When Cami and Ryan Blumenthal embarked on their journey toward adoption, they wanted to complete their family. In the process, they also reunited two young sisters who were likely to never see each other again.
In fall 2008, the family reached out to Children’s Home Society of Washington whose adoption experts have helped provide secure, safe homes for children since 1896.
Children’s Home Society of Washington Adoption Counselor Cheramy Hassen handled the home study and the post-placement process required for the Blumenthals’ international adoption. A home study evaluates the fitness of the family and provides them with training, education, and preparation for adoption.
Nervous at first, the Blumenthals found ease with Cheramy, who has assisted hundreds of families during her 14 years at Children’s Home Society of Washington. In 2012, Cheramy was selected for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angel in Adoption award for her outstanding work in adoption and child care.
With all the families she helps, Cheramy takes them through each step of the process. “We are so grateful for Cheramy’s support,” said Cami. “She has offered the best guidance throughout our entire journey.” The family was matched with 19-month-old Etagegn from Ethiopia in spring 2010.
“Our family felt complete,” said Cami. “We had three healthy, happy children. But there were bigger things in store for us.”
They soon discovered that Etagegn’s older sister, Meskerem, had been placed in an orphanage. The family began the adoption process to bring the girls back together.
Shortly before her fifth birthday, Meskerem was reunited with her little sister. Now 4 and 6 years old, the girls are living in a permanent, loving home. For the Blumenthals, their adoption journey continues as they get to experience Meskerem and Etagegn growing up together.
“We thought our family of five was complete,” said Cami. “Little did we know there was another little girl just waiting for us. Waiting to see her sister again.”