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Reincarnation of the Dykstra Family Blog
Chad Dykstra - 2014-06-03

Comrades is Coming!
Chad Dykstra - 2013-04-29

Melkam Gena!
Chad Dykstra - 2013-01-07

Why I Run
Chad Dykstra - 2012-10-03

It's All About the Injera
Chad Dykstra - 2012-03-09

Expectations and Reality
Chad Dykstra - 2012-02-15

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Chad Dykstra - 2011-10-25

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Chad Dykstra - 2011-09-13

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It's All About the Injera

Chad Dykstra - 2012-03-09
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I wrote this blog months ago, but somehow never got around to posting it.  Our house smells of berbere and niter kebbeh tonight…so it was a good reminder to me to actually post it!
 
I know there are several families who have been following along on our journey via this blog.  Some families have already adopted and are sharing a similar life situation as we currently are in.  Some are in the process of adoption, anxiously awaiting an addition to their family and hoping to learn from the successes (and…umm…failures) of others.  Hopefully some others are not in the process of adoption, but are considering it as a possible future step of faith for their family.  Others maybe just want to stay updated on our family or enjoy a good evening read!  Whatever the reason you are here, welcome, and thanks! 
Today’s blog is mostly geared towards those who are in the process of adopting or are considering it in the future, with hopefully a little bit of interest for everyone else.
 
Every once in a while at bedtime, we like to ask the kids questions about their memories of Ethiopia.  Last night, I was cuddling with the kids and getting them in bed after story time.  I asked both boys what things they missed from Ethiopia.  The first word out of Abatu’s mouth, almost before I finished the question, was “Injera”.  
 
For those who do not know, injera is the ‘staple’ of Ethiopian cuisine.  It is a sourdough flat bread that is used not only as a food, but also an eating utensil.  Small pieces of bread are torn off and used to scoop up the various stews (wats) that make up Ethiopian cuisine.  Every letter we get from our sponsored child through Compassion in Ethiopia tells us how much she loves injera, and asks if we have it too.  Our YZM sponsor children’s mother now makes injera to sell and provide a life for her daughers.  It would be impossible to overstate the importance of injera to the Ethiopian lifestyle.
After some prompting, asking about other things and giving some suggestions, secondarily Abatu named a few people as well that he missed, and some experiences.  Afterwards I asked Zinabu the same question, although I prefaced it with “Other than food, what are some things that you miss from Ethiopia”?  As you may expect, once again – the first word out of his mouth was injera.  
 
Imagine packing up and moving to rural Asia.   Regardless of the obvious changes in climate, language, culture, surroundings, and everything else, your diet is now made up almost entirely of rice.  Man – after a while, wouldn’t you just kill for a cheeseburger with fries?  Over a year later, our boys are still longing for their cheeseburger and fries. 
 
Compared to many, our children are not doing without their injera.  A few weeks ago, we went to Little Africa, an Ethiopian restaurant.  This past weekend, we bought a bag of injera and I made a full Ethiopian meal of red lentils, a chicken dish, and an Ethiopian bread.  They’ve been munching on it for a few days now, and just today, the leftover injera was finished up.  Tomorrow night, we are getting together with friends and making another full Ethiopian meal including – you guessed it – injera!
 
After all this, our boys still long for injera.
 
I’m not an expert on the subject, and I don’t have any documented proof to back this up (though I’m sure I could find some)…but food has to be one of the largest sensory connections to their previous culture that adopted children have.  The smells, the look, the taste, the texture – it is a powerful sense of familiarity and something that they often long for.
 
I don’t remember who told me this, but I heard a story from a fellow adoptive parent who had a friend that had their child home for around a year.  After a year, the parents and child were discussing the child’s experiences after coming home.  The child told the parent that when they first came home, they thought Mom and Dad didn’t love her because they wouldn’t give her “her injera”!
 
There is one disclaimer that I would like to add.  Your personal experiences and that of your child may vary.  We did go through a phase with Zinabu where he said he wanted nothing to do with injera and said that it was yucky.  Try to avoid it as he may, he always went back and ate it.  The food itself isn’t what was yucky, it was the reminder of their difficult past that it can bring up that is yucky.  This is a fine line that you will have to walk according to your personal experiences and the desires of your children.
 
