Amys mor gav sine børn væk af kærlighed

Date: 2012-07-29
Source: politiken.dk

Tigist.

Det er Amys rigtige navn. Og til oktober fylder hun 13 år. Selvfølgelig ved en mor, hvor gammel hendes barn er.

Genet Kedir har med længsel og grænseløs forventning set frem til, at vi skulle komme. Det er nogle uger siden, vi kontaktede hende telefonisk, og siden da har hun flere gange ringet til min etiopiske tolk og kollega og utålmodigt spurgt til, hvornår vi kom.

Nu sidder vi her så omsider, i et rum på tre gange fire meter med jordstampet gulv og lerklinede vægge, som udgør et hjem for Genet, hendes 15-årige datter Bethlehem, en nytilkommen baby på 10 måneder og en nevø, hun har taget til sig og sørger for, fordi hans forældre er endnu fattigere end hende.

SANGER. Amy som lille – hun synger til en fest på sin skole. Privatfoto udlånt af Amy
Her er lige akkurat plads til en seng, som de alle deler, et sofamøblement, og en reol med et lille tv-apparat, husets stolthed.

Genet og Bethlehem kaster sig over det lille album med fotos af Amy – eller skal vi sige Tigist – og hendes lillesøster Bizuayeho, som vi har med til hende. Billederne af den nu knap 5-årige Bizuayeho er desværre temmelig gamle, for hun er stadig hos sine danske adoptivforældre, hvor vi ikke har adgang til nye billeder af hende.

»Men jeg har set hende med mine egne øjne i familiens hjem for få uger siden. Hun er rask og sund og har det godt«, forsikrer jeg hende.

Og det er den besked, Genet har brug for at høre. For i mange, mange måneder har hun ikke anet, hvad der er sket med hendes børn. Og angsten for, at den ene eller den anden af dem skulle være døde, har været ved at drive hende fra sans og samling. Her kommer Genets historie om, hvorfor hendes dengang to yngste børn blev adopteret til Danmark:

»Da jeg afgav mine børn, var jeg i en meget forarmet situation. Jeg havde ingenting, jeg kunne ikke arbejde og give dem mad. Hellere end at se dem dø, ville jeg frelse dem«.

En anderledes pige
Genet er hiv-positiv og har været meget syg. Smitten er med stor sikkerhed kommet fra pigernes far, som Genet har levet sammen uden at være gift gennem 11 år.

»På en måde elsker jeg ham stadig, men jeg kan ikke leve sammen med ham mere. Han drikker, og han render fra et sted til et andet, og han har også en søn på ni år med en anden kvinde«.

Hun henter en trækasse frem og viser den til os:

»I den her kasse plejede jeg at lægge de penge, jeg tjente og kunne spare op ved at bage injera (etiopiske brød, red). Så plejede han at brække kassen op og tage pengene og drikke dem op«.

Da jeg afgav mine børn, var jeg i en meget forarmet situation. Jeg havde ingenting, jeg kunne ikke arbejde og give dem mad. Hellere end at se dem dø, ville jeg frelse dem
Genet Kedir, Amys biologiske mor
Den ældste datter, Bethlehem, er en stille og sky pige. Hun er tre år ældre end sin søster Tigist – hende vi kender som Amy – som fra starten var en helt anden type.

»Tigist har altid været anderledes. Hun er meget hurtig og stiller mange spørgsmål. Og hun ville altid have sin vilje. Hvis hun henne i børnehaven eller skolen så noget, de andre havde, kom hun straks hjem og forlangte det samme. Og hvis hun ville have makaroni til middag, kunne hun finde på at true med at kaste med sten, hvis hun ikke fik det, som hun ville«, fortæller Genet og ryster lidt på hovedet over sin næstældste datter.

»Men jeg elsker hende højt, så højt, at jeg end ikke nogensinde har ladet hende overnatte i min fars hjem, for jeg ville savne hende for meget«.

Søsteren pudsede sko
Storesøsteren Bethlehem elsker også sin lillesøster overalt på jorden. Da moren var for syg til at arbejde – hun havde som følgesygdom fået tuberkulose og spyttede blod – og alt så håbløst ud, greb den dengang 8-årige Bethlehem en skopudserkasse og gik på gaden for at skrabe penge sammen til Tigists børnehave og siden til skolepengene.

»Tigist var altid nr. 4, 5 eller 6 ud af de 75 elever i klassen«, fortæller Genet.

»Hun var så ambitiøs. Hun sagde altid: Jeg ville ønske, jeg var født i en anden familie, for jeg har hjerne, og jeg arbejder hårdt. Jeg vil gerne uddanne mig«.

»Vi har altid været meget åbne over for hinanden, Tigist og jeg, så jeg svarede: Jeg ved, jeg er fattig. Jeg kæmper, jeg er syg, men jeg kæmper for at give dig muligheder. Men som du kan se, går tingene ikke min vej«.

»Jeg ved det mor«, svarede hun så.

