Not to dis the internet, but my recent little crisis has reminded me how important face-to-face relationships and discussions are - both for families in the process a for the kids, themselves. For all the worry I've had over children feeling comfortable being an Ethiopian adoptee in America, it seems that these meetings, where the look, feelings and experiences of fellow adoptees can be discussed in a natural, unguarded way feels like the best first step in engendering open dialog and positive self-esteem. If none of these are near where you live, you can check the Frappr map and see if anyone lives near you (add yourself while you're there) or post a message on the big group asking if others live near you. That's how our group formed with 5 or 6 families.
I posted before about the inspiring story of Nancy Meyer & her group in Chicago.
Lately, on the Yahoo! boards, some folks have been wondering how to start/join a group in their area.
That's why I'm grateful to Brian (dad of 3), fellow "SoCal Potlucker", mix-master supreme behind the awesome blog ON THE FLY and man of science for compiling pan-American information about local adoption groups (and letting me re-post it):
We went to a potluck with families from our Southern California Ethiopian adoption group last weekend. Being the family that lives the farthest south, we often end up traveling the furthest to the event, but every time we attend one, I'm reminded how important it is to go. It's good for the parents to be able to talk to other families and it's good for the potential parents waiting for a referral so they can ask questions of people who've "been there; done that." Our kids are often the oldest ones there and they're not quite at the point of talking with their peers about adoption issues, but they're building friendships that will be helpful for those issues in the future. And of course its nice to (re)connect with people who's blogs you read on the internet (Blaine, Julie, and Kevin, was there anyone else that didn't out themselves to me?)So where do you find a local group? Here's a good start:
Midatlantic: MD, VA, WVA, D.C., PA, NJ, and DE areaNew York City
loosely-defined northeastern states (New England, NY, NJ, PA etc.)
Northern California (SF bay area
If I missed any groups, please add them in the comments. If you've got a blog about Ethiopian adoption, feel free to link to and/or post this list to your blog.
If none of these are near where you live, you can check the Frappr map and see if anyone lives near you (add yourself while you're there) or post a message on the big group asking if others live near you. That's how our group formed with 5 or 6 families.