I’ve asked my friend Ali to add her voice to EOR’s many other amazing guest bloggers. It’s been so much fun to share her journey this second time around, and I’m so grateful to Ali and all of the Ethiopian adoptive mamas in our Cowtown tribe. Paige
As our trip to Ethiopia to meet our son steadily approaches (no specific date yet, but most likely late-May), I have been thinking quite a bit about how this adoption has differed from our first. I’m doing many of the same things to prepare: his room is painted and decorated, the closet is slowly filling with cute little clothes, and the carseat has been purchased. I’m even succumbing to the those lovely daydreams of how life will be with my son: adorable little scenes of family bliss run through my mind during those brief moments of quiet and idleness.
This time around, though, I go to Ethiopia a much more thoughtful adoptive mom. I have been blessed to find an amazing group of people, both local and online, that have enabled our family to have a connection to Ethiopian people and culture I never considered possible during our first adoption. Sure, I made all of the promises we all make when going through our homestudy with regards to respecting and promoting my child’s heritage & culture. My promises were sincere, I assure you. But I can look back now and admit (with some shame) that I was doing and saying whatever they needed to see and hear so that I could simply be a parent. I made the promises, but had no concrete plans to follow-through. Lucky for me, fortune smiled on my family when we moved to Columbus and I stumbled upon a truly lovely group of people. Now our lives are enriched with family nights at Abyssinia with Tiru, Enkutatash celebrations, and playdates with Lila’s little Ethiopian toddler posse.
Yep, I’m still having those daydreams of life with my new baby, but they are different this time around. Now I imagine Elijah and Lila running around at the next Enkutatash celebration, taking Amharic classes at ETSS, fundraising for EOR, and playing with their Ethiopian friends. I head back to Ethiopia no less overjoyed and excited, but much more mindful and aware of what my son will be leaving behind to join our family. And my resolve to keep him connected to his Ethiopian heritage in any way that I possibly can is firm and concrete.