Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hugs and Talking

Zinashi really wants to be able to cook, and I am trying to make more room for that in our lives. Breakfast works out great because we start our school day at breakfast time, but there's no set clock time for us to start. So if she takes a long time cracking eggs, it's really no big deal. This past week, she made both scrambled eggs and hot chocolate, and I only had to help her a little bit with getting the eggs poured into the big skillet. Soon I'll be able to sit back and relax and eat bon bons all day.

Oh wait, I have another child, and she is a daredevil who loves chocolate. There will be no bon bon eating without her demanding some, then trying to remove the stair gate so she can tumble down the stairs uninhibited. I should probably stick to my original plan of being an attentive parent.

But back to Zinashi, breakfast chef and all around girl wonder. If there's one thing that makes me feel like I'm doing an okay job as her mom, besides her cooking skills, that is, it's this: that she does not feel ashamed of her reactions to the big hurts that have accompanied her adoption and adjustment. We talked tonight, when she should have been going to sleep, but couldn't because her mind was racing with big questions, about what I write about and why, about helping other adopted kids and their adoptive parents, and what she can do to help. Her eyes suddenly got wide, and she said, "Oh, Mami, you are helping a lot of people right now, but I don't get to help anybody yet." 

I told her straight up that she certainly is helping a lot of people right now, and she should not think otherwise. If she weren't okay with me writing about how we help her, if it made her feel uncomfortable and embarrassed, then I wouldn't write about it, and thus her willingness to allow me to share parts of her story is really the only reason I can help anyone at all. She grinned with pride, then turned to me with a serious face, "But why would I feel embarrassed?" she asked, "I just needed some help. Like hugs and talking."

There are a lot of things I want to impart to my children, but one of them is that they should never feel ashamed of things that were not their fault, or that they needed help as a result of those experiences. I can't predict the future, and I don't know if Zinashi will continue to feel comfortable with certain aspects of her story, particularly as she enters her teen years. But since hugs and talking seem to be working out so far, I'm going to keep going with those.


  1. This post made me tear up. Zinashi's wisdom about not being ashamed to need help is so simple & so profound. So many of us adults need to remember there is no shame in needing help getting through pain/trauma. I am sure her words in this post will help everyone who reads them.

  2. This is so powerful. I am working through trauma right now, and I can't imagine a better way to put exactly what I need. "I just needed some help. Like hugs and talking." Sounds simple, but I didn't have those perfect words myself. Tell Zinashi she helped me today tell my supporters exactly what helps.

  3. Wow, "I just needed some help. Like hugs and talking" - blew me away!


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