Current Child Count

  • HOGAR DE AMOR I: 11 babies
  • HOGAR DE AMOR II: 6 boys
  • HOGAR DE AMOR III: 8 girls

Saturday, April 4, 2009

the little girl we hoped to help

So, Little Girl V left us yesterday. I wanted to personally hand her off, but she was supposed to be picked up at 3pm and at 4 I had to leave to run about 8 errands downtown before closing time (luckily at 6 or 6:30 here). Later I found out she didn't leave CDA II until 7:30. But the mother and friends were very happy, which is good news.

I had hoped that in her first days with us, we would be able to see as a staff team that we could help her, despite severe cerebral palsy, blindness, and no professional intervention in her 6 years. As my physical therapist and then psychologist evaluated her, as I heard from the staff the details of her daily (and nightly) care, and as I observed her, tried to move her and hold her, it became obvious we were in over our heads.

It’s not that we couldn’t improve her quality of life, feed her a quality diet, and have her in the midst of a happy home and children. I have babies with CP in the other two homes and we’ve confronted a host of illnesses and delays in 4+ years with these children and we’ve always given our all to see improvements and advancements. But at this moment there are 39 others besides V. Each with their own needs, half with an appointment with a specialist (or two) in upcoming days or months. She’s not the only one I could give my attention to. There are so many others that need a piece of me—and that of the physical therapist, staff, volunteers, etc. If she was one of few, we could commit to the long road in days ahead to see the tiny bit of improvement we are told is possible. But as one of 40, I wasn't seeing how our staff could handle it.

You know how we Christians try to get away with dumb moves by using Christian-ese? Some people throw around “GOD told ME” as some sort of “just-TRY-to-debate-with-me-or-God” sort of weapon. Or “I have faith that God can heal!” [implying that I don't]

A handful of times in this work I’ve had difficult conversations with people who either say outright or imply that their faith is greater than mine for a child, and I need to accept the child in faith that God will work a miracle. It’s hard to explain, but as the director of this work, as the one who must justify each child entering with the government, our supporters, my team of paid staff and international volunteers, I can only deal with the issues that exist today, at this very moment, and not what could be with after prayer and faith and fasting. We do do that for our children and we have seen incredible changes and we do believe in miracles! But we cannot place a time limit on God to work.

I'm not comfortable telling Casa de Amor's physical therapist and psychologist that, after their careful, professional evaluation and observation, that I don’t believe their reports because, well, God will work a miracle. Who am I to say what God will do? But I’ve had people tell me, including in this situation. People who are not there caring for her as a one month old baby (who weighs much more), smelling her body (which reeks constantly, just telling the truth here, and I’m told it's because she doesn’t process toxins correctly), carefully placing the spoon in her mouth at every feeding and scraping it off the roof so that she will suck and swallow, changing her diapers (usually runny), witnessing daily seizures.

You need thick skin for work with children.

So now after 12 days at Casa de Amor II, she is going to a family that Compassion found near where her mother lives. That decision was made by several of us coordinating together after we presented the facts of child V right now, today. We would love to continue to help externally, such as with a special formula that we’ve tried this week that’s easier to digest. It’s worked wonders on her poorly functioning digestive system. But the mother has shown many signs of looking for an “out” to abandon her, and that’s not the best for anyone involved. She needs to maintain responsibility for her child—all three of her children.

It's a relief now to hear that everyone seems happy with this new plan for little girl V!

God has heard our prayers, and is perhaps working a miracle for her. =)

No comments: