Plant a seed of friendship; reap a bouquet of happiness.
— Lois L. Kaufman

When our family started the path to bring a child home from Ethiopia we never imagined the friendships that would be made along the way. To walk through this journey with friends and meet the people we did is something I will forever cherish.

Here in Oregon we have an amazing group of families who have children from Ethiopia. I feel so lucky to live in an area were my children will have lifelong friendships with children who started  their life together in Ethiopia.

Our daughter shared the first four months of her life with one of the girls who we fondly refer to as “The Toukoul Girls plus One.” Three of the four girls  are all from Le Toukoul Orphanage in Addis Ababa. Yes,  M and AR were infants and have no remembrance of their time in a tiny crib at SOS EE Le Toukoul Orphanage together but do truly feel that as they continue to grow together they will one day cherish that they were first crib mates in Ethiopia. The other two girls in “The Toukoul Girls plus one” are also from Ethiopia. One by birth Miss Y and one by sisterhood, Miss R.

These three girls are my daughters dearest friends. They enjoy family gatherings, play dates, laughs and sometime toddler tears. To top it off the parents are dear friends and also cherish the time we get to spend together!

Friendships are a very important part of life. They are formed in many different ways and take many different paths. I’m so thankful that my daughter has friends that she can share her Ethiopian culture with.

If you are not in a area where you have families from Ethiopia how about finding a pen pal for your child. What a fun way to start a friendship. Maybe a family you traveled with, someone from your agency family, etc. It could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Here are a few pics of “The Toukoul Girls plus One”



6 thoughts on “Friendships

  1. Thank you for this beautiful post. We too have discovered three other children that live near us that shared a room with our two Toukoul babies. What a delight it was when a mom sent me an email with pictures of my Ruby with her baby, being held by one of their Toukoul caregivers. I believe these children will forge a bond that will last a lifetime. We feel so blessed to have this wonderful community of parents and children.

  2. My daughter and another little girl who I will refer to as G lived together for about 4 months in an orphanage in Addis. Though I had never met G’s soon to be mother, and we lived almost 1,000 miles away, we started talking on the phone on a regular basis during our adoption process, and by the time we traveled (G’s parents two weeks before us) I felt like our families were linked forever. We have since kept in touch and I will forever be grateful not only for having a new friend to laugh and cry (and complain) with during the adoption process, but for the link that G provides my daughter to her home country and heritage. We know nothing of my daughter’s birth family or history before she arrived at the orphanage, but we will always know the little girl who kept her company until we could get there.

    I feel like I hear this story repeated over and over so many times in different settings. Thank goodness for these bonds – not only for the moms but for the kids who in many cases have no other links to their histories.

    Thanks for your post Kim – it is really beautiful.


  3. My daughter is also a Toukoul baby and we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our friends babies from Toukoul this summer. The kids will be just a few weeks difference in age and were together at Toukoul for a short time. I also look forward to the Toukoul reunion this August and the opportunity to meet other families and their beautiful children. Who knows what long term relationships could be made, even if long distance.

  4. Thanks for all your wonderful comments! How lucky are we that our children have so many friends from their homeland!
    Looking forward to the summer Toukoul reunion and to meet many more families!

  5. Hello,we are a french couple justvstarting the adoption process.We are going to Addis in march and were hoping to go and visit Le Toukoul.I’d like to contact the orphanage prior to our visit but can’t find their postal adress/email/contact.Could somebody help?thanks a million.Virginie.

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