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Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
As I watched other toddlers, my heart continued to sink into despair. Will I ever have that? Our dreams of having one more child to enjoy, nurture, etc., are gone, since we cannot really enjoy her unless she is eating or drinking a bottle. I have not once, in 11 months, felt like she has ever been satisfied.
I just wanted to say I know how you feel and it is so hard. For my daughter it was not food, it is 100% undivided attention. If we give our other two children any attention, the negative behavior started. Watching other toddlers play used to make me cry. The good news is that things have gotten SO much better. My six year old has come so far. She is watching her brother play right now and letting me answer this question
But it was very slow going. Even at six, in some ways she is still two or three.

In my experience, pediatricians are way to obsessed with weight and eating. Have you consulted a pediatrician who specializes in adoption? This is our adoption pediatrician:
http://specialists.childrenshospital...ict_id=9901160

Here is a nice article about her:

http://www.childrenshospital.org/chn...-04/angel.html

I don't know where you are located, but I wonder if contacting Dr. Alber's staff coudl help you find a similar doctor in your area. When I met with Dr. Albers, she spent a lot of time talking with us about food and food issues. Though my daughter has many issues, food is not one of them. I Know that she would have specific recommendations for your daughter.
 

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Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
Hi,
I don't know how to do that when she will eat it ALL, NONSTOP, UNTIL IT IS DONE. I would be refilling the cup every five minutes all day. Then what? Put her in the high chair for a meal, and then let her go back to eating nonstop inbetween meals? She will not look at it and then go play. If it is there, SHE WILL NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE!!!! So I am stuck.... or so it seems.
Just curious, does she make herself sick?
 

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Originally Posted by WifeMomChiro View Post
My suggestion would be to have her evaluated for SPD. It seems to me that she is really oral sensory seeking. If you learn some tools to increase her sensory input in other ways it could really help.
THis could be true, or it could also be true that oral input could help fer avoid food for a longer stretch. Maybe soemthing like a z-vibe or a vibrating teether?
 

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Another thought, could you do an "all you can eat bootcamp." Set aside a few days (maybe a long weekend, when you can muster help with the other kids) and let dd eat as much as she wants. Just prepare lots of acceptable food in advance, steamed veggies and fruit and everything else she can eat in unlimited amounts.
 

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Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
I am thinking about the bootcamp, but I think I'll need some valium first. Watching her eat endlessly is difficult for me because I am so afraid I am teaching her unhealthy eating habits.
I often think that sometimes with adopted kids, going against your gut is the hardest part
For me, it is showing affection to my daughter after she has done something very bad. Intellectually, I know I need to teach her I will love her no matter what, but my gut tells me I am rewarding her behavior.

Could you maybe change the way you think about it? Obviously, healthy eating is very important to you. But if you are feeding her three square meals a day, then there are foods she can eat non stop. Would you feel that it is teacher bad habbits if the thing she was eating non stop was steamed carrot sticks or broccoli floretts?

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Someone suggested unlimited bottles. I would LOVE to do that. However, if I give her a bottle, she always completely finishes it, to the last drop (and then sucks on the air for a few minutes). So if I refilled it, she would sit and do it again. and again... Should I try it and see if she stops after 4 or 5?
I would keep going until she is just done. BUT there are always complicating factors. My daughter would not sleep unless she still had some milk in her bottle. She also had medical problems that gave her dangerous diaper rash. So we were contantly weighing our need for sleep (so we could be good parents) against the medical issues that too much milk created. Unless there is a reason you can't give her unlimited fluids, I would try and see what happens. I would also say that in my experience of a child deeking comfort from a bottle, 10 oz of milk isn't that much. It may seem that way compared to a typical child, but lots of 19 months old still nurse a lot at that age. My bio daughter was close to done then, but lots of kids are not.
 

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Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
2. She is STILL chubby, and I feel like she would eat 10 times more than she is now. So I can pretty much assume that she will gain ALOT of weight if allowed unlimited access to food, even if it is vegetables/fruit.
I hear that you are very worried about her long term health. I don't think she will necessarily gain weight. I personally would not give her unlimited fruit, but I would give her unlimited veggies.

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3. How do I do this logistically. She is 19 mo. old and needs finger foods, and we have an active life. Do I really just hand her a mountain of food in the car/stroller/family room/wherever we are and allow her to eat until she says she wants to stop?
I steam a bunch of carrot sticks, broccoli and what every other veggies I am feeding my kids once a week and keep a huge container in the fridge. They are not allowed unlimited food, but they are allowed unlimited veggies. It sounds like you would be doing this once a day, not once a week. I carry them around in gladware type containers. Ironically, I do for the opposite reason you will
My kids don't eat, so when they express hunger and try to get me to buy them an unhealthy snack, I have the veggies ready, at least so they can have something healthy first.
 

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Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
So much information, and so much help. I can't thank any of you enough for helping me through this.
A now hopeful mom,

Anna (and her beautiful Ethiopian daughter, K)
again
I just wanted to say that you are a great mom! It is really hard to ask for and get advice, and even more so when you are at the end of your rope! Please keep us posted.
 

