Tuesday, May 15, 2018

{The Truth About Food}

Things are starting to feel somewhat normal around here already...and we've definitely learned a few things throughout the years to help this transition time be a bit more manageable.  The biggest issue with lots of little adoptees is feeding.  So, we figured out pretty quickly that AJ needs to be either in my arms for her bottle {yes, she still takes one...the orphanage was giving her 4-5 a day but we are keeping only the morning & bedtime bottle in the mix to help with bonding because she eats LOTS of table food!} OR she has to be in the highchair.  Otherwise, she'll walk around and eat nonstop.  It's just a thing with attachment and kids from institutional backgrounds.  Google it...quite fascinating and extremely heartbreaking.  But, it basically boils down to control and trust.  So, consistency is key!  She knows what to expect and when to expect it and it's helped tremendously so far!  I truly feel like all kids do better...heck, even adults...with routine.  And, things like food and sleep are pretty basic and easy areas we can keep that routine for her.

Littlest Lovebug gets a bottle right when she wakes up, a midmorning snack, lunch, an after nap snack, dinner & a smaller bottle right before bedtime.  She really doesn't take but about half of the night bottle but it's the sweetest time to hold her and steal back some of those lost moments of her being held and loved and making lots of eye contact.

For breakfast & lunch, the kids and I all pile around the island and eat together.  We make it fun!  But, learned quickly that we don't think AJ has had much else to feed herself other than steam buns and crackers.  She is quite fascinated with different textures {totally expected} and isn't entirely sure how to feed herself without playing with her food first.  A good bit of the meal I try to feed her {another great way to bond and her learn that I will meet her needs} and then I give her some time to explore after I know she's pretty full.  The kids have fun encouraging her, too!

That's where we are for now...taking it one day at a time.  Most days we are getting steps forward although we definitely have our moments.  Adoption is a hard thing and even if we think "But she's been in an orphanage so this should be amazing for her!"...it's really not.  The orphanage was all she knew and until time {lots of time} has passed and we've earned her trust, she'll continue to think that way...just because we think it's better doesn't mean that she does...because for 2 years that's been her home.  And I'm pretty sure if you moved me to a place where everyone sounded, smelled, talked, ate and all the other things differently than all I'd ever known I'd have a few issues for a while, too.

My girls are some kind of brave.  They put there hearts on the line every day and it's the greatest gift to love them.

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