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Ethio-American Family Services (EAFS) is a non-profit organization 501(c)(3) with a mission to educate, empower, and enrich the lives of Ethiopian orphan and vulnerable children and adoptive families.  EAFS supports programs in Ethiopia for orphan and vulnerable children, provides educational programming, and cross-cultural opportunities that are vital to the development of Ethio-blended families.  Through our efforts we will make a difference in the lives of Ethiopian-born children, ease their transition after adoption and help build more culturally connected families.
How It All Began...

In 2007, two first time, single moms traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to meet and bring home their children.  The girls, ranging in age from 10 months to 9 years, all lived at an orphanage with many other children. The two moms saw children living as no child should. Although the caretakers did their best with what they had, there was not enough of anything. The children did not have enough food. They did not receive regular medical care. Their clothes were dirty and ragged. There were few toys. They did not go to school. The older ones had a sense of hopelessness that was heartbreaking.

NO child should live like that. NO child. The two moms experienced the beauty and strength of Ethiopia and her people. They saw how children were loved there. They knew there was a better way. A few months after returning home, a vision began to take shape. The vision included a safe, loving, clean home for children and access to education and medical care. A network was formed with like minded people in Ethiopia. The ball was rolling.

Ethio-American Family Services was formed. Not long after, programs began to take shape in the United States and in Ethiopia. In 2009, the Miskaye Children's Home opened its doors. It is a home to children who would otherwise have none. In 2010, the Read and Feed Learning Center began providing an education to vulnerable children who would otherwise not realize their full educational potential.

Volunteers & Supporters 

Dedra D. Hawkins, Co-Founder is a Pharmacist, receiving her B.S. in Biology from Albany State University. She later graduated from Mercer University with her Doctorate of Pharmacy and completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at Emory Healthcare.
Dedra's interest in Ethiopia and adoption began as a little girl living in Darmstadt, Germany. A family in Darmstadt adopted 2 children from Ethiopia. She befriended these children and thought maybe one day she would adopt. She initially started out with the intention to adopt 2 girls. Approximately one month after receiving her referral for 2 girls, she was informed that an older sister was now available and her agency, Illien Adoptions International, wanted to know would she like to adopt her or help find a family close to her. After thinking about it, she decided to keep the sisters TOGETHER. She is now the proud mother of 3 sibling sisters Aster, Bizuwerk and Kalkidan that she adopted in 2007.

Aimee Richards, Co-Founder is an Associate Professor of Communication, received her B.A. in Fine Arts from Bethany College. Aimee has completed her graduate studies including an M.A. and Ed.D in Educational Psychology at West Virginia University. Aimee currently instructs undergraduate courses in Communication including Intercultural Communication.  Aimee began her adoption journey in March of 2007 via Illien Adoptions International. In November of 2007, her life was forever changed for the better by the addition of her daughter, Brynly, to her family. In 2009, seven year old Birkely (also from Ethiopia) joined the family.

Deanne Boscious, tHrIVe coordinator is a Professor of Nursing and Family Nurse Practioner.  As a small child, she planned on adopting and her love for orphans and Africa has grown stronger throughout the years.  Deanne is married with 4 children, three boys and a daughter that was adopted from Ethiopia in 2010.  Deanne is passionate aout HIV education and about dispelling the myth and stigma associated with HIV.  Deanne spent three weeks in Zambia educating women and children about HIV prevention and speaks about adoption at local churches.  Deanne and her husband Michael plan on adopting again. 

Rachel Waid Duke,  tHrIVe  coordinator is a pharmacist whom received a Bachelor of Science of Biomedical Science and Doctorate of Pharmacyfrom Auburn Universiy.  Rachel and Caleb have decided to grow their family through adoption.  Caleb, Rachel's husband heard at the hospital about his colleague's organization, Ethio-American Family Services and eventually they met Dedra's daughters.  From this meeting, a desire to help orphan and vulnerable children and Ethiopia was formed.  Rachel enjoys working as a pharmacist, volunteering at Lanier Memorial Hospital, gardening and reading.

Tia Vincent, EAFS Advisor/Education Course Contributor is a Nationally Certified Counselor who currently works as a Professional School Counselor.  Tia received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Syracuse University.  She continued on to pursue a Master's Degree in Social Work from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  She went on to join Teach For America, the National Teacher Corp, through which she began her teaching career.  Her love of helping students reach their full potential led her to complete a Specialist Degree in School Counseling at the University of Georgia.  Tia currently resides in Georgia with her three beautiful Ethiopian princesses, Eleni, Naia, and Eden, whom she adopted in early 2008.

Corinne Freesman, EAFS Fundraising Video Creators, the business co-owner of Happy Baby Solutionshas always had a passion for working with children and families. After attending college for Early Childhood Development/Special and Elementary Education and working as a Nanny, a Pre-school and Daycare teacher, a Special Education Assistant and various other jobs involving children of all ages, Corinne decided it was time to have her own children. She and her husband, Ryan, had the privilege of adopting their first child, Kaitlyn Jade at age 1, and having their birth daughter Brooklyn Aliyah. March 2008, Corinne and Ryan added to their family by adopting two children from Ethiopia who are now 2 and 6 years old. They are pleased with their most recent addition, baby Jaidyn, who was born on Oct 23rd, 2009.

Julie Trotter,  EAFS Fundraising Video Creators, the business co-owner of Happy Baby Solutions, has always had a passion for infants and their development.  In 2004 she graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies and got married to her husband, Travis. She moved to Atlanta and this is where she and Corinne met. For the past 13 years Julie has worked with children and families through various jobs including being a Nanny, Daycare teacher, and a Baby Nurse. Julie is now the proud mother of Braydon born on July 14th, 2007 and her adopted children from Ethiopia, Addisu age 13 and Samarah age 5. She is looking forward to meeting her newest addition due in May 2009!

Sarah Dunn, EAFS Nanny Trainer is a Registered Nurse.

Jaime Sereika, EAFS Education Course Contributor

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Enriching the Lives of Ethiopian Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Adoptive Families

Ethio-American Family Services non-profit 501(c)(3)
P.O. BOX  337
Newton, GA 39870
888-571-2854 (toll free)
The Ethio-American Family Services  2008. All Rights Reserved