Last weekend we went to Austin for a reunion with the families with whom we traveled to Ethiopia. A little over a year ago, we all sat in a big room together and held our babies for the first time. We shared something deeply sacred and extremely hard to explain.
It was a family reunion of sorts. Previous to our trip to Ethiopia, I always had two flavors of family in my life- my given family and my chosen family. But the Ethiopia clan is kind of a third category… they’re a family given to me by fate. We nine families were thrown together by the random luck of our close proximity on a waiting list, but also by the deep commonality of our decision to adopt from Ethiopia. And with this family, as in so many things, I am truly fortunate.
The five families who made it to Austin attempted to recreate the infamous “couch picture.” It was WAY harder with lively and wild toddlers than it was with the dazed infants we placed on a couch in Ethiopia a year ago. All baby wrangling difficulty aside, the cuteness could have just killed me dead.
It was amazing to see all the little peanuts thriving so beautifully. T is going through an annoying, somewhat disturbing and definitely embarrassing phase right now where he tries to make out with every kid he sees and when they don’t respond with quite the same enthusiasm, he pummels them. Living in a house with seven other kids really gave us a chance to practice our public solution-oriented behavior as well as our private head-holding despair.
Still, I’d do it again tomorrow, even with the constant WWF baby smackdown. I miss everyone already.
But what I really learned from our Texas rental ranch was that we don’t have nearly enough taxidermy in our lives here in LA…