"We are all handmade people created by a God who is not safe or small." Rend Collective Experiment

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Having a new little one in the house I am once again in awe of how perfectly God orchestrated children and parents attaching and bonding to one another. Everything a parent does for their new baby releases hormones which provide neuro pathways to develop in the infant's brain. These hormones cause physical, emotional and intellectual growth.

Children who live for extended periods of time in an orphanage will not grow in height at the same rate as children in a family setting.

Here is what the Bucharest Early Intervention Study found http://www.endowmentmed.org/content/view/395/35/

The study has been running for five years and records the wellbeing of children in a Romanian orphanage from an early age, and the changes they experience when transferred to foster care. The orphanage represents an extreme of social deprivation because the children are typically looked after by a rota of carers who will be responsible for 12 to 15 children at any one time.

Researchers found children living in deprived conditions suffered stunted growth, falling within the shortest 10% for their age. But on moving to a foster home, they went through astounding growth spurts.

"They can grow five times faster than normal and by the time they've been in foster care for a year and a half they will nearly have caught up," said Dana Johnson, professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, who estimates children in orphanages lose one month of growth for every three they spend there. Even though the children go through extraordinary growth spurts, they tend to go through puberty younger and faster, and so miss out on the usual long spell of growth most children experience.

The researchers say the children's recovery is unlikely to be explained by better nutrition as they had adequate meals before. Instead, they believe the effect is down to the more attentive environment.

Our son who spent the longest time living in an orphanage has experienced an incredible amount of growth since coming home.

He was 3 at homecoming and here he is with our other son (also 3)...

Here you can see he came up to about our bio son's shoulder..

Here he is today. They are almost the same exact height. Isn't God amazing? We are so blessed to witness al that the Lord has done in our sweet boy's life..AND

We are praying for all the millions of children throughout the world to find their families, so they can grow and thrive.


Hope said...

Oh what sweet pictures. It makes me want our little one's to get here even quicker. I love you all!

Pam said...

Wow! The photo evidence is just stunning! How wonderful to see that with your own eyes ~ because your boy is forever home with you. God's design for the value of families is nothing short of miraculous.

Amy said...

I just LOVE this post Renee- truly miraculous. Thanks for sharing so much love and joy in your posts. You are such a blessing!

Amy Fabu

P.S. For some reason I thought the April Fools post was on Anita's blog, but it was you doing the pedicures on your boys! Too funny!

Jen said...

What a great post. Your son is such a testament to what love can do.
Thanks for sharing.


Robin's Reports said...

Awwww. He has changed so much since those orphanage and early pictures. It's like he's almost an entirely different person with having the love of his family.

I'm joining with you in prayer for millions of other orphans around the world.

Chere said...

Your data on children living in orphanages having less growth is right on track. We adopted our son Matt from the Philippines when he was almost 4 and he was roughly the same size as our bio 2-year-old. In the first month he grew a couple of inches and gained about 10 pounds. Our doctor said that's what happens when you put protein in a child's diet! Today Matt stands 5'4", but he has large shoulders and I'm sure he would have been much taller with a better diet and more protein!

Joy said...

That is amazing!! I can remember the first time that I met him, Thanksgiving of '05, I think. He was so little and he is so huge now!!! God is so amazing!!!

I am so excited to see Sweet Pea and J Man grow!!

Joanna said...

Wow! That is really astounding. God is awesome.

Susan @ Heart Pondering said...

I'm pretty new to the blogging world and recently found your blog, which is inspiring and instructive. I'm pregnant with our third and my husband and I hope to adopt as well - by God's grace, we may be among the families you are praying for one day. Thanks for making it look not just doable but also appealing and rewarding (which I don't doubt it is!)
I recently started blogging about Christ-centered parenting of preschoolers, and your insights would be welcome at ANY time!
I'll be following you here -

Sue said...

How totally awesome! God is so good. I hadn't checked in here in a while, since there were no posts for a stretch there, and I come by to day to find all kinds of news and celebration. Congratulations on the birth of your sweet baby boy. I also loved the post about your cousin adopting your boys' siblings. I always end up crying tears of joy and wonder when I read your blog! Thank you for sharing glimpses into your life.

Baby Blessings said...

Wow, isn't that amazing!? I enjoy reading about your sweet family. Your new little blessing is precious.