AN ALLIANCE BETWEEN

SPOON Foundation Joint Council on International Children's Services

Nutrition Profile Archive

Mealtime Hostage

Our fraternal boy girl twins arrived, after an uneventful pregnancy, and transformed our double income no kids lifestyle into an instant family. As a first-time parent and of twins, I relied heavily on the advice of family, friends and our family doctor. Read more…


Obese and Undernourished

At the time of this writing, Zach has been with us for over three years, although he’s technically only been “ours” for less than one. We began foster care in late 2008 and, as our first foster child began her transition home, Zach toddled through our door. Read more…


Family’s Love of Food Helps Transform Malnourished Son

“I’m worried about your son.”  These were the first words John and I heard when we arrived at the orphanage in Vietnam where our son was living to meet him for the first time.  We, too, had been worried but had no idea the orphanage director felt the same way.  Read more…


Taylor’s Story

Taylor joined our family in January, 1998 at the age of 9 months. She was born in the city of Rostov-na-Donu, Russia. What a blessing…our beautiful baby girl! She had dark curly hair, dark eyes and a smile that took a while to come but once here, it melted our hearts! We know very little about Taylor’s early months. Pieced together from the brief medical report we received and conversations with our Russian facilitator and the orphanage director, we can assume she was typical of most orphaned babies in Eastern Europe. Read more…


Adoption Photo Journal

A little over a year ago something really important happened. We walked into a place that would change our lives forever.

 We met two sweet angels. This is the first time we met Francesca. Francesca was exactly what I expected. A friend of mine had met her when she adopted her little one, so I knew a lot about her. Read more…


Early Childhood Hunger

My daughter was severely neglected by her biological family during her early years of life. Drug and alcohol abuse played into it. I believe generational poverty and lack of resources, including guidance and education, to be at the root of it. She told me once that she remembers one of her siblings sneaking a cookie home from school. There were six children. They split the cookie six ways for dinner. It was the only food she had that day.

 Read more…


The Iron-Sleep Connection

Zachary was placed with me through a domestic adoption when he was six months old. From the day I got him he struggled with getting enough quality sleep. At first I believed it was all emotional. Although the agency told me he had been well cared for up until then, it was clear from the moment I got him that he was a very traumatized baby. At first he woke up every 1-2 hours, just to see who he was with and where he was. Read more…


Korean Child Adjusts to Foreign Diet

My “Gotcha-Day” was July 12th 1985 and when I arrived in JFK Airport in New York I was already 5 years old. For about 5 months prior to my arrival I was living in an orphanage. When I arrived I was skinny, but not overly so (I had regular meals in the orphanage). Read more…


Profoundly Malnourished Child with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe

Even though Carrington was born over 4 years ago her story truly began just a mere 10 months ago. My husband Brian and I had already completed one international adoption of three 5 1/2 year olds with Down Syndrome from an orphanage in Eastern Europe and we thought our family was complete. Read more…


Adopting two siblings from Russia

“Oh, are they twins?” The question is raised every time I am in public with my children and elicits an inward sigh and a smile as I gaze at their nearly identical measurements but 16 month age difference. In August of 2009 my husband and I made our final trip to Smolensk, Russia to gain custody of our daughter. Read more…


Adoption in the Muslim world

When I was asked to write this piece, it was just before Ramadan – the annual rite that calls on Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset for one lunar month (this year falling in August) and one of the main tenants of Islam. It gives families an occasion to think about those less fortunate who are not able to fill their bellies each day and to give charity where one would have spent money on food and drink during the day. Read more…


A child from Vietnam with an open palate

The memory of bringing my son home from Vietnam brings back a flood of images and emotions. Walking in to the orphanage that morning and among a sea of baby faces, seeing his familiar face. Dressing him in his first clothes for the many official meetings ahead. Holding him, careful not to let him drop the yellow ball he clutched in his hand. The lottery woman outside who smiled at us and mumbled something about luck. Read more…


The impacts of foster care on diet from Ashley Rhodes-Courter

You don’t need to be a foster or adopted child to be a picky eater. However, children who have experienced trauma and upset at an early age create a population of people who are far more likely to have issues with food—sometimes for the rest of their lives. Read more…


Annika from Kazakhstan

On October 17, 2005 we met Annika for the first time at the Taldykorgan Baby House in Kazakhstan. She was 2 ½ years old and had been at the Baby House since age 1 month. We were told that Annika had severe reflux when she was a baby and some intestinal blockage. Apparently, when Annika was started on solid foods at approximately 6 months of age, she threw everything up at every meal. Read more…


Nick from Kazakhstan

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 I received an email from our adoption agency letting us know that 2 1/2yo Daniel, whom we adopted from Kazakhstan at age 14 months, had a “little brother” who had just been released for adoption. The agency asked if we were we interested in adopting him. My husband, Pat, and I were floored as we did not see that coming from a mile away (we were 39 and 43 with 4 children ages 8 and under already). After we recovered from the shock, we began talking and immediately we were both surprised to hear that the other was actually considering it. Read more…


Miles from the Democratic Republic of Congo

In February of 2010, I arrived in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Africa to pick up our son, Miles Dieudonne. Miles was abandoned in July of 2009 and taken to an orphanage in Lubumbashi, DRC. We had no medical or family history for him. Because he was so small, the orphanage workers guessed that he was around 2 months of age when he arrived at the orphanage. He stayed in care for 7 months while we finalized the adoption. At the time that we picked our son up, his birth certificate said that he was 8 months old. Read more…

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