopia to visit, and subsequently the McNichols
adopted a 6-year-old boy named Miki…and, just this summer, a brother
and sister (that’s it, Keith says).

After watching the
McNichols family grow, Keith says his neighbors got inspired. There are
now 16 Ethiopian kids within a few miles of Keith’s home outside of Los

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

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