GUADALAJARA, Mexico, March 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Adopting a child can take years under the best circumstances. It can also be expensive and an emotional roller coaster. But for Cornelia E. Davis, M.D., the obstacles were even greater. She risked her own life to adopt her daughter in war-torn Ethiopia, battling meningitis outbreaks, dodging stray bullets, and even braving opposing armies because her urge to be a mother was unstoppable.
Davis tells the story of what it took to adopt her daughter, Romene, in her new memoir, Three Years in Ethiopia: How a Civil War and Epidemics Led Me to My Daughter (Konjit Publications). Davis, who goes by the name Connie, was no stranger to breaking through barriers—so being a single mother and a foreigner trying to adopt an infant in Addis Ababa was not going to derail her. She had, after all, begun her career as one of the first black women admitted to the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.
She was sent to Ethiopia in 1990 by the World Health Organization (WHO) to help prevent or control outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis. While working in Addis Ababa, she was caught up in the fast-moving civil war and stayed behind as acting director of the WHO Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit when U.N. staff members were evacuated. A series of events led her to become mother to a three-month-old infant found on the steps of St. George's Cathedral.
In an interview, Davis can talk about:
- The series of events that led her to become a mother to a three-month-old orphan
- Her struggles in getting a passport for Romene
- The rarity of adoptions by non-relatives in Ethiopia
- The joys and challenges of raising Romene and what she is like today
- Her work controlling disease outbreaks around the world
About the Author
Cornelia E. Davis, M.D., MPH, was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, did undergraduate work at Gonzaga University in Spokane, and graduated from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. After finishing her pediatric residency, a chance opportunity led to the World Health Organization hiring her for their smallpox eradication program in India. She obtained her MPH at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and went on to train at the Centers for Disease Control and Protection in Atlanta. She worked to prevent infectious disease outbreaks in Africa and Asia for the next 30 years. Now semiretired, she lives near Guadalajara, Mexico. Her first book, Searching for Sitala Mata, was an Amazon Bestseller. It won a gold medal in the 2017 Global Ebook Awards.
SOURCE Cornelia Davis