Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Orphan Nutrition Project Video - SPOON Foundation

The Orphan Nutrition Project Video - SPOON Foundation

Digressing a little bit from the Third Culture Kid agenda on my little blog. The SPOON Foundation is a non-profit organization started by two moms who, like me, adopted children from Kazakhstan. When we were adopting Melanie from Taldy Korgan, in eastern Kazakhstan, we were fortunate enough to meet a little girl who later was adopted by one of these moms. The little girl was in a special needs group because she couldn't walk. The caregivers speculated that she had cerebral palsy or mental retardation, or both. When she got home, she was diagnosed with rickets, a vitamin deficiency that affects the growth and development of the bones; a condition which can be reversed with vitamins and by a simple change in diet.

When we first came home with Lisa, she could barely walk up a flight of stairs, much less pedal a tricycle. We saw first hand the lack of exercise and gross motor "play" that the children got in the Baby House; activities that children in this country take for granted.  We took part in a program sponsored by our agency to build playgrounds at some of the orphanages there. I went to Esik and Petropavlovsk the summer of 2006 and helped to build two sets. I learned a lot that summer about power tools and how to use a post-hole digger.  But exercise is only one part of the solution to make these kids' lives better.

I am so excited to see how the SPOON foundation's efforts have been received by the government of Kazakhstan, and to see that it may spread into other countries as well. Please take a minute to look at the video, and to get a glimpse into the Kazakh baby houses where my daughters spent their early days.

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