A Very Crunchy Visit

I am going to have a lot of fun with today’s post, not only because it was a fun visit but also because I get to share some crunchy things with you all today!  The last few months I’ve been blogging mostly about adoption stuff, and neglecting the “crunchy” part of my blog.  But today I get to do both!!

I asked our facilitator last night if we were allowed to bring snacks for Janna during our visits and she said yes!! I was super excited.  We were told one of the foods she likes is mashed banana, so I went with that.  We also know that she is getting formula daily, and of course, being the crunchy mama I am, breastmilk is definitely more my speed.

IMG_0549We went to the store this morning before our visit to get a few items for our sweet girl!  Before we left for the orphanage I mashed up the banana and softened it a bit with (you guessed it) breastmilk.  It is seriously the most nutritious food she could be having right now, and I have plenty so might as well share the wealth, right?

I also expressed an ounce of milk into the bottle we picked up at the store.  (You can see my lovely banana mash and the milk on that picture to your right.)   The last thing we bought her was a teddy bear, which is totally cute and fun, but is mostly just an avenue for her to be introduced to mama’s smell and have a familiar, comforting object when we leave the orphanage.

I have a special anxiety-relieving Essential Oil blend that I made before coming.  I sprayed the teddy bear with it and I used it like a perfume almost so that she would associate that smell with me as well.  When we got to the orphanage Evie gave her the teddy bear, which she sort of liked at first.  But I put it aside to help her focus on eating.

It took us a couple of tries before we figured out how to work with each other, but she did get it and ate almost the entire banana!  After that I gave her the bottle which she was initially excited about, took it right out of my hand and started guzzling.  That lasted for about five seconds, at which point she noticed the change in flavor from her usual menu and did not appreciate it.  She threw that thing on the floor faster than you could say “hot potato!”

It took us the entire hour, but eventually we did get all one ounce of mama’s milk into her tiny body.  We didn’t force her to take any, of course, but it seemed that she kept forgetting that she didn’t like it.  :)  By the end she didn’t seem to mind and she actually took it pretty happily.  She certainly wouldn’t hold it, however.  Whenever I tried to let her hold it, the bottle always ended up swiftly on the floor.

In any case, the snack went well for our first go-round, and the rest of the visit was awesome too.  Jake had her to himself for about twenty minutes, and he didn’t have to worry about feeding so they just got to play!  She is certainly a Daddy’s girl right now.  He said she was laughing 60% of the time they were together, which is huge huge progress from our last two visits!  She also apparently loved his scruffy chin, and he got her to really enjoy the teddy bear.

The kids and I came back in and she withdrew a bit again, but we stood up and held her, which is usually more comforting.  I was able to get her in a front-to-front carry which she was incredibly delighted with!  I doubt she’s ever been held that way before.  She was smiling and giggling and having a great time.  We really felt like she was just starting to come out of her shell when it was time for us to go.

It was so hard to hand her back to the nanny.  As soon as she took her Janna started searching for me.  I said “Paka, Janna” and gently touched her face.  She relaxed a little but started looking for me again when I didn’t take her back.  It was so incredibly hard to leave.  The last two visits were different, she needed to get back to her familiar crib and quiet by the time we left.  But today it was clear she was still ready for more!  I am just stunned at the progress we’ve made in a few short days.  I saw very few stimming behaviors today and there were so many smiles and giggles.  We will go for an hour and a half tomorrow and see how she does, very excited!

P.S. – We are still a ways from being funded.  Please click here to find out how you can help!

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