Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Then Sings My Soul

It seemed like it happened so fast. I met this tiny baby boy, brought him to my home and held and loved him for just a moment. He was precious and watching him get well was like watching a baby age in fast forward. One morning we woke up and he smiled and laughed, his coos and giggles filled the room and I knew in my heart he would live.

And then just like that, I got a phone call. The voice on the other end declared “it’s the best case scenario” I was shopping and shamelessly burst into tears. I had planned to try to search for this “abandoned” baby’s family but hadn’t even made a single step in that direction yet, he was still brand new. It turns out I didn’t need to... His parents were there, at my front gate. They came for their baby boy, they wanted to parent him! That morning they had shown up on my doorstep, having heard that Jonelson was with “the blan”. It was the first time his mother had seen him since he was 37 days old. She had been crippled by severe post partum depression. Living in one of the rural villages of the most remote area of Haiti the family felt they had no choice but to leave their precious son in the care of an orphanage. For over 4 months he went back and fort between orphanages and hospitals until that day God saw fit to bless me with his care.

Jonelson’s mama and papa were absolutely beautiful! I loved them from the moment I sat down at the kitchen table to meet them. They explained that this was the first time mama had been able to get out of bed and make the journey to come visit her son. She told me it felt like “the fog was starting to leave her head”. When his parents saw how well Jonelson was doing they were eager and excited to take him home and resume life as a family. I saw the pain that being separated had brought each of them. I saw the way Jonelson looked at his mother’s face, I know that he had longed for her since the day they had been separated. They were meant to be together and I was willing to do everything in my power to make sure it could be so. I purchased formula, clothes and blankets and packed up a bag full of toys and diapers to send on the 6 hour journey through the mountains to their village. I asked our Haitian nurse to pray while everyone in the house gathered around this precious family. What followed was a beautiful prayer and then  an impromptu song of praise. Through my tear filled eyes I caught a peek of a young father cradling his son stopping for a moment to press a kiss into the baby’s temple, his voice rang clear…

Oh Lord my God
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds
Thy hands have made
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I see the stars
I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout
The universe displayed
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Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great thou art
How great thou art
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Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
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And when I think of God
His son not sparing
Sent Him to die
I scarce can take it in
Jonelson 6 Months Old
That on the cross
My burden gladly bearing
He bled and died
To take away my sin
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Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great thou art
How great thou art
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Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
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When Christ shall come
With shouts of acclamation
And lead me home
What joy shall fill my heart
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Then I shall bow
With humble adoration
And then proclaim My God
How great Thou art
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Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
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Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
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As I led the family out the front door and they headed down the street I looked after them and had to smile. The back of his father’s shirt declared the prayer of my heart. Look to the Son, baby Jonelson! Nou p’ap janm bliye ou.
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How great Thou art
How great Thou art
Jonelson

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tiny Fighter

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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

Sweet Jonelson,

You are a precious gift! There is no justice for the pain you have endured, only hope that one day you will change the world because you are so incredibly strong. Tiny one, You inspire me, the hope in your eyes and the fight in your spirit make me study the things that I choose to fight for and invest in. You are brave and I pray that one day, when faced with situations that need the very bravest of men, you will stand strong because you know that you were created for greatness.

I love you, every single one who has had the honor of caring for you over the past week, we all love you. We will stand up for you, we will be your voice and we will fight for you because each and every one of us has been blessed to see the precious treasure gem that you are.

Kembe Fem, Ti Chape.