Adoption Training

ClassroomWhat a week. Monday was the health department inspection, Thursday I sat on a call with other families to hear about our case workers trip to Ethiopia, Thursday evening I had the fire marshal inspect my house and I passed, and Friday was a full day of adoption training.

At first I was really dreading the training day, thinking that this could be a waste of time. But now that I’ve gone through it, I wouldn’t say it was a waste. The morning talked about the adoption process. Most of it I knew but it was good to get it again. The afternoon was to discuss race. Since we will all be a transracial family, they want us to know the different situations that could arise.

Honestly, it did make me think, but in a good way. It made me more aware of what the child may be faced with and what types of questions they could be asked because will be a mixed race family.

During lunch we had to give our research presentations and my case worker had me go first so she could leave the training for the day. I gave my presentation on the wonderful experience that my mom and I had with the coffee ceremony. Both case workers were amazed and giddy – just like I was before and during that day. I passed out handouts to show pictures from the ceremony and on the back I provided the websites to the Blessed Coffee and Ethiopian Festival. They mentioned that both will go on the newsletter. They have never had a presentation like mine and were so excited for me. The others in the training group didn’t want to follow me after that…LOL.

I also turned in my Home Study paperwork (minus one item that we are waiting on for my mom). So I can almost say the Home Study is done.

My next steps are to work on the dossier paperwork…


Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

My first day of training is March 1st, 2013. During lunch at this training event, we all have to go around and present our research project. This project is research but more of a hands on research. We are allowed to use the Internet for the initial research but must discover a real experience to go along with it.

In all my Internet research about Ethiopian culture, one stood out for me. Coffee Ceremony. I entered some keywords in Google and at the top of the results page was a link for Blessed Coffee (pronounced bles-sed). I said, “oh how cool, an Ethiopian cafe”. Yeah, not so much. I sent an email to Blessed Coffee to verify that they were not a cafe and to see where I could buy their coffee. Thinking this was a long shot, figuring I probably wouldn’t get a response – but I did.

The founder of Blessed Coffee actually responded. He sent a link to a few places to buy the coffee. One of them is a co-op market that was by a membership, but after asking Tebabu, the founder, if the membership was required, he said that it wasn’t.

I then asked him if he could help me with something. I explained that I am a single woman adopting from Ethiopia and part of my assignment was to learn something about their culture. I also explained that I was intrigued by their coffee ceremony and I’m interested in including that in my new life as a family tradition.

To my amazement, he emailed me back and invited me to his house where him and his wife would give me a traditional coffee ceremony. How awesome is that?

The ceremony in a nutshell is a community social event comprised of three rounds of coffee, with the last round being the “blessed” coffee.

To learn more about the coffee ceremony, click HERE.

My mom was excited and wanted to go with me. It makes me so happy that she is here to walk this entire journey with me.

We arrived at Tebabu’s house this past Saturday at 11am. They were still setting up but it was great to see it from beginning to end. Tebabu was great explaining the difference between coffee and why the ceremony is such a wonderful way to create community. His wife was equally amazing as she explained each step of the ceremony as she was going through it.

I asked if I could take pictures and they of course welcomed it. I took one at each step so you can get a better visual of what I am talking about. We also got a group photo or two at the end before we left.

Ceremony setup  Burning frankincense   My mom sitting across from me

Coffee beans before they are roasted      Tebabu and Sara     Roasting the coffee beans

Removing beans that burned or didn't roast enough  Brewing the coffee   Pouring first round of coffee

Me, Sara, Tebabu, Linda   Me, Sara, Family Friend, Linda

Not done yet.

Tebabu and his wife are also the founders of the Ethiopian Festival that occurs in July. The festival is two years old so this year will be the third year. Tebabu puts together a festival booklet and he asked me if I would write an article sharing with the Ethiopian community, my physical and spiritual journey of adoption. Wow is right! They also invited us and our friends and family and I’m very excited to participate. I believe he said either this year or next he hopes to have a special area of the program for adoptive parents and their children.

I hit the jackpot!

To top off this wonderful experience, he offered his family as our extended family. A friend of his family stopped by (not sure I know how to spell his name) and he also extended himself as a resource for when I bring my child home. They all said that if I have any questions about culture or whatever, they would be more than happy to help me.

At the end of the ceremony, Tebabu suggested we go around and say something to end our conversation. I can’t even put into words everything they said, but everyone make my eyes moist and my heart swell.

I have made a lifetime of new friendships as well as a new branch in my family tree. I can’t wait to see what the future brings me.