Two Very Special Ethiopian Reunions
Last month, Holt families who adopted children from the same care center in Ethiopia met at a resort in Tennessee for their second annual adoptive family reunion. “When we adopted our daughter, Maci, from Ethiopia, she was 4, and we knew that her friendships were very important to her,” Holt adoptive parent and Holt staff member Laura Sykora says. “We knew we needed to do all we could to help her maintain those friendships.”
Fortunately, the Sykoras found many adoptive families who felt the same way. “Everyone wanted to keep those connections,” Laura says.
So, during the last week of June, 13 families, including 25 Ethiopian born children, met at a resort in Nashville for a weekend of fun and memories. “The children’s faces lit up as all the families started to arrive,” Laura says. “Attendance close to doubled the previous year’s numbers.”
Plans are already underway for next year’s reunions. “As parents, we have developed a connection of friendship as we have drawn together sharing experiences and providing each other with support,” Laura says.
Reunion with Miruk Alemu
A month later, another special Ethiopian reunion took place, this time in Oregon.
Miruk Alemu, Holt Ethiopia’s director of adoption and sponsorship, spent a full week in Oregon, kicking off her trip with a family gathering at a Portland area park. Fifteen Ethiopian adoptees and their families attended. Some traveled more than four hours to see Miruk and participate in the festivities. Since joining Holt in 2009, Miruk, has worked on nearly every adoption case, and has aided families through their process in Ethiopia. She said the time at the park, reconnecting to the children, was extremely special for her. “I can’t believe how much they have all grown,” Miruk said.
Along with the reunion, Miruk also spent the week at the Holt office in Eugene, meeting with members of the Holt team and participating in trainings.