Adesalem-Kella: Reconnect with Ethiopian Birth Mom

12 years ago our mother, who was diagnosed with uterine cancer and HIV Aids, gave us up for adoption so that we would have a chance at a better life. With no way to find her or contact her, we thought that she had died.  We just discovered that she had survived all these years. She is still very sick and in a terrible living situation. We want so desperately to visit her and she longs to see us again. Please help us visit our birth mom before illness takes her. Our adopted family will do all they can to help us and our adopted father will go with us, but we simply lack the money needed to fly there and travel to Sodo where she lives. Please pass this GoFundMe to your friends and any money you can donate would be greatly appreciated.

We were adopted in 2006 by Janelle and Brandon Jelinek and met our new 4 year old sister, Jamie and our 2 year old brother, Jake.  I, Adesalem, was about 4 years old and my little sister Kella was 2. Together we grew up in the Spokane area. We didn't have a lot of money as a family but we always had what we needed.

2006 Adoption Photos:
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It was not easy growing up not knowing what happened to our mom. It was hard to adjust to life with our new family. Sometimes, I felt very angry and didn't know why. It took a long time before I could even talk about being adopted. By the time I started High School, I was starting to understand and accept why my Ethiopian mother had to give us up and the fact that she had probably already died.

2014 Pictures:
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We had no idea that our mother was still alive all this time. Just a couple of months ago, she found her way to a Beteseb Felega social worker who located us.  Beteseb Felega  is a non-profit group dedicated to helping reunite adopted children with their bio families. We sent a photo of us to her and told her a little about our lives. She responded back with a heart breaking letter, pictures and video.

Our Mother Askale and her small 6x6 shack attached to a building.
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Beteseb Reported,
"Economically Askale is not in a good situation. She is very poor and also is not getting enough food in the context of her health condition. She is a chronic patient of HIV and now she is taking HIV drugs. Also, she had surgery three times to treat uterine cancer (“cancer of the womb”). Her uterus is now removed. Generally, she is not doing well. She states that cannot control her balance and she has depression as a result of these ongoing health issues.

Socially, Askale says that her life is challenging, and her neighbors are abusive due to the discrimination she faces with HIV.

Regarding Askale’s reaction to the news of her children, when the SW showed her the pictures she immediately became uncontrollably emotional. She kissed and hugged the photos, raised the picture to God, cried, and blessed adoptive family and the social worker. "


Askale says,
"For several years I have stress from missing my children and waiting to hear their news, but after today I hope I will recover and things will be better. So God bless you adoptive family. I am very happy and my life is increased. God bless you all who participated in this wonderful news. Finally today I will sleep normally and the night will be full of peaceful dreams. Previously, my nights were long and disturbing.

Please, you heard my health history so please reunite with me soon. I am full of a fatal disease and I don’t know when I will die. Please let me see my children while I am still alive by the mighty name of God. "

Janna (cousin), Kella, Jamie, Jake, Adesalem and Fizyx (our dog)
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Our whole family was shocked by the news. My first thought was to take care of my mom and do everything I can to get the money to help her and see her before she dies. My sister Kella is too young to work this Summer but I am working very hard in my job to earn as much as I can not only so we can visit our mom but also help her out in her living situation.  We are hoping to go there as soon as we have the funds as we don't know how long she will live in her poor health. We have had more communication with her and we have already sent her some money to help with food and such.  Anything you can give to help us out will be a blessing. If you can't help out financially, please help by forwarding this page to your friends and family.  Thank you so much for reading our story and giving what you can. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and we will respond.

Donations (0)

  • Athalie Okken 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Kevin Cook 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $160 
    • 1 mo

Organizer and beneficiary 

Brandon Jelinek 
Organizer
Colbert, WA
Adesalem Jelinek 
Beneficiary
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