Yonas Adams never really knew his father. He was told at a very young age that his father, who had served in the Ethiopian National Defense Force, had died.

By Chris Murphy (INFORUM) |

FARGO, N.D.―The first soccer ball Fargo Davies sophomore Yonas Adams ever kicked was a plastic bag filled with garbage that he tied and sewed together. He carried it around with him everywhere in the streets of Abomsa, Ethiopia.

If Yonas Adams were still in those streets, after both his parents had died, he’d be lucky to have a job washing cars or shining shoes.

Yonas is not washing cars or shining shoes. He will help lead Fargo Davies into the North Dakota state boys soccer tournament, which opens Thursday, Oct. 11., in Grand Forks, his first home in the United States.

Adopted by Kim and Dave Adams, Yonas now has dreams of playing college soccer.

“There’s a lot more opportunities to look at for school and soccer,” Yonas said. “There’s a lot more to do than back home. There would be no school for me back home and no opportunity.”

Yonas Adams never really knew his father. He was told at a very young age that his father, who had served in the Ethiopian National Defense Force, had died. As for his mother, Yonas remembers watching her die when he 7 years old. He knew she was sick, but he assumed she’d get better.

“She was full of life,” Yonas said. “She cared about us a lot and worked every day to keep us in school. It was pretty awful. I thought she was going to get better.”

Friends of his mother attempted to take care of Yonas Adams and his four siblings, but he ended up in three different orphanages for the next three years of his life. He was with his younger brother, Natnael, but separated from his other brother and two sisters.

Kim, a campus minister at Crossroads Lutheran Campus Ministry at North Dakota State, and Dave, a pastor at First Lutheran Church in Fargo, originally started the adoption process with paperwork in Uganda. That paperwork sat for a couple years until they were told no more adoptions were being processed. At around the same time, Kim traveled to Ethiopia. She saw older children at orphanages waiting to be adopted and thought about adopting someone that wasn’t necessarily a baby. They switched their paperwork to Ethiopia.

It was a short time after filing their paperwork, Kim received a newsletter highlighting children who are waiting for adoption in Ethiopia. At the top of the newsletter were pictures of Yonas and Natnael. Kim looked at the pictures and said, “I’m pretty sure these are my sons.”

Continue reading this story at INFORUM
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