Friday, December 21, 2007

Comfort food

The holidays seem to be about food in my family.  We have all kinds of traditions with food standing front and center.  Homemade peanut butter cups, Quality street candy, gingerbread men & houses, sweet potato casserole, gum drop tree...  I could go on and on.  In a sense, the ritual brings comfort, a knowlege of what's to come and the conviction that we are family.  This is what our family does.  We always do this.  

When my son came home last week from university,  I wanted his first meal to bring him comfort.  I wanted him to know that I loved him and missed him and I would show him through one of his favorite meals.  I served beef stew.  I personally love the smell of the beef stewing throughout the afternoon, and then the homemade bread that I serve with it.  Ah...  comfort... familiarity... home.

We have now received 3 months of updates from our orphanage.  I have loved each one and our hearts are becoming softer and more anxious each month to complete our family circle.  Peterson & Gaëlle don't know our family traditions.  Our comforting food smells and tastes are completely foreign to them.  I doubt my first meal served to them will be beef stew.  It might involve homemade bread; that seems to satisfy almost anybody.  But the food that spells comfort to us will shout "outsider" to them.  

It's just a small matter really, but it makes me sad to know that the things which bring me comfort will initially bring confusion and isolation to Peterson & Gaëlle.  I pray that we will be sensitive and understanding and that our family will embrace some of the things that bring us all comfort and healing.  

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