Many people come across my blog searching for information on Ethiopian adoption. I’ve found a wealth of information and friends through blogging this experience, and if you start clicking through the links in the sidebar, you’ll find varied experiences and opinions on adoption. Included in my blogroll are also First Family blogs–sometimes referred to as birth family. At the start of my blog, I actually wrote from Ethiopia.
Warning: this blogging stuff is addictive. There are a list of Ethiopian adoption blogs in my blogroll on the right. Wanted to point out a couple of blogs that I have been frequenting lately:
Adventures of the Wonder Twins Cuteness abounds–great blogroll
What the Heck? Funny. Seriously.
Give All to Love Just getting ready to travel…
Swerl Huge Ethiopian adoption blogroll
If you’re considering international/inter-racial adoption, check out the links in my blogroll regarding race and the adult adoptee blogs. Also, be sure to check out:
Harlow’s Monkey Views on trans-national and trans-racial adoption
Culpability A look at ethics in international (Ethiopia) adoption
*Note to long-time friends of Meet Dawit–the local paper is publishing a story this week on Ethiopian adoption, and will include this blog. I wanted to capitalize on the opportunity to encourage potential adoptive parents to gather info on all aspects of adoption… feel free to add more in the comments!
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I continue to pay attention to how Dawit reacts when I serve meals. Now I’m mixing things up, and the theory of gender roles / who is served first is holding. It’s not tormenting me as much now, I see it more of a social experiment than a personal attack on my food preparation.
Last week, I was putting dinner on the table. The kids were seated side by side, and I put the food in front of them. Each kid had a plate and a bowl. I set down Dawit’s plate first, then Lily’s. I headed back to the kitchen and returned with the bowls. I placed Lily’s down first, and then Dawit’s. Without skipping a beat, he looked up at me and said “do I have to eat my soup?”
BINGO! I’m so excited to have some insight into this strange stuff. And I did tell him that he had to eat the soup, so he did. Happily.
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You may remember some of my food and Dawit woes…the kid is tough to feed. He’s been home for two years, and each and every meal is still odd–unless it’s McDonald’s. I’ve tried everything. Seriously, I appreciate all of the well-intended advice, but I’ve always thought that it isn’t necessarily about food. It simply manifests at mealtime. And I’ve always taken it personally. I mean, what mom doesn’t want to feed her kid? I’ve racked my brain about this issue. For example, Dawit will gleefully eat spaghetti one evening for dinner. The very next day, you can serve him the same meal, prepared in the same way, in the same color bowl, and he won’t eat it. When asked what the problem is, he’ll simply say “I don’t know”. It’s strange and frustrating, and I’ve taken to serving him a meal, letting him know that he can choose whether or not to eat it, but “he gets what he gets and he shouldn’t get upset”.
Well, I think that Erin has solved part of the puzzle. Go read her post on Holding Still regarding food and gender. And the order in which people are served. And how big portions are, and who gets the biggest. Wow! This idea never crossed my mind. A completely cultural Ethiopian phenomenon.
The very next morning I tried an experiment. I made a PB and honey sandwich with a side of banana for Dawit (an almost fool-proof, sure-to-eat-it meal), but served Lily first. I even offered her a drink first. Guess who didn’t eat breakfast?
I’ve been conducting little experiments since. It is specific to me–John can make anything at any time and it’s consumed with great enthusiasm. His teacher can serve any type of treat, even one he’s never tried, and he loves it. It’s about gender roles in the family.
I remember one morning after he’d been here for about 6 months, he walked into the kitchen where I was getting lunchboxes packed and breakfast on the table. He said quite harshly: What is taking you so long? (Needless to say, he never did that again.)
The point of all this blog babble is that I have a new framework in which to figure out this food stuff. Thanks Erin, it’s been a bit easier since working with this new theory. I don’t think Dawit is conscious of it at all.
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