Last night we attended a gathering of local Ethiopian adoptive families at Dukem, an Ethiopian restaurant in Baltimore. This gathering is held every other month, and we first checked it out back in November. In describing that evening, I noted how wonderful it was to become a part of this fabulous community.
We filled up the entire second floor of the restaurant, and I estimate there were about 25-30 adults and a dozen or so children in attendance. The families included couples like us (in the waiting phase for our first child(ren)), families with children who had come home within the past several months, families with biological children waiting to add an Ethiopian child (or two), and families with children who had been home for quite some time. So it was a fantastic mix of experiences.
A couple of the families had just completed their dossiers this week. Nowhere other than a gathering like this could you find such a level of understanding and congratulations as to what that meant! It’s such a giant step in this complicated adoption process.
We were so glad to see Alan and Lindy again (who came from DC) and Zoe and her husband Brian. I was also happy to meet Jamey and her family, as we have been talking a bit online lately (and she is the creator of our cute little Ethiopian flag blanket – check out her Etsy shop (she’s making blankets of other country flags now, too, folks!)), and also to briefly meet Renee and her adorable son Noah. I’ll have to make sure I get more time to talk with her next time (and I didn’t get a chance to meet her husband, although he was there). It was really fun to actually meet people I have gotten to know a bit online. And we met many, many other lovely people as well. The group was actually large enough that it was nearly impossible to talk with everyone, so we’ll have to try to mingle a bit more next time.
I love that we have such a great community in our area, and that we’re making these new friends. I have a feeling that these are people we are going to know for a long time (if I’m not scaring them off by making this statement, that is!), and it will be so much fun for us to all get together with our little ones when the time comes.
And, in addition to the great company, we also enjoyed delicious Ethiopian cuisine. I particularly loved the sambusas, yemiser wot (spicy lentils), and what I think was denich wot (spicy potatoes). I am definitely a wot (stew) fan. I keep meaning to ask to keep the menu when we eat so I can learn the Ethiopian names for things. And I really should take some photos! Next time…