This week I took Katryn to one of the orphanages for the first time.
We held the babies. Something very simple. Our two arms picked them up brought them near and they stopped crying. They even looked at us and some even smiled.
A few babies stood out in my mind that day.
With Katryn and I both there, we pretty much covered all the babies, giving each child an opportunity to be held, if even just for a few minutes. One baby boy watched me as I was going around to the cribs lifting out a baby, talking to him or her, singing, praying and then putting them back down. He watched me and then when I was able to give him a turn, I lifted him out and he instantly hooked his arms around my neck and his legs around my waist. I have never experienced such a tight grip from a baby. I even held my arms out for a minute to show Kat that he was not letting go. He clinged so tightly, as if he didn't want me to let him go and he was going to do all he could to ensure that.
The other baby was a tiny one. She was already crying when we walked in the room. She looked familiar.
I realized later that the familiarity I was seeing was the look of a malnourished baby. Wamasa and Akim ( both who later died) had this look. The big sunken in eyes, the frail face, thick gums with no teeth, long thin fingers and toes, arms that were about as thick as my thumb. Skin loosely hanging on the body, . My heart broke for her and Katryn's did as well. She said I don't think I will ever forget her.
I told her you don't. Not the first time. Just like I will not ever forget Akim.
I asked the workers her name and no one knew. She had just been dropped off today they replied.
She was sitting up just crying and crying. Kat held her for awhile. I held her for awhile. Then Kat held her again then I held her. I could tell she was hungry, the way she was sucking and then also chewing on her arm.
I asked one of the workers if she needed a bottle. The woman said, "what?" then I asked again. About the same time I was asking she was reaching her hand to turn the CD player on and turned it on, then looked back at me and said no, and then started dancing a little. I would like to tell you that I just could not believe it! But I could believe it, sad that it didn't surprise me. Still appalling, but not surprising.
The workers come in and out of the room cleaning, or getting things, etc.
The babies all share bottles and spoons and cereal. One baby had finished what he wanted of a bottle and it was still propped up next to him in his crib.
So after the dancing lady stepped out of the room I took the bottle picked up the little baby and started feeding it to her. She stopped crying drank just a little bit and then cried some more.
I am almost certain this baby had not drank out of a bottle before, but rather only was nursed. She needed someone to take her and hold her and gently teach her and get her used to drinking from a bottle. But no one thought to do it I guess or had the time to.
I changed her and she was so small that the snappy diaper 'pin' that is supposed to stretch to the sides of the baby just would not stay on her. It kept falling off. She was that tiny. She weighed nothing and guessing her age from other babies that have been malnourished and have been similar she was somewhere between 6-9 months.
And she weighed nothing.
A picture of a snappy next to my cell phone to give you an idea. She was smaller than the width of a cell phone.
We had to leave and Katryn and I talked on the way home. I explained why it is still my desire and prayer to see the Lord use us to establish an orphanage for the littlest ones. Not even necessarily because if we don't than the babies will be left with nothing, but because if we did, think of the impact and care and love we could give to these babies and little children. We could spend the time with a new baby, give what little bit we could to help them in the tragedy of being taken from somewhere and stuck in a crib in a new place, without anyone they know.
So please pray with us. That PERHAPS, the Lord would prepare a way and the means to see this desire of my heart fulfilled.