»Jeg siger det ikke, fordi jeg hader dig, men fordi jeg har en drøm om at blive en bedre pige, uddanne mig, klare mig selv og få et bedre liv«.

Tigist havde en bedsteveninde, den jævnaldrende pige Kiyu. De to piger optræder på et foto sammen – begge klædt i Etiopiens nationalfarver, rød, gul og grøn, med store smil, runde kinder og sorte krøller. De kunne være tvillinger.

Kiyu fik chancen, hun blev adopteret til USA som cirka 7-årig. Da den amerikanske mor kom for at besøge den biologiske mor, var Tigist der også for at sige farvel til sin veninde.

Jeg opgav mine børn, fordi jeg elskede dem, og det var som at miste livet selv. Jeg græd hele vejen hjem i bussen
Genet Kedir, Amys biologiske mor
»Tigist var modig nok til at spørge: Kan du ikke tage mig med også? Og den amerikanske mor sagde: Havde jeg vidst det, havde jeg adopteret jer begge samtidig, men nu er det for sent«.

»Så efter at hendes veninde tog til Amerika, drømte hun kun om at rejse, og hun insisterede og pressede på, for at jeg skulle gøre noget. Som mor prøvede jeg at holde igen. Jeg tøvede. Men ved at se alle hendes ambitioner og følelser, bøjede jeg mig til sidst«.

Kun de to små kunne bruges
Genet havde nu tre børn, den lille Bizuayeho var kommet til.

Hun tog dem alle tre med hen til børnehjemmet Enat Alem. Det betyder ’Mors Verden’ og er et privat børnehjem, som er den private danske adoptionsorganisation Danadopts vigtigste samarbejdspartner i Etiopien.

»Fra starten sagde han nej til at tage Bethlehem. Udlændinge vil ikke tage så stort et barn, sagde han. Glem hende. Men hvis jeg bortadopterede de to yngste, ville han sørge for, at Bethlehem fik støtte til sin skolegang helt op til universitetet«.

Bethlehem er i dag 15 år, på det tidspunkt har hun været cirka 12. Det er ulovligt at tilbyde familier nogen form for økonomisk belønning til gengæld for at bortadoptere deres børn. Men det er ikke nødvendigvis ulovligt at støtte en søster, så længe det ikke er betinget af, at de andre børn bortadopteres.

Det var med stor modvilje, Genet gik med til denne løsning, for hun ville ikke skille børnene ad.

»Hvis Tigist rejste, ville de andre to lide, for jeg troede ikke på, at jeg ville overleve«.

Hun gik til de lokale myndigheder og fik lavet alle de nødvendige dokumenter. Der var en embedsmand på rådhuset, der ringede til hende, fordi der gik rygter blandt naboerne om, at hun havde solgt sine børn for dollar.

»De ringede og spurgte, hvor meget jeg havde fået. Ingenting, svarede jeg, Jeg er syg. Så fik de ondt af mig og trøstede mig og prøvede at rådgive mig. Manden fra byrådet sagde: Vi forstår dig. Men du skal ikke give dine børn til denne mand – der er en anden organisation, som er bedre. Men jeg troede på, at manden fra Enat Alem var ærlig og venlig, så jeg lyttede ikke til deres råd«.

Da alle papirerne var godkendt, overlod Genet sine to børn til Enat Alems børnehjem inde i hovedstaden Addis Ababa, tre timers busrejse væk. De følgende måneder besøgte hun dem så ofte, hun kunne, og børnehjemmet lod hende overnatte, så hun kunne være sammen med pigerne.

At se billeder af mine børn gør mig mere rask end alverdens medicin.
Genet Kedir, Amys biologiske mor

Til sidst oprandt dagen, da en adoptivfamilie var fundet – Kenneth og Oxana Steen fra Næstved i Danmark. Genet mødte op i retten for at bekræfte, at hun afgav de to børn.

»Da jeg stod der i retten, tænkte jeg, at en person uden uddannelse er som en blind«, siger hun. Genet har aldrig lært at læse. »Senere mødtes jeg med Oxana, og hun trøstede mig. Hun lovede at tage sig af mine to børn. Jeg sagde til hende: Jeg giver dig mine børn i Gud den almægtiges navn. Det er dine børn nu. Da hun tilbød, at jeg kunne kramme Bizuayeho en sidste gang, sagde jeg nej: Hun er din nu«.

Genet og den ældste datter Bethlehem forlod Danadopts kontor for at vende hjem til Assela. Men på vejen ud opdagede Genet, at hun havde glemt sit sjal og vendte tilbage for at hente det. Da var det, at fru Denkai Hadgu, Danadopts lokale kvindelige chef, sagde noget, som sårede hende mere end alt andet:

»Nå, kommer du nu for at få noget? Disse etiopiere, de gør det jo altid for selv at få noget ud af det«, lød bemærkningen ifølge Genet.

