Archive for March, 2012

March 30, 2012

Laurel Needs a Family

Laurel is a beautiful 15 year old girl in Eastern Europe who desperately needs a forever family ASAP.

Laurel was born with arthrogryposis.    Very soon, if she’s not adopted, she will be transferred to an adult mental institution, despite the fact that her special needs are physical and they say she does not have any mental disabilities.    On top of that, if Laurel is not adopted very soon she will no longer be eligible because of her age.    She is a beautiful little girl who needs an adoptive family ASAP.

 Laurel currently has almost $12,000 in grant funding available for her adoption through Reece’s Rainbow. 

She can be adopted by married couples, large families and older parents are welcome.  Both parents are required to travel.

Because of time constraints a homestudy ready family (or one that can be homestudy ready very quickly) is being sought.

Please visit Laurel’s Reece’s Rainbow page.  Even if you aren’t her forever family, please consider giving to her grant fund.  She is more likely to find a forever family if money is not an issue.

You can read about arthrogryposis HERE.

This is a blog advocating for the adoption of children with anthrogryposis.    They have a lot of resources on their blog.

Interested families should email Andrea Roberts:

Thank you for considering how you can help this beautiful girl!

March 21, 2012

Benja’s evolution of eating…so far….

If you’ve been following along with Benja’s medical saga you’ll recall that he is exclusively tube fed and has been diagnosed with an oral aversion.  I’m no an expert on oral aversions and while the doctors tell me he had a pretty significant aversion, I think Ben was much less likely to cooperate with them, so it seemed worse in the doctors offices/hospital than it did at home.   When we got him he greatly resisted having anything put in or near his mouth.  The babies home told us he had been “eating” baby food but unless we held his head and forced food into his mouth, he wasn’t eating.   I had been doing some research on children with oral aversions and decided to take a big step back and start over.

We started with just getting him used to having people mess with his face.  I tried to spend time every day, several times a day playing with his lips.  He didn’t like it and for a long time really disliked anyone messing with his face/mouth at all.   His therapists here say he’s “defensive”.   He still (although much better) initially startles and jerks away when you do anything with his face/mouth for the first time.

Anyway, so we started just messing with his face/mouth as much as possible.  I gradually started sticking my finger in his mouth and for several months I did this a lot!    He went from hating it, to accepting it, to actually liking it.  I would rub his gums which he really seemed to like after he figured out it wasn’t going to hurt.   We gradually started to notice that he had begun willingly putting toys up to his mouth, rubbing them on his lips.  Then he started putting them in his mouth and rubbing them on his teeth.  We started offering him things on our finger like frosting, syrup, jelly, juice, etc.  He was still very hesitant at first and would take it then jerk away quickly.  Soon we noticed that he would lean forward when we offered something tasty on our finger and come back for more.  We would often offer him a spoon but he would refuse to have anything to do with it and would jerk away and purse his lips.

About a month ago I was sitting on the floor feeding Jovia some peaches and Benja crawled up to investigate.  I, like we often did, offered him a bit of peach juice on a spoon.  He leaned forward and put his lips on it!  He immediately jerked away but then turned back and leaned forward for more!   Jovia and I cheered and were so excited!

The next day I mixed up some very thin rice cereal with apple juice and warmed it up.  I offered it to Benja and he refused.   I put a bit on my finger and offered that.  He accepted it so I tried the spoon again.  And he ate it!   And he kept coming back for more!  Benjamin was eating!

Since that time about a month ago Benja has been eating baby food regularly once or twice a day. He eats a bit differently, because his jaw is fused shut we scoop the food underneath his top lip and he sucks it in and swallows.   He also still has his enormous cleft palate and a ton of food comes out of his nose, but he is still getting quite a bit of  food down.  We’ve noticed his poo changing now that he’s getting something other than just Pediasure and I bet the next time we go to the doctor they will notice even more weight gain.

We are so proud of our funny little man.  He has come so far.  His pediatrician joked that he’ll be eating pizza in no time!

March 12, 2012


Ohh, sorry I have been so silent recently.
Life has been a little crazy, we’ve been busy!
More soon!  In the meantime, pictures!  

March 6, 2012

KONY 2012 – Invisible Children