Connie Britton Adopts Son Yoby

11/16/2011 at 08:00 AM ET
Jordan Strauss/WireImage

For years, Connie Britton has been hard at work on her acclaimed show Friday Night Lights and most recently on the new hit,  American Horror Story.

But the actress, 44, has just been cast in her most rewarding role yet: Mom. She’s adopted a 9-month-old baby boy from Ethopia, Britton confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.

After a three-year long adoption process, the actress’s dream of motherhood came true about a week ago, after she returned from the African country with her son Yoby — a nickname for Eyob, his given name.

“I am thanking my lucky stars every day,” Britton, 44, tells PEOPLE.

The day she first held her son in her arms was a moment the new mom will never forget.

“It was such a wonderful moment of completion,” she recalls. “I thought I was going to collapse into a puddle of tears. I was just grinning from ear to ear.”

— Jennifer Garcia

FILED UNDER: Births , Exclusive , News

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Laurie on

Congrats to the new momma!!

klutzy_girl on

Aw, congratulations to Connie! That’s awesome.

And I love AHS and her character! It’s a pretty good show.

Meghan on

Love her! Congrats to the new mom!

opinions&thoughts on

Best of wishes to the new family.

beth on

Congrats Tami! er, I mean Connie!

Wendy on

Congratulations! All mothers forget things on a daily basis, but the one thing they will never forget is the first time they held their baby. Such a wonderful feeling!

Melissa on

Congrats! I am so happy for her! she is a great actress, i loved her on FNL and now on American Horror Story!

Robyn on

So so happy for her! Congrats!

Love her on AHS, too 😀

Nancy on

Congratulations Connie and family!!!! I know that Ethiopia is becoming a popular place to adopt from. The kids are beuatiful!!!

AllisonJ on

Wonderful news! I love Connie on American Horror Story. Much happiness to Connie and her new son!

Maria on

I don’t know who this person is or anything about her child but I had to respond to the name- Yoby?!!! ha ha ha

Maria on

okay- sorry- I posted before I read the whole thing- I guess it is a play in his African name- as I said, I had no idea- it just sounded funny to me as an AMerican name. Perhaps it is more common where he is from! Don’t flame me- I just was laughing cause it sounded funny- now Ifeel bad for saying it but I can’t delete it!! 🙂

fffffffffh on

Good for her.

However were are all the insensitive comments whining about why not adopt from the US? Oh that’s right those comments are reserved for select people. Ugh.

Pandabear on

Awesome; congratulations to her! Way better than the ghost spawn she’s pregnant with on American Horror Story!

Reese on

Congratulations to her! She’s such a talented actress and I love American Horror Story.

Erica on

I think it’s awesome that she’s keeping his birth name.

Connie is a great actress and she is so beautiful! Congrats to her!

Anonymous on

Congrats to her! That said, it took her three years to adopt?! I thought Ethiopia had one of the shortest waiting periods for adoption? Or has that changed?

Paige on

Congratulations to Connie! Loved her on FNL (she and Kyle Chandler had great chemistry as Coach and Tami)

Holiday on

Congrats! I love hearing stories of adoption!!

Tee on

I have no idea who this woman is but congratulations to her!

Maria, don’t feel bad! The name came across as unusual to me as well… no flaming here!

Sarah M. on

Anonymous – I’ve known several families that have adopted from Ethiopia. All were between 1 and 2 years start to finish.

I like that she kept his birth name, as well. One of the families I know of kept their daughter’s birth name as her first (it’s Beza). I think most of the rest all kept the birth name, but moved it to the middle and gave the kids an american first name. I think Yoby is an adorable nn, too! Definitely not one you hear every day!!

noam on

i love her as an actress, and she’s always come across as a positive person in interviews!

@anonymous: from what i know (which is in no way to say i know everything on this topic) ethiopia has a shorter wait overall, generally, but like every adoption, can be slowed down if the parents are requesting certain things, such as gender, age, etc. also, and i have had close relatives live through this, ethiopia’s adoptions usually involve children with living relatives, which means the adoption can be halted at any time.

in my stepbrother’s case, the little boy they were in the process of adopting actually had a living mother. she had taken him to the orphanage when his father and several siblings died, because she couldn’t afford to keep him anymore. however, a few weeks before he was to come to america, she went to the orphanage and said she didn’t realize he would be adopted. it had been explained as a missionary boarding school to her. she thought he would go to this school and then come home when he got his sixth grade diploma…i’m not saying in any way that this is what happened to ms. britton or that this is even the norm, i’m just saying that adoption is a long, intricate process with bumps along the road.

emily on

Congrats Connie. Tami Taylor is my idol, you’ll rock mammahood.

