This video is going around on the Ethiopian adoption forum that I frequent. The organization that made it is a little bit too religious for me, but I like the video. I like the idea of rethinking our perceptions and our conversations. I’ve been spending a good portion of my days obsessing over new table linens (this is how I work out anxiety) and throwing my credit card around at Sur La Table like I am Martha Stewart herself. I’m making myself sick but I can’t seem to stop. I wake up every morning convinced that a set of rooster-shaped napkin rings are going to make the world right.
I’ve also been fielding a series of uncomfortable questions from well-meaning retail clerks who can’t understand why I would be having a baby shower if I don’t have a big belly. When I explain that I’m adopting, they invariably express their support for this great act of charity on my part. Then they ask what happened to Tariku’s “real” parents. I explain ten times a day that, in fact, Scott and I are Tariku’s real parents. And that we are building a family, not acting out of charity. The charity goes the other way. I need Africa more than Africa needs me.