»Det knuste mit hjerte. Jeg opgav mine børn, fordi jeg elskede dem, og det var som at miste livet selv. Jeg græd hele vejen hjem i bussen. Så mødte jeg en russisk dame, som spurgte, om jeg havde mistet et barn, siden jeg var så ulykkelig. Jeg fortalte hende hele historien, og hun begyndte at græde sammen med mig. Hun trøstede mig og sagde, at Danmark er et godt sted med gode mennesker. Din datter er i gode hænder, og nu skal du tage hjem og tage dig af dig selv, sagde hun«.

Hun lovede at sende billeder
Den lille stue er fuld af børn og stærke følelser. Tårerne flyder frit, mens Genet fortæller, og storesøster Bethlehem fylder vore små kopper med mere etiopisk kaffe.

»Jeg elsker Oxana selv i dag, og jeg vil aldrig komme og hævde, at de er mine børn. Det eneste er, at hun lovede at sende mig billeder. Alt, jeg ønsker, er bare, at nogen en gang eller to om året vil fortælle mig, hvordan det går. Det er alt, hvad jeg beder om. Oxana lovede at sende billeder hver 6. måned, men hun gjorde det ikke«.

Ifølge etiopisk lov skal de udenlandske adoptivforældre aflevere en kort statusrapport om børnene med jævne mellemrum, lige til de fylder 15 år. Det første år i det nye land skal der komme en rapport hvert kvartal, derefter hvert halve år og siden en gang om året.

LÆS OGSÅKommune sletter nu alle grove Amy-kommentarer på Facebook

Genet fik den første rapport og derefter endnu en med billeder af børnene. Men så kom der ikke flere. Rapporterne bliver afleveret hos Danadopt i Danmark, som sender dem videre til deres kontor i Etiopien. Herfra går der en kopi til de offentlige myndigheder og en kopi til det børnehjem, børnene kommer fra – og her kan en eventuel biologisk familie hente og se rapporterne.

Men der kom ikke flere rapporter og ikke flere billeder. Politikens research viser, at rapporterne er afleveret rettidigt det første halvandet år efter adoptionen og er nået frem til Danadopt i Addis Ababa. Men herfra er flere af dem enten ikke sendt videre til Enat Alem, eller også har Enat Alem holdt dem tilbage for moren.

AFSKED. Genet Kedir er for sidste gang sammen med sine tre børn. Det er Tigist (Amy) til venstre, Bizuayehu på armen og storesøster Bethlehem til højre, den dag i august 2009, hvor hun tager afsked med de to yngste på Danadopts kontor i Addis Ababa.

»Da jeg ikke hørte noget, og jeg ventede og ventede på nyt, som hun havde lovet hver sjette måned, så var det, at jeg opdagede, at adressen i Danmark stod i den ene rapport, jeg havde fået. De må have overset den. Det var lægen, der så det, og der var en lærer fra gymnasiet, som hjalp mig med at oversætte brevet, jeg sendte«.

Genet nåede at skrive to breve hjem til Kenneth og Oxana Steens privatadresse – korte breve, hvor hun spørger om nyt og beder dem ringe til sit mobilnummer. Brevene udløser en krise i Danmark. Steen-forældrene skjuler brevene for Amy, fordi de ikke mener, hun bør have direkte telefonkontakt med sin biologiske mor. Og de bliver rasende på Danadopt og forlanger, at de skrider ind og stopper brevskriveriet omgående. Og det gør de så – sådan her:

»De ringede begge to, både manden fra børnehjemmet og Denkai Hadgu fra Danadopts kontor. De råbte og skreg ad mig og sagde, at jeg ikke skulle skrive mere. Manden sagde, det var en international forbrydelse, og han truede mig med fængsel. Jeg svarede: Det er mine egne børn, jeg gav dem frivilligt, og hvis du vil arrestere nogen, kan du jo gå ud og finde et æsel på gaden og sætte i fængsel ... men jeg stoppede med det«.

Genet har følt sig under anklage for at bede om penge i brevene. Men det passer ikke, og det er meget vigtigt for hende at understrege.

»Jeg har aldrig, aldrig nogensinde forventet at få så meget som en penny af mine børn, eller at de skulle hjælpe mig. Jeg ville give dem en ny chance, så de ikke skulle leve i uvidenhed, som jeg selv har gjort«.

Hjælp til søsteren kom aldrig
Siden hørte hun ingenting. Og hvad værre var for hende: Børnehjemsdirektørens løfter om at sponsorere Bethlehems uddannelse blev aldrig til noget.

»Jeg gik til børnehjemmet og sagde til denne herre: Du gav mig et løfte i Guds navn, det kan man ikke tage let på. Men han svarede bare, at hun kunne jo gifte sig eller blive tjenestepige«.

Bethlehem fylder snart 16 og har kun fuldført 5. klasse. Siden de yngste piger rejste, har hun passet huset og de små søskende for sin mor, som er blevet rask nok til at arbejde. Genet står i butik, hun vasker tøj, bager injera og gør rent for andre folk. Hun skraber 25 dollar sammen om måneden og er stolt af, at hun klarer sig.

