Yesterday I had the chance to have a lot of fun in the midst of all the preparations for our trip. I went to Patrick's school to help them learn about adoption and Ethiopia.
Last week, I asked Patrick's teachers if it would be OK for me to come in and do that, since we wanted Patrick's friends to understand how his little brother is coming into our family. Lots of the children have a younger sibling, but they've all come home "from the hospital", as one little boy told me. I wanted them to learn about adoption, and how it is that Patrick's little brother will be talking and (almost) walking as soon as he comes home.
I brought our globe ball and had Patrick show them how far it is from Atlanta to Ethiopia, and explained that we would be getting on a plane and flying all that way to get to where Melkamu lives. I showed them his picture and said that he lives so far away because some babies grow in the belly of another mama, and that sometimes those mamas can't take care of their baby and the baby needs a new family. I said that we wanted another little boy and Melkamu needed a family, and so we will be each other's family from now on.
I read them three books: E is for Ethiopia, A Mother for Choco, and We're Different, We're the Same. I talked about how they eat food in Ethiopia, and they thought it was cool to eat with fingers instead of forks and knives. We talked about how not all people in all families look the same, but they all love each other and that's what helps make them a family.
I was really glad that we were able to do that, and it was a lot of fun. I think the kids enjoyed it, and I know Patrick loves to be the center of attention ;-) But more than that, it was fun to be able to teach the kids about another way that families are made, and to see their excitement for us.