They called him “Ti Pwason”… “little fish”
His face was long and narrow and his lips seemed always pursed. He had a pathetic and somewhat pleading look about him, masked by an indifferent and defiant stare. He wanted to appear tough, he didn’t need me and he wouldn’t give me the pleasure of knowing he enjoyed my company. He scowled up at me when I offered him a piece of granola bar and though he took it, he purposefully turned away from my face as he ate. This tiny little 19 month old boy must have been hurt horribly to react this way. When I reached out to touch him he flinched away from my hand and when I leaned in to kiss his him he cried and cowered away. He was damaged.
Be it a blessing or a curse, there is something about the “worst cases” that draws me like a magnet. Perhaps it is the raw pain and need that I see, perhaps it is the idea of watching such a dramatic change, that I know will come with a bit of work. Perhaps it is just the thrill of the challenge that calls to my competitive nature. Whatever it is, “Ti Pwason” had it and now he is burned into my soul, a challenge, a task, a purpose for me in this season.
It didn’t take long for the nannies and staff to notice my interest in him. They quickly began to refer to him as Petit Rhyan, Rhyan’s baby. He took a bit longer to win over. All day every day, while I work he sits beside me with a few colorful toys. He pretends not to like them, as I spread them out each morning he turns up his nose, crosses his arms as glares at me. When I try to give him a relaxing massage before bed he squirms and cries, trying to avoid my touch. When I feed him he turns his head away and refuses whatever I offer.
But… Yesterday while he was lying in his bed “napping” I snuck up with my camera for a few photos and he shocked me by looking up and giving me this face…
This morning when I woke up and looked over to his crib he was sitting up looking around frantically and whimpering, when he saw me he quit crying and laid his head back down and fell asleep.
And, this afternoon as I ate my lunch he crawled over to where I was sitting and opened his mouth wide for bites of rice and beans.
Much too slowly for my taste, but still happening, this baby is starting to heal.
The nannies told me that because he was “my baby” now I would need to give him a name. Ti Pwason (little fish) became Guppy, which quickly shortened to Gup. Borrowing the name from another “Guppy” I’ve known I pray he will carry it well and maybe, grown to have a bit the strength and personality of my other Gup. I love you Jacob!
This week little Gup will have a blood test to determine if he is HIV positive. There are some things about his health and history that are concerning and I pray that this test will give us some answers. Please, join me in pleading for the results of this test. I beg that his problems are temporary and that he will soon start to heal from his past and learn to thrive.