2.13.2013

Her Secret

My twelve-year-old has been "home" from Ethiopia, here in the US for almost six months. I think every adoptive parent who brings into the family an older child waits, no braces, for the day the truth starts coming out; truth about the past, the real facts about birth family, etc. Mimi told me tonight while I was cooking dinner she had to tell me something  She had that look on her face. She had a bomb to drop.

I stopped chopping. I took a deep breath.

What, honey, you can tell me anything.

I have something tell you. You not know.

My mind was going holycrap holycrap holycrap.

I know how to cook.

What?

I know Ethiopian food how to cook. Dinich wot, k'eiser wot, shiro, fir fir, the bread for ch'chebsa. My mom have me cook while she at work. Here, can I show you?...

She gestured for me to hand her the chef's knife. A smile spread over her face as she minced garlic like she was Marcus Sammuelsson's protege. She then tackled a tomato and chopped it in capable miniscule pieces within seconds.

I stood there for a moment with my mouth hung open wide. Then I screamed and reached over and spanked her on the bottom. Everyone burst into laughter and Fikir shrieked I know 'dis, I know she know cooking, but I not tell you, too! She even know how make genfo! (An Ethiopian breakfast dish I've been wanting to try. Mimi has heard me say I want to know how to make this. Still she kept silent.) I screamed even higher and play spanked her again and she laughed and laughed.

She's been holding out on me. She's been testing the waters. Watching and waiting, seeing how I make things, holding up her knowledge against mine, until she was ready to tell me, convinced she was confident. She told me she wanted to feel like if she told me, she could deliver. Six months in, she is ready to make me her genfo, her shiro, show me what she knows.

I think too, having a mom take charge, let her be a kid, let her be "served" instead of shoulder a lot of responsibility has felt like a relief. Her job has not been to take care of anyone but herself and that has felt good. But now that she'd had time to be a kid in this house, get the lay of the land, learn our family culture, and maybe now that she is sure she can depend on me, she isn't afraid to show me just how much she can do.

I am thinking Oh, honey, that is the best secret an adopted kid ever dropped on her new mom.

 photo onion_zps445cd588.jpg
Here's an onion babe. Let's get the party started.



23 comments:

Paula said...

Oh man, I was on the edge of my seat... waiting to hear something awful, painful, heartbreaking... whew. She can cook. Carry on.

Anne said...

Amazing! Thanks for sharing, and sharing so well, the latest whiz-bang special stuff in your busy household. Everyone is a winner in this.

stellarparenting.com said...

This is when blogs need a love button

Becca and Kent said...

This makes me so happy in so many ways. She can cook. I agree with stellarparenting.com---LOVE!

Barb Aloot said...

Aw, that is so sweet and absolutely delightful! Brilliant.

Aja said...

Love this, great story!

fiddlehead said...

I actually held my breath as I waited to hear what she disclosed! Phew! What a wonderful secret for you and the whole family. I love that you have given her the environment to be a kid and she feels safe to share what she can do and know you will still let her remain a child. so wonderful!

Tara Autumn said...

how super exciting.....so did she come back and say "you made _______ and __________ wrong and i have to show you how to do it!" heheh. I am already amazed you learned how to cook so much Ethiopian food- so jealous and now you and your daughter have some awesome culinary secretes to unleash :)

Shiloh said...

She can probably cook better than me. So sad, for me. Great for you!!!

Sharon said...

Love this. What fun the two of you will have together in the kitchen!

I didn't believe E when she told me she could cook, but when I finally felt free to let her loose a bit, she cooked Doro Wat and Shiro for her birthday. I still can't believe it, but when we were in Ethiopia talking with family about it they were not at all surprised.

2plus2mom said...

Holy wat!

marymuses said...

That is so awesome! I am so jealous! Hooray for Mimi!

annieglan said...

That is really adorable. And I am so glad she waited to share with you. <3

Deborah said...

That's such a great secret, and great that she felt she could share.

Annie said...

Haha! What a great secret! Awesome!

AnnaJ said...

That is so great! What a wonderful "secret" and happy revelation. May you share many hours peacefully in the kitchen together, talking and cooking. God news for all. Yay, Mimi!

AnnaJ said...

(that would be "good news" but I guess God is okay too. :-)

Jessica said...

OMG, I love this. I can't even completely articulate why... The thoughts running through that child up until the moment she revealed herself must have been priceless. Wouldn't you just die to get into that head!!!?!

I absolutely LOVED Fikir's response to the revelation, too!!
She was dying for you to know but had an allegiance to her sister that speaks volumes.

Oh, I loved this post. Everything about it down to Mimi's hand cutting the onion. Such an adult-looking pose...

Courtney said...

that.is.awesome.

{and i love that i "know" you well enough to know that is was going to be funny or wonderful..i knew you wouldn't tell something awful from her past..HER story.}

hotflawedmama said...

love, love, love that!!!!

Meg said...

this is amazing. i can't wait to meet her

tmcs said...

Oh, love this!

maplewalnutmama said...

Love, love, Love this story!