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Anna,

Just wanted to point out that there has been a lot of forum crashing on this thread. That is fine and all, but I just wanted to point out that the "rules" for raising a child in AP fashion do not always apply to adopted children. For example, someone pointed out that a nine month old can't over eat. That may be true when a child is adequately parented, but in an orphanage when a bottle is the only comfort or pastime, children do become overly attached to eating.

Please don't let well meaning people let you doubt yourself. It is more than likely that your daughter does have some disordered thinking about eating. Follow your gut, but always be open to new ways to help your daughter
 

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Originally Posted by prettypixels View Post
I truly cannot imagine putting a hungry toddler on a DIET. It is freaking me out just to think about it. Please, please, feed your baby when she is hungry. Let HER decide when to stop. And please seek therapy for your issues with food. This thread has really upset me.

I would like to respectfully point out that feeding an adopted child can be very different from feeding a typical child. I have not seen your name on this board before, so I assume that you are not familiar with the intricacies of adoption. This mother is working herself sick trying to help her daughter. The problem is not that the mom has "issues." As adoptive parents of our weaknesses are magnified by the challenges our kids face. It is not our fault and it is not their fault. But we must work through it together. Placing blame helps no one.
 

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Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
To be honest, from the way that the OP has presented things, I do think that there is some of the OP's own food issues involved here, it's not like she has not been relatively open about that. I'm a familiar face on this forum, am I allowed to say that?
I hope I didn't sound snarky, but people were being downright mean to the OP and it made me sad
 

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I just want to clarify one more time. I am sorry that I stifled comments on this thread. I also believe that the little girl's diet is light compared to one of my children. I do believe that non-adoptive parents can give advice that is helpful for adoptive parents. But many people were shouting orders at this mom that made it sound like she was neglecting her child. I guess I am personalizing here, because for me (the mom of a child who was neglected), the any accusation of neglect really stings. This mom came asking for help, not be lectured using all caps.
 

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Hi Anna,

So glad you are getting some answers : ) I did have one question, why no peanut butter? Is it because she is still too young? I second or third sunflower butter. I think that nut butters are a god send when it comes to getting kids to eat protein that is not dairy : ) We love it on apples, veggie sticks, everything! We also do a lot of smoothies with either nut butter or yogurt. I am not sure how soy yogurt would be a smoothie, though.
 

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Anna, Sending you hugs! I am not sure if this helps, but there have been several times in our family's journey that I just hit a wall and felt like I could not go on. Like I could not handle one child making me a bad mom to my other two. But that dark time always passed. We still have challenges, but we have more happy days than unhappy.
 

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Anna, you are amazing and an inspiration to me. I am so sorry that this has been so hard for you, but I read you posts and I see how hard you have worked and how far you have dug down to find an answer to your daughter's problems. My child has a different set of issues, but reading how hard you have worked encourages me to do the same for my little girl! You are helping her and you are setting an example for me. Thank you so much for coming back and updating. You have been through so much. I hope and pray that the current path you are taking is the one that will bring you and your family happiness.
 

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Wow. not to be a jerk, but have you read this thread?

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Originally Posted by prettypixels View Post

Well obviously she is still hungry, so you need to give her something that actually fills her up. Just putting little nothings into her mouth over and over is not going to make her feel full. Cheese. Yogurt. Nut butters on bread. Skip the rice puffs.
 

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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

A lot of people posting on this thread really need to ease up. The lack of empathy is appalling. I hope nobody else is ever put in the unfortunate situation that OP is in, because then we might all just understand just how difficult it is to parent a child with these sorts of challenges 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I know I would be deeply depressed in this situation. I question how many of us wouldn't be.
Thanks you! I think the way that AP parents want to parent and the needs of an adopted child can make a mom crazy. Then throw in people who are sure they KNOW the answer and you feel crazy and like a bad mom. I remember it so well when my adopted daughter needed to dominate my attention and my other two suffered. So many AP moms told me just "give her all of the attention she needs." Well that isn't practical when you have other kids and honestly, her goal was to make the whole family miserable.

Anna, I have been thinking about you every day. I hope things are at least a little better. I was thinking about you this morning as I fed my kids breakfast and my almost seven year old adopted daughter had a tantrum over not getting the best piece of coffee cake. I had already made her a separate cake because she hates rhubarb. No amount of extra attention is ever enough for her. So it got me thinking about your daughter. It occurred to me that she is fairly picky. Do I remember that correctly, that she won't eat veggies or chicken? It seems to me that if she had a deep psychological need to just eat, she would not be so picky. Have you considered that maybe she doesn't just want to eat, that she LOVES the idea that she asks you for food and you get it for her? That is the act of you feeding her she is addicted to, not just the food? Of course, she has a problem with food too.

I ask because my daughter is addicted to dominating my atttention. But she will purposely have bad behavior so I can't play with her, then she feels like she won. She is seeking both attention and rejection. It occured to me that maybe your daughter is asking for food until you just can't take it and you have to say no.

Now that I have laid out that scenario, sadly, if that is problem I don't have an answer. But honestly, just knowing the problem had made my dd's behaviors more managable and easier to get my brain around. We do see a therapist who uses Daniel Hughes's theories.
 
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