»Jeg er stærk i dag og kan arbejde som alle andre. Jeg kan endda betale 2 dollar om måneden til naboforeningen, og jeg har råd til at tage mig af et forældreløst barn – jeg har faktisk selv adopteret«, siger hun med stolthed.

LÆS OGSÅEkspertpsykologen har aldrig mødt Amy

Men hendes ældste datters liv er gået i stå, og Bethlehem er dybt frustreret, for hun ønsker brændende at komme i skole. Men selv om Genet gang på gang har afkrævet børnehjemmet den hjælp, de lovede, er den aldrig kommet. Hos Danadopt er hun også blevet afvist:

»Det kender vi ikke noget til, det må du snakke med ham selv om«, lød svaret fra Denkai Hadgu, ifølge Genet.

Efter de mislykkede breve sænkede tavsheden sig. Der kom ikke flere rapporter. I mellemtiden var hele balladen startet hjemme i Næstved – Kenneth og Oxana afleverede i marts 2011 Amy til Næstved Kommune med besked om, at de ikke ville have hende tilbage. Plejeforældrene Hanne og Ole Keller fik hende hjem til sig, og et kæmpe tovtrækkeri gik i gang om, hvad der skulle ske med den etiopiske pige – en kamp, som for elleve måneder siden kulminerede med, at kommunen brugte tvang til at flytte hende til et opholdssted, hvorfra hun kom hjem igen til plejefamilien tre måneder senere.

Genet aner intet om alt dette, for de periodiske underretninger stopper nu helt.

Imens i Danmark ...
I september 2011 besøger Danadopts etiopiske chef, Denkai Hadgu, hovedkontoret i Danmark. Hun hører om Amys vanskelige situation og om hendes stærke længsel efter at høre nyt om sin mor og søster.

Plejeforældrene Hanne og Ole Keller kører med hende til Birkerød, hvor de mødes med folkene fra Etiopien, som udtrykker deres store bestyrtelse over det hele.

Denkai Hadgu tager et sæt fotos med tilbage til Etiopien, som Hanne Keller har lavet til den biologiske mor. Genet modtager billederne nogle måneder senere og bliver på den ene side glad – men samtidig undrer hun sig. Hvorfor var kun Tigist med på billederne – hvor var den lille Bizuayehu?

Denkai Hadgu siger til hende, at hun kun nåede at møde Tigist, så hun kun havde billeder af hende.

Men som mor tror Genet inderst inde, at Bizuayehu må være død. Også selv om Denkai Hadgu over telefonen gør, hvad hun kan, for at berolige hende. »Jeg har ikke sagt, hun er død. Men hun var for lille til at komme og mødes med os«, siger hun til Genet.

Men som mor tror hun ikke på det. Hun er overbevist om, at det værste er sket, men at Danadopt ikke vil sige det til hende. Hun græder og græder, og Bethlehem må trøste hende, som om hun er moren, og ikke omvendt, fortæller Genet.

LÆS OGSÅBorgere sviner kommune til efter tvangsfjernelse

Igen går månederne. Og først for nogle uger siden, da en fremmed mand ringer fra Addis Ababa og fortæller, at der er besøg på vej fra Danmark, får Genet fornyet håb.

Hjemme i Danmark har Danadopt på det kraftigste modsat sig, at Politikens journalist opsøger pigernes mor. Det vil være »utilgiveligt« at tage kontakt til hende, for det vil kun gøre hende ulykkelig at høre, hvad der er sket. Hun er fattig og syg, hvad skal hun bruge det til, lyder argumenterne.

Politiken spørger – som vi altid har gjort tidligere i sagen – hvad Amy selv mener. Og vi vælger at efterkomme Amys stærke ønske om, at vi opsøger hendes mor.

Græder i telefonen
Inden vi når frem, når endnu en akt i tragedien at udspille sig. I Addis Ababa har vi ringet til Enat Alems direktør og spurgt, om vi må komme og se børnehjemmet, hvor Tigist og Bizuayehu boede, inden de kom til Danmark. Vi skal være velkomne, lyder svaret, vi kan bare ringe og aftale nærmere den næste dag.

Men næste morgen dukker min lokale tolk og kollega op, grå i ansigterne.

Fire gange den nat har Genet ringet til ham og grædt fortvivlet i telefonen. Direktøren fra børnehjemmet ringede til hende straks efter opkaldet fra os. Han skældte hende ud og truede hende i telefonen.

Han siger til hende, at der nu måske kommer en journalist og opsøger hende, og så har hun at sige det samme som ham. Deres historier skal passe sammen. Og han fortsætter: »Dine børn er ikke længere sammen, og du får dem aldrig mere at se, så længe du lever. Politiet har hentet Tigist, fordi hun var så arrogant og slog sin adoptivmor. Og det hele er din skyld, det var dig, der startede hele balladen ved at skrive breve og bede om penge«, siger han til hende.

