Monday, March 10, 2008

Ethiopian Life in Los Angeles...

Steven and I had a very emotionally intense weekend. On Saturday we had our last required adoption preparation class (I think it may need its own post). Saturday night we saw a beautiful production of James Joyce's, "The Dead" (also deserves its own post), and yesterday we went to the event above.

If you are an adoptive parent, especially one who is waiting for your referral, and you have an opportunity to go to an event where you are the only person in the room who is NOT Ethiopian, I suggest you go. This event was eye opening in so many ways. I am not sure if I can even describe, accurately, what it was like. Here are some topics that were discussed; identity, religion, politics, generational differences, culture, loss of culture, the immigrant experience, persecution, censorship, democracy, art, literature, responsibility. That is a lot to cover in a few hours on a bright and sunny Los Angeles afternoon don't you think? Where do I begin? Let's just say I learned more about Ethiopians, and Ethiopia in those three hours, than I have in the past six months of reading. To be honest, most of my research thus far has been about adoption- attachment, health concerns, schools etc, research that is more specific to me as a potential adoptive parent. This event has reminded me that I have a lot to learn about Ethiopia itself. Luckily, I have found some new resources for my education.

I think I will post more about this event later. I need to organize my thoughts. I will say one thing, this group was incredibly welcoming to us. I approached some of the panel members and said,"We need help," and they were more than willing to advise us. They had differing opinions on how we should help our children maintain a sense of their Ethiopian identity. More to come...

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