Adoption In The News: “Raising an Ethiopian Jewish Child in Georgia”

For those who read “Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother” for the Adoption STAR Book Club, you will find some similarities in the article “Raising an Ethiopian Jewish Child in Georgia.” The author of the article, Melissa Fay Greene, and her family adopted Helen from Ethiopia in 2001, and the article shares Helen’s path to Judaism.

In the article, Greene shares the story of her first trip to Ethiopia to visit Helen. While there, they found that Helen, with her dark skin was seen as Jewish, while because of her white skin, Greene, was not permitted into the Sabbath services due to her not appearing Jewish.

“In America, I look Jewish. In Ethiopia, I did not look Jewish. In Ethiopia, Helen looked Jewish. But, in America, Helen does not look Jewish. She has borne this bravely, while embracing Judaism with a full heart,” Fay Greene wrote in the article.

If you have grown your family by way of trans-racial or trans-cultural adoption, how have you integrated your child into your family’s culture and background and how have you integrated your child’s birth culture into your family?

It is important for families to learn from each other. If you have adopted trans-racially or trans-culturally and would be willing to share your adoption journey with the blog, please email me at