Archive for November, 2006

Officially Official

We have authenticated our adoption in the court, and got a U.S. birth certificate for Dawit.  Woo-hoo…the legal part is done!  Now I can apply for a social security number for him, and also a U.S. passport.

It has been exactly one year since we decided to pursue Dawit in Ethiopia.  On Thanksgiving 2005, we made our decision after much discussion (we were waiting for a referral from China), and made plans to go to Africa.  We sent his photo with our holiday cards, announcing his impending arrival.

Hard to believe that he’s only been here for 9 months, and things are going so well.  I can’t imagine life without him!


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More about food…

Food is an issue at our house in that we don’t have a typical diet. My daughter and I both have Celiac Disease, and we follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. This means no grains, sugar, or lactose.

I cook a lot. We eat a healthy variety of foods, and every meal includes at least two vegetables. Lily’s favorite snack is baked kale. Really.

Dawit comes from a background where he didn’t always have enough food. Most often, probably. I think that this experience is translating into his food-focus day to day. I hope that as he spends more time with us and realizes that meals are steady and available, this food-focus will lessen. When I say focus, I mean it is the main topic of conversation all day long. As we are eating lunch, for example, he’s asking about a snack. If I say “let’s go to the playground!” He’ll respond with “and then dinner?”

If Lily comes home from school and has a snack of cheese and apples and loves it, he feels that I should prepare a snack that he will enjoy equally. (peanut butter and honey on white bread) He refuses the apples and cheese, but then (I think) sees the situation as being treated unfairly. I also believe that we haven’t seen all of the real Dawit yet. He is still in “survival mode”–unsure that this situation is permanent. He is guarded and careful in his reactions.

It’s not a typical toddler food issue. He spent 3.5 years in circumstances that we don’t fully understand, but we can be sure that there wasn’t enough food. Now he’s doing his best to fit into an established family and to feel that he’s getting equal treatment to his new sister. Sure, he is bound to have preferences like the rest of us, but it is more layered than just how the food tastes.

I prepare a lot of “special” food for Lily. Maybe he views this as unfair. I don’t think he can understand that he is able to eat much, much more food than she can. Maybe I need to change some of the verbage surrounding food in our house.

If this is the biggest issue we have, I sure know that we’re doing great. And I trust that this will work itself out as long as we are aware of it, and open to working it out. This blog has been a great place for me to document our transition, and the food part has been significant.

At our local Ethiopian restaurant:

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Report Card

We had our first “conference” with Dawit’s preschool teacher today.  He even got a written report evaluating his progress in many areas:  physical development,  social and emotional development, language, and math.  He’s doing great!  It was helpful to hear an objective opinion about his progress.  She doesn’t see any food issues at school, he happily eats what is packed for him.  Really, he’s been here since March, and he’s doing as well as any kid born here.  Go Dawit!!   Here’s the comment from his teacher:

 Dawit amazes me!  His comfort, verbal skills, competitiveness and understanding are outstanding!  He is a motivated and conscientious student, always ready to listen and learn.  It is very obvious that you have enriched his life and have have allowed him the opportunity to bloom and grow, love and be loved.  It must be a thrill for you to see his success!  I am very pleased with his effort and progress in all areas.

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Well, given the circumstances he came from, I would think that Dawit would eat most anything and a lot of it.

Being wise parent with six entire years of experience now, I can say that almost nothing about parenting is close to what I would think.

This adorable kid is very difficult to feed.  He’s picky, odd, downright unreasonable, and nearly impossible when it comes to all things food.  Unless, of course, it’s a specific white squishy bread with the peanut butter with the teddy bear on the label and exactly the correct amount of honey, sliced diagonally….then he’s all smiles.  He actually checks the bag the bread came in and the label of the PB.  What’s a mom to do?  Really, I’m over-simplifying the situation here, but I do think we are dealing with some deeper issues than a finicky 4-year old.
Some days I think: He’s growing.   Don’t worry.    Then others I feel like I should track down a child psychologist to give me some pointers.  It is complicated because of his history, and the fact that he’s been a part of our family for only 8 months.

It’s such a maternal instinct to feed our kids.  I puff up with pride when he occasionally eats broccoli.  Like this makes me a good mom.

Just tucked him in, and he went off to sleep talking about breakfast.  He tried to place an order for bacon.   See, it’s sorta charming and cute…but there’s a whole lot more going on.

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No villains were safe in our neighborhood last night!

It didn’t take long for Dawit to figure out the concept of Halloween. It involves his favorite things: Superheroes and candy. Here are our little Superheroes, Spiderman and Unicorn Girl. (And for those of you who know Granny, she made Unicorn Girl’s costume to the exact specifications of the character’s creator, Lily.)

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