Our lives here in Czestochowa are sort of the same as they are at home. I put the kids on the same routine we have at home, and we’re all doing very well that way. As I was doing whatever it is I do on Wednesday, decluttering the kitchen, floor cleaning (BTW- vacuums here and in the US are vastly different things. Think electric broom when vacuuming.), and so on, I ran across the “meal” schedule the orphanage gave us the day we left with Malvina. I put “Meal” in quotation marks because it was really the losest sense of the word.
Before I go on, I just want to say what fantastic job all the people at the Malvina’s orphanage do. For people getting referrals from czestachowa, you should definitely contact me and I’ll tell you all about it. I have nothing but praise for everyone who works there. They started a job I get to finish and loved Malvina well. They all cried the day we walked out the door. Every last one of them, and me. They are really her birthfamily in more ways than one.
I fully recognize that Malvina and her cohorts ate well compared to other kids in other orphanages around the world. I acknowledge that. But watching Malvina eat and eat and eat- that’s another thing. Here’s how it went down for her every day:
5:30 250ml. of water and 8 scoops of todler formula and 6 scoops of some other formula.
8AM- Juice- it’s like a thick juice with some kind of fortified something or other in it. Malvina hated it and never drank it.
11AM- “Soup” this means she got a jar of stage three baby food soup, which she ate with a spoon from a bowl.
1PM- “Desert”: more baby food from a jar. Usually some sort of fruit.
4 PM: Kasha: 8 scoops each of milk and rice cereal.
10PM: same thing at 5:30am above.
And this what she ate everyday for at least 18months: Toddler formula and 2 jars baby food.
I’m positive her basic nutrional and emotional needs were met. I know they were. But seeing her here at home with us, she knows they’re more than being met. This girl eats everything she can get her hands on. She tries it all. She doesn’t like it all, but she tries it. And we let her eat until she’s full. Sometimes, like tonight, she’ll eat for 45 minutes straight. Other days not so much. But her adventures with food and family and our willingness to let her set the pace with eating are yielding beautiful results. She’s joyful, she sleeps well, she’s learning more and more words every day and starting to use one or two. Its honestly a little daunting for me to sit in the kitchen for up to 3 hours everyday with her eating, but it’s worth it.
I have a friend who says that we should sit with the Lord and feast on his grace, and I think of the Bibe verse that says something like, “Your words were grace and I ate them”. These days are grace-filled. Eating and feasting in real life and in the knowledge that the Lord brings all things about in the right time.
We’ll be spending a lot of time at the table in the furture. The constant eating will taper off, but for the time being, I’m thankful I have a little girl who’s feasting on food and family. I hope it’s always that way.