Help Zee get her mom to the US

28865264_1522871511.6956_funddescription23 years ago in Ethiopia, when Zee was only 7 years old, she was put up for adoption and quickly adopted into a loving family here in America. While her post-adoption childhood was as great as it could be, she still had many questions about who her birth parents were. Once she got older, she began resenting her birth parents and held onto a lot of anger toward them, mostly due to the fact that she thought they had given her away.  

Fast forward to several months ago, when a complete stranger reached out to her on Facebook claiming to know her birth mom. Zee took special precaution in continuing the conversation, but soon realized that this person was telling the truth. Before she knew it, she was on the phone with her mother (and a translator given that her mom does not speak any English, and Zee has forgotten her native language).  A trip was quickly planned for Zee to travel back to Ethiopia and reunite with her mom. March 16, 2018 she boarded a flight that would forever change the trajectory of her life. Over the course of the 9 days she was there, she learned the heartbreaking details of her childhood, and the immense pain and agony her mother has lived with for the last 23 years. Where Zee had always thought her mom had given her up, she was actually taken from her mother and eventually ended up in the adoption system. Her mother, named Ethiopia Bekele, lived with the inexplicable heartache of losing her one and only child, not knowing if she would ever see her again. Still though, she held out hope that one day Zee would return. When that day came, Ethiopia succumbed to her emotions, collapsing to the floor with what can only be described as absolute euphoria. Her baby girl was finally back.


Zee got a crash course of how her mother has been living all these years, her belongings held in a room the size of a bathroom, because while she owns a home, she cannot afford the $25 a month mortgage, so it is currently rented out. To say that her living situation is unsafe is an understatement. Zee also learned the truth behind her father, a man she had hoped to meet while visiting her mother. Brave, beautiful, and STRONG Ethiopia admitted to her daughter that she was the product of rape, news that immediately gutted Zee for many reasons.

After spending 9 days learning about her past and experiencing first hand what life is like for her sweet mother, Zee has made the decision, along with her incredibly supportive fiancé, Ruben, to do everything they can to get Ethiopia here to the United States. Doing this is going to be a long and complex process, one that will not happen immediately, but that will be done in a calculated and stategic manor. It will be very costly due to the fees, trips back and forth, and the immense amount of planning it takes to move someone across the world. We are asking for your help in raising money to assist with the costs so that this mother and daughter can live out the 2nd part of their lives together.  Thank you for your support.


**All money will be deposited directly into Zee's account.
  • Maeband 
    • $50 
    • 38 mos
  • Kenneth Williams 
    • $50 
    • 43 mos
  • GoFundMe Team 
    • $2,000 
    • 43 mos
  • Artin Gasparians  
    • $50 
    • 44 mos
  • Katie Dellegrotti  
    • $40 
    • 44 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Shannon Kostbar Cook 
Simi Valley, CA
Zee Johnson 
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