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Holiday 2013




A word from our founder

By Anthea Ramirez, Chief Sharer Sometimes, we feel that the only solution to our emptiness is to be filled with it is juxtaposed to something full. This past month I had the opportunity to take my kids what we don't have. We think that having a to Disney World. While we were standing in baby, finding a spouse, winning the lottery, buying that car, going on that vacation, will line to ride in a spinning tea cup, I noticed end our emptiness. We believe this so the riders who were already enjoying their much that we blind ourselves to everything experience. Most all the tea cups were filled with riders, except for one. One lonely and everyone in our lives until we attain what we long for. tea cup made its laps time after time.... So for this holiday season, I empty. challenge you to redefine what it means to I took a picture of it. Its emptiness be empty. I challenge you moved me. As I to embrace the true moved forward in line wonder of this season by with my children I celebrating emptiness. realized that this Celebrate emptiness theme park's one because its is when we empty tea cup, feels are empty that we can much like our own become full. human experience There’s an old martial when we find arts story of a Master ourselves empty, who is having tea with an incomplete, or advanced student. After unfulfilled. Regardless pouring himself and his of what is desired or student a full cup of tea, the sought after, when we don't have Master proceeds to pour tea from his own something or someone it can feel cold, cup into his students. As the student’s tea empty, and dark. These feelings can intensify when all we see day after day are cup overflowed, the student said, "Master, crowds of people who swirl around with that you can't pour anything into my cup until I empty it to make room for what you are which we do not have. The Holidays intensify these feelings trying to give me.", and the Master replied "Yes I know." even more. Catalogs and commercials May you find a renewed meaning to paint for us the realities we so desperately what it is to be empty. May you experience seek. They define for us fulfillment, draw emptiness with a new understanding. And out our emptiness and illuminate what we do not have. What is supposed to be Merry when the dark, cold, longing creeps into and Bright becomes Sad and Dark and we your empty cup, may you find the courage to say to it with gusto, “My Master will fill retreat, resigning ourselves to another not me; My Master will fill me!” so Merry Christmas.

Emptiness never feels as abysmal as when

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Why Nutrition Matters Cindy Kaplan and Mishelle Rudzinski each adopted their first child from Kazakhstan in 2006. Both were looking to start a family, but they never thought that these adoptions would also inspire the beginning of a groundbreaking nonprofit organization. When Cindy and her husband, Tony, brought home their son, Jadyn, he was declared to be suffering from “failure to thrive”—an imprecise medical term used when a child’s weight or weight gain is significantly below that of children of the same gender and age.  At 8 months old, Jadyn weighed just 11 pounds and did not have the strength to lift his head.  Cindy took Jadyn to nutritionists and

feeding experts who did not have experience with adoption, and she quickly became frustrated. The standard approach for helping a malnourished infant is to feed a high-calorie formula, and continue it past the typical cut-off age of one year, if necessary. But Jadyn rejected bottlefeeding and most liquids. So, Kaplan turned to books and online adoption chat rooms and trained herself in the techniques and diet tricks that would nourish Jadyn beyond the danger zone. Continued on page 5

A Revolution in Nutrition A revolution in feeding little ones, NurturMe is the first and only family of certified-organic, dried fruit and veggie meals and snacks created for children 4 months to 4 years. The first “stage-free” food for little ones, NurturMe’s organic dry NurturMeals pouches and Yum-a-Roo’s dried fruit and veggie snacks help parents feed their babies better from the ground up – from infants to toddlers, and everywhere in between. NurturMe is dedicated to improving nutritional value for little ones by delivering honest, nourishing meals and snacks that promote overall wellness and support healthy growth. Founded in 2009 by mompreneur Caroline Freedman and her good friend, culinary expert Lauren McCullough, the idea behind NurturMe was born when Caroline had her first child and recognized the need for a more versatile, nutrient-rich and eco-friendly alternative to the traditional baby foods on the market. After spending two years consulting with organic farmers, health and medical experts, scientists, drum-drying experts, and ecoconscious packaging experts, the duo created the first and only certified-organic baby food made from nutrient-rich, quick-dried fruits and vegetables. Today NurturMe continues to revolutionize the baby food industry by providing nutrientpacked and versatile dry meals and snacks made from specially selected organic super fruits and veggies that are grown in the U.S. and free of any harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. NurturMe organic dry meals and snacks are made from nutrient-packed superfoods including green kale, quinoa and squash (and many more) that are quick-dried in order to preserve freshness, flavor and vital phytochemicals. Continued on page 4


Check out the Adoption-Share video! For testimonies of how Adoption-Share is helping pregnancy centers, adoptive families, agencies and birthparents, click HERE!