Vanessa on

As if he won’t get called “Yoby” Wan Kanobe.

Sorry, I just had to say it. It’s the first thing that popped into my head.

Nancy on

Anonymous–it can change quickly. We started out adopting in a country several years ago and at that time, it was taking less than a year. We waited for 2 years and switched to a different country and brought our son home in less than 6 months.

My understanding is that nowadays, most countries are taking years to adopt from, unless you are open to a special needs child.

Bancie1031 on

Congratulations to Connie …. I like the nn Yoby …. Can’t wait to see a picture of him 🙂

Mel on

I love that she kept his given name. It’s probably just me, but I don’t like when someone adopts a child from another country and doesn’t reflect their birth country in the name. I know the child will be an American, but at least a middle name is nice. Just my humble opinion, not trying to start a huge debate 🙂 Anyway, congrats to Connie, loved her on Friday Night Lights!

Sarah on

I think it’s great when parents adopt and change the child’s name, unless it’s an older child who doesn’t want to. I’m in the process of adopting, and I have met so many parents who changed names because the child’s past was nothing but trauma, so it gives them something else to associate with their new, better life.

Sarah M. on

Mel – I agree with you to an extent. But I can see the other side, too. A name from the adoptive country may be very hard for those living in the country they’re moving to to pronounce. One of the families I know kept the first name (Beza) she already had because it was a pretty straight forward pronunciation/spelling. Dawit (meaning beloved), however, may have a harder time. The newest one I’ve met changed his first name to William and call him Will, but moved his birth name of Haji to the middle. He still has a connection to his background, but has a easier name to pronounce and spell. And there are other ways to connect an adoptive child to their culture. It just depends on how far they want to go with it. Hope this helps you see the other side a bit. 🙂

angela on

Good luck to her! This lady is so beautiful. She reminds me of Rita Hayworth. I love her on AHS.

lori on


I was the one at Dulles airport who kept staring while you were walking thru to catch your flight! I was on my way to Italy and recognized you, although I did not acknowledge it. Your baby boy is beautiful! Congratulations! Love the American Horror Show!

Alisa on

It’s so nice to see celebrities calling attention to the Orphan Crisis, especially by adopting boys! (Contrary to popular myth, girls are in MUCH higher demand, even in China, due to most Americans getting on the female wait lists.)

Kit on

I LOVE American Horror Story although it scares the pants off me! lol

Congrats to the new mommy and to Yoby too. Weighing in on the name debate, I’m an adult adoptee who legally changed my name BACK to my birth name as an adult.

I didn’t want my name changed as if I were a cat or dog being adopted from the pound!

Marky on

Kit, I think it depends on how old the child is and their circumstances, whether an adoptee should have their name changed or not. We adopted overseas for our first adoption and her name was unpronounceable to Americans. She had been abandoned as an infant, so she had been assigned a name for immigration. We took her initials and used them to make her middle name and gave her a first name that had great meaning to us. She has been very happy with her name, and she is an adult with children of her own.

Our second adoption was in the States, and we adopted our foster son at 3 1/2. We used his name as his middle name and gave him a meaningful first name, If I had it to do over, I would have kept his given name as his first name and continued to call him that, because it took a long time for him to adjust inside, even though he chose the name himself. If he had told us how he felt, we would have called him whatever he wanted.

I think older children sometimes need to have their name stay the same,even if it’s not your favorite name. Adoptive parents just want to name their children themselves; it’s not “as if (you) were a cat or dog being adopted from the pound”! What a notion!

Sometimes. people have a name picked out for their child from the time they are children themselves, and, whether you believe it or not, adoptive parents love their adopted children deeply. My oldest daughter is one of my adopted children, and she couldn’t be more dear to me. We are close, and her children are so special too; same for my son and his son. We are their family, we named our other children–why not name them?

heidi on

Congrats on expanding your family. I think its a special name that his birth mother gave to him that meant alot in their culture. I believe you are honoring that by keeping it, and as he grows older and asks where he came from and what his name means, he will realize how much she loved him to not take that away, just for the sake of adoption. We as Americans take naming our babies as a serious thing, no doubt, but other countries take it as so much more. It can mean so many things, including a child’s status in his village, etc. I think I’m gonna use the name as a nickname for my 2wk old grandson. Thank you Ms. Britton, and great blessings on your child.