Genets frygt bryder ud i lys lue: »Jeg ved, at et af mine børn er døde, fortæl mig i det mindste, hvem af dem, det er«, hulker hun i telefonen til min tolk og kollega.

Selv denne erfarne afrikanske journalist, som har dækket krige og sultkatastrofer, begravet tørkeofre med de bare næver, overlevet tortur og fangenskab, er rystet. »Nogle mennesker skulle ikke være født. Hvordan kan man sige sådan til en mor?«, raser han.

Med kurs mod Amys mor
Vi dropper alt om at besøge børnehjemmet og sætter kursen direkte mod Assela. Genet har i mellemtiden ladet sig berolige over telefonen og har iklædt sig sit smukkeste tøj og forberedt et festmåltid til de længe ventede gæster.

Vi kan nu fortælle den sande historie: Ja, Tigist er i en ny familie. Nej, det var ikke politi men socialarbejdere, der flyttede hende. Hun har det godt, og lige så hendes lillesøster. Det er ikke rigtigt nogen skyld, men bare en masse misforståelser, der snart vil blive opklaret.

Og vi har billeder med ... billeder, der har været ventet så længe.

LÆS OGSÅKommune vil tale med Amy efter Facebook-kommentar

Mor og søster kaster sig over det lille album og bladrer og spørger: Hvad er det, Tigist laver dér? Hun bager muffins. Hvem er de andre drenge og piger på billederne? Det er hendes nye plejebrødre og -søstre. Og på det her billede synger hun til børnemelodigrandprix og vinder stort foran et publikum på 500 mennesker.

Vi har også en bærbar computer med mobilt bredbånd med. Vi har igen spurgt til Amys ønsker, og hun vil gerne tale med sin mor. Og inden længe kan Amy/Tigist i Næstved og Genet og Bethlehem i Assela, Etiopien, vinke, smile gennem tårer og sende luftkys til hinanden via Skype efter tre års savn og adskillelse.

»Sig, at min mor skal holde op med at græde«, beder Amy fra Næstved over mobiltelefonen og gennem to tolke.

»Jeg græder ikke, fordi jeg er ked af det, det er af lykke. Jeg er ikke vred, og jeg fortryder ikke min beslutning, når jeg ser dig omgivet af familie«.

HURRA. Amy fejrer sin 4-års fødselsdag. Privatfoto udlånt af Amy

Amy ser sin nye etiopiske lillesøster for første gang, en lille rund smilende baby på ti måneder. »Åh, hvor er hun nuttet,« lyder det fra Næstved.

Genet vil gerne sige noget til sin datter:

»Vær nu sød, og elsk og respekter dine forældre, elsk dine brødre og søstre, adlyd dem, og tag din uddannelse alvorligt. Og du skal ikke bekymre dig om mig, jeg skal nok klare mig«.

»Ja, ja, jeg lover det«, lyder svaret tilbage via to gange oversættelse, for Amy kan ikke længere huske sit modersmål.

LÆS OGSÅOm Dan Adopts rolle i Amysagen

Da tårerne er tørret, og forbindelsen afbrudt, siger Genet højtideligt til Politikens udsendte:

»Mit liv var forbi. Jeg var helt uden håb. Men da du kom, var det, som om du bragte mig tilbage fra graven. At se billeder af mine børn gør mig mere rask end alverdens medicin. For mig er du et sendebud fra Gud, fordi du gav mig håb igen«.

Så græder hun igen, Bethlehem græder, Politiken græder, og den garvede afrikanske krigsreporter græder også. Kun den lille baby smiler og falder i søvn på sin mors skød.



Google translation of the original article

Tigist.

It is Amy's real name. And in October she turns 13 years old. Of course, a mother knows how old her child is.

Genet Kedir has been longing and been looking forward to our arrival It's been a few weeks ago, we contacted her by telephone, and since then she has repeatedly called my Ethiopian interpreter and colleague and impatiently asked when we came.

Now we sit here so finally, in a space of three times four meters of soil tamped floor and mud walls, which is a home for Genet, her 15-year-old daughter Bethlehem, a newcomer baby of 10 months and a nephew, she has taken to themselves and make sure because his parents are even poorer than her.

SINGER. Amy as a baby - she sings at a party at his school. Private Photo courtesy of Amy
Here is barely room for a bed, they all share a bed furnishings, and a bookcase with a small television set, house pride.

Genet and Bethlehem pile into the small album with photos of Amy - or should we say Tigist - and her younger sister Bizuayeho that we have with her. The images of the now almost 5-year Bizuayeho're pretty old, she is still with his Danish adoptive parents, where we do not have access to new photos of her.

"But I've seen her with my own eyes in the family home a few weeks ago. She is well and healthy and well, "I assure her.

