For Kai Burke, growing up without a family in an orphanage in Ethiopia was a little bit of hell, he said. Now, Kai was finally able to join his new family in America.

By Hollie Reina (St George News) |

Washington City―When 15-year-old Kai from Ethiopia got word that he was going to be coming to America to live with the Brandon and Darci Burke family, the first question he asked was, “can I call you mom and dad?”

For Kai Burke, growing up without a family in an orphanage in Ethiopia was a little bit of hell, he said. But Kai held onto hope that one day he would make it out and that God would not forget him, said Darci Burke of her new son.

Now, after a months-long paperwork process, Kai was finally able to join his new family in America. He was given a heartwarming welcome July 17 from neighbors and friends upon his arrival home.

A heart for Africa

Though he didn’t know it at the time, Kai’s journey out of hell began two years ago when Darci Burke took her first trip to Ethiopia with a humanitarian organization called Ordinary Hero.

According to the organization’s website

Ordinary Hero is an advocacy organization that partners with impoverished communities, advocates for the vulnerable, and empowers ordinary people to change the life of a child.

Impoverished communities like Korah, Ethiopia, known as the trash dump community where 10,000 people rely on the dump for food and where they scavenge for plastic bottles to sell for money, Darci Burke said.

ALSO READ: A Black Son, His White Parents and ‘the Conversation’ – The Story of An Ethiopian Adoptee

Darci Burke heard about the organization from friend and fellow Southern Utah resident, Deborah Schone who is a team leader for several of the Ordinary Hero trips to Ethiopia.

While in Ethiopia, the group does humanitarian work in the most impoverished areas of the country including visiting orphanages that Ordinary Hero partners with, Darci Burke said.

Darci Burke’s first trip was in July of 2014 and, though she met Kai at the orphanage where he lived for 7 years, she didn’t know then that two years later she would be welcoming him into her family.

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