We are fortunate to absolutely love Ethiopian food and to enjoy the challenge of preparing it.  Even if you don’t – maybe find out what the “staple” in your situation is…and embrace it!
 
The doorbell just rang and it’s meal time.  Time for some injera!
I wrote this blog months ago, but somehow never got around to posting it.  Our house smells of berbere and niter kebbeh tonight…so it was a good reminder to me to actually post it!
 
I know there are several families who have been following along on our journey via this blog.  Some families have already adopted and are sharing a similar life situation as we currently are in.  Some are in the process of adoption, anxiously awaiting an addition to their family and hoping to learn from the successes (and…umm…failures) of others.  Hopefully some others are not in the process of adoption, but are considering it as a possible future step of faith for their family.  Others maybe just want to stay updated on our family or enjoy a good evening read!  Whatever the reason you are here, welcome, and thanks! 
Today’s blog is mostly geared towards those who are in the process of adopting or are considering it in the future, with hopefully a little bit of interest for everyone else.
 
Every once in a while at bedtime, we like to ask the kids questions about their memories of Ethiopia.  Last night, I was cuddling with the kids and getting them in bed after story time.  I asked both boys what things they missed from Ethiopia.  The first word out of Abatu’s mouth, almost before I finished the question, was “Injera”.  
 
For those who do not know, injera is the ‘staple’ of Ethiopian cuisine.  It is a sourdough flat bread that is used not only as a food, but also an eating utensil.  Small pieces of bread are torn off and used to scoop up the various stews (wats) that make up Ethiopian cuisine.  Every letter we get from our sponsored child through Compassion in Ethiopia tells us how much she loves injera, and asks if we have it too.  Our YZM sponsor children’s mother now makes injera to sell and provide a life for her daughers.  It would be impossible to overstate the importance of injera to the Ethiopian lifestyle.
After some prompting, asking about other things and giving some suggestions, secondarily Abatu named a few people as well that he missed, and some experiences.  Afterwards I asked Zinabu the same question, although I prefaced it with “Other than food, what are some things that you miss from Ethiopia”?  As you may expect, once again – the first word out of his mouth was injera.  
 
Imagine packing up and moving to rural Asia.   Regardless of the obvious changes in climate, language, culture, surroundings, and everything else, your diet is now made up almost entirely of rice.  Man – after a while, wouldn’t you just kill for a cheeseburger with fries?  Over a year later, our boys are still longing for their cheeseburger and fries. 
 
Compared to many, our children are not doing without their injera.  A few weeks ago, we went to Little Africa, an Ethiopian restaurant.  This past weekend, we bought a bag of injera and I made a full Ethiopian meal of red lentils, a chicken dish, and an Ethiopian bread.  They’ve been munching on it for a few days now, and just today, the leftover injera was finished up.  Tomorrow night, we are getting together with friends and making another full Ethiopian meal including – you guessed it – injera!
 
After all this, our boys still long for injera.
 
I’m not an expert on the subject, and I don’t have any documented proof to back this up (though I’m sure I could find some)…but food has to be one of the largest sensory connections to their previous culture that adopted children have.  The smells, the look, the taste, the texture – it is a powerful sense of familiarity and something that they often long for.
 
I don’t remember who told me this, but I heard a story from a fellow adoptive parent who had a friend that had their child home for around a year.  After a year, the parents and child were discussing the child’s experiences after coming home.  The child told the parent that when they first came home, they thought Mom and Dad didn’t love her because they wouldn’t give her “her injera”!
 
There is one disclaimer that I would like to add.  Your personal experiences and that of your child may vary.  We did go through a phase with Zinabu where he said he wanted nothing to do with injera and said that it was yucky.  Try to avoid it as he may, he always went back and ate it.  The food itself isn’t what was yucky, it was the reminder of their difficult past that it can bring up that is yucky.  This is a fine line that you will have to walk according to your personal experiences and the desires of your children.
 