A Revolution in Feeding Little Ones (continued from page 3) Designed for maximum versatility, NurturMeals organic dry meal pouches can be mixed up with breast milk, formula or water to create the desired consistency, or mixed in to toddler favorites like pastas, baked goods or yoghurt for an added boost in protein and nutrients. NurturMe’s comprehensive family of products are certified organic, gluten-free (excluding the NurturMeals “Sweet Potatoes, Oatmeal and Bananas” flavor), non-GMO and kosher, with no added preservatives, sugars or salts – only the good stuff. Good for baby and Mother Earth, NurturMeal dry meal pouches are BPA-free and weigh less than one ounce each and are packed using recyclable materials made with wind energy, leaving a smaller carbon footprint on our planet than the other options found in the baby aisle.  From dry pouch meals that can be mixed with breast milk for even more nutrients with each feeding, to the first 100% quinoa alternative to rice cereals, to dry toddler snacks that deliver 1.5 servings of fruit AND veggies in each pouch, NurturMe strives to find innovative and sustainable ways to make it easy for busy, modern parents to ensure their little ones are getting the nutrients they need. From the soil to their spoon, each earth-loving, lightweight NurturMe pouch provides added convenience and peace of mind. Please visit for additional information, including where to purchase NurturMe products. Check back to our Facebook page for Adoption-Share membership Giveaways, Book Giveaways, and our big NurtureMe Giveaway in December and January.


Why Nutrition Matters (continued from page 3) Around the time Cindy adopted Jadyn, she met Mishelle Rudzinski, a fellow Portlander who had also recently adopted a child from Kazakhstan. Mishelle’s daughter, Bakha, was 5 years old and so severely disabled by an undiagnosed— and fully preventable— case of rickets and anemia that the adoption agency made her sign papers stating she understood that Bakha might not live to age 18.     Within days of the adoption, Bakha was diagnosed with rickets and given high doses of Vitamin D.  Within weeks, she started walking and then running.  She grew eight inches in the first year home.   As Cindy and Mishelle’s kids began to heal, the mothers couldn't help but think "what if," and felt an intense responsibility to the children left behind.   They sought ways to volunteer but couldn't find any organizations working to systematically change the rampant problem of malnutrition in orphanages—in Kazakhstan or anywhere else in the world. Because of a global effort to end institutionalization, Cindy and Mishelle

found that programs and funds to improve nutrition were not reaching children in institutions. When services do not reach the millions of children still living in orphanages and foster care, they are, due to their poor health, less likely to find permanent families.   In 2007, a year after their families were formed through adoption, Cindy and Mishelle created SPOON Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to improve nutrition and feeding for orphans and vulnerable children so they may grow and develop to their full potential. In the beginning, Cindy and Mishelle thought SPOON’s work would be as easy as shipping food and vitamins overseas—but they quickly realized that was not the way to create lasting change. Instead, SPOON works closely with international and local organizations on the ground to build culturally-appropriate, practical programs that can be scaled for maximum impact. First piloted in Kazakhstan, SPOON is now replicating this approach in Tajikistan, Haiti, India, China, Vietnam, and the United

Facebook Challenge and Giveaway! Mark your calendars! Beginning December 16 through December 20, 2013 we have partnered with NurturMe and The Spoon Foundation to Host the Likes for Good Nutrition Contest. Each day we will post a nutritional question and your guess will count as an entry. Person with the most entries wins a huge gift from NurturMe. For you new moms or moms to be, get your family and friends involved. They can write your name after their guess to give you their entry!


Why Nutrition Matters Continued from page 5 In addition to beginning an assessment of the nutritional status of children in U.S. foster care, SPOON is continually enhancing its resources for adopted and foster families, including a one-of-a-kind website. Now all of the tips and tricks Mishelle and Cindy had to figure out the hard way are available at and in a free, downloadable educational brochure, Nutrition Starter Guide for Adoptive and Foster Families. These resources were created to help adoptive and foster parents and professionals identify, understand, and meet the nutritional needs of their kids—which new research shows often worsens during the first several months post-adoption.    While some adopted children come home in bodies that are clearly aching for food, others may appear well-nourished but are similarly suffering from nutrient deficiencies.  A lack of vitamins and minerals may not impact a child’s outer appearance but can have a significant impact on brain development and long-term cognitive functioning.    Due to multiple risk factors, such as a lack of early breast feeding, improper use of formula, and a nutrient-poor diet—potentially combined with stress, illness, and parasites— adopted kids are at high risk for malnutrition.  In addition to stunting (very low height for age) and wasting (low weight for height) adopted kids may be deficient in keymicronutrients, such as iron, folate, vitamin D, and zinc, among others. has a printable PDF of nutrition lab tests that should be completed at the first doctor’s visit post-adoption and another printable PDF for tests that should be repeated at six months to ensure that growth spurts post-adoption have not caused further nutrient depletion.   Once a child is home, parents work hard to help him adapt to his new life, including his new diet and way of eating.  However, it is also important to understand previous eating practices and potential nutritional issues that are common in the child’s country of origin.   Many families choose to cook foods from their child’s native culture, especially on special occasions, such as country-specific holidays or Adoption Days.  The “Nutrition Basics by Country” section of provides information about some of the countries from which children are adopted and provides tips for transitioning children to the diets of their new homes.    While there is limited research about the nutritional needs of U.S.-born adopted children, health experts suspect that they, too, are vulnerable to under-nutrition and should be screened and treated accordingly.   What began with the adoption journeys of two families will continue with the work of SPOON, ensuring that vulnerable children around the globe, including those right here in the U.S., become healthy and stay well-nourished.

Consider spreading the Holiday cheer by making a special donation to The Spoon Foundation! See how you can make a positive difference in the live of children all over the world!


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Holiday edition 2013  

Spreading the Holiday Cheer with some awesome organizations and amazing giveaways! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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