And that's the message, Genet need to hear. For many, many months, she has no idea what has happened to her children. And the fear that one or the other of them die, has been know to drive her wits. Here comes Genets story about why her then two youngest children were adopted to Denmark:

"When I gave my children, I was in a very impoverished situation. I had nothing, I could not work and give them food. Rather than see them die, I would save them. "

A different girl
Genet is HIV positive and has been very ill. The infection is almost certainly come from the girls' father, who gene have lived together without being married for 11 years.

"In a way, I love him still, but I can not live with him anymore. He drinks and he runs from one place to another, and he also has a son in nine years with another woman. "

She picks up a wooden back and show it to us:

"In this case, I used to put the money I earned and could save by baking injera (Ethiopian bread, red). So he used to break up the box and take the money and drink them up. "

When I gave my children, I was in a very impoverished situation. I had nothing, I could not work and give them food. Rather than see them die, I would save them
Genet Kedir, Amy's biological mother

The oldest daughter, Bethlehem, is a quiet and shy girl. She is three years older than his sister Tigist - her we know as Amy - which were initially a completely different type.

"Tigist has always been different. She is very quick and asks many questions. And she would always have its way. If she's in kindergarten or school as something that the others had, she came straight home and demanded the same. And if she wanted macaroni for dinner, she would threaten to throw rocks if she did not get what she wanted, "says Genet and shake a little on the head of his second daughter.

"But I love her loud, so loud that I may not have ever let her spend the night in my father's home, because I would miss her too much."

Sister polished shoes
Big sister Bethlehem also loves his little sister around the world. When her mother was too sick to work - she had caused disease had tuberculosis and spitting blood - and everything looked hopeless, grabbed the then 8-year-old Bethlehem one skopudserkasse and took to the streets to scrape money together to Tigists nursery and the school money .

"Tigist was always Nos. 4, 5 or 6 out of the 75 students in the class," says Genet.

"She was so ambitious. She always said I wish I was born in another family, because I have brains, and I work hard. I would like to educate me. "

"We have always been very open to each other, Tigist and I, as I said, I know I am poor. I fight, I'm sick, but I'm struggling to give you options. But as you can see, things are not my way. "

"I know the mother," said she.

"I say this not because I hate you, but because I have a dream to become a better girl, educate me, take care of myself and have a better life."

Tigist had a best friend, the same age girl Kiyu. The two girls appear in a photo together - both dressed in Ethiopia's national colors, red, yellow and green, with big smiles, round cheeks and black curls. They could be twins.

Kiyu got the chance, she was adopted into the U.S. as approximately 7-year-old. When the American mother came to visit the biological mother, was Tigist also there to say goodbye to her friend.

I gave my children because I loved them and it was like losing life itself. I cried all the way home on the bus
The gene Kedir, Amy's biological mother
"Tigist was brave enough to ask: Can not take me too? And the American mother said: Had I known it, I had adopted both of you at the same time, but now it's too late. "

"So after her friend went to America, she dreamed only to travel, and she insisted and pushed for me to do something. As a mother, I tried to hold back. I hesitated. But by seeing all her ambitions and feelings, I bent the end. "

Only two small could be used
The gene now had three children, the little Bizuayeho had come.

She took them all to go to the orphanage ENAT Alem. It means 'Mother World' and is a private orphanage, the private Danish adoption agency DanAdopt main partner in Ethiopia.

"From the beginning he refused to take Bethlehem. Foreigners will not take such a big baby, he said. Forget her. But if I lost adopted the two youngest, he would ensure that Bethlehem was support for his school to university. "

Bethlehem is today 15 years old at the time, she was about 12 It is illegal to offer families any financial reward in return for away adopt their children. But it is not necessarily illegal to support a sister, as long as it is not subject to the other children bortadopteres.

It was with great reluctance, Genet agreed to this solution, because she would not stand kids along.

"If Tigist traveled, would the other two suffer, because I did not believe that I would survive."

She went to the local authorities and had made all the necessary documents. There was an official at the city hall, who called her because there were rumors among the neighbors that she had sold her children for dollar.

"They called and asked how much I had. Nothing, I replied, I'm sick. So they were sorry for me and comforted me and tried to advise me. The man from the council, said: We understand you. But do not allow your children to this man - there is another organization that is better. But I thought that the man from ENAT Alem was honest and friendly, so I did not listen to their advice. "

When all the papers were approved, leaving Genet her two children to ENAT alems orphanage in the capital Addis Ababa, three hour bus journey away. The following month she visited them as often as she could, and the orphanage let her spend the night so she could be with the girls.

To see pictures of my kids makes me more healthy than all the medicine.
The gene Kedir, Amy's biological mother

Finally came the day when an adoptive family was found - Kenneth and Oxana Steen from Naestved in Denmark. The gene showed up in court to confirm that she gave the two children.

