ማኅበረሰብ means "community" in Amharic, and that's what we feel in the Atlanta area. There is a large Ethiopian community here, as well as a large Ethiopian adoptive community. It started small, around the time that we started the adoption process, and our Yahoo group has grown to include well over 100 families. Thanks to Renee, we've restared the monthly gatherings that we used to hold. They'd faded out last summer as people brought home their children and got busy, but she spearheaded and organized the effort to get them going again. They are so important to our ማኅበረሰብ.
There was a gathering of the group about 10 days before we brought Melkamu home. We almost skipped it because we were so frazzled, having just found out 4 days earlier that we'd be traveling on February 27th. There was so much to do! But we also needed to go, to relax, to rejoice with our friends at the news of our son's homecoming and celebrate the families who'd just gone to get their children. It made me so grateful to live in this area while going through the process of adopting Melkamu, and that feeling has not changed.
We had another get-together at Stephanie and Jason's rec warehouse last night and it was just wonderful to celebrate with friends that I've known for several years, to meet new friends, and to watch all of our children playing and having a great time.