Tips for Keeping in Touch
Ethiopian families and adoptive families abroad maintain contact in a variety of ways.
For those Ethiopians living in an internet accessible area, contact can easily be made online. Email, Facebook and Skype are common means of communication.
In Ethiopia, mail is delivered to post office boxes. A searcher or friend can help in setting up a post office box if one does not already have it. Snail mail takes a couple of weeks. Ethiopian families living in rural areas must sometimes travel great distances to reach their post office box.
Many adoptive families utilize a searcher to deliver letters, photos and packages. Depending on location and price set by the searcher, this service can range anywhere from $100 to $600. Multiple families sometimes send letters together and share the cost. Some folks are able to send letters and packages with missionaries, aid workers, or friends traveling to Ethiopia.
It has become common for adoptive families to visit Ethiopia, both to experience the culture and to visit their children’s family. While people make a variety of choices when it comes to spending their travel time, specific arrangements might look like this:
- renting an apartment or hotel rooms in a central location with everyone staying together
- an adoptive family traveling to the Ethiopian family’s location and staying in a hotel nearby
- an adoptive family visiting birth family for part of the trip and sightseeing for the remainder, either with or without birth family
Having Ethiopian family visit an adoptive family in the USA, Europe or Australia is difficult because of visa issues, though it is worth investigating if you want to do it.
Two excellent online resources:
Ethiopia Homeland Travel and Birth Family Contact – a Facebook group
HomelandTravelEthiopia – a Yahoo group