Keeping Elvie Connected to Culture Through Food

One thing that is important to us as an adoptive family is that we keep our daughters’ culture alive for them. While our older daughter, Zinashi, remembers a lot about Ethiopian culture because she was older when we adopted her, Elvie has no memories of the place where she was born. It is up to us to bridge the gap between where she came from and where she is now.

We are very proud of our daughters’ Ethiopian heritage, but I’ll admit that sometimes in our busy family life, it can be hard to keep up with all of the things we wish we could do to celebrate their culture. However, one thing that has always been easy, not to mention delicious, is sitting down to an Ethiopian meal on a regular basis. Elvie loves the flat, round bread, called injera, but up until the past month, she has not been willing to try any of the dishes that are served with the injera. We were so excited when she decided to try shiro, which is Zinashi’s favorite dish, a spicy puree of seasoned, ground chickpeas. As with all firsts, we documented the occasion, and now we can’t wait to see what she tries next.

  • We love Ethiopian food!

    We love Ethiopian food!

    We are thrilled that Elvie is starting to love it, too.

  • Elvie, where does the shiro go?

    Elvie, where does the shiro go?

    That’s exactly right!

  • Ababi will help with the first bite.

    Ababi will help with the first bite.

    Normally, shiro would be picked up with a bit of injera, but Elvie is a bit unorthodox. She did not want the shiro touching her injera.

  • Now she has her own finger full of shiro!

    Now she has her own finger full of shiro!

    But will she eat it? Jarod is ready to duck in case she decides it would be better as hair gel.

  • She's not sure what to do next.

    She’s not sure what to do next.

    Maybe she should have a bit more?

  • In it goes!

    In it goes!

    Good job, Elvie.

  • Hooray! She did it! All by herself!

    Hooray! She did it! All by herself!

    And she liked it!

  • This is so exciting, maybe she'll try something else next week!

    This is so exciting, maybe she’ll try something else next week!

    I can’t wait to find out what her favorites will be.

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