We are fortunate to absolutely love Ethiopian food and to enjoy the challenge of preparing it.  Even if you don’t – maybe find out what the “staple” in your situation is…and embrace it!
 
The doorbell just rang and it’s meal time.  Time for some injera!
I wrote this blog months ago, but somehow never got around to posting it.  Our house smells of berbere and niter kebbeh tonight…so it was a good reminder to me to actually post it!
 
I know there are several families who have been following along on our journey via this blog.  Some families have already adopted and are sharing a similar life situation as we currently are in.  Some are in the process of adoption, anxiously awaiting an addition to their family and hoping to learn from the successes (and…umm…failures) of others.  Hopefully some others are not in the process of adoption, but are considering it as a possible future step of faith for their family.  Others maybe just want to stay updated on our family or enjoy a good evening read!  Whatever the reason you are here, welcome, and thanks! 
Today’s blog is mostly geared towards those who are in the process of adopting or are considering it in the future, with hopefully a little bit of interest for everyone else.
 
Every once in a while at bedtime, we like to ask the kids questions about their memories of Ethiopia.  Last night, I was cuddling with the kids and getting them in bed after story time.  I asked both boys what things they missed from Ethiopia.  The first word out of Abatu’s mouth, almost before I finished the question, was “Injera”.  
 
For those who do not know, injera is the ‘staple’ of Ethiopian cuisine.  It is a sourdough flat bread that is used not only as a food, but also an eating utensil.  Small pieces of bread are torn off and used to scoop up the various stews (wats) that make up Ethiopian cuisine.  Every letter we get from our sponsored child through Compassion in Ethiopia tells us how much she loves injera, and asks if we have it too.  Our YZM sponsor children’s mother now makes injera to sell and provide a life for her daughers.  It would be impossible to overstate the importance of injera to the Ethiopian lifestyle.
After some prompting, asking about other things and giving some suggestions, secondarily Abatu named a few people as well that he missed, and some experiences.  Afterwards I asked Zinabu the same question, although I prefaced it with “Other than food, what are some things that you miss from Ethiopia”?  As you may expect, once again – the first word out of his mouth was injera.  
 
Imagine packing up and moving to rural Asia.   Regardless of the obvious changes in climate, language, culture, surroundings, and everything else, your diet is now made up almost entirely of rice.  Man – after a while, wouldn’t you just kill for a cheeseburger with fries?  Over a year later, our boys are still longing for their cheeseburger and fries. 
 
Compared to many, our children are not doing without their injera.  A few weeks ago, we went to Little Africa, an Ethiopian restaurant.  This past weekend, we bought a bag of injera and I made a full Ethiopian meal of red lentils, a chicken dish, and an Ethiopian bread.  They’ve been munching on it for a few days now, and just today, the leftover injera was finished up.  Tomorrow night, we are getting together with friends and making another full Ethiopian meal including – you guessed it – injera!
 
After all this, our boys still long for injera.
 
I’m not an expert on the subject, and I don’t have any documented proof to back this up (though I’m sure I could find some)…but food has to be one of the largest sensory connections to their previous culture that adopted children have.  The smells, the look, the taste, the texture – it is a powerful sense of familiarity and something that they often long for.
 
I don’t remember who told me this, but I heard a story from a fellow adoptive parent who had a friend that had their child home for around a year.  After a year, the parents and child were discussing the child’s experiences after coming home.  The child told the parent that when they first came home, they thought Mom and Dad didn’t love her because they wouldn’t give her “her injera”!
 
There is one disclaimer that I would like to add.  Your personal experiences and that of your child may vary.  We did go through a phase with Zinabu where he said he wanted nothing to do with injera and said that it was yucky.  Try to avoid it as he may, he always went back and ate it.  The food itself isn’t what was yucky, it was the reminder of their difficult past that it can bring up that is yucky.  This is a fine line that you will have to walk according to your personal experiences and the desires of your children.
 
We are fortunate to absolutely love Ethiopian food and to enjoy the challenge of preparing it.  Even if you don’t – maybe find out what the “staple” in your situation is…and embrace it!
 
