Johnny Dasher owner of S’Cool Services Fundraising along with his wife Amy are adoptive parents. The Dasher family supports and encourages adoption of children from foreign countries as well as children right here in the USA.
Great News from Ethiopia!
Family Care is Bethany’s unique response to the orphan crisis in Africa. Working with local churches in Ethiopia, we are recruiting families to foster—and eventually adopt—orphaned children. Through Family Care, children like Yared can find loving homes.
Yared lost his parents when he was a baby. By the time he was 2 years old, he had already lived in two orphanages. As one of Ethiopia’s 5 million orphans growing up without a family, statistically he is more likely to end up living in poverty and turning to crime as an adult.
But when he was 2, the direction of his life changed completely: Yared went to live with foster parents. He didn’t have to come to the United States, in fact, he didn’t need to leave Ethiopia. His foster family, Sisay and his wife, Ehete, were in Ethiopia.
Sisay and Ehete had heard about Family Care through their local church fellowship. Married for eight years at the time, they had no biological children and longed for a child’s presence in their home. As Christians, they also felt that caring for an orphan was simply the right thing to do.
Bethany introduced them to Yared and facilitated a few meetings at the orphanage. Then they brought the little boy home. The initial days weren’t easy—Yared cried a lot and had trouble sleeping. “The hardest time was the first week,” Sisay says. “We tried to find ways to help him feel comfortable, and after that he started to grow close to us. As he started to know us better, he felt more at home.”
As his father is speaking, Yared plays beside his parents, pretending to talk on a cell phone and then resting his head on his mother’s lap. Ehete, his mother, tells us that Yared’s favorite activities are playing with his ball and playing with other children, and he likes eating eggs and chocolate.
After a year, Sisay and Ehete decided to formally adopt Yared. They are thrilled to have a child of their own. “We are no longer alone in our house,” Sisay says. “Now we have a child who calls us Mama and Papa. He is very happy, he plays, he comes to both of us when he needs help or when he is upset.” Sisay and Ehete feel as though being Yared’s parents is very natural, and they are a family as God intended.
His adoption day was a milestone for the Family Care program because it represents the culmination of what we hope will become a regular “norm”: Ethiopian parents fostering-to-adopt.
Adoption is not a traditional part of Ethiopian or African culture, and fostering children is completely new. African families readily welcome and care for orphaned children of relatives, but historically this practice has not been extended to non-related children. Sisay and Ehete are pioneers in this regard. They know only one other potential adoptive family, also through the Family Care program. While it is new in the community, family and friends have been very supportive.
“Yared’s behavior has helped in this,” Sisay says. “He is a very affectionate child, very affectionate towards family members and neighbors who come to visit. That helps them accept him as a child of the family.”
Based on the success of Family Care in Ethiopia, Bethany has been invited by other countries to come and establish the same program. “I am tremendously excited by the way God continues to open doors,” says Bethany CEO Bill Blacquiere.