Lucas & Food

“eeeeeee-ting”….is by far Lucas’s FAVORITE word, because it means he is going to EAT!  We have BIG issues with Lucas and food, lol!  Understandably so, Lucas in general had and has big BIG issues with food.  Basically, but not so basically, because he didn’t get enough food and he was previously malnourished, and found emaciated when he was abandoned, he developed an issue with food, because he just didn’t get enough of it.  In the orphanage, he would eat as much as he possibly could, and was actually one of the “bigger” kids, but still didn’t get proper nutrients he needed.  They do their best in the orphanage to take care of the kids, but sometimes the very best you can do isn’t enough.  The workers in Lucas’s orphanage had a heart and passion for what they do to take care of Uganda’s orphans, and they are sweet spirited people, but they are broken, hard working and sometimes starved people.  The meal that was commonly given to the kids was called “Maize”, also known as porridge.

These are ladies in the orphanage feeding the infants, sometimes only once a day is all they can do

woman cooking typical orphanage meal, called maize

this is a pot of maize, which is a corn like paste porridge

Upon further treatment here in the U.S. we were told that Lucas’s tissues were expanded and swollen due to malnourishment which made him appear bigger than he was, and a swollen like appearance, the gasses would go straight to his tissues because he didn’t have muscle tone (due to malnourishment he had endured his entire life) to hold in the gasses in his body properly.

When we got him, he would actually gorge himself on food, and eat until he was sick, literally.  It was so hard to watch.  We chose not to make this an issue for him even further by taking away his food, even if it did make him sick.  We wanted him to discover on his own what that “full” feeling was like, and by taking away his food when “we” knew he had enough wasn’t going to help him.  So as hard as it was we had to let him discover what having food three times a day with snacks in between, and as much to drink as he wants, and what that “full” feeling felt like, we knew we had to let “him” figure it out.  He has, for the most part.  He has actually lost weight, but gained it back in muscle, I’m not exactly sure what his body is doing there, but it is regulating itself somehow now with all that proper food and nutrition.  It’s neat to see his body change, to see him develop muscles, and to watch him put those muscles to use, like climbing on the couch now (where he couldn’t before), and playing on the playground, walking up stairs, and running and walking without waddling!  He isn’t doing these things perfectly yet, but he has improved drastically!!

For the longest time, I thought that because of not getting proper nourishment and because he sat in a basin for months that his bones never grew and developed properly because he had this bad “waddle” and didn’t walk right, so we swore he was going to have to have surgery and get his legs/spine/hips possibly fixed, but when I took him to see a specialist, and got x-rays, to our surprise, it was ALL just a malnourishment and weakened muscle issue, specifically more core issue, and that overtime it would correct itself just by gaining muscle tone correctly!  Yahoo!  This was GREAT news!

However, food, we are still working on with Lucas.  He will eat and eat and eat and eat, and now that he is getting enough proper nutrition, and gaining muscle the way he is supposed to, we are starting to help him realize that he can’t have as much as he wants whenever he wants, it’s a sensitive issue that we have to be careful about.  By the suggestion of some specialists and people who have been there done that, we have been keeping a “snack bag” of healthy snacks that is left for him to chose from whenever he wants it, that way he doesn’t hear “no” when he wants to eat (which is important for them), and knows that the bag is always there, so we aren’t taking anything away and he isn’t developing adverse issues with food.  He is now eating 3 times a day with a snack maybe once, not gorging himself, actually getting picky, and sometimes won’t even finish everything on his plate!  Big difference from a few months ago!  🙂

although, see that in his hand? It's all that's left from the apple he was eating! :/

First time doing the "here comes the airplane" food game! Games & Food: Lucas's ultimate idea of fun!

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