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It is because of their children, with such compromised pasts and uncertain futures, that Cindy Kaplan and Mishelle Rudzinski were inspired to co-found SPOON Foundation. The two adoptive moms met just prior to adopting their kids from Kazakhstan in 2006, not knowing at the time that they would each be so profoundly impacted by early malnutrition.
Cindy’s son Jadyn was “failure to thrive” when she brought him home at 8 months of age, weighing in at 11 pounds and too weak to lift his head. He endured two prolonged bouts of pneumonia in his first six months, leaving him weak and severely delayed. Under great pressure to pack pounds on this severely malnourished baby, Cindy hit a wall when Jadyn rejected bottle feeding and most liquid food upon adoption. Frustrated by the lack of resources available to her as an adoptive parent, Cindy quickly began training herself in feeding techniques and diet tricks that ultimately helped nourish Jadyn out of the danger zone.
Mishelle brought her daughter Bakha home at 5 years of age. Bakha suffered from an undiagnosed case of rickets. Her posture was hunched and she walked little and poorly, with much pain. She was mistakenly thought to have an untreatable, degenerative condition and was weeks away from being transferred to a “special needs orphanage.” Within days of adoption, Mishelle suspected rickets (resulting from a vitamin D deficiency) and began giving her a vitamin supplement. She started walking, and then running, within weeks. She grew 8 inches in the first year home. Mishelle put to practice in motherhood much of the feeding knowledge she had acquired as a speech therapist, figuring out along the way how to transition from an orphanage diet to one that would support Bakha’s rapid growth and outstanding nutrition needs.
With their children back on track, Mishelle and Cindy felt compelled to nourish the orphans left behind, and also to help meet the exceptional feeding and nutritional needs of adopted children. This website is a compilation of their personal and professional experience, along with expert input from thought leaders in the fields of adoption medicine, nutrition, and feeding.