The first thing I noticed were the all too familiar, impossibly tiny arms crossed tightly in a crib all alone. His head turned and my breath caught. The understanding in his face gave away his true age. He looked to be a brand new, if not premature baby, until his eyes looked into mine and my heart sank. I knew that not only was he at least 6 months old, he was desperately ill.
His name is Jonelson. He was born November 5th, 2013 and they day he was admitted into my short term foster care program he weighed in at just 7lbs. He wore the very clothes that I had lovingly dressed Henry in the day he was born.
Holding the first bottle to his lips I was encouraged and devastated at the same time. He wanted to eat, he craved food, which is a wonderful sign, it means he hasn’t give up. There was nothing wrong with him, nothing that is, except a true and simple lack of food.
Except it’s not simple at all.
I can tell caregivers all day every day, with every breath, to feed their babies “more”. But all to often “more” just doesn’t exist, it’s hard enough to provide “enough” let alone “more”.
Jonelson was starving. Literally, wasting away to a slow and painful death. His every single day on this earth was filled with more pain than I will probably ever know. His story is not simple. Seemingly abandoned, I am doing my best to find his mother to help and encourage her. I long for Jonelson to have an abundant future, I pray it will be so. I dream of placing him in the arms of a woman who surely held him in those precious first hours and kissed his tiny head, exhausted and amazed by the miracle she had just accomplished in bringing him to this world. I can’t imagine she has any idea the fate that has awaited her son when she held him that last time. I pray that one day very soon I can look into her eyes ad we will marvel over a love for this sweet, amazing and strong little boy.
I have this picture in my head of how I want Jonelson’s story to go but in the end I really have no choice but to step back and say as I have so many times before, “Not my will but Yours” His every breath is held in the hands of a Father that surely loves him even more than I, or even an earthly mother could ever comprehend. I have no doubt that this is meant to be a story of redemption, healing, beauty and truth my only job now is to sit back, hold him in my hands, pour everything I have into him and watch our Daddy at work.
Jonelson will be well and I will be a little bit stronger too. I will once again be blessed to learn the precious, secret lessons that He always reveals to me through His most fragile ones.