heart breaking, tragic, with conflicting details, many unknowns and doubts...or all of the above. Here's the story of another baby who came to us directly from a street canal.
I’ll never forget the night I first met Kevin. It was June 21, and I’d been to the canal where he lived with his teen mother and her friends. I got home and typed some cryptic notes through my grief:
What a sad experience going tonight with Skip [former CDA volunteer] and Dad. To see kids lives being ruined, and kids choosing to live that way (or being forced into it), it’s nothing short of heartbreaking. It hurts. A lot. When adults live like that it’s one thing, to ruin their lives, but these kids are no bigger than my sisters. It’s so bad. I can see why so many in the world feel called to work with them and do it with all of their hearts. It’s just unjust and heartbreaking and so awful to see. Sad. I’ve been to the Coronilla 4 times, but still. Not nice… They’ve brought me to my knees tonight. God, please lead us.
Skip had introduced me to Kevin’s mother, who was suspicious of who I was. I rarely talk to a mother on the street about letting her baby come to me, but from what Skip and Rehanna had told me, this situation was a little more urgent. While visiting, I could also see that Kevin was very sick and living on the street at wintertime wasn’t going to help anything. His mother consulted with her new boyfriend who said that she should let me take the baby. Since I don’t take babies that “directly”, we explained how she could turn over the baby to the home legally. It was hard to get Kevin and Gladis off my mind in following days (another little girl several people wanted us to take in).
On June 25, I started getting phone calls that Kevin’s mother had decided to voluntarily bring him in. We gratefully took him in and I carried him straight to the hospital. I thought he would be admitted but there the doctor said that his breathing was okay and that we could treat him from home, but isolated. Against my better judgment (what mother would insist that her baby be hospitalized?)…and we rarely use this hospital now!...I took him home. Back in those days we actually still had a room we could use for isolation. We set up extra precautions like putting on a hospital gown when tending to him. So you know what happened? Me and the nurse caregiver became extremely sick with what he had, passed it to the other kids, while two days after he arrived he was still hospitalized—for a CDA record of 14 days! Another complication was his refusal to accept our formula—milk not tainted with the toxins he had grown addicted to even at such a young age.
Kevin has suffered from environmental allergies (and thus rashes, lots of colds and ear infections, etc.), possibly due to his immune system getting a poor start as he was exposed to so many toxins and unhealthy living situations while on the street. However, he has a great appetite and expects to receive food on schedule!
One day we had quite the scare at the Baby Home when his mother's boyfriend had a fight with his mother and declared he would prove his devotion to her by bringing her son. Somehow he figured out where the Baby Home was and arrived high on glue, violent, and cussing us out, demanding to leave with Kevin. (Incidentally, I learned a couple bad words during that whole event!) Amazingly nothing worse than a beaten up gate happened, and the guards from the chicken factory next door "rescued" us women and children (the police arrived about an hour after the danger was over).
Now Kevin is a chubby 2 year old that is active but somewhat reserved. He really looks up to the older boys at CDA III, where he now lives, and will follow their lead on any made up game. His favorite things to do are ride on the toy cars, sword fight, and wrestle. We are working on teaching him speech skills (currently is in speech therapy), trying different types of food, what God is like, and how to use the potty. He loves to go for drives in the car and search for barnyard animals, then makes their noises at them out the window!
Kevin’s papers are in process in court for him to be provided with a loving and forever family.
2) really pale and sick, his first day in the Baby Home
3) Enjoying a gift, Christmas morning 2008
Help provide loving care for Kevin for $25/month through Casa de Amor's new child sponsorship program. Download THIS form to start!