Miss Belgium Kedist Deltour has forgiven her father for abandoning her in an orphanage in Ethiopia when she was a young girl during a visit to her former African home.
Deltour, 24, who was elected Miss Belgium 2021 in March, was born in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and she lost her mum to cancer when she was just eight years old.
The following year, her father left her and her two siblings, brother Tsion, 3, and and sister Haile, 7, in an orphanage after her new stepmother allegedly made life difficult for them.
The trio was adopted by Belgian couple Peter and Nadege Deltour in 2007 when Deltour was 10.
Deltour said: “My parents could not have children themselves. They later took another girl from Ethiopia into their home, and five years ago they suddenly had a baby.”
The gorgeous model has visited Ethiopia with the Miss Belgium committee to track down her biological father, and the estranged relatives met up after a 15-year absence.
The father and daughter shared an embrace when she knocked on his shack in the district of Yaka in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The father, name not reported, told her: “I was poor and at that time I didn’t have enough to feed you. I was a delivery man and it was hard for me.”
Deltour said on Instagram: “Am I sad? Happy? And after 15 years, God gave me the opportunity to return to Ethiopia. To my surprise, I wouldn’t have thought I would be so overwhelmed with emotion when I finally met him. It is a day that I will never forget. I forgave him everything. My heart is at peace. I feel like a new person.”
She added: “I feel lighter, that’s what I had hoped for.”
Miss Belgium also visited her mother’s grave in the East African country.
Deltour was crowned Miss Belgium at the Proximus Theatre in the village of Adinkerke in the Belgian province of West Flanders on 31st March.
The event took place without an audience due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Deltour, a hairdresser from the municipality of Nazareth in the province of East Flanders, beat 14 other candidates to be crowned Miss Belgium 2021.
She called her pageant win “my chance to thank this country”, adding: “Someone told me a long time ago that 2021 would be my year. I never forgot that.”
In Belgium, she completed vocational training to become a hairdresser, and also took up modelling later being crowned Miss East Flanders 2020 and then Miss Belgium 2021.