"As I stood there in court, I thought that a person without education is like a blind," she says. The gene has never learned to read. "Later, I met with Oxana, and she comforted me. She promised to take care of my two children. I said to her, I give you my children in God Almighty's name. It's your kids now. When she offered that I could hug Bizuayeho one last time, I said no: She's all yours now. "

The gene and the eldest daughter Bethlehem left DanAdopt office to return to Assela. But on the way out discovered the gene that she had forgotten her shawl and went back to retrieve it. It was then that Mrs. Denkai Hadgu, DanAdopt local female boss said something that hurt her more than anything else:

"Well, you now to get something? These Ethiopians, they do it's always for yourself to get something out of it, "were the words of Genet.

"It broke my heart. I gave my children because I loved them and it was like losing life itself. I cried all the way home on the bus. Then I met a Russian lady who asked if I had lost a child, since I was so unhappy. I told her the whole story, and she started to cry with me. She comforted me and said that Denmark is a good place with good people. Your daughter is in good hands, and now you must go home and take care of yourself, she said. "

She promised to send pictures
The small room is full of children and strong emotions. Tears flow freely, while Genet says, and older sister Bethlehem fill our cups with more Ethiopian coffee.

"I love Oxana even today, and I will never come and claim that they are my children. The only thing is that she promised to send me pictures. All I want is just that someone once or twice a year will tell me how it goes. That's all I ask. Oxana promised to send images every 6 months, but she did not. "

According to Ethiopian law, the foreign adoptive parents must submit a brief progress report on the children at regular intervals, until the age of 15. The first year of the new country should get a report every three months, then every six months and then once a year.

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The gene was the first report and then another with pictures of the children. But then no more. The reports are delivered to DanAdopt in Denmark, who will forward it to their office in Ethiopia. From here there is a copy of the public authorities and a copy to the orphanage, the children come from - and here any biological family retrieve and view reports.

But there was no more reports and no more pictures. Politiken's research shows that the reports are delivered on time the first eighteen months after adoption and reached DanAdopt in Addis Ababa. But here are several of them either not passed on to the ENAT Alem, or they have ENAT Alem held them back for his mother.

FAREWELL. The gene Kedir is for the last time with his three children. It is Tigist (Amy) left Bizuayehu on the arm and older sister Bethlehem to the right, that day in August 2009, when she takes leave of the two youngest of DanAdopt office in Addis Ababa.

"When I did not hear anything, and I waited and waited for news that she had promised every six months so it was that I discovered that the address in Denmark stood in one report I had received. They must have overlooked it. It was the doctor who saw it, and there was a teacher from high school, which helped me to translate the letter I sent '.

The gene managed to write two letters home to Kenneth and Oxana Steens home address - short letters in which she asks for new and ask them to call to his mobile number. The letters trigger a crisis in Denmark. Steen-parents hide the letters for Amy because they do not think she should have direct telephone contact with his biological mother. And they are furious with DanAdopt and demands that they step in and stop writing one letter immediately. And they do so - like this:

"They phoned both, both the man from the orphanage and Denkai Hadgu from DanAdopt office. They yelled and screamed at me and said that I should not write more. The man said it was an international crime, and he threatened me with jail. I replied: It is my own children, I gave them voluntarily, and if you want to arrest someone, you can go out and find a donkey on the street and put in prison ... but I stopped it. "

The gene have felt accused of asking for money in the letters. But it's not true, and it is very important for her to stress.

"I never, never expected to get so much as a penny of my children, or that they would help me. I would give them a second chance, so they do not have to live in ignorance, as I have done. "

Help her sister never came
Since she heard nothing. And what was worse for her: Orphanage director promises to sponsor Bethlehem training never materialized.

"I went to the orphanage and said to the Lord: You gave me a promise in the name of God, it can not be taken lightly. But he replied simply that she could marry or become servant '.

Bethlehem fills almost 16 and has just completed the fifth class. Since the youngest girls traveled, she has cared for the house and the little sibling for her mother, who has been healthy enough to work. The gene is in the shop, she washes clothes, bake injera and cleaning for other people. She scrape together $ 25 a month and is proud that she is doing.

"I am strong today and can work as everyone else. I can even pay $ 2 a month to neighboring association, and I can afford to take care of a child - in fact I have even adopted, "she says with pride.

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But her oldest daughter's life has stalled, and Bethlehem are deeply frustrated because she fervently hopes to go to school. But even if the gene has repeatedly demanded the orphanage the help they promised, it never arrived. At DanAdopt she's also been rejected:

"We know nothing about, you may talk to him about," came the reply from Denkai Hadgu, according Genet.

After the failure of letters lowered the silence itself. There were no more reports. Meanwhile, the whole fuss started back in Næstved - Kenneth and Oxana delivered in March 2011 Amy to Næstved Municipality with the message that they would not have her back. Caring parents Hanne and Ole Keller got her to his home, and a giant tug of war began on what would happen to the Ethiopian girl - a battle that eleven months ago culminated with the municipality spent forced to move her to a residence, from which she came back home to foster family three months later.

The gene do not know anything about all this, for the periodic notifications will stop completely.

