Monday, August 11, 2008

A Gathering Worth Getting To

Just the girls went to the Ethiopian adoptive families' gathering on Friday because Aaron's back has been giving him heck and six hours in the car would have given him even more painful misery. I know this because I was feeling mild misery myself by the time I got home at midnight, and as I was leaving home in the afternoon I did think This is insanebut it was worth it.

Anna is not a great car traveler, probably because most of our trips around this small town last about four minutes. A long ride is thirty. This was three hours. She slept one hour, whined forty-five minutes (didn't help that the sun was hot on her), then I stopped for a little bit to eat and to break it up before the last forty-five.

Inquiring moms want to know: How does a brand stinking new Burger King have faux granite tile but not have a baby changing station? Eh, my van's cleaner anyway. Okay, it's filthy, but at least I know whose residue it is on that floor.

The party was wonderfully delightful chaos with all the kids running around. I only knew a couple people coming in but got to meet too many to keep straight—let alone match with their kids and husbands. There were more people than I expected and over twenty kids, mostly under age four. Anna didn't know what to think or do at first! But she got brave and found some slightly bigger kids to follow around and smaller babies to steal toys from and pour water on (er, "share" her water with). And she is never shy about approaching someone with food she wants!

I find it interesting to watch families in a setting like this. Who hovers? Who plays? Who gives their baby cake? Who's responsible for this child seeking buried treasure in the dirt behind the bushes? I probably hovered more than I normally would since I'd never been there or met these people and didn't want my child to be the one diving off the rocks onto the pavement and requiring an ambulance. And believe me, she tried.

We really are blessed to have such a great network of families so close by, even though it usually seems like such a long trip to go see them. I know we could have called on them had we had more bumps on our adoption road or when Anna first came home and know they will be a great support for other issues we may face more in the future as a transracial family. And there's just something awesome about seeing that many gorgeous little ones with the same roots running around. I do hope we can make more area/agency gatherings in the future. But I may just spring for a hotel.

Did you seriously think I was going to share?

Quick links, stolen from Habesha Child:
If you want to track the Ethiopian athletes during the Beijing Olympic Games, this site is a good resource.
And here is the schedule of all the events in which Team Ethiopia is competing. (Warning: this page has Olympic spoilers—the Latest Olympic News ticker will tell you how many medals Michael Phelps has won. If it can keep up.)


paige said...

Look at gorgeous x3! It's so nice of Meklit to help' Anna operate the car.

I am so happy we finally met--next time, you'll need to borrow our extra hotel room, really!

Selah said...

It was wonderful to see you and Anna finally. I wish we had more time talk and let the kids play. My Anna loved your Anna:) I am so happy you came. Let us know when you are in town again and we will do Ethiopian food...
Kimberly Heye