Saturday, 8 November 2014

Orphanage behaviours

Children who spend time in an orphanage are delayed but also often show 'orphanage' behaviour such as banging their head, repetitive movements, self-hurt etc...  Jadon is no exception, though his have been fairly mild.  When he first joined our family, whenever he would smile, he would shyly turn his head away and lift his forearm across his eyes, sort of hiding behind it.  When he was frustrated or bored, he would slap himself on the head with his hands.  When stressed, he would scratch either his hands or his feet quite hard.  The skin on his hands and feet were covered with scratches as a result.  He has also been fairly aggressive towards Li Lin (I guess he figures she is closest to his size).

Since he has been with us, we have seen a marked decrease.  He no longer hides behind his arm when he smiles.  Instead, if he sees something funny (which to him is quite a lot), he laughs out loud and often looks to one of us as a 'confirmation'.  He rarely now hits himself in the head.  He still does scratch himself when stressed out, but as he is accustomed to more and more situations, he is less and less stressed and so that is also decreasing.

We are not sure about his night behaviours though.  Last night was the worst one yet.  Jadon slept very fitfully for most of the night, with constant rolling around, his leg thumping the mattress rhythmically.  He whimpers/cries out in his sleep a lot.  He does not necessarily settle when picked up and comforted.  We are trying to figure out the causes.  It could be he is overstimulated during the day and has a hard time settling down.  It could be he is not used to sleeping with others.  We have tried to give him more space by having one of us (the lucky one who gets to sleep more during the night :-) ) sleep on the couch.  This has not helped.  Today, we asked the management here to bring in a crib as this is what he is used to sleeping in.  They delivered a play pen and just a little while ago, after his bottle, we set him in sleeping.  So far he is still squirming around and whimpering some, but at least we won't have to worry about him falling off the bed so we will be able to sleep a bit better.

These little ones have such a tough start to life.  They lose their birth families, usually before they ever get to know them.  Then they are cared for in an orphanage.  Some are very rough places, others much better; however, despite the best care and intents possible, no orphanage can provide the care, love and consistency that a child needs to develop and thrive.  We are so thankful for the care that Jadon did receive, and for the love that he was clearly shown.  However, we are hopeful that he will continue to flourish with the love of his forever family.


  1. Dear Steph and Sara:

    May the Lord give you the wisdom needed to assist Jadon to develop to his potential in every facet of life. (Luke 2:52)
    We are praying for you in these challenging days and nights!
    Dad & Mom

  2. This was a sad read...As we realize the poor start in life this little ones have. I am always impressed how you both try to get to the bottom of situations in order to help Jadon as best you can. He is a very fortunate boy to have you as parents. Praying for wisdom for you as you continue to care and provide for little Jadon. Mom xoxoxo