Our new Boy!!

Our new Boy!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Carter and SK

One of the concerns we have had is how Carter would react to us bringing Stasik home. Would he accept him or would he be upset? For days leading up to Stasik's homecoming, Carter and I looked at pictures, practiced his name, and marked days off of the calendar until he and mom would be home. He did not do bad with his name and one day he pointed at the picture and said, "I love you". I know he understands that Stasik is staying with us for a little while, but I am not sure he knows how long this slumber party is lasting. The first night home I think Carter had a hard time with Stasik getting all of the attention he usually gets. One minute he was kissing him and the next he is pushing him away. Getting used to sharing personal space will take some time, but knowing Carter it will be shorter rather than longer. Carter is a very empathetic and loving kid. He knows when people are in physical and emotional pain. He has shown this ability many times. He knows that Stasik needs his help and little by little he is he is giving more of himself and inching closer and closer to Stasik's side. Just yesterday after I was done feeding Stasik, I placed him in his bumbo and went to throw away the food jars. When I peaked over the bar to check on him, Carter had heard him start to cry and was giving him some of his chicken nugget. I wish I could have snapped a picture!

One thing we have figured out is why Stasik cries when we take food away. He is stuck in a trust vs. mistrust crisis. This stage of psychosocial development is going to be very important for us to get through before he will truly thrive with us. Stasik still rocks when we set him on the ground or in a bumbo. We have also noticed that he will get on his hands and knees and place his forehead on the floor and rock back and forth while rubbing it on the ground. For those of you reading this that don't understand why, I will tell you. Children that are abandoned or feel lonely do this as a mechanism to comfort themselves. It is a trait most common with children of neglect; those that have been abandoned. It is a phenomenon seen with many children from orphanages or institutions like the ones in the Ukraine. It is very sad to watch and for many children this will go on well into their adult lives if their situation does not change. For children like Stasik, the only time they were picked up and held was when it was feeding time. Before and after, they are placed in a bed to lay by themselves for hours and hours at a time until it is time to eat again.

I believe that for Stasik, the anxiety is magnified by other factors. Add malnutrition to these emotional needs for comfort and security and you are looking at a little boy that has a enormous preoccupation with when feeding time ends and what that has meant for him. With his gastric issues, he has thrown up a lot of the food that should be giving him the nutrients he needs to be healthy. So in the past, the end of feeding time meant that he would not see food again for several hours, hungry or not. It also meant that for those hours he would lay there alone until feeding time came again. This is a behavioral and psychological response that will take some time to change, but we have already seen progress.

We feed Stasik about 6 times a day (3 bigger meals and 3 snacks) and because of that he is beginning to understand that food will come more frequently. After we feed him we hold him and keep him upright. This serves two purposes, one is to help keep him from vomiting and the other is to help him understand that the end of feeding does not mean he will be left alone. Whenever he begins to rock, we pick him up and comfort him; we tell him that he is safe now and he doesn't need to rock anymore. The frequency has decreased immensely and should, in time, disappear altogether.

We have changed Stasik's diet based on recommendations from multiple doctors and he has been able to keep food down for 2 straight days. His calorie intake has increased substantially and in 48 hours he has gained 8 oz. in weight. We go back to our doctor on Monday to evaluate all of these changes. So far so good!!


  1. Hello from Reece's Rainbow! How are things going for you guys? And have you joined our After the Rainbow group yet? If not, please email me and I'll get you connected. Adoption is an amazing thing but it also brings its challenges! Sometimes it helps to talk to someone who has "been there". Please feel free to email me if you ever have questions or just need to talk.

    ~Rachel Whitmire
    Post-Adoption Care Coordinator
    Reece's Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Ministry

  2. Glad things are moving along medically. Also, I love that PNG purple bumbo!!!!!!!