Thursday, December 28, 2006

Malnutrition


I've been thinking a lot about Bright today. Of course, I think about him a lot everyday, but today it has been more about all of the side effects his little body may have from the malnutrition he suffered (and is still suffering in some ways). The article I read, and some of the conversation about malnutrition on an adoption group I'm in was very sobering.

We never got an intial weight on Bright when he came into care. I would estimate him to be at about 8 pounds. He was 11 months old. His biological father felt Bright was going to die if he didn't do something, so he brought him to Eugemot. I can't help but wonder if Bright would still be on this earth if his father wouldn't have made such an extremely slefless decision on behalf of his infant son.

Still, by all accounts Bright most likely spent his first 11 months in a constant state of malnutrition. His biological mother died during childbirth so he never had the advantages that mother's milk gives. I wonder what form of milk/formula he did have (if any). How did he survive? I think not only about what the lack of food might have done to his developing mind and body, but also what a lack of suckling/nurturing and having that basic need of "I'm hungry" being met might have done to Bright's little psyche. Does he think that the world is a place against him, or a place that loves and nurtures him?
Taevy (our daughter from Cambodia) was only in that horrible place of not having her needs met for the first month of her life and it has had long-term affects on her ability to properly attach to us. Taevy is also an EXTREMELY sensitive child. I pray that Bright isn't that sensitive, so that the turmoil he endured as a young infant can be left behind as he joins our family (and even now as he learns to love his orphanage "family").

Bright is the weight of an average 4 month old in America. He is the height of an average 2 month old in America. He has the muscle strength of the average 3-4 month old. We don't have any clue if his congitive abilities have been stunted. We only know (from the video) that he turns when his name is called and (from Lois) that he has no words. He is almost 15 months old.

When I see it all written down that way it certainly looks discouraging. But something inside of me keeps saying, "He's going to be okay. Whatever his "normal" ends up being, it's okay." I love him. I want him home with me. I NEED him to be home with me so that I can help him heal from everything he has been through (physically, cognitively, and emotionally).

I pray diligently that the Lord would not only keep any further damage from being done, but also that He would heal any damage that has already been done. I cherish any prayers sent on Bright's behalf.

Love,
Anita

1 comments:

Nichole...aka Mia's Mommy 11:22 PM  

I hear ya sis, I pray for Bright each and every night. I neeed my new nephew to come home so I can squeeze those puffy ADORABLE cheeks...lol.

Nichole