Meanwhile in Denmark ...
In September 2011 visit DanAdopt Ethiopian chief, Denkai Hadgu, headquarters in Denmark. She hears about Amy's plight and her strong desire to hear news about his mother and sister.

Caring parents Hanne and Ole Keller running with her Birkerød, where they meet with the people of Ethiopia, expressing their great consternation over the place.

Denkai Hadgu take a set of photos back to Ethiopia, which Hanne Keller has made to the biological mother. The gene receive pictures a few months later and is on the one hand happy - but at the same time wonder she. Why was only Tigist with the pictures - which were the little Bizuayehu?

Denkai Hadgu tells her that she only managed to meet Tigist, so she only had pictures of her.

But as a mother think Genet deep inside that Bizuayehu must be dead. Even if Denkai Hadgu over the phone does what she can to reassure her. "I did not say she is dead. But she was too young to come and meet with us, "she says to Genet.

But as a mother thinks she is not on it. She is convinced that the worst has happened, but that DanAdopt will not tell her. She cries and cries and Bethlehem must comfort her as if she is the mother, and not vice versa, says Genet.

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Again Yesterday months. And only a few weeks ago when a strange man calling from Addis Ababa and says that there is a visit on the way from Denmark, sheep gene renewed hope.

Back in Denmark has DanAdopt strongly opposed the Politiken journalist seeks out the girls' mother. It would be "inexcusable" to make contact with her, it will only make her unhappy to hear what has happened. She is poor and sick, what should she use it to sound arguments.

Politiken ask - as we have always done in the past in the matter - what Amy even think. And we choose to comply with Amy's strong desire that we seek out her mother.

Crying on the phone
Before we reach when another act in the tragedy to unfold. In Addis Ababa, we have called ENAT alems director and asked if we should come and see the orphanage where Tigist and Bizuayehu lived before coming to Denmark. We need to be accepted is the answer, we can just call and arrange an appointment the next day.

But the next morning dolls my local interpreter and fellow up, gray faces.

Four times that night, the gene called him and wept in despair on the phone. The director of the orphanage called her immediately after the call from us. He called her and threatened her on the phone.

He tells her that now maybe a journalist and visit her, and so she has to say the same thing as him. Their stories must match. And he continues: "Your children are no longer together, and you get them never to see, as long as you live. Police have picked Tigist because she was so arrogant and struck her adoptive mother. And it's all your fault, it was you who started the trouble by writing letters and ask for money, "he said to her.

Genets fear erupts into flames, "I know that one of my children are dead, tell me at least, one of them, it is," she wailed into the phone to my interpreter and colleague.

Even the experienced African journalist who has covered wars and famines, buried drought victims with their bare hands, survived torture and imprisonment, is shaken. "Some people should not be born. How can you say such a mother? "He rages.

Bound for Amy's mother
We drop everything to visit the orphanage and head directly toward Assela. The gene has now allowed himself to calm down over the phone and puts on her beautiful clothes and prepared a feast for the long-awaited guests.

We can now tell the true story: Yes, Tigist is a new family. No, it was not the police but social workers moved her. She is doing well, and just as her little sister. It's not really anyone's fault, but just a lot of misunderstandings that will soon be solved.

And we have pictures with ... images that have been waiting so long.

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Mother and sister throws herself over the little album and browse and ask: What is it, Tigist doing there? She bakes muffins. Who are the other boys and girls in the pictures? It's her new care brothers and sisters. And in this picture she sings for children Eurovision Song Contest and win big in front of an audience of 500 people.

We also have a laptop with mobile broadband. We have again asked for Amy's wish, and she would like to talk with his mother. And before long Amy / Tigist in Næstved gene and Bethlehem in Assela, Ethiopia, waving, smiling through tears and sending kisses to each other via Skype after three years of loss and separation.

"Tell my mother to stop crying," asks Amy from Mildura over the phone and through two interpreters.

"I'm not crying because I'm sad, it is happiness. I'm not angry, and I do not regret my decision when I see you surrounded by family. "

HOORAY. Amy celebrates its 4-year anniversary. Private Photo courtesy of Amy

Amy sees his new Ethiopian baby sister for the first time, a small round smiling baby of ten months. "Oh, she's cute," says the Næstved.

The gene would like to say something to her daughter:

"Be sweet, and love and respect your parents, love your brothers and sisters, obey them, and take your training seriously. And do not worry about me, I'll be fine '.

"Yes, yes, I promise," was the reply back through twice translation for Amy can no longer remember his mother tongue.

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When the tears have dried, and connection interrupted, saying gene solemnly to the Politiken newspaper:

"My life was over. I was completely without hope. But when you came, it was as if you brought me back from the grave. To see pictures of my kids makes me more healthy than all the medicine. To me, you are a messenger from God, because you gave me hope again. "

Then she cries again, Bethlehem crying, Politiken crying, and the experienced African war reporter crying too. Only the little baby smiles and falls asleep on his mother's lap.

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