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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chola

Chola

Our Kids--Volume III

When we first opened our doors in 2007 we expected to have children lining up at the door. At the time we were the only large orphanage in this area. But, contrary to our expectations no one came. We waited and waited. Our manager and spokesperson at the time brought news from the village. He said that the villagers did not know what to expect from white people. While charitable to their own family members they generally do not reach out to other people. In their minds we had to have an ulterior motive.


Finally, after doing some orientation meetings in the different sections of the village where Tom explained who we were and what our desires were for the vulnerable and needy children of Kazembe. He took time to answer everyone's concerns. For instance, in most African countries children are supposed to grow up and support their parents. This is the reason many families have lots of children. The hope is that at least some will reach adulthood and find successful jobs. When we offered to take in babies and toddlers who had no parents what the local people heard was we wanted to taken in lots of children so that when they grew up we would get all the support money.
We assured them that our interest was in raising children that would ultimately become leaders for Zambia and be a help to everyone--including their extended family.


Finally, we got two children: Chola and Queenie. We'll meet Queenie another time. Chola was just two years old when his aunt brought him to us. His name is given to children who are born after a set of twins. Chola has twin siblings who are about 2 years older than him. They come to see him every Saturday.

Chola was a timid little soul. He was leery of anything new. Once we offered him a wooden spoon for sand play and he screamed in terror. We thought perhaps he'd been beaten with a spoon before but when we later offered him some milk in a sippy cup and got the same reaction we realized it was more anything new that scared him. We learned to introduce things slowly and carefully.

One thing Chola was always good at was eating. Thankfully all the kids we've taken in have been really good at adapting to new foods. I think this is partly due to the fact that we've offered a wide variety of food and not made a big deal about whether something was left on the plate or not.

We don't believe that food should become an issue in discipline. What I mean is that a child should be grateful for the food on their plate but if they don't care for something that's ok. Taste buds change and develop and as long as a child isn't throwing food on the floor or being ugly about it we don't give food more attention than it needs.

Serving small portions helps avoid waste and the kids can ask for more if they want it. The only thing I require is that if the want a second portion of the starch or protein they must finish all that they had been served including vegetables. Since they are eating 3 balanced meals and 2 healthy snacks a day if a child leaves the table a bit hungry overall they will be fine.


But back to Chola. He settled in well and developed a lot more confidence.

Christmas 2008 was very excting for Chola. For the first time ever he received a present under the tree. He loved his toy car and the special candy treats we offered all the children.

A couple months ago Chola accompanied us to the big city for a doctor check up. Having hardly ever ridden in a car he was quite brave about it all. He loved sitting up and looking out of the window. He kept grinning over at Daddy Tom with absolute delight every time we passed another car on the road.
At one point we stopped on the way so he could use the bathroom and after I lifted him down to the ground and turned back around for my purse he had already wandered about 50 yards away. Not having gone out in public much meant he didn't know his boundaries well.

We took him to see the doctor because he has an un-descended testicle so he will probably need an operation for that. Please pray that we can find a good doctor to help us with this. Since Chola turned 4 years old last month we have to take care of this soon.

For all of Chola's progress he still remains one of our more timid children. We just take him at his own pace and help him feel safe while also challenging him to try more.

Chola is our oldest child and is very much the big brother figure. He is tender and helpful. He also has the goofiest grin and giggles a lot when watching Disney cartoons. We love him and are so blessed to have him in our new family.

Other posts about our children:
Jennifer
Peter
Moriah
Beauty

3 comments:

  1. Very interesting! :) It's nice that we got to 'see' how you treat mealtime. His newest picture looks pretty goofy :P It looks like he's being stretched, because he's losing his baby fat.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jessica MorrowNovember 21, 2009

    Poor boy looks miserable in the first picture. Tell Dad it was a good picture taken of him in the car. How soon is soon before his operation?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jessica, I took that picture of Chola in the car, thank you very much, with my own little camera.

    We hope to sort out his operation at the beginning of next year.

    ReplyDelete

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