Posted by: Kristin W | April 5, 2012

Day 4 – Thursday

Today was a tough day for A, but probably an important one for all of us.  It started with the coffee ceremony, which is a traditional celebration in Ethiopia.  This coffee ceremony was to say goodbye to the kids who are leaving this week, including A.  That in itself was a little weird, because we aren’t leaving for another five days, so it was odd to have all the kids saying goodbye, but not going anywhere.  Anyway, during the ceremony, he had “borrowed” another dad’s sunglasses.  I’m not sure how it happened, but another kid ended up with them, and A was MAD.  He wanted them back, but knew he couldn’t have them.  So he just cried.  So sad.  After the ceremony, I pulled him on my lap and we sat for a few minutes, but he refused to be comforted.  One of the nannies talked to him and explained that they weren’t Andrew’s, glasses, which did not help.  Finally, he wanted to get up and we went out to the courtyard to play.  We asked a nanny to explain to him that we would be taking a trip the next day (for the birth family visit).  She did, but also told him where we were going and who we were meeting with.  After that, he had a series of tantrums.  I think the combination of the coffee ceremony, the lack of nap, the fact we were leaving, and the discussion about his family was just too much.  Little guy was tough to handle and it’s so frustrating not being able to communicate effectively.  While we love all of the caregivers at Horizon House, it’s very difficult to establish our role as parents.  When we have to ask for help in talking to A, the nannies don’t  translate for us, rather they take over and handle the situation as they would.  I feel for Andrew, because A has definitely bonded with him, so he is having to deal with the brunt of it.

Some pics from the coffee ceremony (A is not wearing his traditional Ethiopian attire, as we bought it on the first trip and forgot to pack it for this one):

And, here’s a video of Ayub leading the prayer:



  1. We have the exact same video of E leading this prayer. So precious.

  2. these ceremonies are very taxing. This was the first time we had seen Chaltu cry, it was heartbreaking, I believe she was the only child crying, but it then sent all the parents to cry. While it is important for them to say goodbye and such a sweet way, it really puts it in perspective for them that they are leaving! how special though that he got to say the prayer!! I am sure you all were very excited!

  3. What an incredibly emotional and confusing time for these kids. I’m sure it must be heartbreaking to watch, and to not really be able to intervene and provide comfort like you would like.

  4. We lost all of the video we took on our 2nd trip; I can’t even talk about it. It’s so sad’ we would have had M leading the prayer too… I’m sorry that was such a tough day, but it’s so understandable. Poor little A; I hope things continue settling in for you all each day! It sounds like you are on your way.

    By the way, I love how A keeps adjusting his glasses as he recites teh prayer!

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