Friday, January 22, 2010

Calling All Oregon/Washington Families

At the nonprofit for African immigrant-refugees where I have been volunteering for the last nine or ten months, I have gotten to know an Ethiopian man named Daniel who I have had several in-depth conversations with about adoption, Ethiopian culture, the raising of children, and community. He is a stellar person, simply stellar. His ideas regularly challenge me, and I am so thankful to have met him.
Our friend Daniel, dispenser of parenting advice and other forms of wisdom

He is eager to help in a project to connect the many Ethiopian adoptive families in the Portland area and the Ethiopian immigrant community. We had an informal brainstorming session this week about the many amazing things a project like this could bring to our area. While we were in New York, we attended an event at the historic Riverside Church in Harlem that served as a wonderful example of what can happen when an adoption community blends with the immigrant community of their children's country of origin. The Ethiopian community of Riverside Church has come alongside the Ethiopian adoptive families in the area to provide Amharic lessons, cultural events (including home-made injera!), and general support. What an amazing thing.

an impromptu birthday song at Riverside Church in Harlem

If you live in the Portland/Vancouver area and are interested in seeing what we could develop here in the Pacific Northwest, please leave me a comment with your email address and/or write me so I can get your name onto a list. Daniel and I are hoping to have a meeting with anyone who might be interested in starting a group like this sometime around the end of February. Daniel is looking now for a location, and I am gathering together the families. We are excited about what could come, both for us as parents and for our children. Let's build our village.

If you'd like to join us, here is my email: ourownrooney at gmail dot com.
Abe with one of his several African grandmothers in Portland


Autumn and Dan's family said...

You know I'll be there. Dan is excited too. I have a couple of other names for you exciting.

kn said...

Oh Lori - how wonderful!!! I'm so excited for you guys.

Riverside was wonderful wasn't it. I didn't realize the congregation is in New Jersey. I wrote to Getu who is going to help with a tutor perhaps.

i'm off to bed at this decent hour for once but had to say i'm so happy for the three of you.

Erin Sager said...

We are in and will give you a couple emails of other families that Im sure would love to join....

Danni and Tommy said...

love this.

Eryn said...

We're in! I'll email you some others as well.

daniel amine said...

I am very much excited to meet all of you and brain storm idea that will benefit all of us.

Anonymous said...

We're closer to Seattle, but maybe could be involved?? We know several familes in the area as well who would be interested.

Cloverland Farm said...

you're doing it! awesome!

Anonymous said...

We are 2 hours from Portland on the Washington coast but maybe could be involved? Sounds like a wonderful thing.

Leslie said...

We are definitely in.

Kitty said...

That is really wonderful.

It's interesting to contemplate how our ethnicity affects us. You would think not so much, but we are humans with attachments and brains.

That your son will grow up knowing his ethnic group accepts him and his situation will be huge, I think.

Knowing members of his ethnic group will give him an even greater sense of belonging that he'll already have from you. He's such a lucky kid!

Andrea said...

Hi Lori,

Yes, we are interested in being a part of the group. Please add us to the list.

I've sent you an email with our email address.

Thank you
The Banfields

Belleme said...

I live in Bellingham, wa, but my parents live in Vancouver. We're waiting for our referral right now. But I'd love to be a part of some events if we can!