I spent last week in Denver with my mom. I planned this trip several weeks ago, knowing that she would need assistance and company as she continues to recover from her back surgeries. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well she is doing; she can’t drive, and she doesn’t have as much stamina as she would like to have, but she is pretty much self-sufficient, and that is fantastic for just a few weeks after such a huge procedure. So, instead of being busy doing things for my mom, I enjoyed a quiet and relaxing week hanging out with her. I logged some impressive sleep, we watched a ridiculous amount of HGTV, we had super-geeky moments of playing Words with Friends on our handheld devices (against each other) and also reading the same book (Cutting for Stone) while sitting next to each other, and it was an enjoyable, low-key week. It was just what I needed after weeks of craziness at work.

This was my third trip to Denver in two months (and the fourth in six months). This isn’t my usual interval for family visits, but obviously my mom’s surgeries changed things up. Now that my mom and both of my brothers (and their significant others) live in Denver, I know that we will be spending a lot of time there. And that’s just fine with me, since I really love it there.

Due to the frequent visits and the fact that my family members are establishing roots, the thought of moving to Denver has been on the forefront of my mind lately. And, I think I actually have Craig on board with the idea, too. So, while I was there, I spent some time doing research about neighborhoods in Denver with significant African-American populations. We do not want to raise our Ethiopian-American child in a white vacuum; we want – and need – to ensure that our child is not the only black person around, and that, in fact, our child has many friends and role models who look like him or her. We also realize that this will be more difficult to accomplish in a city like Denver than it is in a city like Baltimore (which is 65% black).  I have also joined a Yahoo group for people in the Denver/Rocky Mountains area who have adopted/are adopting from Ethiopia, so I hope to get some good information by reading along. I was excited to have already seen a post on the forum from the pastor of a local Ethiopian church. I also have a couple of bloggy friends from the area, and I’m sure I’ll be able to pick their brains a bit.

We know that we cannot move for a couple of years. First, we need to get through our adoption, and then the first year of post-placement reports. And second, we really need the housing market to recover some more so we don’t lose everything in selling our house. But, I really do like to think that a move to Denver is in our future.

This entry was posted in adoption, city, community, family, home, life, me, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to denver

  1. Emily B. says:

    Exciting!! I will be so jealous as I love Colorado! We are actually in the process of getting our house ready to sell. We are staying in the same city but attempting a move to a more diverse neighborhood. Our current suburb is uber white and that obviously doesn’t fit our needs as a transracial family. I think it shows so much of how you are already a mother to this baby since you are thinking about these types of things.
    So glad your mom is recovering well!!

  2. Kelly says:

    i hope your mom continues to heal well; we have a family friend who had back surgery a couple years ago and it was a long road of recovery, but she is doing fabulously now!!
    denver is a wonderful place to live, we absolutely love it here (even though i complain about the snow!)!!!

  3. Kelly says:

    You already know how I feel about this, Kelly. Move to Denver! I’ll hook you up 🙂 I’m so pleased to hear how fast your mom’s recovery has been. Back surgery is no joke so kudos to her!

  4. Holli says:

    Cool! I hail from the ‘west’ and really love Colorado. Denver, in particular, is a city full of good people and clean air. I think a move to be nearer your family be a big blessing for you and your child. It takes a village afterall, and when some of those village members are also family members — well, that’s a win-win.

    Keep us posted.

    PS Yay for your mom’s healing process. Glad to hear she’s doing well.

  5. zsmama says:

    I loved Cutting for Stone. What did you think??
    Glad your mom is recovering well!

  6. I’m sure it was nice to have such a relaxing visit with your Mom. It’s great to hear that she is doing so well. I’m sure that once you have your child home, you will especially want to move closer to your family, so that your child can have a relationship with your Mom and your brothers’ families. At least Denver looks like a beautiful place to relocate!

  7. Meg B says:

    I’m glad your mom is on the mend. I have heard back surgeries are particularly difficult to recover from! Good luck with your fact-finding mission on Denver; I’m sure your due diligence will pay off and you’ll find the right community for your family! It’s nice that you have some time to figure it out.

    I’m still chuckling about your reading the same book and playing Words w/ Friends side by side =) Fun!

  8. colleen says:

    so glad to hear that your mom is doing well and how nice that you had some time to relax and enjoy some quiet time.

  9. Leah says:

    I love Colorado, and think it’s awesome that you are contemplating a move there. I also love the fact that you are doing your research and that you don’t want your child to grow up in a white vacuum. I think that is so important.

    It’s always so nice to see a blog post from you. 🙂

  10. sue says:

    i’m so glad to hear your mom is doing so well! i cracked up thinking about the 2 of you hanging out and being geeky with your video games!

    moving to denver would be awesome and being close to your family would be wonderful – i’m sure your mom wouldn’t mind being able to see her grandchild whenever she wanted ;).

  11. Christine says:

    My mind is pinging all over the place from this post… let’s see if I can sound coherent in my comment.

    1. I’m really jealous of your time spent with your mom. Sounds like a fabulous getaway. And I’m so happy to hear how well she is doing… awesome!

    2. I’m so excited about your potential move there… but please promise me we can move first and get in a few visits before you’re not on the east coast?!

    3. The housing market – well, you know how I feel about that.

    4. The diversity factor. Holy cow… I could write a book of a comment on that one factor alone. Suffice it to say, I know exactly what you are going through. It was something I’ve become so aware/sensitive too.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    It’s so great that you’ve been able to help your mom out so much in her recovery! I know how much that means to a parent when you can be there in their time of need.
    And how exciting to think that you’ll be moving cross-country at some point. Daunting, yes, but it sounds like you’ve got plenty of time to do the research and anticipation of a big life change 🙂

  13. So glad to hear your mom is feeling better and that you got to relax a bit with her. I’ve never been to Denver, but it sounds like a beautiful city. Being by the Rockies would be awesome. And of course it would be so nice for you to have family around to help with your baby. How cool that there is even an Ethiopian church there. I wish our area was more diverse, but that’s not our reality, unfortunately. Thankfully there are some Korean communities within 45 minutes of where we leave, but that’s not the ideal situation. So it’s March now…one month closer to your referral!! I’m getting so excited for you guys!

  14. Jo says:

    Exciting! I love Denver, wish it was in the realm of possibility for us. I can’t recall which blog it was but I read recently (Ethiopian adoptive blog) that there’s an Ethiopian community in one of the neighborhoods in Denver with a handful of Ethiopian restaurants, etc. Enjoy the researching, living near family sounds lovely!

  15. Sandra says:

    Wow! First of all, I am glad that your mom is doing so well and you were able to relax. It sounds wonderful. Your move sounds like a great idea. I can’t tell you how much I wish we had family close by.

  16. Well, we may be joining you and head west also. I am sooooo ready to move back there. I miss it so much. So glad your moms recovery is moving along at a nice clip.

  17. Sarah says:

    Glad to hear things are going better with your mom. It’s been quite a year for you. I think you’re smart to move near your family. I couldn’t wait to move away and “establish myself” in my 20s, but now that I’ve got that out of my system and have little kids I wish I lived closer! (Now it just isn’t possible because everyone has scattered around the country.) Nothing wrong with a long-term plan…

  18. Angela Hall-Richards says:

    Denver’s really a nice city and no, they don’t have a large black population, but they do exist. It’s a beautiful part of the country and I would move there in a heart beat.

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