Most of them already knew each other, as three of the families actually were in Ethiopia together last year. One couple is waiting for their referral. But they were all welcoming and kind and excited for us just starting out. I appreciated hearing from people face to face what “everyone says,” the things you read: how amazing the adoption experience is, how they loved Ethiopia, how kind the people there were, how much they loved their children right from the start. We also got to hear some of their stories from traveling and get some tips on what to do and what not to worry about. Plus I tried to mentally file little things like how to pronounce the guest house host’s name.
It was a long drive for a cookout but felt worth it for making those connections and having those firsts: We met our first Ethiopian-adoptive families. I met my first AIDS orphans (now orphans no more). I held my first sweet Ethiopian girl, wishing I had a camera as she looked up at me with her deep brown eyes and contentedly sucked on my ONE Campaign bracelet. Our child will look like this! I can only hope our child will be as beautiful and happy as these.