Parenting adopted kids is hard, yo. It seems like we’ll have a few good days where we think we’re figuring things out and then we have a really awful day like today. No one slept much last night thanks to a Diva fit at 2am (update on that in another post). Everyone is tired and cranky today. Even Smiles, who normally has it all together and is so enjoyable to be around, had a rolling-on-the-floor 2-year-old tantrum today. The husband went back to work this week and that’s been really hard on Smiles. We call the husband several times a day. Today Smiles helped me mow the lawn and he earned some money. I tried to explain that just like he did work to earn money, daddy goes to work to earn money, but if he understood it didn’t help. We’re going to go visit on Friday so maybe that will make a difference. Today’s been a hard day but even the hard days bring progress. Sometimes they bring the most progress.
So that’s the update on how things are going. The last four days were some of the best days we’ve had, and today is one of the worst days we’ve had. Praying for sleep tonight and a new day tomorrow.
Besides the update I wanted to tell you about these kids and food. Figuring out what these kids like to eat has been an adventure.
Smiles is fairly easy to please. He doesn’t always clear his plate but will give most things a try. He seems to like most foods as long as they aren’t too sweet- jelly beans, oranges, and apples all get a “No.”
Diva is diva-ish about her food. If she spies something she doesn’t want, even if you’re not preparing it for her, it’s “No Diva” six dozen times. And sometimes she’ll like something one day but not the next day.
The things we have found that they both consistently like are: Peanut Butter, Ranch Dressing, Vanilla Yogurt, Mac and Cheese, Bread, and Hummus. Hummus, you ask? There’s a story there- more on that in a second.
Another thing that both the kids love is sriracha sauce. Weird, right? But at every meal they beg for this sauce and seem to almost challenge each other as to how much they can eat. They make the best faces as it’s going down and we think surely they’re disgusted, but then they ask for more!
Our friend and fellow adoptive parent made us some Ethiopian food. We served this after the kids had been home for 10 days or so. You would have thought they won the lottery. Big eyes, jumping up and down, screaming “I love you” over and over again. I immediately felt like an idiot for not serving this sooner, like the first night. I thought how if I was in a foreign country, with a foreign family, it would be so comforting if they prepared me pizza or a burger the first day. It would make me feel welcome and help me to trust them. But here I was offering everything but Ethiopian food to these kids for over a week- stupid me. If you are adopting internationally, learn from me and serve their native food soon and often. They were so excited they made us take photos of them eating this food:
The problem was the food went fast and the husband and I haven’t perfected our Ethiopian cooking skills yet. A popular dish is called shiro. It’s similar in texture and taste to hummus but is completely different. When we ran out of Ethiopian food and the kids asked for more shiro, we offered them hummus….and they totally fell for it. The husband went to Costco the next day and now we have “shiro” every night. We also now serve every meal with injera, a type of Ethiopian bread. We’ve had pasta on top of injera, fish with injera, soup with injera. My friend even told me she’d sometimes season tomato paste with berbere, an Ethiopian spice, and serve that with injera. We haven’t done that yet but don’t have dinner plans for tomorrow…