I may cry while writing this, but hopefully it won't short out my laptop as I still have work to do.
We had our monthly gathering with the Atlanta/GA families who have adopted or are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. It was amazing. Stephanie and Jason opened up their rec center warehouse to everyone who was able to make it--I think it was somewhere around 60+, and everyone had a wonderful time. I slacked and forgot my camera, so I don't have pictures. But we did have pizza and beverages, and an amazing chocolate cake. We met new families and saw pictures of children yet to come home, and met those who have come home since last we saw them.
While I was there, and especially after we left, I was thinking about how lucky we are. There was a long process that led us to adoption, and we went through a lot along the way to get to this point. When faced with the (always inappropriate) question of "Did you choose to adopt or can't you have anymore?", I can honestly say that we chose to adopt. People who persist in asking if it's because we are infertile get a "We CHOSE to adopt." It has taken a lot to get to the point where not only is that true, but that I feel comfortable saying that.
The fact that every person at the gathering tonight has made that same choice simply staggers me. I thought about how lucky we all are to have been able to make this choice, and to be bringing these beautiful children into not only our hearts and our families, but into this community of families.
We are on the verge of bringing home our son, leaving in only 11 days. Two families are in Ethiopia right now, another leaves this week, and then we leave the following week. The next time that this group, which seems to grow exponentially every time it meets, gets together, there will be at least 5 children home in new families. I feel so lucky that both Patrick and Melkamu will grow up knowing many, many families who are just like theirs. And I feel even luckier that we will grow as a family with these other families, sharing experiences and raising our children together.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. I am so glad that every one of you is part of our village.