Friday, May 18, 2007

Coffee with a new friend

I know that I’ve mentioned this before, but we live in a small town. It one of those places that’s big enough that you can and don’t know everyone, but you always know someone, who knows someone. When we began telling people around town about our adoption we were asked over and over again if we had met Ida yet. Ida is apparently the only Ethiopian adult in town. She came here with her husband many years ago and raised her children here, so knows many, many people.

We finally got an opportunity to meet her this week. One of Zman’s clients is a good friend of hers and has been dying to get us all together since the first moment he heard of our adoption plans. Unfortunately for us, Ida is a very busy woman who travels a great deal, including a recent trip home to Addis. Luckily the stars were all in alignment this week and we were able to meet up for coffee.

I was very nervous about this meeting. It’s hard for me to open up about personal things to a stranger. When Zman and I got to the coffee house we realized we had no idea how we would know who we were waiting for! Luckily we didn’t have any trouble recognizing her very distinctive Ethiopian features and asked if she was there to meet us. She was extremely friendly and very, very gracious and we had a marvelous time chatting with her.

She told us a lot about Ethiopia. Her father worked for the last King and then an Ethiopian diplomat in New York. He now lives in Addis and so does her brother who works for the UN. She has offered to give us their contact information and let them know when we’ll be there (when we know) so we have someone to help us out if we run into trouble there. She’s very excited about our adoption and wanted to now all about our process.

She talked a lot about how important it is to raise our child to be proud of his heritage. She said that Ethiopians are very proud and love their country and we have to help our child know what an amazing place they come from. She invited us to come to Ethiopian celebrations at her house, and wants to be able to tell our child all about his culture. I was amazed at her generous spirit and the connection she feels to our child through their shared heritage. We are truly blessed to have this amazing resource for our child.

Some other great moments from that afternoon where here surprise at my knowledge of Ethiopian history, culture, and current events. Hearing her speak Amharic and having her write down our names in that language. Talking to someone in person about travel to and around Ethiopia and getting some great tips. (Most of which I had already gotten from the adoption boards…boy you guys are good!) It was interesting to get her impressions of Ethiopia and Addis as a member of the wealthy minority there.

We talked for almost two hours, until we had to run to pick up Princess from school, and we exchanged email addresses and promises to let her know as soon as we get a referral…she wants pictures. For that matter, so do I!


jeneflower said...

How fortunate to have someone so close by that will be able to enrich you and your child's life so much.

MMrussianadoption said...

I agree. That is so great that she lives in town and is so open and willing to help.