Sunday, August 9, 2009

In Her Daddy's Arms

Saturday, in the arms of a woman who loved her dearly, Baby Sabrina slipped away.

When I heard the news today it didn't really hit me. I kept myself busy and tried not to think about it. When I was ready, I sat down to remember the life of a little girl who touched my soul. To allow the slide show of the moments I knew her play through my memory.
And now the memories flood...

I first introduced you all to Sabrina here... She came into my life and reminded me once again how different life in Haiti is. I had such an easy time, even there, staying inside our gates and becoming comfortably numb. Sabrina had a story that forced me out of those gates, Sabrina's tiny body pushed me to face the part of Haiti I would rather just not remember. Sabrina was Haiti.

A baby girl who had no chance. Destined to die, whom someone loved. She was given a life because the women who brought her to us couldn't bear the thought of "disposing" of her, as so many do. Sabrina showed me unconditional love. Sabrina taught me what it means to look at a baby who may not be conventionally beautiful and to see an angel. I had moments with her that forever changed my life. During the half hour that I held Sabrina before handing her over to the nurseries I experienced a wave of emotions. Honestly, I didn't know what to think. I knew that Sabrina would not live long. She was very sick. And then she opened her eyes and her gaze met mine. She looked at me and my heart skipped a beat. I knew she was sick, and I didn't care. I knew she would probably not live, but I couldn't even think about it. All I knew was that what I held in my arms was the most precious gift. All I knew that, though she may not live long, she was alive today and for some reason I was chosen to be a part of that life.

What a life it was...
After handing Sabrina over to the nurses I didn't get much time with her. Because she was so sick she was put in a heated bed, attached to monitors, and fed her feedings through a tube. I couldn't pick her up but every night after all the rooms were quiet and the lights had been turned down I would go and sit with Sabrina. I held her hand and stroked her cheek and I prayed for her little body. It was those nights, sitting next to her bed that I was faced with a difficult decision. Even though I wanted to be optimistic, in my heart of hearts I didn't think this baby would live. I could feel my heart being broken for her. I could feel myself being drawn closer and closer every day and sometimes I fought it. It hurts me so badly to admit this but I thought very seriously about backing away from Sabrina a little. I didn't know if I was really strong enough to love a child who was dying. But the choice was not mine. God put her in my life and I couldn't turn away. I thought about her constantly. I couldn't ignore that calling, if anything I fell more in love.

When Dixie, Rebekah (with the Hands That Heal organization) and others on staff began to work towards getting a medical visa for Sabrina I started to hope. Dare I hope? Conversations about Sabrina took on a new tone. People, medical professionals began to sound optimistic. People started to work for her! I began to become optimistic too.

On July 15th Sabrina left Haiti in the arms of a dear friend of mine, Anna. The journey was long, dangerous and scary. So many things could go wrong, she survived. She arrived in Indianapolis and was taken to a local hospital where she underwent a surgery to place a shunt in her head. This would allow the fluid pressing on her brain to drain. She survived. She went to live with a host family and was taken care of in their home. Sabrina was doing well. For 11 weeks Sabrina survived.

I began to breathe easy. The baby I loved was going to live. She was going to a family who wanted her. She was going to have a life!
However God's plans are not our plans. On August 8th, our baby Sabrina peacefully passed away in the arms of her foster mother. She had been having trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital where her breathing became even more shallow and several hours later she passed away.

Shock. Confusion. Numbness...those are the words I have. Not just for me, but for all of us who held and loved Sabrina in her time with us.

Honestly I don't know that I really have any other words right now. I spoke to Rebekah tonight and she told me that they are planning a memorial for sometime next week and she asked me if I would mind writing something. I didn't know if I could do it, but as usual the words were not my own. The following poem is about the women in Sabrina's life who held her. For a few hours, for a few days or for months. The ones God shared His sweet gift with.

God Chose Me

God chose me to hold you close
Sweet baby for a moment or two
God chose me to hold his angel
and I cherish the day He gave me you

I held you child for 9 whole months
The dreams I had may never be known
But I loved you baby I promise you that
I held you until you had grown

I held you while I heard them speak,
the women who loved you so
I held you while your name was given
why God chose me I may never know

I am another who held you close
while God granted us your time
I prepared your feeds and nursed your hurts
For those moments, you were mine

God also chose me to hold you dear
for a season of your days
I carried you as we left the land of your birth
and held you along the way

I held you Sabrina close to my heart
Photographs of you play through my mind
I fought so hard to bring you here
Doing the work God assigned

God called me to hold His child
A baby in need of care
All night and day I watched over you
for that time I was there

God chose me to pick you baby
to keep you as my own
I was to be your mommy here
how I wanted to give you a home

God chose each of us sweet Sabrina girl
To walk your road with you
God placed in our arms an angel of his
Until your time was through

He gave you a life, He gave us a passion
and somehow the two paths crossed
He gave you breath, He gave us vision
And through it your story will never be lost

1 comment:

Katie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I love the title of your blog! And I love that you are serving in haiti. That is actually where my husband and I met. We were part of the same team on a mission trip. It holds a very special place in both of our hearts. I am so glad to have found your blog and to read about your adventures!