Finally Home: Yohannes’ Big Day PART I

For the past few years, KVRR has been keeping up with the story of a local Fargo boy from Ethiopia named Yohannes Tunheim.

He has been in the process of being adopted by the Tunheim family for the past few years but this morning it became official.

The courtroom isn’t always a place known for happy endings, but this morning, it was the venue for the start of a new family.

As Yohannes and his adoptive father Nick walk out of the courthouse, their excitement is clearly visible.

Yohannes’ journey from Ethiopia where he suffered neglect, poverty, and homelessness to the care of his loving American family has been a long one and often times uncertain.

“We started the process in December of 2014. So it’s been a long time,” said Yohannes’ mother, Ann.

Yohannes says his new family in America gives him a sense of family he never had back in Ethiopia.

“Loving and hugging all the time and telling me how much they love me,” he said.

And it hasn’t always been easy…but what family hasn’t faced challenges?

“The first year was I think tough,” said Ann. “It was an adjustment but now we’re definitely in a good place.”

With Yohannes now an official Tunheim, a lot of uncertainty and stress is now off the back of the family.

But Yohannes has been with the Tunheims so long, the name change is really just a formality.

“I would say family business as usual with the exception of a name change and it’s official. It’s legal,” said Yohannes father, Nick.

Still, the day brings a great sense of joy and achievement and Yohannes, inspired by the electricity of the day, has some inspirational words for those stuck in similar situations that he came from.

“If you work hard, if you try to change your life, you can change your life. You just have to believe in yourself.”

Check out part II of our story, tonight after the World Series.  If you miss out, you can click on the story right here on

Categories: Video