Saturday, August 11, 2012

Feeding Memories...and lesson learned

So as I've been continuing to read from Deborah Gray's book again on attaching in adoption - I'm reminded of a time in the past.  There is a story in her book about a child that was adopted into a family - and he had an identity founded in the fact that he was a "bad" boy.  It didn't go into how that image of him was created, but we can only imagine right?  This brought back a memory that I'll share partly to illustrate that we are not perfect parents and guess what, these kiddos don't come with a text book or owner's manual!  But this story also illustrates how instincts and connection come between a child and a parent when we give up our agenda, control and live in grace - and only through God's grace if we follow in our heart how He guides us....all will work out.   Here it goes.

Joshua as a baby was a great eater!  He wasn't picky and he LOVED to eat.  (On a side note - it's amazing if you watch a kid though have a natural ability to "turn off" food when they are full -- and he's great at this and so has always maintained a healthy weight).  Anyway, he was around 1 year old, maybe a little older and he began to purposefully throw food on the floor to "amuse" me.  I didn't find it so amusing, as you can imagine.

He would sling food all over the tray as if he were making a fine painting (he still loves to paint to this very day and LOVES art)... and at times he would look me right in the eye and then drop a cheerrio on the floor to get my reaction.  I started with the, "no-no - let's not do that".... he didn't get it.  It continued on meal after meal.... so here it day I said it, "baaaaaaad, baaaaaaaad, bad, bad, bad"..... I know, it just came out.  And then again at another meal..... "baaaaaaaaad, baaaaaaaad, bad, bad, bad" .... and I confess it became a little too much of a habit.  UNTIL..... one day, when he proceeded to drop his food, I walked up to his high chair and before I could even get it out of MY mouth what his tiny little gurgled voice he said, "baaaaaaaaaaaad, baaaaad, bad, bad, bad" - I stood there frozen.... in shock.....already ingrained in his little mind was that he was bad........and only through the grace of God did I fully understand that this little routine needed to change....but it was all going to be ok.  Oh my, I've created  a poor self image in a 1 1/2 year old.  I love this child..... he ISN'T bad.... he's actually great...... what am I saying..... he's bad because I continue to get frustrated over cleaning food off the floor?????

I vowed to NEVER say this "baaaaaad, baaaaaaaad, bad, bad, bad" again and made sure that anyone else in the family that might have picked up this little habit didn't either.  I think that's about the time when our night time routine started with these following words, "You are a very good boy.  I love you so very much...... all the way to the moon and back.  I'll see you first thing in the morning." That wording has been used for almost 6 years of his full life after that moment, with only the following modification on occaision, "I love you more than the moon, and the stars, and the sun, and the sky". Every night, this is part of our routine....and he looks up at me in the moonlight just waiting for it with those big blue/green eyes.  

I want positive scripts in our children's that assure them of our unconditional love for them. The things we say really do matter, how we say it is also just as important.  Of course, Brad and I have learned alot about parenting since then.  We've taken classes, read books, asked for advice - and most of all, we don't sweat the small stuff!  We can't wait to see all the growing and changing that Lauren will experience.  We are thankful of all our learning with Joshua - and feel blessed to have this great, adaptable, caring kid.  He is excited to teach Lauren stuff too. All our experiences with Joshua are certain to better prepare us to parent Lauren.  We also continue to learn from our adoption support group listening to their experiences.  We believe the key to a successful transition is patience, education and support ....and prayer. Can't wait to bring her home :) 

More feeding memories of my love, Joshua and even a few with my other love, Brad too!

Sucking thumb only when there is food on it :)  Seriously, he never was a thumb sucker until mealtime!

                                             Love the wagon "walks" with a bottle in the sunshine! 

Love the sleeping / eating pics -- with a belly full.... "it seems to make me soooooo sleepy"

Just a few days home .... not getting enough breast milk so had to supplement with formula..... love those crossed feet -- he does this to this very day --- and if Brad is sitting on the couch hanging out ... guess the position of his feet too :) 

                                     Sleepy ...early days..... can anyone get any sleep around here???

Folks - get those camera fully charged - because feeding, eating, cuddling, and connection times are the greatest memories to capture.  p.s. - and don't worry a bit about the messy house in the background or even a cheerio or two on the floor. 


  1. Somehow, I missed your last post!!!!! Wow!! I bet you're jumping eveytime the phone rings, or you get a new e-mail! :o) So, so excited for you!

  2. Yes, I simply remember being tired all the time in that first year (see pic above).


  3. Beautiful, Renae. You absolutely redeemed the mistake! Really beautiful.

  4. Oh, Brad looks tired...I remember pictures like that. :) What a beautiful sharing Renae!!! Joshua and Lauren are VERY blessed to have you and Brad as their parents. :)