Today Craig and I attended a gathering of families who have adopted or are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. We had both been looking forward to this gathering all week, and let me tell you, we were not disappointed!
The gathering was held at a local Ethiopian restaurant, Dukem. I think there were about six families there with their Ethiopian-born children. The children ranged in age from 10 months to 8 or 9 years, and were all absolutely adorable and delightful. We were one of I think 3 families in the waiting phase of the adoption process. I was happy to see Zoe again (we’ve met once before, and emailed a zillion times) and to introduce Craig to her, and I also got to meet a woman (Anna) with whom I had exchanged several emails over the course of the past year or so. She and I have a mutual friend who connected us, and it was a true joy to meet her and her two Ethiopian sons (and her husband, of course, but let’s face it, the highlight at events like this is the children).
The group met early – at 4:00 – so we could essentially take over the restaurant without pushing out other diners, and we had the entire second floor to spread out. It was such a wonderful time. I loved talking with others who have been there and done that, to see how their children have adjusted (and how they have adjusted), to learn about things we should do while in Ethiopia, to commiserate over the wait, and so on. We also learned that the standard answer to the question “How was your flight home from Ethiopia?” involves a grimace, because there’s no way getting around the fact that a flight halfway around the world with your new child is just not going to be fun.
We enjoyed fabulous Ethiopian food – which we love – and we even got to experience our first coffee ceremony. I forced myself to take a few sips of the coffee. (I need to learn to like coffee before we travel to Ethiopia, for sure. I think it will be offensive if I don’t finish my cup.)
By the way, one of the families had just completed their re-adoption of their two sons today, in part of a National Adoption Day celebration. So that was pretty cool! [While our adoption will be final in Ethiopia, the re-adoption process in the States is necessary to finalize things like citizenship. More on this another time.]
It is so wonderful to know that there’s this great community in place, right here in our city. This gathering is planned for every other month, and I can almost guarantee that Craig and I will be there each and every time. I can’t wait for the time when we can bring our wee Ethiopian with us!