The doorbell just rang and it’s meal time.  Time for some injera!
I wrote this blog months ago, but somehow never got around to posting it.  Our house smells of berbere and niter kebbeh tonight…so it was a good reminder to me to actually post it!
 
I know there are several families who have been following along on our journey via this blog.  Some families have already adopted and are sharing a similar life situation as we currently are in.  Some are in the process of adoption, anxiously awaiting an addition to their family and hoping to learn from the successes (and…umm…failures) of others.  Hopefully some others are not in the process of adoption, but are considering it as a possible future step of faith for their family.  Others maybe just want to stay updated on our family or enjoy a good evening read!  Whatever the reason you are here, welcome, and thanks! 
 
Today’s blog is mostly geared towards those who are in the process of adopting or are considering it in the future, with hopefully a little bit of interest for everyone else.
 
Every once in a while at bedtime, we like to ask the kids questions about their memories of Ethiopia.  Last night, I was cuddling with the kids and getting them in bed after story time.  I asked both boys what things they missed from Ethiopia.  The first word out of Abatu’s mouth, almost before I finished the question, was “Injera”.  
 
For those who do not know, injera is the ‘staple’ of Ethiopian cuisine.  It is a sourdough flat bread that is used not only as a food, but also an eating utensil.  Small pieces of bread are torn off and used to scoop up the various stews (wats) that make up Ethiopian cuisine.  Every letter we get from our sponsored child through Compassion in Ethiopia tells us how much she loves injera, and asks if we have it too.  Our YZM sponsor children’s mother now makes injera to sell and provide a life for her daughers.  It would be impossible to overstate the importance of injera to the Ethiopian lifestyle.
 
After some prompting, asking about other things and giving some suggestions, secondarily Abatu named a few people as well that he missed, and some experiences.  Afterwards I asked Zinabu the same question, although I prefaced it with “Other than food, what are some things that you miss from Ethiopia”?  As you may expect, once again – the first word out of his mouth was injera.  
 
Imagine packing up and moving to rural Asia.   Regardless of the obvious changes in climate, language, culture, surroundings, and everything else, your diet is now made up almost entirely of rice.  Man – after a while, wouldn’t you just kill for a cheeseburger with fries?  Over a year later, our boys are still longing for their cheeseburger and fries. 
 
Compared to many, our children are not doing without their injera.  A few weeks ago, we went to Little Africa, an Ethiopian restaurant.  This past weekend, we bought a bag of injera and I made a full Ethiopian meal of red lentils, a chicken dish, and an Ethiopian bread.  They’ve been munching on it for a few days now, and just today, the leftover injera was finished up.  Tomorrow night, we are getting together with friends and making another full Ethiopian meal including – you guessed it – injera!
 
After all this, our boys still long for injera.
 
I’m not an expert on the subject, and I don’t have any documented proof to back this up (though I’m sure I could find some)…but food has to be one of the largest sensory connections to their previous culture that adopted children have.  The smells, the look, the taste, the texture – it is a powerful sense of familiarity and something that they often long for.
 
I don’t remember who told me this, but I heard a story from a fellow adoptive parent who had a friend that had their child home for around a year.  After a year, the parents and child were discussing the child’s experiences after coming home.  The child told the parent that when they first came home, they thought Mom and Dad didn’t love her because they wouldn’t give her “her injera”!
 
There is one disclaimer that I would like to add.  Your personal experiences and that of your child may vary.  We did go through a phase with Zinabu where he said he wanted nothing to do with injera and said that it was yucky.  Try to avoid it as he may, he always went back and ate it.  The food itself isn’t what was yucky, it was the reminder of their difficult past that it can bring up that is yucky.  This is a fine line that you will have to walk according to your personal experiences and the desires of your children.
 
We are fortunate to absolutely love Ethiopian food and to enjoy the challenge of preparing it.  Even if you don’t – maybe find out what the “staple” in your situation is…and embrace it!
 
The doorbell just rang and it’s meal time.  Time for some injera!

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