Mussé Barclay is 17 years old and was adopted from Dessie, Ethiopia at the age of of 6. He is an active student at Hockinson high. Musse is part of his high school theater program, mock trial, and is a passionate photographer. He is passionate about using his skill and love of the arts to fundraise for Charity Water, an organization that has helped millions of people in the northern part of Ethiopia gain access to clean water. He finds strength in serving others and always finds time to show off his Ethiopian roots. When adopted from Ethiopia he struggled to transition to life in America, and has had to overcome many obstacle to feel happy and proud of his story. He will be going into his senior year of high school and is excited to go back and visit his home land of Ethiopia, the land of honey and milk
Astrid Castro, 2019 presenter
Astrid has a degree in sociology with an emphasis in adoption. For twenty plus years, she has traveled the country to lead youth groups, present workshops on transracial parenting, talking with children about adoption and various other workshops focusing on adoption. Prior to creating Adoption Mosaic, Astrid worked in both the private and public sectors of various adoption organizations such the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center (ORPARC), Holt International and Rocky Mountain Adoption Exchange, to name just a few.
Astrid co-authored Adoption in the Movies, which takes the reader on a guided tour of 27 movies and documentaries that are ‘dripping with adoption’ which are asking questions that encourage the viewer to engage in ongoing dialogue and discussion. She also developed an innovative, evidence-based, 27-minute training DVD titled, Adoptive Parent Training: Developing Communication Skills. The training demonstrates how adoptive parents can communicate openly and honestly with family, friends and especially children. Astrid is a former member of the board of directors of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the author of many articles on the subject of adoption and contributed a chapter to the book Parents As Adoptees.
Astrid’s personal experiences as an adoptee, a woman of color, and growing up in a white family and community, fuel her professional path to helping others. Astrid is aware of the benefits of post-adoption services for individuals and their families and seeks to bring these services to the adoption community. Her life-long interest in adoption is rooted in her own adoption at the age of four from Colombia (along with her older sister). Astrid has been in reunion since December 2012 with her birth family in Colombia. Oregonian article on Astrid’s journey of searching and finding her Birth Mother.
When Astrid is not working she loves to spend time with family, friends and enjoying the adventures of life as the mama of an amazing teenage daughter.
Zora Kurzenhauser, junior counselor, proud Ethiopian adoptee
Zora was born and raised in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia until the age of six. She then relocated to Addis until she was adopted with her biological sister. Zora and her sister were adopted into a family that resides in Gladstone, Oregon and she’s lived there since.
In her free time, Zora loves to read books, keep up with politics, and hang out with friends. She also loves good food and trying different cuisines. Zora also loves to volunteer and spend her time giving back to the community as she’s been taught to give back and help others. When she grows up, she aspires to go to college and double major in public health and political science. She also aspires to travel the world and explore new places as she loves the outdoors and adventures. At the moment, Zora attends Gladstone High School and will be graduating in 2020.
Libanos Yohannes, counselor of traditional Ethiopian culture, language, games, and dance
Libanos was born in Ayehu, Ethiopia and graduated from the University of Addis Ababa in 2013. He was an active student in the University, and participated as being the chairperson of the African AIDS Initiative International, and took part in different kinds of clubs, such as Peace Club, Red Cross, and AIDS Prevention Club. After graduation, Libanos became a journalist for the Ethiopian News Agency. He found himself in the United States when he was reporting The World Indoor International Athletics Championship and he decided to stay here because it was no longer safe for him to return home. Now, he is on the journey of furthering his career in the media world in America. Libanos is always smiling and is a strong believer in the power of a smile.
Eskedar Cochran, Counselor of Ethiopian Culture, Traditional Games and Storytelling, Language and Dance
Eskedar was born and raised in Nazret, Ethiopia until the age of 13. Then she was adopted by an amazing family whom she loves very much. Eskedar has a big family with six siblings, one of them being Addi. She moved to Portland in the fall and loves it very much. She’s currently working and planning on going to PCC in the spring. She enjoys the warm sun, the outdoors, the beach, and tries to be in nature as much as possible. Eskedar also loves singing and enjoying the company of her friends and her kids that bring her lots of joy when she’s around them.
Henok Eyasu Habte, counselor of traditional Ethiopian culture, language, games, and dance
Henok was born in Ethiopia. In 1997 at the age of 10, he and his family moved from Ethiopia to the united states. He grew up in Portland, Oregon and Dallas, Texas. Henok is multilingual in Amharic, English, and Tigrinya. He enjoys serving as an Ethiopian cultural ambassador and bridging the cultural gaps between America and Ethiopia. For many years, he has participated in many Ethiopian cultural and religious showcases: in parades, and Ethiopia Day events. Henok loves mentoring and working with children, and is very excited to be joining COFFEE.
Rediet Kifle, Counselor of Ethiopian culture, language and dance, storytelling and music
Rediet was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia until she was 7 when she and her family moved to the United States. Rediet grew up in Northern Virginia and completed her undergraduate education at the University of Virginia. She earned her B.S. Ed. in Communication Disorders and a second major of B.A. in African American and African Studies, with a minor in Sociology. Throughout her years in college, Rediet took on various leadership positions including, as social chair of Ethiopian Students’ Union, where she organized and led cultural dance performances for annually held international celebrations.
Rediet earned her Master of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Throughout her years in school, Rediet dedicated herself to broadening and deepening of her cultural experiences, including a range of international experiences in Guatemala and across Europe. Following graduation day in 2016, Rediet returned to Ethiopia for the first time in 15 years as a volunteer with the Reach Another Foundation. After a heartwarming month of reconnecting with extended family and friends and volunteering in the community, Rediet returned to the states and accepted her first position in California. Rediet currently works as a pediatric speech-language pathologist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sociocultural awareness and mindfulness are at the core of her professional and personal values. Outside of work, Rediet finds joy in exploring new places, dancing, reading, cooking, painting, and spending quality time with loved ones. She loves working and mentoring children even outside of work! She is excited to be joining COFFEE.