Char Williams always knew she wanted to adopt, it was plan A to her. In fact it was the only plan she had for making her family. When she was in her late 30s, her two-year relationship ended. She was dating a guy who had kids from his first marriage but he knew she wanted to adopt and had always been on board with this plan. Until one day he told her he didn’t want any more kids. Their relationship unravelled.

She always knew she wanted to be a mom, but ending a relationship in her late 30s, Char started to believe what society told her, you might not meet someone.

Char had done a lot of research into adoption over the years but it wasn’t until that relationship ended that she decided this was it. She wanted to be a mom, so she was going to be a mom, even if she had to do it alone. So she began the adoption process.

She had spent months in different countries of Africa and had a real heart for the continent. She knew she wanted to adopt from there so she looked into what countries would let single women adopt.

Though she had never been to Ethiopia, she felt a strong connection to the country and chose to adopt there. “I just knew my child was there.”

Mind you, this is eight years ago when social media was not at the peak it is now. She got on message boards for adoption agencies and spoke with other woman who had done what she was setting out to do. They helped give her more information and she was able to find the right adoption agency, an agency that would represent a single woman.

After months of getting all the paperwork in, having a local social worker sign off on her home, getting an attorney located in Ethiopia, all that was left to do was to “hurry up and wait.” More months passed by, until October of 2008 when she received an email containing her match. She was at her parents’ when she got the email. It contained the name, Kwali, and information as well as a picture of this two-year-old boy wearing an onesie on a plastic chair on a dirt road. Char looked at the picture and started weeping. She showed it to her mom, who also started weeping.

Char said, “When people say they see the first sonogram it becomes real. It was just a bunch of paperwork until I saw his photo. I realized I’m going to be someone’s mom.”

She of course accepted the match, and then there was more waiting for the court appointment in Ethiopia where her attorney would make the case for her to be Kwali’s mother. Char was stunned by the way her community supported her in this time, throwing her three separate baby showers all around the holidays.

On Christmas Eve of 2008, Char received a call that her attorney was going into court. The next morning, Christmas morning, she got the call that she was a mom. Kwali received a new Ethiopian birth certificate with her name on it, even though they’d never met.

While she waited to receive the date she could go pick up her son and bring him home she rapidly tried to learn his native language. Because he was two and starting to talk, she wanted him to feel comfortable and understood with her.

In February of 2009, just about 18 months after the process began, Char flew to Ethiopia to bring Kwali home.


by Leslie Tulip



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