Thursday, June 22, 2017
Essie had just returned from the hospital stay when Mary (the children's home nurse) came over because Essie was about to be rushed back to the ER. As we were running frantically, tripping over the Nebulizer cords, and trying to count heart beats, she mentioned that a little baby needs to come into my home. Her mom is crippled and I need to do something about it. It stopped me in my tracks for just a minute as I was already flustered wondering if the newborn in my arms was still breathing. I said we will talk about it later but left it at that. A few days later, the baby's story was mentioned to me again and I mentioned that I would like to visit the family and assess the situation in their village. Little did I know what I was getting my self in to. We jumped on the back of motorcycles and drove the uphill battle for 3.5 hours. We got off around 11 times and had to climb over big rocks and track through mud filled paths while the moto drivers pushed the moto through. After falling off twice (due to the back tire sliding on the mud or hitting a big rock) my sore, bruised, and muddy body made it to the top. There, I found a hut. Smaller than my bathroom. Made of mud, leaves, and rocks. And I found a girl. Not much younger than I am, sitting outside that hut....with no hope in her eyes. She was crippled. She has club feet and a mental disability making the daily rituals of bathing and using the restroom by her self impossible. Her eyes met mine as she spoke in a gentle soft voice that I was the first white person she has ever seen. My heart broke into a thousand pieces. How? Why? Who? Who could have shattered her joy? Why would someone ruin her dignity? How in the world did she birth this baby? This tiny baby that is 2 months old but has only eaten watered down crackers since the day she was born was birthed by this young teenager who's joy was stolen from her. Noviette was raped. The neighbors were all in the gardens working when someone came in and did this to her. She carried Novia, birthed Novia, but because of her mental disability she doesn't really understand the meaning of being a mom. She's handicap and needed just as much help as her tiny baby. After communicating with the locals around, I went up to Noviette and invited her to come live with me. I told her I would love her and her baby and take good care of them. She would no longer have to be afraid of the dark hours of the night, or the hunger pains that she's immune to, or the fear of life itself. I told her I have soap at my house and her eyes lit up. Soap. Something we take for granted but is treasured gold to her. As much as I dreaded that awful ride back down the mountain, I had peace. Peace to bring a teenager into my home filled with babies. Peace that I could somehow show her the love of Jesus and help her feel loved and worthy again. I gained 2 more girls and now I have a family of 10. Watching them grow and thrive is the best feeling in the world. Noviette needs a lot of help...mentally and physically. Novia needs lots of prayer as her little body is underweight. But I have a good God that loves us with an everlasting love. The devil meant to harm her, kill her, shame her. But God used it for good. God used it to bring new life to them. To give them their hearts desire....food, shelter, and love.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
It all seems like such a blur. It all happened so fast and as therapeutic as it is to write down my feelings, I have no desire to think back to that day. To those events. Essie Mae wasn't acting normal. I picked her up and knew something was wrong. She wouldn't wake up. Her heart rate was too fast to count. Her lips were turning purple. The feeling of racing to the ER with Melody all came back to real that night. It was around 10pm. We were heading to a hospital 30 minutes away. Essie stopped breathing before we arrived and every ounce of my blood ran to my toes and that same piercing of the heart that I had gone through just 3 months earlier was back stabbing and all I could do was repeat the name of Jesus. Over and over and over. One of my interns started CPR and in that moment I watched God breath life back into her fragile lungs. But the hospital was out of oxygen. The only hope was to go to the city. An hour and a half from where we were. All in hopes that we would make it in time. I found the phone number for an ambulance and in the late dark hours of Sunday night we pulled over on the side of the highway and I jumped in the ambulance with my beautiful 3 week old baby girl. The night was long and emotional as I rushed into that ER door and demanded help for this precious baby. I was not about to buy another casket the size of my purse. I was not about to bury another baby. I couldn't. I refused. I didn't sleep that night. I sat by her side and watched her breathe. I watched as mom's and dad's of other ill children slept on pieces of cardboard and sheets all around the hospital driveway. I watched as rats ran between hiding places in hopes for someone's leftover food. I watched Essie's chest rise and lower. I held her close to my chest and watched the clock...but time seemed to stand still. She stayed in that hospital for 3 nights before being released. Bronchiolitis is what the nurse diagnosed her with. A lung disease that almost took her life. Ann Voskamp said "not one thing in your life is more important that figuring out how to live in the face of unspoken pain." So I will spend the weeks and months after this learning how to breath again. How to trust the "One whose breath births galaxies into being births healing into the heart of the broken." I will learn that serving Jesus doesn't mean ease and comfort. But I know it's worth it. Every heartache, every pain, every fear...its worth it for the sake of knowing Jesus Christ as my Lord. Esther Mae is home and healing. She is a beautiful 8.14 pound baby that has captured the hearts of everyone she has met. Essie is here for a reason. She has a purpose to fulfill on this earth. She is a miracle from the Miracle Maker.
Sunday, June 4, 2017
I got the message 2 day after she was born. A beautiful 7.5 pound orphaned baby was carried down the mountain by her teenage uncle after losing her mom from child birth complications and her dad from an accident a few months back. She was brought to another ministry, who’s children’s home was already full, so they messaged me. My mind immediately went back to Melody. It had been almost 3 months since the day she breathed her last... but not a single day had gone by that I didn’t think of her sweet soft voice and still small body lying helpless in my arms. I fast forwarded my thoughts and pondered on all the “what-ifs”. What is this baby dies also. What if I have to buy a casket the size of my purse all over again. I had already given away all of my baby clothes. I was scared. Scared to be hurt again. Scared to love again. Scared to try again. She was orphaned. She had no mother and no father and I was asked to take on that role. How could I say no? I saw her precious picture light up on my phone and I took a deep breath and relied. “ yes, I am still taking in children.” Ann Voskamp said “Not one thing in your life is more important than figuring out how to live in the face of unspoken pain.” I had to learn to cope. I had to live by faith. As I clenched my fist as if I am clinging onto the hands of Jesus, I said yes. “Maybe this broken way is making something new. He is making all things new.” Welcome home, Miss Essie. You’ve given me my strength back. You’ve given me hope. I love you, sweet girl.